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Benoit David up to much these days?

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  • Homemade Parachute
    replied
    Originally posted by OnwardToSunhillow View Post

    To this day, I can't understand why anyone thought Return Trip was worth doing. To me, it's a straight downgrade in every possible way. Inferior vocals, questionable mixing decisions, an additional track that ought to have stayed on the cutting room floor, and a horribly over-compressed mastering job that sucks all life and dynamic range out of the music. The Benoit version will always be definitive in my view.
    I agree, the original version with Benoit is definitive for me as well, and I like his performance just fine. I do see maybe some of the personal reasons Trevor H may have had to make Return Trip, and I don't mind kicking a few buck his/their way for RT, even if I don't listen to it often, and don't consider any of its changes to be improvements (in most cases, detriments). But hey, he wrote most of the words, he can do what he wants.

    What I really didn't like are the insulting comments he made about Benoit, likely not intended as harshly as they seem, regarding him, being French Canadian, not understanding the intricacy of Yes lyrics… My dude, "And we can fly from here, and we can fly from here", T.S. Eliot it ain't. Giving him shit for not grokking the words is probably no different from listeners giving him shit for not grokking Anderson's purple fucking wolfhounds back in the day, either, and it was wrong then as now. We'd have some pretty fucking short setlists if this was the case…

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  • OnwardToSunhillow
    replied
    Originally posted by Davy View Post
    Me too. Not only was it a disservice, but in general I think FFH is better than Return Trip anyway. Forgetting the vocals for a moment, even the musical changes don't work for me. Trevor Horn is smart, but he's not infallible.
    To this day, I can't understand why anyone thought Return Trip was worth doing. To me, it's a straight downgrade in every possible way. Inferior vocals, questionable mixing decisions, an additional track that ought to have stayed on the cutting room floor, and a horribly over-compressed mastering job that sucks all life and dynamic range out of the music. The Benoit version will always be definitive in my view.

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  • Yorkshire Square
    replied
    I saw Yes with Benoit three times, Newcastle in 2009 and Sheffield and Glasgow in 2011. He was great on all three occasions. My biggest beef in 2009 was that Oliver was too low in the mix. Check out the Fly from Here tour set list from 2011 if you've any doubt of how much of a new album the band might play. They were corkers!

    I know he had voice issues, but Benoit's tenure in the band was nothing but positive from where I stand, recorded music and tours attended.

    Bravo, my wee Canuck!

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  • Close to the Edge 72
    replied
    I wrote Benoit after listening to the From a Page tracks. I told him how great I thought they were. He said credit should go to Oliver. I told him it must be bittersweet with how things turned out but he should be proud of his contributions to the band. He said that comment went right to his heart. He's a nice guy...

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  • Davy
    replied
    Originally posted by Gtkgasman View Post

    I also think the band did him a great disservice by re-recording FFH. Felt that was disrespectful. Although I understand business is business.
    Me too. Not only was it a disservice, but in general I think FFH is better than Return Trip anyway. Forgetting the vocals for a moment, even the musical changes don't work for me. Trevor Horn is smart, but he's not infallible. The only songs I like better on Return Trip are Sad Night at the Airfield and Madman at the Screen.

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  • Mr. Holland
    replied
    Contrary to a lot of people here (apparently) I can say I was more than a little relieved when Benoit's tenure with the band ended.

    His presence and unstability and unreliability during concerts actually prevented me from going to Yes concerts when he was in the band. I did listen to quite a few bootlegs from the concerts in those days, also at the time, and to my memory and ears there wasn't a single one where he didn't either crack a couple of times or his pitching was off or both. In my view he really wasn't up to the task. When, in 2012, I heard the recordings of the first concerts (Australian tour) with Jon Davison, I remember breathing sighs of relief. Not only because of the vocals, singing, but also because I thought the instability of Benoit and the worries, certainly on that last Euro tour in 2011, influenced both Chris' and Steve's performances in a negative way. It was as if they couldn't fully focus on their own performances, because they were trying to keep the whole thing on track as much as possible. Those first concerts with Davison, to me it felt and sounded like Chris and Steve were finally freed from those chains, that they could finally move and play free again.

    I'm sure, from all the accounts, that Benoit David is a wonderful and lovely person and I do love his singing in Mystery, and feel he was great there. But to me he was an ill fit for Yes.

