Monday, 25 July 2011

Fly From Here Reprise -Yes

After a lifetime of listening assimilating new music is a quicker process, ironically the challenges of 72/73 from Yes were part of that learning curve.

Fly From Here is now very familiar to me and its twists and turns, its subtexts and its subtleties. Several things become clearer. Geoff Downes contribution is much larger than I had first thought he is very much the co architect of the suite and his keyboard style helps shape the sound of the piece as much and possibly more than Steve's Guitar and Chris's Bass. This helps to give the project a sense of uniqueness which was so important given the point in their career and the absence of the co founder of the band. In addition Trevor has encouraged Benoit to really stamp his own style on the Horn/Downes material which comes off brilliantly and of course helps give the music its fresh and distinct style.

Many months ago I said Trevor put his thinking cap on between the break in sessions ands decided to make changes. This has turned out to be more true than I thought. With Man, Hour and Storm in the bag I am certain he saw this CD heading in the direction of being a sub Yes album a kind of "book of the film". Well played but lacking something new, vital and different. He could sense a kind "oh this sounds like this" and of course "but if only Jon was singing" type reviews. The introduction of Geoff Downes and 28 minutes of new music from Horn/Downes and the instrumental "Bumpy Ride" stopped that notion in its tracks and what we have now is something new, unique which sits on its own within Yes's career and is unconnected with Jon Anderson.    

Yes and its reputation was made out of bending the rules. In the seventies they bent the rules by taking unto themselves a myriad of influences and creating something utterly unique. That was over by the end of the seventies. In the last 30 years they have from time to time bent their own rules guitar orientated pop music- 90125, power pop -Open Your Eyes, connecting with world rhythms -Teakbois, Africa suite and the Messenger. These have not always been popular with the hard core fans but the one serious attempt to recapture their progressive rock roots the Keys To Ascension project did not give them the commercial lift they were looking for. 

By the turn of the century they had moved on, fulfilling long held dreams "unfinished business". Magnification was the first step to work properly with an orchestra without keyboards (bending the Yes rules) this CD is more unfinished business and they have bent the rules. I am glad and it really works for me.     

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