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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.46 | 4075 ratings

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Petrovsk Mizinski
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album is one of the first prog albums that made me understand I like prog music and one of the very first prog albums I fell in love with. I recall just listening to this album every day for weeks on end, and sometimes I still go through this feeling that makes me want to listen to the album repeatedly, and I know for sure, I'll always experience that feeling of wanting to repeatedly listen to it. The line up is just top notch, and with the introduction of the supremely talented Rick Wakeman on keyboards, replacing Tony Kaye, the band's overall musicianship is stepped up a notch.

Unlike the previous Yes studio releases, this album would showcase the individual talents of the band members in the form of solo pieces entirely written by one member and in one case, one piece written and played by one member.

The album kicks off with Roundabout, with a melodic somewhat classic guitar style intro from Howe. There is some seriously cool funky bass licks from Squire, something which is always a joy for me to listen to. Given bass wasn't always an instrument that stuck out such much in bends, it was no doubt enjoyable to hear Squire helping to cement bass as more prominent instrument. Add to this with some stunning keyboard work from Wakeman, and altogether we have a catchy yet fairly complex and yet highly enjoyable piece of music. Cans and Brahms is indeed a piece by Johannes Brahms and consists of extracts from the 3rd movement of the 4th Symphony in E minor by Brahms, but here we have Rick Wakeman's own arrangement of it. Very nice song, if perhaps not one of the stronger songs on here. Next is Jon Anderson's solo piece, where he sings all the vocal parts, and it's a remarkable arrangement of vocals, and sounds very beautiful. South Side Of The Sky. Wow. I can't get over how blown away I am by this song time and time again. The compositional changes are just spot on, and the instrumental break is just stunning, simply stunning. It's been describe as the heavens opening up for the dying people on their fateful polar expedition, and it certainly the instrumental break evokes that feeling for me too. Bill's solo piece, is very quirky, and over quickly, but satisfying nonetheless. Long Distance Run Around is somewhat catchy too, but doesn't skimp on the expected Yes musicianship, so a very balanced song it is indeed, although not one of the better tracks on here though. The Fish is just awesome. At the time, it was very innovative and certainly helped the bass guitar to become known not just as a rhythm and backing instrument, but an instrument that can come to the forefront of the mix and in the process be very emotive and expressive as well. This is the piece of music that really made me truly respect Squire for his talents. Steve's piece, is a lovely classical/Spanish guitar piece, with a degree of Flamenco influence thrown in as well, as well as continuing to demonstrate his prowess on the classical guitar. I always feel very touched listening to this song. Heart Of The Sunrise starts off very crazy, but soon we discover it's a complex piece, and a nice way to end the album. I remember the first time I heard it, I didn't expect so many twists and turns and attention to detail, but it was all there in it's brilliant glory. I do have the re-issue with the Simon and Garfunkel cover song, which is very good, although perhaps you don't need it to truly experience the genius of this album.

The band succeeded in creating something truly remarkable and for that, it's nothing less than a masterpiece.

Petrovsk Mizinski | 5/5 |


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