Fragile Yes
Fragile was released on 26 November 1971 on Atlantic Records. It was YES‘ first album recorded with keyboardist Rick Wakeman after the departure of Tony Kaye earlier in the year. It consists of nine tracks, four of which are group performances while five are solo features written by each member. Fragile is YES‘ first collaboration with artist Roger Dean, who would design their logo and many of their ill martin future covers.

The LP’s accompanying promotional booklet contains two additional Dean paintings; the front cover depicts five creatures huddled under a root system; the back cover depicts a person climbing up a rock formation. The inside shows several photographs of the band with an individual page dedicated to each member, with smaller illustrations and photographs of their wives and children. Anderson’s page contains a short poem, while Wakeman contains a list of acknowledgements, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The White Bear pub in Hounslow, and Brentford F.C.

Roundabout” was released as a single in the U.S. and is one of the band’s best-known songs. The album is certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over two million copies.

Personnel

Jon Anderson
Vocals

Bill Bruford
Percussion

Steve Howe
Guitars, Vocals

Chris Squire
Bass, Vocals

Rick Wakeman
Keyboards

Recommended Versions

Steven Wilson 2013 Stereo & 5.1 Remixes for Panegyric

Close To The Edge
The Definitive Edition. It doesn’t get better than this. All the mixes are presented in better-than-CD-quality Audiophile 24-96 HD Audio and have been approved by the band. Both editions include a 20 page booklet featuring previously unseen artwork by Roger Dean, an essay by Sid Smith and additional photos and memorabilia. Available at Amazon on BluRay+CD (with more extras) or DVD-A+CD.

This is the only version of Fragile to have been completely remixed from the original multitrack tapes since 1971. In keeping with all the other releases in this series, Steven Wilson’s approach for new stereo & 5.1 mixes is to faithfully retain the spirit & sounds of the original album mix, while applying modern mix techniques to bring further clarity to the individual instrument, vocal & overdubs for each track. The songs, instantly familiar to a multitude of YES fans, remain so, with the new mixes – especially in 5.1 form – providing a greater sense of space for each voice to be heard. Anderson’s voice seems to join the listener in the room, Howe & Wakeman’s solos glisten with clarity and Bruford & Squire remind all that they were unmatched as a rhythm section during that period.

Contains:
– Album mixed in 24-96 5.1 DTS Lossless Surround from original multi-track sources.
– New Album mix in High Resolution Stereo
– Original Album mix (flat transfer) in High Resolution Stereo
– Six additional tracks

– Original Roger Dean artwork expanded & restored with material from the Roger Dean archive & with full approval of the artist.
– Presented as a 2 x digi-pack format in a slipcase with new sleeve notes by writer Sid Smith along with rare photos & archive material.

Extras:
– We Have Heaven (full mix)
– South Side of the Sky (early version)
– All Fighters Past (previously unheard)
– We Have Heaven (acapella) mixed by Steven Wilson
– Roundabout (rehearsal take/early mix)
– Mood for Another Day (alternate take of Mood for a Day)

About the Additional Tracks:

In addition to the main album, Steven unearthed a virtual treasure trove on the multi-track tapes, allowing him to mix full length & acapella versions of “We Have Heaven”, an earlier take of “South Side of the Sky” & – in perhaps the most exciting discovery of this series to date – a previously unheard segment of a piece now called “All Fighters Past” which incorporates ideas that would later form parts of “The Revealing Science of God” (Tales from Topographic Oceans) & “Siberian Khatru” (Close to The Edge) performed in the style of Roundabout! With a further two additional tracks – alternate takes of “Roundabout” & “Mood for a Day” & numerous exclusive to Blu-Ray edition features, including the complete album in instrumental form mixed by Steven Wilson, this is the definitive edition of Fragile.

Steven Wilson:

With an album as well recorded and mixed as this one, the stereo remix is essentially a step along the way to the 5.1 mix and as faithful as I could make it, but it has been included in the reissue along with a flat transfer of the original 1971 mix. There are also a number of bonus tracks mixed from the reels for the first time, including a remaining fragment of song given the title “All Fighters Past” which incorporates themes later used in Roundabout, Siberian Khatru and The Revealing Science of God. This was found at the end of a reel that had been reused for a later session, but fortunately not completely erased.

Extras for BluRay Edition only:
– Full album instrumental mixes by Steven Wilson
– Two additional alternate takes
– A full album needle-drop of an original UK vinyl pressing
– US promo singles edits as needle-drops.


Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot 2003 Stereo Remasters for Warner Music UK/USA

Fragile
Fragile Remastered in 2003 from the master tape of the original 1972 Eddy Offord mix.
Available as:
HD 24-192 or 24-96 Downloads at HiRes Audio
Gatefold CD at Amazon
Vinyl LP as per original release at Amazon
MP3 Downloads at iTunes (Standard Edition, Mastered for iTunes), iTunes (Deluxe Edition), Google Play, 7 Digital, Microsoft Store
Streaming at Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Tidal
This Remaster of Fragile is also available as part of the ‘Studio Albums 1969-1987‘ Box Set at Amazon.
The Box Set contains the following remastered albums and their original track listing (ie no bonus tracks): Yes, Time and a Word, The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going for the One , Tormato, Drama, 90125, Big Generator. Each individual album comes in a gatefold sleeve that replicates the original LP packaging.


Isao Kikuchi 2013 Stereo Remasters for Warner Music Japan

Close To The Edge is also available as part of the High Vibration SACD Box Set at Amazon.
High Vibration is a 16 x Hybrid SACD Box Set made for the Japanese fans, containing their first 13 albums on 15 discs plus a bonus disc of extra tracks. All Remastered by Isao Kikuchi at 24-96 & 16-44.1 with a 220 page book in Japanese.
Albums: Yes, Time and a Word, The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Yessongs, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going for the One , Tormato, Drama, 90125, Big Generator and a Bonus Disc.
Bonus Disc: Something’s Coming, Dear Father, Roundabout (Single Edit), America, Total Mass Retain (Single Version), Soon (Single Edit), Abilene, Run Through The Light (Single Version), Run With The Fox, Owner Of A Lonely Heart (Move Yourself Mix), Leave It (Single Remix), Big Generator (Remix).


The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge on Jammit

Jammit
Jammit is the first music software to play isolated individual audio tracks from the original multi-track master recordings, each track synched with complete precision. Play or sing your favourite YES song exactly the way YES did, with a 100% accurate transcription of the instruments or voice. Jammit users can isolate, loop, and vary the speed of individual instruments and vocals in the mix without affecting the pitch, and then record a track of their own over the top. Jammit is available for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac & Windows desktop, and is coming soon for Android. Visit The YES Jammit Store here. Albums currently available: The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge.

Roundabout

Five Per Cent for Nothing

Heart of the Sunrise

Listen

YouTube

Steven Wilson 2015 Stereo & 5.1 Remixes

For best quality audio playback, press the play button (the ► in the middle of the window) and then set the YouTube quality to 1080p HD by clicking the ‘Settings’ cog at the bottom right of each window.



Spotify

Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot 2003 Stereo Remasters

Soundcloud excerpts

Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot 2003 Stereo Remasters

ABOUT FRAGILE

YES51Jon

“I wanted to hear something inspiring…”
– Jon Anderson
(from the sleeve-notes)

With Fragile – the fourth album by YES, Jon Anderson’s wish was fulfilled. Recorded in September 1971 following rehearsals a month earlier YES was, by this point, on something of a roll. The Yes Album had been a chart success in the UK & had started to make inroads in the US album charts following a highly successful tour there. The challenge – to take the band to the next level of success – had to be met quickly to build on that momentum. The Yes Album was both the peak & natural end point of the first period of YES album recordings.

It had marked the arrival of Steve Howe, the expansion into long-form material & with a final date at London’s Crystal Palace Bowl, the departure of keyboardist Tony Kaye.

His replacement, ace session player & Strawbs member, Rick Wakeman, completed what came to be regarded as the first classic YES line-up. Wakeman brought with him an expanded array of keyboards, including a Moog synth & Mellotron & proved every bit as strong a soloist & arranger as Steve Howe. With this line-up, YES was ready for the big league.

Released in Late 1971 in the UK & at the beginning of 1972 in the USA, the album reached the Top 10 in both countries (7 UK, 4 USA). With additional impetus from the hit single “Roundabout” in the USA – a track which became a radio staple – the album quickly reached platinum status & went on to sell millions over the past 44 years. The album’s long form pieces were presented in a running order which allowed for the placement of solo led tracks by each of the five members, a novel way of presenting an album that merely enhanced the reputation of the band as a group where each member could be viewed as band member & star soloist in their own right.