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  • Gtkgasman
    replied
    Originally posted by Kevin W View Post
    Saw Benoit twice with Yes. He was great both times. Loved his tenure in the band.
    Agree wholeheartedly. I like (or liked) him better than JD. Was a shame his voice couldn’t handle the strain.

    I also think the band did him a great disservice by re-recording FFH. Felt that was disrespectful. Although I understand business is business.

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  • downbyariver
    replied
    Originally posted by pianozach View Post
    Benoit, as a one-off album vocalist, never really worked WITH Sherwood in Yes did he?
    That's correct to the best of my knowledge, and I alluded to it in the post you're replying to. However, I don't think that Billy necessarily has pre-existing working relationships with everyone he asks to contribute to a song on the Prog Collective albums or some of the other albums where he has a lot of guest contributors.

    I'm sure Billy or his agent could get ahold of Benoit's contact information if they wanted to. I'm not sure they want to or that Benoit would agree to do something, but I'd love to hear him singing lead on a Billy Sherwood song with a rock band type sound backing him up.

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  • Kevin W
    replied
    Saw Benoit twice with Yes. He was great both times. Loved his tenure in the band.

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  • pianozach
    replied
    Originally posted by downbyariver View Post
    Though I respect that Benoit David is retired, I would enjoy hearing his voice on a track or two from one of Billy Sherwood's future projects with a large amount of guest stars like a Prog Collective album, or like the first Citizen album Billy made, if that's something Benoit would be willing to.

    Sherwood basically writes those entire albums and lays down demo tracks of all the instruments and vocals, and then sends stuff to the famous guest stars to record their versions of, sometimes including their own explorations of the topic (i.e. He sent a song to Rick Wakeman called "The Great Depression", with the intent to have Wakeman do a keyboard solo in the middle, and Wakeman sent it back with that but also added some piano early in the track that suits the song perfectly, which Sherwood kept in the final version.).

    So, Benoit David would just sing the lyrics Billy writes and lays out guide tracks for, over the instruments already played, and could cut a track in a day, maybe, if that. He wouldn't have to really come out of retirement. He could just do it on a Saturday sometime. Maybe Sherwood could get Oliver Wakeman for the same track. It'd be fun. We've never heard David and Sherwood together. And you know it'd sound kind of Yes-like.

    Another plus for David is that if he does a Prog Collective album, he'll never be expected to tour it or do it live. He'll just sing over the guide vocals, send them back to Billy, and that's it. Not something that would remind him too much of more stressful days (In fact, he's never even worked with Sherwood AFAIK) or risk damaging his voice through repetition.

    It also might be cool to hear David do a track remotely for Glass Hammer, which of course had Jon Davison for three albums plus a partial fourth album and a re-recording of a few older tracks on a re-release of a fifth album before he joined the band, and has had Jon Anderson do "vocalizations" on a track in the past. If they can get David to do a song, they only need Trevor Horn to complete the set of all of Yes' lead singers.

    I don't personally like Mystery as much as some of the bands and projects I mentioned, but of course that could be an option for David, too, especially if he wants to get up on stage sometime and sing something live as a guest without having to do any travel or make any commitments.
    Benoit, as a one-off album vocalist, never really worked WITH Sherwood in Yes did he? Sherwood wasn't back in the Yes picture during Fly From Here. Benoit sang with YES from 2008-2011. Sherwood started his association with YES way back on the Union album, then touring with the band for the TALK tour, then as a full fledged member until 2000, but also worked on and off with Squire and Kaye (and White?) in various side projects.

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  • Old Frothingslosh
    replied
    I was looking online for anything on Benoit recently and didn't see much of anything. Seems he really is retired. I would love to see a post where Oliver and he hooked up for an album as they seemed to work well together. I wonder if he knows how many fans really enjoyed his time in the band?

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  • True
    replied
    He has a great voice. Like Trevor Horn, I think he wasn't appreciated as much during his time with the band as he was after. I really enjoyed his singing on the Mystery records. And FFH, of course. And the amazing thing is that when Benoit left Mystery, Mystery found a replacement (Jean Pageau) who sounds just like Benoit. Maybe with a bigger voice. So perhaps one day Jean Pageau can join Yes when they want to tour the Fly From Here album in full!

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  • luna65
    replied
    Ah okay. 👍

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  • Witeskyn7
    replied
    Originally posted by luna65 View Post

    He was already a family man when he joined Yes, he's got two sons, IIRC.
    What I meant was a 'full time family man'.

    Sorry I wasn't being clear.

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  • John Vehadija
    replied
    Yes, I remember that, fun times!

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