by Michael Popke
Today marks a momentous occasion for veteran proggers Yes. Fly From Here, the band’s first studio album since 2001’s Magnification, is released to coincide with “We Can Fly” — the first Yes video in a decade. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Ken Horn and featuring a guest appearance by Fly From Here producer (and Ken’s brother) Trevor Horn, the video builds upon the existential aeronautic theme developed in the song’s lyrics. (Trevor Horn also produced 1983’s 90125 and took over lead-vocal duties for an absent Jon Anderson on 1980’s Drama.)
Anderson is absent again on Fly From Here, replaced by Benoit David from Canada’s Mystery. The band’s 20th studio album also features lone original member Chris Squire on bass, guitarist Steve Howe, Geoff Downes on keyboards and drummer Alan White.
“We Can Fly” (edited from six minutes down to less than four for the video) is a lush yet simple song in which David proves a worthy heir to Anderson’s throne. The video — about a Hollywood mogul who perishes in a plane crash — plays like a series of clips from an old suspense film. In somewhat of a disappointment, it does not include any shots of the band members.
Fly From Here was released in Europe on July 1 and has already entered the charts in five countries, including Germany (No. 14) and the UK (No. 30).
Yes is currently touring North America with Styx.