Tracks such as “Roundabout” & “Heart of the Sunrise” have rarely been out of the live set-list & the album was performed in full by YES in venues worldwide in recent years to unanimous standing ovations.

Another key factor in YES’ history was the fact that the album occasioned the arrival of sleeve artist extraordinaire, Roger Dean, a man who would go on to design logos for the band – including the famous ‘bubble logo’ – stage sets & numerous album sleeves & and artist who, despite having provided equally dramatic sleeves for numerous other bands, is always most readily associated with his work for YES.


A Brighter Shade Of Green - by Bill Martin

A Brighter Shade Of Green

YES began a period of perpetual change with The Yes Album; with Fragile they produced one of the masterpieces of progressive rock and became popular all over the world.

Two words describe much of Fragile‘s music: jagged and luminescent ­ adjectives seldom found together. Even if the seeds of The Yes Album can be found in the band s first two records (Yes and Time And A Word), and the seeds of Fragile can be found in The Yes Album, each represents a qualitative leap. Each reminds us that there was a period, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, when a handful of rock acts went from strength to strength. Inspired by The Beatles, especially, and having their ears open to the whole world of music, these groups created new possibilities in rock, and some, of course, claimed to have left the genre altogether.

RickWakeman04
One of the most important of these groups was YES, and with Fragile they began to realize their true potential. Most obviously, the addition of keyboardist Rick Wakeman (replacing Tony Kaye) made them a virtuoso collective. Though not credited, Wakeman contributed compositionally on “South Side Of The Sky” and “Heart Of The Sunrise,” his arrangement skills helped his fellow bandmembers pursue their idiosyncratic styles with ever greater freedom. The “luminescence” of this album derives in large part from five unique voices woven into a startling unity – a rare combination, itself expressive of the utopian spirit that inspired the music.
Outside of the UK (in North America, certainly), “Roundabout” was the first YES experience for many people, and a fine introduction it was. Such a lovely song, especially in its full length version. All of the YES elements are here: invention, sweetness, and wistfulness, bright colours that are more Sibelius and Stravinsky than “pop,” and not without an edge – “Next to your deeper fears we stand/Surrounded by a million years.” And yes, that Jaggedness is even more evident in “South Side of the Sky” and “Heart of the Sunrise.”

The primary source of this razor-sharp, sometimes stabbing sound was bassist Chris Squire. On the first three YES albums, his influences were apparent enough – I would call it the “English School” of bass-guitar playing: Paul McCartney, Jack Bruce, John Entwistle. But a further leap in this style of up-front, contrapuntal playing that provided independent melodies and countermelodies, never down in the mix, had been percolating since Yes, and with Fragile all bond were sundered.

roundabout

Melodically, harmonically, rhythmically, and in tonal range and colours, everything in the music had to take account of this leap in the role of what many regard (if they regard it at all) a “background” instrument.

ChrisSquire04
Squire did something great for the bass and for rock music, but his partners also did something great, by being able to reconfigure their conceptions. Indeed, for those of us who heard YES for the first time when “Roundabout” became a hit single in 1972, the gauntlet was thrown down: Listeners and players, open your ears! And get down to work! There was nothing about that song that had ever been heard on the radio – not in rock music, not in any music. Sure, all sorts of rock artists were fooling around with classical structures, with jazz-inspired improvisations, with synthesisers and Mellotron and lyrics that went quite beyond standard adolescent preoccupations. But YES brought both artfulness and originality to these pursuits, and it can truly be said, for all five members, that no one else in rock music sounded like any of them. In “Roundabout.” perhaps the sounds most characteristic of this uniqueness are Squire’s bizarre “spring” (no bassline had ever sounded like that before), Bill Bruford’s snareless-snare “bonk,” and Jon Anderson’s singular voice, in the stratosphere of the male register and yet substantial, never strained or shrieking.

73789-2 Fragile Back

Luminescence, but, within that, darkness. Jagged, and yet somehow liquid. The three longer works – “Roundabout,” “South Side Of The Sky,” and “Heart Of The Sunrise,” – exemplify these qualities with great depth and craft.

