1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fragile, indeed
While 1971's The Yes Album gave Yes their first exposure in the United States, Fragile was their first bona fide hit album. Cosmic keyboardist Rick Wakeman was brought into replace the talented but dangerously unadventurous Tony Kaye, thus completing the "classic Yes" lineup. The album consisted of four true songs, and five short-form compositions from each of the band...
Published on Nov. 5 2003 by Evil Lincoln
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Highs But Other Fragile Moments
Many people revere Fragile by Yes as the groups crowning achievement. I do admit Roundabout is a stunning piece of music. In addition, there are other notable moments such as the compelling Southside of the Sky,Wakeman's delightful Cans and Brahms the pretty acoustic number Mood For A Day, and the radio friendly Long Distane Runaround.
However, there are way too many...
Published on June 23 2003 by G. J Wiener
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fragile, indeed,
While 1971's The Yes Album gave Yes their first exposure in the United States, Fragile was their first bona fide hit album. Cosmic keyboardist Rick Wakeman was brought into replace the talented but dangerously unadventurous Tony Kaye, thus completing the "classic Yes" lineup. The album consisted of four true songs, and five short-form compositions from each of the band members. It's a concept that works rather well.
The opener "Roundabout" was a huge hit, and rightfully so. Every single aspect of the song- vocals, guitars, keyboards, drums, and especially Chris Squire's ferocious and unrelenting bass- are perfect, and blended together to create one of the greatest classic rock songs of all time. No matter how many times I hear this on the radio, I'll never get tired of it.
"South Side Of The Sky" is one of my all-time favorite Yes songs. This is a band that rarely treads on the darker side of music, but when they do, it works great (i.e., future classics like "The Gates Of Delirium" and "Machine Messiah"). Bill Bruford gives a stupendous performance- it's probably the closest to straightforward rock 'n' roll as this jazz fusion drummer would ever get. Guitarist Steve Howe gives a hard and heavy performance comparable to Led Zeppelin. The middle section of the song, with Wakeman's foreboding piano and the gorgeous vocal harmonies, is the highlight of the entire album for me.
The three and a half minute "Long Distance Runaround" is pretty typical of early-70's AOR, but it's great nonetheless, with its playful guitar and rich rhythm section. "Heart Of The Sunrise" is the longest song Yes had recorded up to that point at eleven minutes. This is a true fan favorite that is played at most every Yes concert. However, to offer a dissenting opinion, I don't like this song. The opening section, while seeming brilliant the first time you hear it, loses its effect after being repeated ad nauseam what seems like constantly throughout the song. Jon Anderson gives an impressive unaccompanied vocal performance, but it really doesn't fit in the context of the song. "Heart Of The Sunrise" is just plain boring, to put it bluntly. It seems like it belongs on Yes's 1974 dud "Tales From Topographic Oceans."
The "solo" pieces are a mixed bag. Rick Wakeman's "Cans And Brahms" is pointless, as is Bill Bruford's 35-second "5% For Nothing" (even though it is interesting from a technical standpoint). Jon Anderson's "We Have Heaven" is upbeat and comical- it's a very fun little ditty. Steve Howe's acoustic solo "Mood For A Day" is good, but pales in comparison to the live version on 1973's Yessongs. Chris Squire's "The Fish (Shindleria Praematurus)" is easily the best of the solo spots- not only is it incredibly impressive; it's also very fun to listen to. "The Fish" is presented as an add-on to "Long Distance Runaround."
The bonus tracks include an early mix of "Roundabout" which is interesting to listen to once, but then becomes pointless, as it's not much different than the final version. Yes's cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "America" is a masterpiece. It's kind of misleading to call this a cover, as the only resemblance it has to the original is the lyrics. Steve Howe gives what is in my opinion his greatest guitar solo on the ten-minute track. If this were part of Fragile proper, it would be its best song.
The remastered and expanded Fragile is definitely a must-have for any music fan, if only for "Roundabout," "South Side Of The Sky," and "America."
