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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

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.



DVD

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.



Songs:

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)


Video

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.


Audio

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.


Menus

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

Extras.

- Photo Gallery

- Lyrics

- Yes Timeline 1968-72

- Credits


Extras

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.


 



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