The words will make you out ‘n’ out — Yes (Fragile, 1971)

Fragile, the fourth album for Yes on Atlantic Records, was released on Nov. 26, 1971 — that is, everywhere except the US. Atlantic held its release in the States for two months because the label was still seeing steady sales for The Yes Album, which they released in February.

This was the LP that changed everything for Yes. They became international superstars on the forefront of the progressive rock movement (or “pretentious rock” as its detractors would call it). Rick Wakeman joined the band on keyboards to create what many consider its definitive lineup: Chris Squire on bass, Bill Bruford on drums, Steve Howe on guitar and Jon Anderson on vocals.

Fragile was also the first Yes album to feature the artwork of Roger Dean on the cover. Dean’s fantasy worlds and landscapes became a tradition for future Yes releases, and complemented the themes of science fiction and fantasy found in the band’s lyrics.

The album would reach #13 on the Billboard Top LP’s chart. Fragile opened with the eight minute song “Roundabout.” It is perhaps the band’s most renowned song. An edited version of “Roundabout” was released as a single and would climb to #4 on the_Billboard_ Hot 100. It would remain the highest ranking Yes single until 1980, when “Owner of a Lonely Heart” reached #1.

About poppaculture

I am a seasoned consumer of modern (and not so modern) culture.
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