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Yes We Can Fly album cover
3.09 | 75 ratings | 9 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. We Can Fly (4:15)

Total Time 4:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Benoit David / lead vocals
- Steve Howe / guitars
- Geoff Downes / keyboards
- Chris Squire / bass
- Alan White / drums

Releases information

Digital Frontiers Records (2011 UK & Eruope)

Digital single, released prior to the album "We Can Fly", different mix.

Thanks to MattGuitat for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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YES We Can Fly ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

YES We Can Fly reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I wasn't actually planning on doing another Yes review any time soon but this certainly changed after I heard the new single titled We Can Fly on Spotify!

Unlike most Progressive Rock fans, I only consider myself to be a minor fan of Yes. It's true that the band had a few great albums back in the '70s, Fragile and Relayer happen to be my personal favorites, but the 80's and 90's didn't exactly strengthened their position as one of the leading forces of the Progressive Rock community. I realize that the hardcore Yes fans will completely disagree with that statement, but I'm really not writing this review for them, seeing that they will still most likely pick up Fly From Here once it is released; this review is made for everyone who has given up on the mighty Yes!

This four minute single begins like nothing we've heard from Yes since their 1980 release Drama. This comparison is very appropriate considering that Geoff Downes is once again featured in the lineup and his distinct atmospheric keyboard arrangements really bring me back to the slow building intro of Into The Lens. It's also interesting that Steve Howe uses the exact same slide guitar and finger picking arrangements here as he did back on Drama!

I was originally very skeptical to hear the chorus section of We Can Fly, since this is a single and singles always have to feature a prominent (and often cheesy) chorus section. Well, I can safely say that this chorus is far from the awful sounding Don't Go off Magnification. Benoit David's voice is very appealing to my ears and I definitely think that he adds an excellent new layer of sound into the overall mix of this composition. The song does end a bit abruptly, which actually made me even more excited since I suddenly remembered that We Can Fly is suppose to be a part of the longer We Can Fly-suite on the actual full length release and so there are probably many more wonderful moments to be uncovered.

Allow me to conclude by stating that anyone who doesn't want to hear this single based on the fact that it doesn't feature Jon Anderson or Rick Wakeman will be missing out on some great material. Let's be honest here, the band hasn't exactly done anything new or innovating those last few times when Jon and Rick were on board. This even includes Going For The One and Tormato since those releases clearly only slowed the progress that Yes showed on Relayer! I seriously think that Drama was good for the band even though some fans will continue to complain about that record. If you like listening to classic Yes then please do so but don't come here complaining about the new lineup. A new perspective has historically always pushed this band forward, even if some instances were for the worse.

It's safe to say that I'm now really looking forward to the upcoming studio album. The direction that Yes depicts on this single is easily their best since the early '80s; we're talking about 30 years history here!

**** star songs: We Can Fly (4:15)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars A single, or rather teaser for the imminent release of the new 2011 Yes album! Olé!

Well, new... Let's not get carried away. This song is 30 years old and that's exactly how it sounds, like a stale 30 year old cheese, complete with an Anderson clone on the mike and the plastic kitsch treat that I've heard on most of the post-77 Yes where I dared to go. Given the intimidating amount of good new music these days this is a complete waste of time for me.

It may be the album will be better, as a large part of it will be taken by the full 30 minute suite version of this 'We Can Fly' song, but honestly, given the poor quality of the 4 minutes edit, the 30 minutes version is more likely to be a failure rather then an improvement. We'll see, I'm digressing from the music I need to review here, but as an excuse I'll offer that it's not easy to stay focused on writing a review on a 4 minute single that didn't get released when it was originally written and that had better stayed under the rock where it was hidden.

Ok, I'm having a bit of fun here, and the 1 star can be partially explained by the fact that you only get one song here. It's a 2 star song so had there been 3 songs on this single I might have given 2 stars, you would at least get some value then.

Fans of Yes's Drama album and of their more AOR/pop oriented material may dig this, and might look forward to the album, but I've always been very lukewarm about 'Drama', and this song spells 'Disaster'. Enough said. Where's that 'Yes Album'!

