Until now Yes released only one album without lead singer Jon Anderson: the horrible record called Drama (1980). Now on their twentieth studio album Fly From Here, you can enjoy the voice of the Canadian singer Benoit David. He replaced Anderson when the latter struggled with serious health problems. Before joining Yes in 2008, David performed as the lead singer of the Canadian Yes tribute band Close To The Edge, but he's probably best-known as the vocalist of the symphonic prog metal formation Mystery. Beside David, the current line-up of one of the best progressive rock bands ever consists of Chris Squire (bass guitar), Steve Howe (lead guitar), Alan White (drums) and Geoff Downes (keyboards). These five guys were assisted by Oliver Wakeman (keyboards), Trevor Horn (backing vocals, keyboards), Luis Jardin (percussion) and Gerard Johnson (piano).
Fly From Here begins with the 24-minute long title track which is divided into six parts. Musically speaking there's nothing wrong with this epic track as I really enjoyed the brilliant guitar solos by good old Steve Howe. However, the remainder of the album is dominated by the characteristics of Trevor Horn and Geoffrey Downes. And these are the two musicians I don't consider to be real Yes-musicians. Just listen to Life On A Film Set which is based on Riding A Tide, a demo of The Buggles and you will probably understand what I mean.
Being a die-hard Yes-fan for more than thirty years, it's sad to say that - at least for me - a Yes-album without the magical voice of Jon Anderson is a 'no-Yes' album. As far as I'm concerned Magnification (2001) is the last proper Yes-album. You won't find Fly From Here in my CD player that often, which is sad but nonetheless true...
**+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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