26 November 2021
Who: Legendary British prog-rockers who started in 1968 with
nightingale voice Jon Anderson, and masterly musicians Chris
Squire (bass), Peter Banks (guitarist), Tony Kaye (keyboardist)
and Bill Bruford (drummer).
Active: 1968–1981, 1983–2004, 2008–present / 22 studio albums
so far, with this year’s The Quest as the most recent one.
Anniversary album: FRAGILE
Released: 26 November 1971 – 50 years ago today
Pitchfork said: “‘Fragile’ introduced Yes’ highest-powered line-up, as
the silver-cape wearing, 12-keyboard-hauling Rick Wakeman replaced
Tony Kaye. But the question is, what was “fragile?” Their egos? The battle
between the perfectly balanced arrangements– as on classic rock radio
staples “Roundabout” and “Long Distance Runaround”, and each virtuoso’s
need to grandstand, vented through five solo interludes (most memorably
Steve Howe’s “Mood for a Day”)? All that firepower could have ruined the
band, yet on Fragile, they put songcraft firmly over indulgence.” Score: 8/10.
Turn Up The Volume: The Kings of prog-rock symphonies 6th LP.
1974’s Relayer still is my Yes favorite, but Fragile comes in second.
Key single: Roundabout…
Stream full LP here…