The jaggedness on “South Side” originates more from Steve Howe’s blazing guitar runs than from Squire. It is a mark of the guitarist’s greatness that he can exercise control, even as his instrument sounds like it’s about to break free from him. Lyrically what’s strange about the song is its tragic tale, a polar expedition that ends in death by freezing. And even what might seem to be the “new-agey” release from the story line’s harshness, the passage “it seemed from all of eternity” (and the middle, wordless-voiced section, where the gates of heaven seem to open to the explorers) only deepens this tragic vision.
YES44Steve

Speaking on the level of musical form, has there ever been a better synthesis of jazz and Western classical elements than in “South Side‘s” middle section, with Rick Wakeman’s rich piano and Bruford’s hyper-syncopated drums? Some music is supposed to fall apart; that’s its idea. YES has another idea: music that might fall apart – because it isn’t overly clear what holds it together – but somehow stays intact.

Yes has many “sleeper” songs, from “A Venture” (The Yes Album, 1971) to “To Be Over” (Relayer, 1974) to the more recent “Footprints” (Keys To Ascension 2, 1997). “Long Distance Runaround” is also a little gem, where a single idea unfolds perfectly. Fragile is built around four group and five solo works, of which Steve Howe’s “Mood For A Day” and Chris Squire’s “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)” especially stand out. The former is a warm and delicious classical ­guitar work that has since become part of the instrument’s basic repertoire. The latter track opened possibilities for “symphonies of bass guitars” (here echoing the title of Stravinsky’s work for wind instruments) that still need to be pursued.

The album closes with “Heart Of The Sunrise,” a study in dynamic contrasts that runs the gamut from “21st Century Schizoid Man” – inspired furious charging to dreamy pastoralism of the sort that can only come from feeling “lost in the city.” The song is a fine work in itself, but it’s also an appropriate elaboration of the green language into which Yes entered ever more deeply – a language of English romanticism, of William Blake especially, against the background of and attempting to speak with the counterculture of the time. “Ten true summers” have passed three times over since we first heard this significant musical statement, but time has not diminished its power or necessity.

– Bill Martin

Bill Martin is the author of numerous books on music and political philosophy, including Music Of Yes; Structure And Vision In Progressive Rock (1996). His essay “Another Green Language: Still Yes After All These Years” appeared in Elektra/Rhino’s boxed set In A Word: Yes (1969 – ). He is a professor of philosophy at DePaul University, Chicago.

Lyrics

Click on the song title to view the lyrics.

ROUNDABOUT

I’ll be the round about
The words will make you out ‘n’ out
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving thru the sound and
In and out the valley

The music dance and sing
They make the children really ring
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving thru the sound and
In and out the valley

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they
Stand there
One mile over we’ll be there and we’ll see
You
Ten true summers we’ll be there and
Laughing too
Twenty four before my love you’ll see I’ll be
There with you

I will remember you
Your silhouette will charge the view
Of distance atmosphere
Call it morning driving thru the sound and
Even in the valley

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they
Stand there
One mile over we’ll be there and we’ll see
You
Ten true summers we’ll be there and
Laughing too
Twenty four before my love you’ll see I’ll be
There with you

Along the drifting cloud the eagle searching
Down on the land
Catching the swirling wind the sailor sees
The rim of the land
The eagle’s dancing wings create as weather
Spins out of hand
Go closer hold the land feel partly no more
Than grains of sand
We stand to lose all time a thousand answers
By in our hand
Next to your deeper fears we stand
Surrounded by a million years

I’ll be the roundabout
The words will make you out ‘n’ out
I’ll be the roundabout
The words will make you out ‘n’ out

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they
Stand there
Twenty four before my love and I’ll be there

I’ll be the roundabout
The words will make you out ‘n’ out
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving thru the sound and
In and out the valley

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they
Stand there
One mile over we’ll be there and we’ll see
You
Ten true summers we’ll be there and
Laughing too
Twenty four before my love you’ll see I’ll be
There with you


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson & Steve Howe


PERFORMED BY YES

Jon Anderson – vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, piano, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer

PRODUCED BY
Eddie Offord & YES


CANS AND BRAHMS

Instrumental


WRITTEN BY

Johannes Brahms, arranged by Rick Wakeman


PERFORMED BY YES

Jon Anderson – vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, piano, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer

PRODUCED BY
Eddie Offord & YES


WE HAVE HEAVEN

Tell the Moon-dog, tell the March-hare
Tell the Moon-dog, tell the March-hare
We…have…heaven
To look around, to look around
He is here, Here is here


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson


PERFORMED BY YES

Jon Anderson – vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, piano, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer

PRODUCED BY
Eddie Offord & YES


SOUTH SIDE OF THE SKY

A river a mountain to be crossed
The sunshine in mountains sometimes lost
Around the south side so cold that we cried
Were we ever colder on that day a million
Miles away
It seemed from all of eternity

