It is a little step from the previously discussed classical guitar work to this, the Fragile album album by Yes. After all, it is about the same instrument opening this wonderful album. I have a remastered edition, which does full justice to the musicianship and the timeless sound of this classic.
That first song, Roundabout, is of course one of the more known tracks from Yes and this album in particular. It can also serve of a perfect example what Yes is about. After all we hear trademarks like classical guitar and electric guitar solo´s (Steve Howe) lightning fast keyboard wizardry (Rick Wakeman), angelic vocals (Jon Anderson) and also heavenly vocal harmonies. And let´s not forget the masterful bass playing and drumming, courtesy of Chris Squire and Bill Bruford.
The various members of the band all get their moment to shine. Tracks like Cans And Brahms, We Have Heaven, Five Per Cent For Nothing and The Fish were purposely recorded for that very reason. But we also get prime symphonic tracks like South Side Of The Sky and Heart Of The Sunrise. Or that brooding track Long Distance Runaround.
Yes knew how to keep things fresh and tie in the fans. So they not only excelled at their instrument of choice, but also managed to write and record numerous classic albums. This being one of them…
I had not planned to do another Classic feature during the week. But during the playback of this album I just had to change my mind. Everybody following this blog will surely know by now that despite being a guitar player myself I absolutely love the sound of a Hammond in overdrive and yes sir, Uriah Heep provide that in abundance. Hey, and Mick Box knows his way around a guitar as well!
This album features some of Heep´s best knows tracks. I had the pleasure of playing the hard hittin’ global hit Easy Livin´ myself for a couple of years, but also included are the instant opener The Wizard and that beautiful track Circle Of Hands. Anyone who is not impressed by the introducing vocals over that organ is lost for this kind of music forever… Incredible how powerful this all sounds, even after all those years.
Other tracks are Traveller In Time (also the title for a Best Of a lot of years later), Rainbow Demon with that slow pounding beat and Hammond riff and extended guitar solo, and Paradise/ The Spell who have been in the live set for many many tours.
As with all remasters, the booklet not only carries the original artwork, but also includes extensive liner notes. And this CD also holds 5 bonus tracks. Most of which you have never heard before! Proud Words On a Dusty Shelf was rerecorded later by Ken Hensley. The bass line under Why is stunning and the track itself is a nifty workout of over 10 minutes. All adds to the monument this record is. No home should be without it.