Hi, my name is Bruce, and I'm a recovering Yes-a-holic. Fell off the wagon the other day and popped Fragile into my portable rig. It's the first time I've listened to this album in AGES! Turns out, they did a pretty crappy production job. The playing is outstanding, but the quality of the recording is not great. Never paid much attention to it previously because, well, I had a crappy stereo system and messed up albums and just thought the deficiencies were in the stereo/vinyl, not the recordings. Ooops.
Anyone aware of cleaned up Yes CDs from the early part of their career (e.g., anythng before Going for the One)??
Yep, the CDs of Yes have historically sounded very bad. But, a couple of years ago, Atlantic remastered the entire catalog from the first eponymous album all the way up through "Drama". They do sound a lot better than the original CD releases. You should be able to find them at any music retailer. The packaging looks a little different, and if you're familiar with the look of the original CDs, you shouldn't have a problem differentiating the new ones from the older ones (assuming the store still has some ancient stock of the original CDs).
An alternative route (one I took) is to find the HDCD encoded CDs that were remastered and sold in Japan (in little cardboard LP sleeve jackets). They also sound much better than the original CDs (my player supports HDCD), but I've not directly compared them to the domestic Atlantic remasters. If you're interested in checking to see if they're still available (they were produced in limited quantities), I purchased mine from The Artist Shop. The address is http://www.artist-shop.com/ They are expensive, however.
Also, if you've never checked out YesWorld at http://www.yesworld.com, there's a lot of really cool stuff there for Yes fans.