Move forward was my friend’s only cry
In deeper to somewhere we could lie
And rest for the the day with cold in the way
Were we ever colder on that day a million
Miles away
It seemed from all of eternity

The moments seemed lost in all the noise
A snow storm a stimulating voice
Of warmth of the sky of warmth when you die
Were we ever warmer on that day a million
Miles away
It seemed from all of eternity

The moments seemed lost in all the noise
A snow storm a stimulating voice
Of warmth of the sky of warmth when you die
Were we ever warmer on that day a million
Miles away
It seemed from all of eternity

The sunshine in mountains sometimes lost
The river can disregard the cost
And melt in the sky warmth when you die
Were we ever warmer on that day a million
Miles away
It seemed from all of eternity


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson & Chris Squire


PERFORMED BY YES

Jon Anderson – vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, piano, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer

PRODUCED BY
Eddie Offord & YES


FIVE PER CENT FOR NOTHING

Instrumental


WRITTEN BY

Bill Bruford


PERFORMED BY YES

Jon Anderson – vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, piano, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer

PRODUCED BY
Eddie Offord & YES


LONG DISTANCE RUNAROUND

Long distance run around
Long time waiting to feel the sound
I still remember the dream there
I still remember the time you said goodbye
Did we really tell lies
Letting in the sunshine
Did we really count to one hundred

Cold summer listening
Hot colour melting the anger to stone
I still remember the dream there
I still remember the time you said goodbye
Did we really tell lies
Letting in the sunshine
Did we really count to one hundred

Long distance run around
Long time waiting to feel the sound
I still remember the dream there
I still remember the time you said goodbye
Did we really tell lies
Letting in the sunshine
Did we really count to one hundred

Cold summer listening
Hot colour melting the anger to stone
I still remember the dream there
I still remember the time you said goodbye
Did we really tell lies
Letting in the sunshine
Did we really count to one hundred

Looking for the sunshine


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson


PERFORMED BY YES

Jon Anderson – vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, piano, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer

PRODUCED BY
Eddie Offord & YES


THE FISH (SCHINDLERIA PRAEMATURUS)

Schindleria praematurus
Schindleria praematurus
Schindleria praematurus
Schindleria praematurus


WRITTEN BY

Chris Squire


PERFORMED BY YES

Jon Anderson – vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, piano, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer

PRODUCED BY
Eddie Offord & YES


MOOD FOR A DAY

Instrumental


WRITTEN BY

Steve Howe


PERFORMED BY YES

Jon Anderson – vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, piano, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer

PRODUCED BY
Eddie Offord & YES


HEART OF THE SUNRISE

Love comes to you and you follow
Lose one on to the heart of the sunrise
SHARP-DISTANCE
How can the wind with its arms
All around me

Lost on a wave and then after
Dream on, on to the heart of the sunrise
SHARP-DISTANCE
How can the wind with so many around me lost in the city

Lost in their eyes as you hurry by
Counting the broken ties they decide
Love comes to you and then after
Dream on, on to the heart of the sunrise

Lost on a wave that you’re dreaming
Dram on, on to the heart of the sunrise
SHARP-DISTANCE
How can the wind with its arms all around me
SHARP-DISTANCE
How can the wind with so many around me
I feel lost in the city

Lost in their eyes as you hurry by
Counting the broken ties they decided

Straight light moving and removing
SHARPNESS of the colour sun shine
Straight light searching all the meanings of the song
Long last treatment of the telling that relates to all the words sung
Dreamer easy in the chair that really fits you

Love comes to you and then after
Dream on, on to the heart of the sunrise
SHARP-DISTANCE
How can the wind with its arms all around me
SHARP-DISTANCE
How can the wind with so many around me
I feel lost in the city


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford


PERFORMED BY YES

Jon Anderson – vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, piano, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog synthesizer