5.0 out of 5 stars Une des plus belles oeuvres du rock progressif,
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Le son est excellent. Une des plus belles oeuvres du rock progressif. La version de America est tout simplement magistrale...
5.0 out of 5 stars A prog-rock classic!!!,
This is a progressive rock classic!!! An essential Yes album!!! The classic tunes Roundabout and Long Distance Runaround are worth the price of admission!!! But the rest of the album(now CD!)is awesome too!!! And the newly remastered CD has 2 bonus tracks!!! Two thumbs up!!! A+!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars,
When I was a kid my older brother left home and I inherited this album. Now I am a musician because of it.
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive symphonic prog album,
Although "Close To The Edge" beats it out for the crown of best Yes album, and repeated listens to "Relayer" reveal countless layers and subtleties, "Fragile" is the album I would recommend as a starting point for Yes--and since Yes is the definitive symphonic prog act, it provides an excellent starting point for prog in general. Although the five brief solo pieces scattered in-between the epics are frequently thought to have made it sound a little disjointed, every track is strong, with the one exception of Wakeman's pleasantly dull "Cans And Brahms" (its brevity is, however, an advantage in this case!).
"Roundabout" is the group's most overplayed track and one even the most devoted fans might get tired of after the ten-zillionth listen, but fresh ears cannot deny its brillliant composition, playing and production, with stunning harmonies and definitive guitar and keyboard solos. Speaking of stunning harmonies, "We Have Heaven" bursts from the speakers like a postcard from above
and will have you singing along in no-time. Offsetting its optimism is the darker "South Side Of The Sky", oddly overlooked
by the group over the years (apparently it was too difficult even for them to play live!) and thus a very fresh listen. The howling wind and footsteps (reminiscent of Pink Floyd) presage a monster guitar riff that carries the track, although the jazzy piano/vocal interlude is perhaps the highlight. At times during the playing of this album one is tempted to think that this is the direction The Beatles may have gone in had they continued with the experimentation of "Abbey Road".
Bruford's 30-second "5% For Nothing" acts as a novelty introduction to "Long Distance Runaround", in which Yes implants their unique musical approach onto the conventional three-minute pop song. Lyrically, this is one of the album's strongest statements, being a subtly phrased questioning of religion. The song melds with Squire's pulsing bass experiment "The Fish", in which he overdubs dozens of basses (fuzz, wah-wah, both, you name it) on top of each other playing variations on a kinetic riff that rocks extremely hard. Not only will one be dazzled by Squire's prowess, but the appearance of a more straightforward rocker is exactly what the album needs at this point. Indeed, I'm tempted to name "The Fish" one of the greatest rock instrumentals ever. Howe's moody, Spanish acoustic guitar piece "Mood For A Day" follows, influenced heavily by Segovia and very tastefully played with a "less is more" approach unusual for this genre of prog. That is not the case with the closing "Heart Of The Sunrise", however, which remains my all-time favorite Yes work and one of the best prog songs ever (note how this album has the best of everything--best pop song, best instrumental, best epics...). The peaks and valleys in this song are quite extreme and frame what is, at its heart, actually a simple ballad with an emotional lyric that paints abstract impressions with words. The way the group embellish this "simple ballad" to classical proportions, playing contrapuntal bits and extended keyboard variations that twist and turn against each other along with Howe's screaming metal-ish opening guitar riff, is like a picture-perfect advertisement for the virtues of progressive rock. As a pop song, "Heart Of The Sunrise" would have been charming but minor. As a ten-minute epic, the track manages to touch on all moods and emotions, while not a single note is wasted; the themes are all carefully composed and interwoven into each other for maximum atmospheric impact. When a reprise of "We Have Heaven" bursts in and fades out just as quickly at the close, one is tempted to simply press "play" all over again.
