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Baker's Dozen

This Must Be The Plaice: Fish's Favourite Albums
Rev Rachel Mann , May 20th, 2013 05:57

The former Marillion frontman now solo singer-songwriter, picks out the gems in his record collection


Yes – Fragile
It was really between Fragile and The Yes Album. I went for Fragile because that was the first Yes album I bought and you tend to associate with that. 'Roundabout' itself is just stunning, but that whole era of Yes - when they brought out The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge - any one of those three albums are just about perfect. In all honesty if I was going to switch the album I’d probably go for Yessongs because that album captured all three albums in a brilliant live rendition. It captured the energy that was in Yes.

People go on about progressive rock and there’s a lot of kids nowadays who think it’s just a case of being clever. You get a lot of these guys that do a kind of writing with mathematics and they’re juggling the numbers on the time signatures, but Yes were more than that. Between Chris Squire and Bill Bruford, the groove that existed in that rhythm section was fantastic.

I mean, people miss that that was the secret that Yes had. They had such an incredible groove in that band. And it made some of that incredibly complicated music sound effortless. I’ve sat there and tried to get my head around how the fuck they wrote those albums, trying to imagine people sitting in a studio and doing that. You listen to some of the construction on that album. Sheer genius.

The one thing I could never get into was the lyrics. Jon Anderson seems to employ lyrics as a sound rather than words. It seems to be like the lyrics are just an additional texture. But as a band they were definitely my favourite at the time.