by keep on phishin' USER (13 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 725 replies

Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Yes was formed in Birminham, England in 1968. From the start they had become part of the 70's prog rock scene along with such greats as King Crimson, and Genesis. Throughout the years, they have stood the test of time and have seemed to become more popular all the time. Fragile released in December 1971. Reached number seven on England's album charts and number four in America. The lead single "Roundabout" had become the most popular Progressive Rock song up to that point in time. None of Yes's "rivals" at the time including King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer had ever had a hit as big as "Roundabout". Fragile is the first Yes album to also feature Rick Wakeman. Who replaced Tony Kaye when Tony went to join ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks to join the group Flash. Fragile was completed within a two month time period. Part of this reason was because they needed to pay for Wakeman's new equipment and the other part was there was only four songs on the album that featured the group as a whole. The others were single member efforts.

Roundabout - This is probably the most popular song Yes has ever released. It starts off with a very recognizable acoustic guitar "riff". Afterwards a great bass line comes in and the song goes from there. But the keyboards really blend in nicely with everything and bring a great overall feel to the song. After a while the song changes completely and starts to get a little darker than before. A nice change up, but afterwards goes back into the opening guitar line. The goes on to have an amazing keyboard solo. Then they go right to the main riff again. Great song, definitely a highlight. 5/5

Cans and Brahms - This song is an individual effort by Rick Wakeman its basically just him playing the piano. Nothing really too special either but it seems to be just a filler track. I don't really care for this track. 3/5

We Have Heaven - This song is also somewhat of a filler. It is very short, barely even a minute and a half. It song only consists of a simple guitar beat, drums, and Jon Anderson singing "Tell the Moondong, Tell the Marchhare". 2.3/5

South Side of the Sky - After two less than great tracks we finally get all of Yes performing together. The song starts off with the blowing of wind in the background, then some good drumming. From there the song goes off, the song is led by an absolutely awesome guitar riff from Steve Howe the whole song is just centered around this riff for the first half of the song. About halfway through, the break comes and a beautiful piano arrangement is delivered by Wakeman. Afterwards Anderson's trademark singing comes in and blends in so well with the piano. From there they go right back into the main riff and after that goes on for a while there is an interesting guitar solo towards the end. Great song. 5/5

Five Percent of Nothing - Running at just over 30 seconds, there can not be a whole lot accomplished in such a time period. But Yes managed to fit a great deal of music in. Very proggish and sounds great. It has really interesting guitar work, just a little too short. 3.2/5

Long Distance Runaround - The song starts off with some interesting guitar work. Almost sounds like it could come straight out of a video game, odd enough. The song slows down a little bit, then the focus seems to go to Anderson's lyrics which I find really wonderful on this track. Then after that it goes straight back into the main theme and finishes up. Very good song.

The Fish (Schindleria Praematerus) - This song starts off with some really great harmonics. Then that is the real center point for the rest of the song. It is a really great song, but the problem like some other songs on Fragile is that it is too short. 4/5

Mood For a Day - The song starts off with some really simple acoustic guitar chords. Basically this song is just a showcase for Steve Howe to show his skills on the guitar. And he does a damn good job of doing just that. There is no vocals or anything just guitar. It definitely shows that he can play more than one style of music. Definitely a favorite of mine. 4.5/5

Heart of the Sunrise - Here is a more upbeat and fast track compared to the others on the album. At the start there is an unbelievably fast guitar line which starts it off nicely. Then they slow it down a bit with an incredible bass line. It calms down about four minutes into the song, with really faint guitar playing and some nice singing by Anderson. Probably the best lyrics off the whole album and that is saying quite a lot. After that they start to get back to the main riff of the song. With constant keyboard breaks which are just wonderful along with the rest of the song. Towards the end there is some odd singing going on I can not really tell what they are saying. Overall, it is a very good song and great close to the album. 5/5

In overall, it is a pretty good album. There are some great tracks on here and some not so great ones. But the great ones completely make up for what the less than great tracks do not have. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in Classic Rock, Progressive Rock, or just plain rock.

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user ratings (2075)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Nagrarok (4.5)
    As Wakeman joins the fold and completes the classic formation, Yes make their best album y...

    e210013 (4.5)
    Fragile is more polished and tight that their previous album The Yes Album. Still, it coul...

