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Why didn't Yes use We can Fly From Here on the Drama album?

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    Why didn't Yes use We can Fly From Here on the Drama album?

    I'm very glad we got an album out of the song many years later, it is one of my favourites alongside Drama itself, but I do wonder why it didn't end up on the album back then. We know they performed it live at the time so it was ready, plus the drama album is not a particularly long one anyway, so there was room for another track. Anyone have any insight?
    The Definitive YES Albums

    -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
    -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
    -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

    #2
    I don't know, but I'd say that, at the time, the shots were being called by Howe, and possibly Squire. It's also possible that Horn had a say in track selection as well. Honestly, I'm not really sure what the band "dynamics" were at that point in time.

    I do think it odd that they included the rather short WHITE CAR teaser, especially when they did have room for a longer version.

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      #3
      I think I've read that they had to have the album ready and out before the tour, which was already booked. So there was only a relatively short amount of time to write and record. We Can Fly From Here and Go Through This simply weren't ready in time for the album, but the tour started about a little over two months after the album release, so they did have time to work the songs up for tour.

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        #4
        If memory serves WCFFH was the first song Horn and Downes presented to the band around at Squires
        house. So. Yes. Curious.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Mr. Holland View Post
          I think I've read that they had to have the album ready and out before the tour, which was already booked. So there was only a relatively short amount of time to write and record. We Can Fly From Here and Go Through This simply weren't ready in time for the album, but the tour started about a little over two months after the album release, so they did have time to work the songs up for tour.
          The Drama days must have been a blur for them - it was rapid: replace two major members, slap an album together quicky (and a high quality one at that), rehearse for tour, go on tour that was booked when Anderson & Wakeman were still there. All in the space of several months. I'm not sure why We Can Fly wasn't used for Drama - I may gather that it was offered to Yes by the Buggles, they liked it but it was put aside for a second when they worked on other stuff. Material was assembled rather quicky. With the tour looming, they may have went with the material already gathered and, seeing no place to slot it in, assumed it would appear on the next album. They cooked it up, alongside Go Thru This, for the tour so these would be ship-shape in time for the next possible album in 1981. Unfortunately, negative reaction to the new Yes, with Horn barely squeaking through the UK tour with vocal issues, put a stop to that plan. Add Horn's growing production skills and the Buggles still an active unit for a bit, and that was the end of any possibility of a 1981 album with We Can Fly, Go Thu This, Telephone Secrets etc.

          My only guess is that they just ran out of time to use "that pilot song that Trevor played for us". If there was a 1981 album in an alternate universe, I can imagine it being track three on a 4-song side one. But for some reason I can't imagine it being on Drama.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post

            The Drama days must have been a blur for them - it was rapid: replace two major members, slap an album together quicky (and a high quality one at that), rehearse for tour, go on tour that was booked when Anderson & Wakeman were still there. All in the space of several months. I'm not sure why We Can Fly wasn't used for Drama - I may gather that it was offered to Yes by the Buggles, they liked it but it was put aside for a second when they worked on other stuff. Material was assembled rather quicky. With the tour looming, they may have went with the material already gathered and, seeing no place to slot it in, assumed it would appear on the next album. They cooked it up, alongside Go Thru This, for the tour so these would be ship-shape in time for the next possible album in 1981. Unfortunately, negative reaction to the new Yes, with Horn barely squeaking through the UK tour with vocal issues, put a stop to that plan. Add Horn's growing production skills and the Buggles still an active unit for a bit, and that was the end of any possibility of a 1981 album with We Can Fly, Go Thu This, Telephone Secrets etc.

            My only guess is that they just ran out of time to use "that pilot song that Trevor played for us". If there was a 1981 album in an alternate universe, I can imagine it being track three on a 4-song side one. But for some reason I can't imagine it being on Drama.
            That sounds about right.

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              #7
              A section from the Gottlieb brothers' recent interview with Roger Dean included the CTTE50 tour book shed some light on this...

              GB: Earlier, you touched on the resiliance of the logo and it being able to stand up to treatments. It was fairly consistent, right up until Drama. It had remained the classic shape with a double outline, in a variety of colors. For Drama, you departed from that when you did the chrome version, which also felt more three dimensional. The double outline was gone. What precipitated that leap?

              RD: It didn't seem such a big leap, to be honest. It was probably because I finally bought a proper airbrush instead of using spray cans. The Drama album painting was very subtle. That scene could have existed. There was nothing in it that was magical or fairy tale-like about it. It was a landscape that might exist. I really wanted that stormy sky to have an impact, but without any added devices. And that background, that stormy sky, would be great with a chrome logo. And by the way, early layouts of that cover have got the logo, but they don't have the title Drama. They have Fly From Here. So it's very clear that there was an intention at that time to call the album Fly From Here. And not until my later layouts did I have the word Drama inserted.

              GB: Did you letter the words from Fly From Here in that same style?

              RD: Yes, it was done in a style similar to Drama, not in a style similar to how I eventually did it years later.

              I find this an astonishing revelation. And I would love to see the lettering he made for it, if nothing else, to make a sort of home-made "single cover" for the 1980 studio version that does exist.

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                #8


                We do know that Yes recorded at least a backing track and guide vocals for We Can Fly From Here. The only reason I can think of why they wouldn't have finished it would have been lack of time to add overdubs and mixing or an intention on Horn and Downes' part to keep the song for the next album and link it with "Sad Night At The Airfield", which the pair had also demoed.

                Originally posted by pianozach View Post
                I do think it odd that they included the rather short WHITE CAR teaser, especially when they did have room for a longer version.[/FONT]
                I had never thought about this before but if you consider the fact that they intended the album to be called Fly From Here and include the song in the first place, it would actually fit pretty well in between Machine Messiah and Does It Really Happen? I can imagine White Car being added as a sort of afterthought to still represent Horn and Downes' writing in place of WCFFH.

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                  #9
                  Interesting. I think you could have fit Machine Messiah and WCFFH and Sad Night at the Airfield on side one of an album and fit the others on side 2.

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