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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Yes: Fragile
Yes: Fragile
Warner Bros. // DVD Audio // November 19, 2002
List Price: $17.98 [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Buzz Burgess | posted January 15, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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PLEASE NOTE: This is a DVD-Audio disc which is playable on most DVD players as well as all DVD-Audio players. A DVD-Audio player will make all sound options on this disc available for listening.

A Look at DVD-Audio
Great sonics, six-channel capability, and added features to your favorite music albums.

First, there were albums on vinyl, then we had CDs, and now there's something called DVD-Audio. What's the difference? A lot! DVD-A is the latest way to hear multichannel, audiophile-quality albums in your home, using your DVD or DVD-Audio player. A DVD-A can hold up to seven times the data of a normal CD, which results in added features and better sound. Also, with its sampling rate higher than that of average CDs (up to 192 kHz, whereas most CDs get 44.1 kHz), you may hear a lot of details in music on a DVD-A that you'd never discover on an average CD. And, since nearly all DVD-As are engineered for multichannel/surround-sound listening (using five or six speakers), with the right equipment, you'll be able to hear your favorite music in breathtaking surround sound.

Equipment Needed
First off, DVD-Audios will not play on normal CD players. You'll need a DVD-Audio player in order to fully capture the capabilities of these discs. A receiver with 5.1 analog inputs and five speakers (left, center, right, left surround, right surround, and a subwoofer) should also be used to capture the surround-sound capabilities of DVD-As. While pure DVD-As will not play on standard DVD players, most releases (including all the titles produced by Warner, Atlantic, and Elektra) contain a Dolby Digital surround-sound mix, making them playable on any DVD player. Though these discs are primarily audio-only, you'll be best off using them in conjunction with your TV, so you can watch the additional onscreen features (see below) and navigate the menus with ease. It's all a little complicated, but music-loving home theater enthusiasts won't be disappointed!

Improved Sound
Thanks to a higher sampling rate than that of both standard DVDs and CDs, DVD-As have an incredibly detailed sound. And, when played through a proper home-theater setup with five or six channels (speakers), you'll get to hear your favorite music in a whole new light--in surround sound. Depending on the remastering, the effect of surround sound on your favorite album can be subtle or dramatic, but generally speaking, every DVD-Audio sounds better than its standard CD counterpart.

Additional Onscreen Features
The added onscreen features available on DVD-Audios vary from title to title. DVD-As often have extra unreleased tracks, photo slide shows of the artist performing, song lyrics, music videos, and interviews. But don't expect to get footage of a full concert or videos for every track; DVD-As devote the bulk of their space to high-quality audio-only music.

In 1968, Jon Anderson met Chris Squire at the La Chasse club in London. Later that year they connect with Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye and Peter Banks and form the group Yes. In August, they perform their first gig as the group premiering at London's Marquee club, one of 38 gigs they will eventually do there. In November they appear at the Royal Albert Hall as the supporting act for Cream's farewell concert. In 1969 they signed with Atlantic Records and released their first single "Sweetness." One month later, their self titled debut album was released in the U.K. which launched them on an amazing and successful career. Steve Howe joined the group in 1970 and the band then appeared in concert with Iron Butterfly, Rick Wakeman, Elton John, Rory Gallagher and then with King Crimson in 1971.

In 1972 they are joined by Rick Wakeman on keyboards and release "Fragile" which establishes them as one of the most progressive rock bands of that time. It is also unique in that it highlights individual performances from each band member, Jon Anderson's voice on "We Have Heaven, Rick Wakeman's keyboard on "Cans & Brahms", Bill Bruford's percussion on "Five Percent for Nothing", Steve Howe's guitar on "Mood For A Day" and "Chris Squire's bass on "The Fish". The two premier tracks are those of "Roundabout" and "Long Distance Runaround" which placed them #4 on the charts. The music on "Fragile" shows the influence of many genres from classical to progressive. The beautiful arrangements are filled with offbeat rhythms and loops, and explore both ends of the tempo spectrum from the high-paced "South Side Of The Sky" to the laid-back "Mood For A Day". Of the four most notable albums by this group, "Yes Album", "Fragile", "Close to the Edge" and "Tales From Topographic Oceans", "Fragile" is the one that stands out for its melodic and mysterious compositions at a time when the original band members were at their best.

1. Roundabout
2. Cans and Brahms
3. We Have Heaven
4. South Side of the Sky
5. Five Percent for Nothing
6. Long Distance Runaround
7. The Fish
8. Mood for a Day
9. Heart of the Sunrise
10. America (bonus track)

As with most DVD-A discs, there is little moving video. But what exists is clean and clear. Still shots appear during each song to represent the mood of the music.

First rate, due in part to the enhanced format inherent in this type of format. There really isn't an issue any more of sound quality when dealing with this format in modern times. However, there are still the issues of pulling out a master from 1972 and putting it on this format. Fortunately, there are no concerns with "Fragile" and how it sounds, which is bright and clear with very nice enhanced surround effects.

Animated menus with music.
Song Selections with photo stills.
Sound Selections.
- Advanced Resolution Surround Sound (96kHz/24-bit) - DVD Audio Players
- Advanced Resolution Stereo (192kHz/24-bit) - DVD Audio Players
- Dolby Digital & DTS 5.1 Surround Sound - DVD Video Players
- Photo Gallery- All DVD Players
- Lyrics - All DVD Players
- Yes Timeline- All DVD Players
- Photo Gallery
- Lyrics
- Yes Timeline 1968-72
- Credits

There is a small extras section on the disc. In it is a photo gallery in color showing 20 early stills of individual and group members and a lyrics section showing the text for the songs. But far and away the best is the Yes timeline section. Spanning from 1968-72 it takes you on an informational and photographical tour of the band from its beginnings to stardom. Member pictures abound, detailed history of how they met, who they played with and where. Photos of show cards, tickets, and ads along with many shots of single 45's, LP's and covers for countries all over the world. Even shots of 8-track and cassette covers are included. It certainly was a nice snippet of history to include.

Final Thoughts
It's the best of the band when they were at their best? Melodic and hypnotic and now in a format that can be enjoyed for a long time to come. Recommended.


Order "Yes: Fragile" now!
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