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Fragile – Yes

Yes Fragile Album

Fragile

(1972), 8.5/10
Yes launched full tilt into progressive rock with 1972’s Fragile, rush-released to pay for new member Rick Wakeman’s arsenal of keyboard instruments. To pad out the album, each member was required to contribute a solo piece, with mixed results; I like Bruford’s short freakout and Squire’s bass symphony ‘The Fish’ is entertaining, but overall these solo pieces break up the flow. The rest of Fragile is often awe inspiring; ‘Roundabout’, ‘South Side Of The Sky’ and ‘Heart Of The Sunrise’ are three excellent epics, each capturing the band in different moods. ‘Roundabout’ is bouncy, ‘South Side Of The Sky’, about a doomed polar expedition, has a harder edge, while ‘Heart Of The Sunrise’ has vulnerability with Anderson’s plea that he feels “lost in the city.” Fragile is a very strong record, but the disjointed nature of the solo tracks is enough to keep it out of the top tier of Yes albums.

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