Yes' sound crafted here is like the perfect natural buzz; endorphins are sparked and heightened virtually every second this CD is in the machine. Indeed, I have at times sung along to this in the car with friends and had a blast. Wakeman is almost certainly the definitive factor that made this a step above the already brilliant "Yes Album"--his virtuosic (what else?)keyboard layering colors each track ingeniously, which is why it is a little puzzling that his own solo contribution sounds like background muzak--although all of the members seem to be challenging each other here. The bonus tracks are not too rare but it is great to have the full-length "America" added to this collection, it fits better here than it would on "Close To The Edge" (and the single version is a bonus track on the latter album anyway). "Close To The Edge" may be even tighter and more complex, with just three epic tracks that all complement each other, but "Fragile"'s bits and pieces all fit endearingly together as well and in my opinion this album is only one miniscule smidgen below its successor in quality, and certainly the most fun. Even if this is the first Yes album you ever purchase, its accessibility (especially for people not usually into prog) may make this the most-played, even after decades.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Yes!!!,
Who could pass up the album with "Roudabout" "Heart Of The Sunrise" or "South Side Of The Sky?" I don't know, but this album is great! Featuring the classic Yes lineup, this album doesn't fail to please. It's great music and not TOO long (like TFTO) and is just fun! I don't care if you are a Yes fan or not, this album is for anyone!
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any music fan...,
FRAGILE, the prototypical prog-rock masterpiece, gets a very nice makeover with this new release. The CD packaging is first rate, the sound is brilliant, and the new additional tracks add great interest. I must agree with an earlier reviewer that "Heart of the Sunrise" is the real revelation here. Always one of my favorite tracks, it takes on an added vitality on this CD...it is the aural equivalent of a velvet covered brick. It's where virtuosity and soul collide in a rich tapestry of sonic mayhem and sublime pastoral passages. And, of course, all of the other tracks have become classics in their own right. Somewhere in the world at this instant, "Roundabout" is playing on a classic rock radio station...that song being the epitome of "classic rock." On each track, the instrumental passages sparkle, and the vocals are crisper and richer than ever. Turn "Mood for a Day" up LOUD and be amazed all over again at Steve Howe's gorgeous and innovative guitar. Sure, you may have already purchased the LP, the 8-track, the cassette, the CD, the enhanced CD, the remastered CD, and who knows, maybe even the reel-to-reel. But, go on and pick up this edition of FRAGILE. You know you want to...go ahead!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sound at last,
It seems like I have been waiting forever for the release of 'Fragile' on a CD where the sound quality would be as good as I remember it was on vinyl - and now it has. Hats off to Rhino. I don't know how they do it but this CD sounds as good or better than the vinyl. I took a chance buying it because of another review I read at Amazon which spoke of the good sound quality. If you like Fragile, you will not be disappointed. Plus, Rhino does a great packaging job and liner notes. I highly recommend this CD.
5.0 out of 5 stars A super classic,
with all the songs on this cd, it is hard to believe that some people feel as though this should be anything less than a five. I would give it a six if I could. WE HAVE HEAVEN and SOUTH SIDE OF THE SKY...wow. Heart of the Sunrise. totallly amazing.
classic and yummy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the $$$ for the packaging alone, 4.5 stars,
By A Customer
Probably the best thing about the new edition of Fragile is the beautiful new packaging. The liner notes include many more photos and a hagiographic but interesting essay. Presumably the new packaging is supposed to recreate the original LP edition (which I don't own, so I can't comment on).
The bonus tracks: America is a fantastic song that I've never heard before buying this album. The "early rough mix" of Roundabout is a curio at best, and it doesn't sound much different than the final version. I think they should've put the single edit version of Roundabout on here instead.
Another good thing is that the "footsteps" at the beginning of South Side Of The Sky have been edited to instead be at the end of We Have Heaven. SSOTS is one of my favorite Yes songs and those footsteps annoyed me.
If you don't own Fragile on CD already, buy this edition immediately. If you already own the original CD release, I guess it depends on whether you're a big enough Yes fan to pay for new packaging and 1 1/2 additional songs.
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