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The Yes Album vs Fragile

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    The Yes Album vs Fragile

    50 years since these albums that changed Yes's fate forever were released..... which is your favourite and why? As much as I love Roundabout and Heart of the Sunrise, there's something about The Yes Album as a whole that works really well for me an album of classics, a band finding their spirit so to speak. It was such a giant leap from those earlier albums.
    19
    The Yes Album
    73.68%
    14
    Fragile
    26.32%
    5
    The Definitive YES Albums

    -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
    -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
    -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

    #2
    Fragile for me, because while acknowledging the pure songwriting power of TYA, I think I prefer live versions of almost every song on it, while Fragile's almost the opposite: I love listening to it as an album, but live versions of Roundabout do little for me. But it also works as a great way to turn a disadvantage into a strength: don't have enough band material? Give everyone two minutes to do their own thing, and as much as I generally dislike solos in concert, it works here because everyone gets one. Kind of like Aqualung, it turned out, with short songs bridging the longer band-oriented pieces. That plus the first Roger Dean cover, the (almost) logo ( so close, so close…) just sets such an incredible first stage of a long-term visual identity and brand on how the band thinks of itself to this day.

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      #3
      Still think the magic dust started sprinkling with Fragile. Warm, organic, pulsating. Just prefer every facet to TYA which had great songs, amplified on Yessongs, but Fragile's harmonies, guitar attacks, melodic bass , swirling keys and surprising drum breaks hit me harder. Purely subjective.

      Roundabout, SSOTS, HOTS are in the top 7 songs of the canon in my view. YIND hovers around 12 or 13.



      ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING

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        #4
        For me it is the Yes Album edging Fragile out just slightly. Probably because as an album I find TYA a more cohesive effort than Fragile, with all the solo stuff interpersed with the four band tracks.

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          #5
          TYA will always win for me because of "Starship Trooper."
          Rabin-esque
          my labor of love (and obsessive research)
          rabinesque.blogspot.com

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            #6
            Originally posted by Mr. Holland View Post
            For me it is the Yes Album edging Fragile out just slightly. Probably because as an album I find TYA a more cohesive effort than Fragile, with all the solo stuff interpersed with the four band tracks.
            This is the correct answer.

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              #7
              TYA because of Yours is No Disgrace.

              But An almost impossible choice. Glad I don’t have to really make it. Yikes.

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                #8
                I can't pick one over the other. I think they are both great. Fragile is more of a concept album in its flow.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by luna65 View Post
                  TYA will always win for me because of "Starship Trooper."
                  To draw some controversy (not from you probably mind you); I think the 9012live version of Starship Trooper is the best version of the song.

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                    #10
                    Oh I totally agree, but I love the original recording so much. I'd like to have Wurm playing at my memorial.
                    Rabin-esque
                    my labor of love (and obsessive research)
                    rabinesque.blogspot.com

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Mr. Holland View Post
                      For me it is the Yes Album edging Fragile out just slightly. Probably because as an album I find TYA a more cohesive effort than Fragile, with all the solo stuff interpersed with the four band tracks.
                      ^^Yes, this!! I love both albums, but TYA flows better from start to finish for me. TYA was also the first Yes album I knew from start to finish, so that collection of songs also has the deepest roots in my memory.

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                        #12
                        Ambition certainly grew with Fragile. Jon's writing style became more competently abstract as did the musical forms. But to simplify things, I see the music on TYA as serving the songs and that position is somewhat reversed on Fragile. The tendency had set in to attempt to play the fuck out of certain passages [opening of Heart of the Sunrise for example] which sounds more like an exercise in demonstrating how fast and dynamic they could be than anything else. For me there are things I'd lose entirely from the longer songs and then perhaps you're left with four songs, none of which are quite as strong as the core material of the predecessor.

                        All this is of course subjective and I'm sure there are many that love [for instance] the instrumental opening of Close to the Edge. I'm just not one of those and I'm very happy they soon grew out of that phase.
                        Last edited by Chris2210; 12-10-2021, 03:29 AM.

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                          #13
                          The 1st cut is the deepest.

                          Fragile for me. I heard Yessongs (and CTTE, Fragile, Yes, & TFTO) before I heard TYA in 1974, and the live versions kick the snot out of the songs, while on TYA the band seems reserved and quite genteel, and the in-song edits between sections are glaringly obvious. Eddy O got much better at editing & capturing the ‘live energy’ of the band in studio recordings in later years.

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                            #14
                            TYA by a hair for me. Love hearing the rookie guitar player reinvent the band right from the get go. I am a Tony Kaye fan as well… I love blasting the hell out of The Yes album on vinyl. Fragile is a bit more cerebral, which is great, but I am more often in the mood for that really upfront bold brush stroke kind of thing that The Yes Album offers.

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