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Fragile CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 363 customer reviews

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Fragile (Deluxe Version)
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Audio CD, CD, January 14, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Their 1972 breakthrough, a #4 smash highlighted by the arrival of Rick Wakeman and classics like Long Distance Runaround and Roundabout . Bonus tracks: America and an unissued Roundabout rough mix!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 14, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1972
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B00007KWHP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (363 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,715 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 1972 album showed Yes starting to move even further into the realm of progressive rock and features the classic lineup of Chris Squire (Rickenbacker bass, vocals); Rick Wakeman (Synthesizers, mellotron, Hammond organ, piano); Steve Howe (acoustic and electric guitars, vocals); Bill Bruford (drums; percussion); and Jon Anderson (lead vocals; guitar). I think it goes without saying that this lineup would produce some of the finest material released by Yes and was comprised of virtuosos. Certainly, all of this is very much present on Fragile, which I personally consider a showcase of staggering instrumental skill that is very warm and inviting somehow.

Because of contractual problems largely stemming from Rick Wakeman, Fragile consists of three band compositions and several smaller solo pieces. The three band compositions are excellent and include the alternately ripping and melodramatic Heart of the Sunrise (their response to 21st Century Schizoid Man (King Crimson, 1969); South Side of the Sky (about a failed mission to Antarctica I think); and the classic piece Roundabout. The solo pieces vary in quality and include the excellent Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Jon wrote Long Distance Runaround, while The Fish is a Squire tour de force on the electric bass with percussion by Bill); Rick Wakeman's Cans and Brahms (extracts from Brahms's 4th Symphony in E Minor Third Movement performed on an arsenal of synthesizers) (Rick did not like Cans and Brahms at all); Steve Howe's excellent acoustic solo piece Mood for a Day; Bill Bruford's painfully short and unfinished sounding instrumental piece Five Percent for Nothing (a slam on the band manager apparently); and finally, Jon Anderson's We Have Heaven.
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Format: DVD Audio Verified Purchase
I've found it hard to find reviews just for the DVD-A or SACD versions of releases. There really should be a separate section for them. Hello Amazon...how about showcasing these great audio formats! Also, Amazon, is it too much to ask that you start listing kHz/bits ?!! It would sure be nice to know when looking at a potential purchase whats on the disc. Is it 48kHz/24bits? Or 96kHz/24bits? etc etc etc. Come on now, help these formats out!

Anyway, the DVD-A is my 4th version of this album. Vinyl, Tape, CD, and now DVD-A. Holy audio nirvana folks! This is one of the best in my small, but continually growing DVD-A and SACD collection. If you loved this album in any of its forms and have the equipment to both play AND hear it....and you appreciate good sound.... you will be blown away. Phenomenal! A showcase of how good older recordings can and should sound. I'm partial to the 96kHz/24bit stereo track, but the 96kHz/24bit DVD-A surround is good too. I'm just a bit of a purist.

This is a benchmark for re-releasing older albums in a wonderful format. In our over compressed MP3 dumbed down world it's too bad more attention isn't paid to either of the formats. SACD or DVD-A.
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Format: Audio CD
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".
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Format: Audio CD
Released in 1972, "Fragile" is a progressive rock masterpiece that should be in all rock lovers cd collection. As excellent an album as it was, it produced just one major hit in "Roundabout". I remember hearing the song played repeatedly on radio back then and never got sick of it. The entire album is full of excellent, well crafted songs such as "Heart Of The Sunrise", "Long Distance Runaround", "South Side Of The Sky" and the above mentioned "Roundabout". Of note, this album was also keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman's debut with the band and there's a definate classical influence in the songs with the addition of Wakeman (listen to "Cans And Brahms"). This special edition of "Fragile" contains two bonus tracks in "America" (the full 10 min. version) and an extra version of "Roundabout" (Early Rough Mix) which is similar to the original version except that the vocals and harmonizing are more pronounced and the arrangement is different in certain parts. There's also a thirteen page booklet included which tells about the songs on the album as well as some nice color photos of the members of the band. The digipack that holds the disc is also very attractive. Soundwise this new remastered version is far superior to the early 90's remaster in that the sound is cleaner, more mid-range, bottom end and punch has been added. If you enjoy seventy's classic rock such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, King Crimson, etc. "Fragile" is a must have. Highly Recommended.
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