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Yes - Fragile
Label: Rhino Records
Release: 1971

Tracklisting:
Roundabout
Cans and Brahms
We Have Heaven
South Side of the Sky
Five Per Cent For Nothing
Long Distance Runaround
The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
Mood For A Day
Heart of the Sunrise
Fragile - Yes
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Average Blamo User Rating: (3 votes)

Masterpiece. A total masterpiece - bar a couple of pointless solo meanderings, it's truly outstanding, and the full bandrecords are all amongst the best that Yes created. The best known song here is the classic "Roundabout", worthy of all of it's 8 minutes. A signature song, from the pounding Squire bass and the Howe-Wakeman interplay, it's a Yes classic, and a good radio hit. "South Side of the Sky" in contrast, is slow, grinding, and absolutely rocking - running on it's grindingHowe guitar and huge drums. The song also has a classic Wakeman piano break in the middle, with some absolutely fantasticdrumming from Billy boy. "Long Distance Runaround" is another well-known song on this album - and it's easy to see why. In a complete rarity for Yes, everything about this song is super-infectious, from Howe's opening guitar riff to the brilliant Squire bass, to the verse riff and Jon Anderson's vocal melodies...you could easily play this one back in your head, especially seeing as it's only about 3 minutes long. And of course, we have possibly the best Yes song ever closingout the album - the frenetic 12-minute "Heart of the Sunrise", with it's amazing opening and all the brilliant sections - unlike a lot of Yes epics, there's a hell of a lot to this song, and it's pulled off so well. Masterpiece.

As for the solo cuts, they generally fair alright, bar the first two. Rick Wakeman's "Cans and Brahms" is easily the worst - it's a boring piano work, that mercifully only goes on for 2 minutes. Jon Anderson's "We Have Heaven" is also pretty poor - it's certainly not unmemorable, but it's certainly bad. Although it is funny, in a way. Bill Bruford's "FivePercent for Nothing" should go on for much longer than it does - the drummer gets a grand total of 35 seconds, while Wakemangets to bore us with about 2 minutes of simpy piano drek. The best is saved for the last 2 though - Chris Squire's "TheFish (Titleia Unpronouncableus)" is a bass exorcism - more cool as hell bass riffs than you can shake a stick at, and SteveHowe's "Mood For A Day" is a total classic - wonderful acoustic guitar piece.

Although 2 of the tracks are drek, they only make up for 3 and a half minutes and the album, so it can get away with them.This album is a surefire 9, mainly thanks to the 4 full band classics that make up the backbone of this album, and "Heartof the Sunrise" is arguably the greatest song Yes ever created.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

the best Yes album? i dunno.

it certainly is the first Yes album that is completely perfect though. Not one second is wasted, and the compositions are brilliant with amazing playing.

it was also the breakthrough album for the band. an edited version of roundabout was THE hit for the early band, and it truly is a great song. it's experimental, progressive and yet it's catchy and melodic. very few progressive bands could have pulled this song off.

cans and brahms follows, and it's rick wakeman playing on four or five keyboards an excerpt from a piece by brahms. it's okay.

we have heaven is next and it's so stupid and ANDERSON-ish that it's great. he over dubs his voice like mad, creating a strange, offsetting effect.

the next real composition is next, and it's south side of the sky. it's very harsh, and DARK especially for Yes a band usually thought of as a happy faggy yay band. it's about freezing to death. the mid song keyboard solo illustrates this perfectly, and the "la la la la la la" section is chilling as well.

after a silly 35 percussion "idea" by bill bruford, another hit from the album comes. it's long distance run around, and i know people who hate it saying it's a sell out. nah. it's just a shorter, catchier song that's no less complex and weird than the longer pieces. just shorter, and catchier. this bleeds into the fish which is quite stunning. every single note is created on the bass guitar by chris squire's over dubbing, and it shows how great of a player he was/is.

mood for a day, a nice little solo accoustic piece by steve howe is next, which bleeds into the longest song on the album, heart of the sunrise. beginning with a king crimson-ish guitar keyboard duet, it bleeds into a beautifully sung piece by anderson about getting lost in the city, it goes through strange sections, the guitar keyboard duet begins again, then abrupty quits. after a few seconds of silence, we have heaven begins again and then album is over.

this album is the album to get if you're interested in Yes. it's early Yes at their catchiest, and yet still progressive and complex. they progressed a great amount in the years to come, yet they were never as catchy as this.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

Yes is the greates band in the universe and if you listen to this album you will know exactly why this is true.

All the band members get to do a solo on this record to show how as a group they all incorporate their strengths.

We have heaven is great idea for a singers solo. It sounds like a hundred Jon Andersons singining in a choir together.

The Fish could also be the only solo from a bassplayer i evr hear on the radio, they still play it to this day every time i hear Long distance Runaround on the Radio.

South Side of the Sky is a great Rocker as well as Heart of the Sunrise which i must say is one of the greatest songs ever and is worth the price of this album alone.The lyrics are classic Jon Anderson.

I will not say anything about Roundabout good or Bad. It is what it is.Always fun to see at a show anyways.

Yes is a very underatted band these days. I think they hold the key to the future of making music great again.

They are getting old though so if you have a chance go see them on tour before they retire or die.
They are still fantasic players and i would actually say they are playing better now than they were 10 years ago. And Jon Anderson really sings his ass of. it must be such a strain for him to do this at his age of 60 but damn he still hits those high notes.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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