Fly from Here
|Fly from Here|
|Studio album by Yes|
|Released||22 June 2011|
|Recorded||October 2010 – February 2011 at SARM West Coast Studios, Los Angeles|
|Label||Frontiers Records (Europe, US)
Yes' first studio album since Magnification (2001), it is also the only one to feature Canadian singer Benoît David, and only the second album (after 1980's Drama) without former singer Jon Anderson and with keyboardist Geoff Downes. The line-up is David, Downes, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White. The album was produced by Trevor Horn, who was the singer on Drama, and who had previously produced 90125 (1983) and initially Big Generator (1987).
The album takes its name from its main work, "Fly from Here", a 24-minute composition split up into six songs. The basis of the hexalogy was a demo originally recorded by Downes and Horn of The Buggles before they joined Yes in 1980. After Yes disbanded in 1981, Horn and Downes recorded a second demo, and both recordings became the foundation of the tracks "We Can Fly" and "Sad Night at the Airfield".
Fly from Here was first released on 22 June 2011 in Japan and France, followed by releases on 1 July in the rest of Europe and Australia and on 12 July in the United States. It peaked at number 30 on the UK Albums Chart, and number 36 on the US Billboard 200.
Fly from Here is Yes' first studio album since the release of Magnification (2001), the longest gap to date between two Yes studio albums. It is also their only studio album with Canadian singer Benoît David on lead vocals who had replaced long-time member Jon Anderson in 2008. Before joining Yes, David performed as the lead vocalist in Close to the Edge, a Canadian Yes tribute band, for more than 10 years. He remains the lead singer of the Canadian band Mystery, which he joined in 1999. To produce the album, Yes recruited Trevor Horn (who'd produced their 1983 comeback album 90125 and had also been the band's singer during the short-lived 1980 phase which included the Drama album). Horn's involvement with the new album also involved a major contribution to the songwriting, which drew heavily on two songs which he'd written back in 1980 with his Buggles partner Geoff Downes (who, like Horn, had also been a member of the 1980 Yes lineup).
Back in 1980, Horn and Downes had made their initial approach to the band by pitching them a demo titled "We Can Fly from Here" and the band had gone as far as to rehearse the song (with former member Bill Bruford deputizing for an injured Alan White on drums). A version of "We Can Fly from Here" was later recorded as a studio demo and was performed in concert on the 1980 Yes tour, but never made it to album. (A live performance appears on the 2005 compilation live album The Word is Live). After Yes disbanded in 1981, Horn and Downes resumed work as The Buggles and recorded another demo of "We Can Fly from Here", this time as a two-part composition. It was a candidate for inclusion on the second Buggles album, Adventures in Modern Recording (1981) and was eventually featured as a bonus track on the album's 2010 reissue.
These two demos and a third (which has not been released) would become the basis of the 2010 Yes tracks "We Can Fly", "Sad Night at the Airfield", and "Madman at the Screens". A further Buggles demo, "Riding a Tide" (first released on the 2010 reissue of Adventures in Modern Recording, would be rewritten for Yes in 2010 as "Life on a Film Set". Further contributions to the "Fly From Here" suite were made by Chris Squire and Steve Howe (the latter contributing a new two-minute instrumental section called "Bumpy Ride"). Howe also contributed one new song ("Hour of Need") and another instrumental ("Solitaire"), while the whole band co-wrote a new song "Into the Storm" with Horn. "The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be" was co-written by Squire with two separate songwriter collaborators from outside the band: Gerard Johnson (who had recently worked with Squire in a reunion lineup of The Syn) and Simon Sessler.
The first recording sessions for Fly from Here took place between 3 October and 12 November 2010 at SARM West Coast Studios in Los Angeles, California, before resuming in the first week of January 2011. Horn produced the album using the digital audio workstation software Pro Tools. Although the work commenced with Oliver Wakeman in place as the band's keyboard player (and contributing to the writing), he was replaced during the sessions by Geoff Downes The replacement came about at Horn's suggestion and with the band's agreement, reasoning that as a co-originator of the "Fly From Here" suite and "Life on a Film Set", he would have a better feel for the material than Wakeman would. Downes ended up handling "most of the keyboards" on the record. The album was mixed in April 2011 at SARM West Studios in London, with additional vocals being added. Despite being supplanted by Downes in the studio, Wakeman remained in the band for the band's early 2011 tour. In July 2011, when Yes began the promotional tour for Fly From Here, Downes also replaced Wakeman as live keyboard player.
According to Squire, "Fly from Here" is the band's 11th epic-length piece, their first in 15 years, clocking in at nearly 24 minutes.
The cover was designed by artist Roger Dean, who has created many of the group's previous album covers. It is a painting he started in 1970 but had remained uncompleted. He finished it in the style of his current works, but the colour and texture were kept from the original.
|1.||"Fly from Here – Overture"||Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes||1:53|
|2.||"Fly from Here, Part I: We Can Fly"||Horn, Downes, Chris Squire||6:00|
|3.||"Fly from Here, Part II: Sad Night at the Airfield"||Horn, Downes||6:41|
|4.||"Fly from Here, Part III: Madman at the Screens"||Horn, Downes||5:16|
|5.||"Fly from Here, Part IV: Bumpy Ride"||Steve Howe||2:15|
|6.||"Fly from Here, Part V: We Can Fly (Reprise)"||Horn, Downes, Squire||1:44|
|7.||"The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be"||Squire, Gerard Johnson, Simon Sessler||5:07|
|8.||"Life on a Film Set"||Horn, Downes||5:01|
|9.||"Hour of Need"||Howe||3:07|
|11.||"Into the Storm"||Squire, Oliver Wakeman, Howe, Horn, Benoît David, Alan White||6:54|
|Japan bonus track|
|12.||"Hour of Need" (full-length version)||Howe||6:45|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||16|
|Scottish Albums Chart||19|
|French Albums Chart||134|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||39|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||31|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||24|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||43|
|Japanese Album Chart||56|
|UK Albums Chart||30|
|US Billboard 200||36|
|US Independent Albums (Billboard)||7|
|US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)||9|
|US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)||4|
Fly From Here entered the French charts at number 147 and climbed to 134 a week later. The album entered the Japanese charts at number 56, the UK charts at number 30, selling 5,242 copies in its first week, and the Scottish charts at number 19. The album made number 43 in the Netherlands and number 31 in Sweden. The album debuted at number 36 in the US, dropping to number 97 in its second week, making it the first Yes album since Talk to spend two weeks in the top 100.
- Benoît David – lead vocals
- Steve Howe – guitars, backing vocals, co-lead vocals (track 9)
- Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals, lead vocals (track 7)
- Geoff Downes – keyboards
- Alan White – drums
- Additional musicians
- Oliver Wakeman – additional keyboards (tracks 2, 6, and 9)
- Trevor Horn – backing vocals, additional keyboards, additional acoustic guitar (track 3)
- Luís Jardim – percussion
- Gerard Johnson – piano (track 7)"
- Tim Weidner – mixing and engineering
- Curtis Schwartz – engineering (track 10)
- Trevor Horn – producer, co-writer
- John Davis – mastering
- Roger Dean – sleeve design
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