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Fragile (Expanded & Remastered)
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Audio, Cassette, Original recording remastered, August 16, 1994
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FRAGILE (1972) Features: New keyboardist Rick Wakeman on massive breakthrough RIAA-gold #4 album's 9 tracks (including the full-length versions of the hit singles "Roundabout" and "Long Distance Runaround") plus 2 rare bonus tracks (the unedited 10:34 cover of Paul Simon's "America" first issued only in the U.K., and an early, rough, previously unreleased version of "Roundabout")!
Expanded & Remastered Editions produced under supervision of the band.
All tracks carefully remastered for the best sound ever.
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The sound is suburb, much better than the MP3 version. The record has the familiar Atlantic Records label just like the original. The 180g vinyl plays flawlessly on my turntable.
The gatefold album cover is beautiful.
I recommend this for any fans of Yes or classic progressive rock.
"Fragile" opens with a great song for any tyme period "Roundabout", eight and a half minutes of sheer bliss. "Cans And Brahms" is something that I might not have appreciated had I heard it back in my youth, yet it would have stuck with me through my musical evolution...it is just a short little lesson or Xperience in Classical Music, which might take an interested listener on another adventure. "We Have Heaven" seems to fit well with the whole album flow, but if there is a cut on this album that is going to annoy the listener, this would be it. It has a very repetitive, almost childish, line throughout the entire minute and forty seconds...I'm probably just missing an intended point. Track four "South Side Of The Sky" clocks in right at eight minutes. I do not recall ever hearing this song played on the AOR FM stations. I'm going to say this is one of those somewhat overlooked gems, that those in search of the next Popular song would dismiss, but those who actually listened to this album or tape straight through would have enjoyed Immensely. I really have enjoyed finding this one. "Five Percent For Nothing" is a very short intrumental that just takes the listener from one song into the next. That next song "Long Distance Runaround" which is another AOR FM Staple. My only wish is that this song was another one of Yes's eight minute long works. Great guitar, Great Song. "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" follows, actually it pretty much is the closing of "Long Distance Runaround", mostly an instrumental with an interesting smooth delivery of Schindleria Praematurus during the final fifty seconds. So, you put "Long Distance Runaround" & "The Fish" together and you have a six plus minute song. "Mood For A Day" Steve Howe introduces the listener to some samplings of what sounds like Spanish Guitar styled playing, it might be a European style...it is very pretty and easy on the ears. It is little things like this that make listening to an entire album versus just picking through the popular hits so worth while...not all albums have that quality though. Enjoy the ones that do. Track Nine "Heart Of The Sunrise" is yet another overlooked gem that I have no recalection of ever hearing back when Yes was getting air play. Could be it is a regional thing, but in the Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston areas I never heard it. This song could easily be considered Classic Yes, clocking in at eleven and a half minutes, and it just flows so smoothly. At the closing of this song it has a connection to the ending of "We Have Heaven"...I don't personally understand the intent of the connection, but it is there and probably means something.
The Bonus Tracks: "America" (Paul Simon), this is a ten and a half minute version of this cover. Very good and I think I prefer this version to the shorter (Single Version)...but, that's just me. Towards the end of "America" (9:50 mark) they quickly go into what sounds like a Santana Latin Drum rendition...kind of cool. "Roundabout" (Early Rough Mix), I don't think most listeners would be able to distinguish this version from the original, to me it sounds pretty much the same...and that's good, real good. Since I never listened to this album way back when, I have no reference point for what the album should really sound like, but I feel the two Bonus Tracks are welcomed additions to the original release.
DVD-A and SACD are the ONLY great loss-less audio formats we have, until Blu-Ray gets its act together to realize the potential in the audiophile community. I didn't anticipate the engineering difference.....they rearranged the emphasis of the stereo mix to the point of degrading the piece or track altogether. I have heard mixes of many other vintage works from the 1970's. They remain truly are breathtaking in their clarity, staging, dynamic range, frequency response, and overall quality. Works like The Eagles Hotel California, Deep Purple Machine Head, Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, and Toto IV, to name a few, were worth the wait!
But this re-mix was different. I was saddened to realize that the wonderful format of DVD-Audio threw me a curve with this rendition. Tracks where the front channel highlights were swapped - or lost - in the foregrounds, and vise-versa - mixing errors in the engineer's choice to rearrange the original mix's interpretation or composition of the work. Whether by accident or with purpose - I now hope that a SACD mix might be released with the proper parts accented, (as in the original stereo mix). I love 5.1 mixes of these masterpieces. It is a shame when one misses the mark.
Top international reviews
Fragile is an amazing album, containing a number of classics; 'South Side of the Sky,' is simply one of the greatest songs ever written. 'Heart of the Sunrise,' is awesome, and of course there's classics like 'Roundabout,' and 'Long Distance Runaround.'
A ridiculously high standard of songwriting and musicianship is on display here and frankly, you'd be foolish not to give this awesome album at least one listen in your lifetime.
A brilliant album, buy it now!
Well that was a long time ago - now I am re-visiting them and can confirm that my memory has not let me down. They are pretty amazing all these years later..... If you want to listen to some quality 1970's prog-rock then these early works by Yes will not disappoint you (The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge)..... thoroughly recommended.