    NightmareCinema16 (4.5)
    The album that launched the group as an international phenomenon....

    TheMystical (4.5)
    A musically understated classic....

  • 420yeah666yeah69 (5)
    An outstanding performance by Yes. One of the best in Prog Rock. The most freezan album ...

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dark Hero
November 28th 2004


Good review, this is at my used CD store, I might get it :thumb:

November 28th 2004


Album Rating: 4.5

This cd is great

Good review, but I would've rated it higher, maybe just 4.5. I love the harmonics on The Fish. :thumb:

November 28th 2004


Do get it. I picked this one up a few days ago, actually...by chance I got Roundabout stuck in my head, and thought "You know, I've been meaning to get into Yes..." so I picked this one out...fantastic album.

The thing about the "filler" tracks is that they're actually experimental pieces; they're all a bunch of virtuoso musicians with tons of ideas, but some of these ideas wouldn't have worked in a band situation so they just stuck 'em on there as extras. I think that those tracks would have been alot more important when the album first came about. I actually rather like the Brahms one.

February 26th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

Time to dig this review out of depths for a bit here. Mainly to maybe showcase this album to some more people that may not be aware of its impact on modern progressive sounds today.

October 19th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

One word to describe this album and review: great.

October 19th 2005


Roundabout, oh yeah!

January 18th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably my favourite Yes album ever, maybe slightly rivaled by Relayer. Although the solo-tracks are maybe not as memorable as the rest of the album, I still like them a lot. Five Percent Of Nothing has one of the most interesting rhythms I've ever heard and I really like We Have Heaven. Cans And Brahms is the only track on the album that doesn't really pull my attention and Heart Of The Sunrise is the greatest Yes-song ever.

January 21st 2006


Roundabout is an excellent song. It was the first Yes song I ever heard. I havn't heard alot of their stuff though. I should check them out by getting this album.

January 21st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, get this album first. It's enjoyable all the way through.

January 21st 2006


I saw Yes live awhile ago, while they toured with Dream Theater.
Amazing band. Squier=best bassist ever.

January 21st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Dream Theater and Yes on the same tour?

I trust that Yes did much better.

February 5th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

This is my favorite Yes album at the moment. I find myself skipping a few tracks while listening to this but by the end of the album I feel awesome. I'm not sure that I have a favorite track off the album, but the closer is amazing.

February 25th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

My favorite all time Yes album. I love Bill Bruford and Chris Squire. His bass sounds amazing on this album. Though, I dont like the fact that you gave "We Have Heaven" a low rating...I love the harmonies on it

Also, in case you didn't notice, but everyone in the band has their own little track on it to show their talent. Like so:

Rick Wakeman: Cans and Brahms

Chris Squire : 5 Percent of Nothing

John Anderson: We Have Heaven

Steve Howe: Mood for a Day

Bill Bruford: The Fish

Kinda cool, no?

March 9th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Bruford did Five Percent for Nothing and Squire did The Fish.

Also, this album trumps Close to the Edge. Flawless.

March 9th 2006


The Fragile Album is great!!..It is a standard for any musician junkies bible..my thoughts on the review are quite less flattering...question: have you ever studied music theory or rudiments? Your review is aniemic at best. another question: Are you just now discovering this album? I suggest you return to the Allman Brothers and work your way up to Skynard...Then enroll in college..Maybe you will find the Flaming Lips..and perhaps find yourself employed.This Message Edited On 03.09.06

March 11th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

You sure Scruples? The heavy bass to me indicates Squire, but this was told to me...so who knows

Still...fucking great album!!!

March 11th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, I'm fairly sure, considering allmusic.com says so. And the liner notes, and Windows Media Player.

The Fish > Five Percent

April 10th 2006


I could use this album badly!

AIM: Zerobass1123

April 10th 2006


Great review for Yes's best album

I personally loathe Yes, they are like Queen minus the balls to me. Roundabout is very single worthy though, even though I dont like the song. Even though this is probably their best album, I think its still pretty bad imo.

April 10th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

I don't really think that made much sense, to be honest.

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