Fragile (album degli Yes del 1971)

FRAGILE è il quarto album degli Yes, pubblicato nel novembre del 1971, ed annovera in scaletta 9 tracce di cui alcune evidenziano le capacità dei singoli.

We have heaven contiene tutte parti vocali di Jon Anderson, Five per cent for nothing, il pezzo più breve del gruppo, concede la scena alla sezione ritmica di Bill Bruford alla batteria. Mood for a day esalta l’eleganza della chitarra classica di Steve Howe, mentre The fish ha il suo perno in una linea di basso di Chris Squire. Cans and Brahms è un breve e delizioso omaggio di Rick Wakeman alla quarta sinfonia del grande compositore tedesco. Roundabout, forse il pezzo più noto del primo periodo del gruppo, vanta un tappeto sonoro magico con la chitarra di Howe ad impreziosirlo, una fase centrale che cambia passo addolcendolo e un nuovo slancio nella cavalcata finale: notevoli le pulsazioni del basso. South side of the sky dà a Wakeman la creazione di di un effetto ventilato che unifica alla dolce melodia dei tasti d’avorio, in crescendo poi il brano diventa duro quanto basta e non manca un passaggio che porta il coro al centro dell’ascolto. Long distance runaround ha una durata radiofonica ed il suo stesso motivo si presta ad un rilassante ascolto. Il sontuoso brano di chiusura Heart for the sunrise cavalca al ritmo di basso e batteria, ma si apprezza nel minutaggio finale un elegante passaggio del piano, poi dopo la dissolvenza, anche se l’album è finito, sotto forma di traccia fantasma si ode un pastiche di We have heaven.

La formazione che incise FRAGILE, composta da Wakeman, Bruford, Squire, Howe e Anderson è considerata quella per eccellenza degli Yes: il tastierista aveva rilevato Tony Kaye, non facendolo rimpiangere. Nel film SCHOOL OF ROCK uno studente viene istruito ad ascoltare l’assolo di Wakeman in Roundabout, mentre il titolo di Five per cent for nothing è rivolto ironicamente alla percentuale spettante agli agenti del gruppo.

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