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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.46 | 4058 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars Fragile is the second act of a trilogy of masterpieces that started with The Yes Album and is comnpleted by Close to th Edge. The Yes Album is a collection of songs, sometimes long but without the characteristics of an epic, Close to the Edge has the full-side omonimous epic, and two long tracks on side B. Fragile is exactly in the middle and can be considered the trait-d'union between the two.

The opener is great. Roundabout is not an epic only because of its length, but is one of the best songs ever written by the yes. The acoustic guitar intro, the background keyboards, the great bass line all supported by one of the best drummers in the world. Even those who dislike Jon Anderson's voice have to recognize that no other singer can be imagined on this song. This tracks alone can be used to define the YES music.

Cans and Brahms is one of the short interludes dedicated to the instrumentist. When double albums with one side per group member was a mood (Ummagumma and Works just to mention a couple) the YES indulged to their individual skills allowing just few minutes. This one is for Wakeman. The following "We Have Heaven" is for Anderson.

The ensemble is back with "South Side of The Sky" that's another classic on which Squire leads. Looking retrospectively to "Fish out of Water" it appears to be mainly a Squire thing until the keyboard and piano solos that are of course typical Wakeman's stuff. As in many Yes songs, I'm unable to say what the signatures on this song are....

"Five Percent for Nothing" is the Squire's interlude, then comes a "short classic": "Long Distance Runaround" it's a classic, even if the live version of Yessongs is in my opinion far better than this studio one.

"The Fish" is another ensemble song even if it's totally dominated by the bass. But we all know who the Fish is...

The most famous short interlude of the yes history: a track that almost all the guitar practicers have tried to play with more or less success is "Mood for a Day". This track can explain why Steve Howe and Steve Hackett have tried (later) to give birth to a band. Unfortunately that band had rubbish results, but this is just to say that "Mood fro a day" could make the pair with some Steve Hackett's classical or acoustic guitar works like "A Cradle of Swans" as example.

The album is closed by another classic masterpiece. I think that "Heart of a Sunrise" has been played on almost all the Yes tours during the years. After the initial riff, the long intro of Bass and keyboards to which Howe's guitar comes from the background. Then the initial riff again. Squire and Bruford at their best with Wakeman and Howe in the background. It takes 3:30 minutes before Jon Anderson starts singing on a low-volume keyboard background. I can't find any pasage that can be considered trivial. This is what, I think, makes difficult for many people approaching the old Yes albums: the listener's expectations are never satisfied and you can really enjoy this music only after a number of listens, when you know what is about to come.

As for The yes Album, I can't rate it less than the maximum.

octopus-4 | 5/5 |


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