Life Can Be Fragile, So The Answer Should Always Be Yes – The Highs of Progressive Rock

There was a time when album cover art really meant something… when rock art really meant something.  It seems to be a lost art… pun intended.

A Confession.

When I was in junior high school, I think, a friend went to see Yes and brought me back a 3/4 sleeve concert T.  The body was white, the sleeves were black, and the Yes logo was fantastic.  I loved that shirt… such a testament of the time.

Cut to the next summer at sleep away camp… a place where I was teased incessantly, until I finally stood up to one of my bullies in a fight.  One of the mean guys, not the one I would eventually headlock onto the ground, had these shirts that looked like the old Houston Astros rainbow jerseys… I wanted one… badly, and the only thing he would take, of course, was my Yes shirt.  So, I traded him.  I don’t know if it was because he was one the leaders of the bullies or what, but I was actually happy with my new shirt.  And then… one night… while everyone was out at an activity… I snuck into the attic of the bunk where our trunks were stored… opened his unlocked trunk… and stole back the Yes shirt.  I was scared, I was nervous, but screw him… I hid it away in my trunk.  He had no idea who had taken it, and eventually gave up finding out… and at the end of the summer we all escaped.

That shirt is still in my parent’s basement somewhere… not sure about the Astros shirt… Hmmm…

Life was fragile that summer… challenging… just not fun anymore… and I think that was my last year at that camp.  Things got better, of course, but that was a rough time.

Yes – Fragile

Wikipedia declares that Yes is “regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre… known for their lengthy songs, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets… and symphonic style of rock music. ”

Their logo alone tells you so much about the band… so iconic.  Check it out at the end of this post.

This would be the fourth studio album and came out in 1971.

AllMusic says that “Fragile was Yes’ breakthrough album, propelling them in a matter of weeks from a cult act to an international phenomenon; not coincidentally, it also marked the point where all of the elements of the music (and more) that would define their success for more than a decade fell into place fully formed.”

The album would mark the first cover-work by Roger Dean, that “was itself a fascinating creation that seemed to relate to the music and drew the purchaser’s attention in a manner that few records since the heyday of the psychedelic era could match.”

This record fascinated me… I would not get into ELP until much later, so hearing Rock n’ Roll influenced by classical music was so different, so wild.  “Cans And Brahms” fit that mold quite well.  What?  This was still rock???  It was my first time.  Awww… sweet.

“Roundabout” and “Long Distance Runaround” grabbed me and my radio… Wow!  I still get a bit giddy when those songs come on the radio…

The opuses “South Side Of The Sky” and “Heart Of The Sunrise” are amazing, but the especially gorgeous and lush “Mood For The Day” gives me chills… I so love that piece.  Seeing Steve Howe play live (with Asia, frustratingly never with Yes) is stunning.  You can sue me all you want… I LOVE Asia!  I have seen them in arenas back in the day, and more recently at The Canyon Club and they were absolutely fantastic each and every time.

If life gives you a challenge… it if it seems confusing… if life throws you a curve, just go with it.  Always say yes to life.

“Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.”  – Rainer Maria Rilke

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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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