PRODUCED BY
Eddie Offord & YES


Roger Dean's Additional Artworks

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SCAN0018

Rick Wakeman's Acknowledgements

I would like to thank:-Rosaline Wakeman, Mr. & Mrs. C. Wakeman and complete family tree, Mrs. Symes, Mr. Henera, the Atlantic Blues. The Concord Quartet, The Royal College of Music, The Strawbs and Roadies, David Katz. The Ronnie Smith Band, James Royal, A&M Records, The Music Press, Dan Wooding. David Bowie, Brian Lane, Lew Warbourton, Stanley Myers and all Session Mo’s Tony Brainsby, Keith Goodwin, The Yes and Roadies. Annakata Music, Paramount, Screen Gems. All the London Recording Studios and Engineers. Essex Music, Toni Visconti, Gus Dudgeon, Jon Anthony, Eddie Offord, The Musical Bargain Centre, The Tony Oee Showband, Dan Wooding, south Harrow Baptist Church, Wolfgang Amadeus Motzart, Arnolo, Martin and Morrow, Sid Sax, Charlie Katz, All session Musicians, The White Bear Hounslow, The BBC, Colin Spiers, Roy Shea, Ex-members and Performers of Booze-Proof (White Hart Acton), Becky Appold, Jon Schroeder, God Bless Brentford Football Club, Ken Scott, Piglet, the Top Rank Reading, The Woolfords, The Spinning Wheel, Roger Dean, Staff and Pupils of Drayton Manor County Grammar School and all my friends off and on the road too numerous to mention for helping to further my career either deliberately or by accidental P.S. One future offspring. Love to Everybody.
Wakman


A note from Steven Wilson about his 'Definitive Edition' YES Album Remixes

SW500
Understanding the difference between remastering and remixing is fundamental to understanding why these new ‘Definitive Editions’ of classic YES albums sound so different to previous ones.

Since the advent of CD in the early 80’s, all the 60’s and 70’s YES albums have been remastered for the different editions by various mastering engineers. Each time this remastering process broadly involved taking the mix from the same original Eddy Offord stereo master tape and applying different amounts of EQ and compression to it. This means that if the mastering engineer decided that the bass guitar needed more bottom end then he/she had to add bass across the whole track, therefore affecting other elements in the mixes too. Additionally many of these reissues have been subjected to mastering compression to make them sound louder and in theory more “exciting”, but at the expense of the natural dynamics of the recording. For a band like YES where there is so much subtlety and dynamics in the music this “ear-fatiguing” approach would seem to be wrong to me.

Remixing, on the other hand, entails a more sophisticated and time consuming process – going back to the original 16 or 24 track multitrack session tapes, and then recreating the mix from the drums up. Applying EQ to each individual instrument (rather than across a whole mix), rebalancing, recreating echo, reverberation, phasing and other effects, making volume moves, positioning elements in the stereo spectrum, and more. In doing this, since we now have the ability to work with the latest high resolution audio tools, it allows for greater clarity between instruments to be achieved. No additional compression has been added at all. The remixes may seem quieter, and you may have to turn up your stereo, but that is because all of the natural dynamics have been retained.

That’s not to say that this means these new mixes are “better”, because particularly the original mixes of albums such as The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close to the Edge are brilliant. So if you are intimately familiar with them the new versions may sit uncomfortably with you, no matter how faithfully I tried to stay close to the originals. But if you treat the new mixes as an alternate perspective, you may notice additional details you hadn’t before, and more importantly the new stereo mixes are a step along the way to creating the 5.1 surround sound mixes. (Note that if you just can’t get on with the remixes, then the original mixes are also included in these reissues for the first time as high resolution flat transfers, so none of that added mastering EQ or compression, exactly as they left the studio after Eddy had mixed them).

Additionally returning to the archives gave me a chance to mix unreleased material from the multitrack session tapes for the very first time – either things that the band had originally recorded but abandoned prior to mixing, alternate takes, or different perspectives of the album takes (such as the instrumental mixes, or the a cappella mix of We Have Heaven from Fragile).

I hope you enjoy the definition and clarity of these new mixes in high resolution 96/24 audio, and of course especially in 5.1 surround sound where these classic albums really open out and shine!

Steven Wilson

YES albums available in Steven Wilson Definitive Editions

Get the Definitive versions of 5 Classic YES Albums on Amazon: The Yes Album, Fragile, Close To The Edge, Relayer and Tales From Topographic Oceans.
Remixed & Remastered by Steven Wilson in HD24-96 5.1 & Stereo, and also including the original YES/Eddy Offord mix, with a host of extra tracks.

The Yes Album
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get DVD-A/CD

Fragile
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get DVD-A/CD

Close To The Edge
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get DVD-A/CD

Relayer
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get DVD-A/CD

Tales From Topographic Oceans
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get BluRay/CD


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Tag your Fragile Instagrams #yesfragile to appear here.
We’d love to see your photos, t-shirts, ticket stubs and memorabilia etc.



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