Best Of The Batch: Yes
Title: Fragile (1972/2006)
Format: Original Master Recording-Ultradisc II Gold
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs
The pinnacle of the Yes cannon was Fragile and the Close To The Edge albums. Never has any incarnation of Yes ever reached such a creative zenith, and it does not look as though they will ever surpass those two masterful progressive rock classics. I personally have enjoyed every studio album they ever recorded, but that is because the band has been and remains one of my all time favorites. So does that make listening to the latest installment of Fragile any easier? Well of course it does!
After hearing the original version, the remastered series from Rhino a few years back, and now this-I have to say that easily this Gold Utradisc II reigns as king of the mountain right now. It was easily identifiable on my surround sound system how Mobile Fidelity chose the right album to remaster their way, and the outcome is a spectacular interpretation of a timeless prog-rock classic.
As I listened to each track, I could not help but notice things I never heard before and subtle nuances that made all the difference in the world to my ears. “Roundabout” and “Heart of the Sunrise” are exceptional compositions to begin with, but now it is as if they are reborn with a crisp, clean, and stronger bottom end than ever before. These complex tunes find a new life through your speakers and your own perceptions. Whether you are listening to Steve Howe’s prolific guitar playing or Chris Howe’s incredibly powerful and rhythmic bass lines, or all of it at once…as you turn your head towards each speaker then collectively put it all together, it is an amazing thing to hear unfold before you.
I am never surprised with the quality I hear coming from the Mofi Sound Labs, but this one really just blew me away beyond all expectations. I knew I had to have it in my collection and be one of the first to hear it. Now I feel vindicated. The importance of Yes is a given, the incredible significance of Fragile takes another step forward in claiming its place as the best work Yes has ever done. Previously I thought Close To The Edge was in a dead heat with this album, not anymore. One listen to this version of Fragile will have you feeling the same way. This is as close to prog rock perfection as it gets!
1. Roundabout (8:29)
2. Cans and Brahms (1:35)
3. We Have Heaven (1:30)
4. South Side of the Sky (8:04)
5. Five Per Cent of Nothing (0:35)
6. Long Distance Runaround (3:33)
7. The Fish (2:35)
8. Mood for a Day (2:57)
9. Heart of the Sunrise (10:34)
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