Review by Andy Webb
3 stars A flying return

It's pretty incredible that such a classic band such as Yes, dormant for 10 years, can return without sounding absolutely dead. We Can Fly, the band's first single and first album in ten years after 2001's Magnification, seems to be a nice fusion between the band's proggier era of the 70s and their poppier era of the 80s and 90s, with some fantastic parts on both the pop and prog spectrum. It has a terribly overpowering AOR atmosphere, very reminiscent of the Styx (who they just happen to be touring with this summer 2011), yet still has a more appealing ambiance to it, care of Geoff Downes keyboard work. It's actually quite funny that Downes reappears in the Yes lineup for this particular release, because this very song is actually an unreleased track from the Drama sessions, Downes' most famous album with the band.

Although the song may have an obvious Drama-esque overtone, it still has a great, fresh new look on the stale 80s Yes that many prog fans had to suffer through. It may not be the most inventive or incredible stuff, but this is still Yes, and luckily some of the unexplored ideas of the 4 minute song should be expanded upon on the album (this track is ~20 minutes on the album), so I look forward to the album with an equal amount of hesitation. The song depicts a slightly revived Yes, but still has me worried they'll try to dip into pop too much. Benoit David's vocal output is very fitting to the music, with his experience in the neo-prog band Mystery really adding a nice lush symphonic feel to the music, which is more akin to that type of vocal style than Anderson's more nasally approach, which fits beautifully pretty much only with the band's classic material. Overall, though, the song is good, and is a nice listen for a fan who hasn't heard new Yes in 10 years. 3 stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars More Drama

The exit of lead singer Jon Anderson and the return to the fold of keyboard player Geoff Downes created the perfect opportunity to revisit the sound of the 1980 album Drama - the only previous Yes album on which Anderson did not sing and also the only Yes album that had featured Downes. Even Trevor Horn, who sang lead on Drama, was again involved, but this time in the producer's chair, although he also provides backing vocals. Lead vocals are handed over to new recruit Benoit David who does an excellent job. This resulted in the album Fly From Here from which the song We Can Fly was released as this single.

The song started life a long time ago and it was one of the songs that Horn and Downes brought with them from The Buggles when they first joined Yes in the early 80's. A demo version of the song was recorded by The Buggles and has since been released as a bonus track on that group's Adventures In Modern Recording album (in two separate parts). The song was further developed during the Drama sessions but was never included on that album. It was however performed live by Yes and a live recording of the song from New York 1980 appears in the box set The Word Is Live.

It is hard to understand why such a strong tune was originally discarded by both The Buggles and then by Yes before it finally got the proper studio recording it deserved some thirty year later! On the 2011 album Fly From Here the song is developed into a six part suite of over 20 minutes in length. This single version is a different mix of the song clocking in at four minutes and 15 seconds.

Both the single and the subsequent album are very good additions to the Yes catalogue and worthy follow-ups to Drama. The shorter single version has its virtues for sure, but only fans will feel the need for the single in addition to the album especially as it does not feature a b-side.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Well, this is just a small snippet from the new Yes album, so my review will be short. As usual, the musicianship from the bandmembers. The singing of course, is not Jon Anderson, it is David Benoit who has a more Trevor Horn tone than Jon's. The song is very much in the style of Drama-time Yes ... (read more)

Report this review (#606836) | Posted by mohaveman | Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I think this shows that the single sound of the new Yes album is more directed to the '80s albums, especially "Drama". And that's bad? I think not, since I love the 80's band. "We can fly" is a track composed by that decade Buggles (Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes, whose return to the band further ... (read more)

Report this review (#466344) | Posted by voliveira | Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Why 4 stars, it's utterly overratted! The song is poppish and sounds like the 80's! It looks a bit like Eye in the Sky or singles like that wich have a little bit of prog but are still majorily pop. Really sounds like the Buggles. I aggree that Benoit's voice is great and that the band is made of re ... (read more)

Report this review (#462080) | Posted by The_Jester | Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This track sounds like an excellent apethiser for the new Yes album to come. Chriss Squire's bass is as great as ever, Benoit David sings more like Trevor Horn than like Jon Anderson which is a good thing as this song was written at the time of the Drama album. It seems that the band has tried to re ... (read more)

Report this review (#462027) | Posted by Gus82 | Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I just discovered that Yes had released this. (Apparently only 3 hours ago). When I saw it, I HAD to listen to it and it surprisingly has a good sound. Benoit definitely has the high sound voice of Anderson, but with a more modern sound. Its got a softer section, and a more driving section. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#460831) | Posted by MattGuitat | Monday, June 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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