Yes, “Five Percent for Nothing” from Fragile (1971): YESterdays

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Side 2 of Yes’ Fragile opens with “Five Per Cent for Nothing,” a Bill Bruford composition. The song has the distinction of being the one and only solo composition by Bruford on a Yes album.

Additionally, the instrumental is the shortest Yes song, clocking in at just 35 seconds. The drummer frequently calls the song, originally titled “Suddenly It’s Wednesday,” a starting point of his journey as a composer.

The tumultuous rhythms of “Five Per Cent for Nothing” are infused with angular guitar, punctuating bass and stabs of electric piano and organ. The result is a syncopated but ultimately unsatisfying venture by the world’s greatest progressive rock band.

Perhaps the journey is so short that the listener is left wanting; perhaps the intent was to leave the listener unfulfilled. In any case, “Five Percent of Nothing” is an interesting book mark in the Yes cannon. The subsequent “Long Distance Runaround,” by contrast, finds Yes — or, more specifically, Jon Anderson — at the height of their composition powers.

Preston Frazier’s YESterdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the unforgettable musical legacy of Yes. The series runs every other Tuesday.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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