I’ve always been a mid-range fan of Yes – love the early stuff, but for me (except for 90125) their post-80s reunion stuff has been hit and miss. The band’s latest single “Future Memories” really got me interested again. A great song, and the previous 2 singles from the new album The Quest are pretty decent too! Anyway, this got me wanting to pull out previous albums I hadn’t listened to in a long time. I have listened to The Ladder, because I always liked that album, but before and after – meh… So I pulled out Fly From Here, and took it in the car. It’s an album I got when it came out, and never gave much of a chance. As I’ve said before, I’ve wondered over the years if I’m buying Yes albums more so for the stunning Roger Dean artwork! Anyway, Fly From Here was released in 2011, the band’s first after Magnification, and the first to feature new singer (Canadian) Benoit David. It was based on on a song penned by Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes prior to their joining Yes, and a 2nd part after leaving Yes. Here the song Fly From Here part of a 6 part 24+ minute piece that is superb. Most of it is credited to Horn & Downes, aside from the instrumental “Bumpy Ride”, from Howe. Horn had been brought in to produce the album and Downes was brought back, replacing Oliver Wakeman (though Wakerman is credited on a few parts).
Beyond the title tracks, there is some really good stuff, such as a Howe’s (co-penned with Johnson & Sessler) “The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be”; love the vocals from the late Chris Squire here, a classic Yes type tune. I always like the Horn/Downes “Life On A Film Set” and Howe’s “Hour Of Need”. Overall a very good album. I liked Benoit David’s vocals on this, was never a huge fan of John Anderson’s, though he was the voice of Yes. Benoit David would soon contract an illness after the album’s release and was replaced by Jon Davison (who’s the singer still). In 2018 the band would re-release Fly From Here – Round Trip, which would be remixed, with added guitar & keyboards, and more so Trevor Horn re-doing the lead vocals — making it the 2nd album with the 1980’s Drama line-up. This I’ve still to get. But the original version of Fly From Here with Benoit David sounds very good to me, better than Magnification and a few other post 90215 albums.