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Yes, 'Fragile' (1971)
50
10/50

10. Yes, 'Fragile' (1971)

Pop radio had never heard anything like "Roundabout," Yes' mind-bogglingly unlikely breakout single. Built on Steve Howe's kaleidoscope of classical acoustic and electric guitars, Rick Wakeman's Jan-Hammer-in-an-Anglican-church organs and Bill Bruford's wild-ass polyvalent drumming (especially the galloping, bonkers midsection), it reached Number 13 on the Billboard charts and, along with the album, went on to become a classic rock staple, shaping generations of ambitious rockers. "When I was 7 years old I found Fragile in my dad's record collection," said Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, who considered Howe his favorite guitarist. "I would put the record on and watch the living room turn into a womblike, cozy place. Their music was so magical and seemed almost unreal." W.H.