Yes’ “I’ve Seen All Good People” is an unlikely rock masterpiece. The song, an arrangement of two separate pieces (“Your Move” by Jon Anderson and “All Good People” by Chris Squire), contains many elements not commonly contained in rock music. The combination works in this case, however, producing the most-played Yes song in the band’s cannon.
“I’ve Seen All Good People” starts with a compelling three-part harmony a capella opening by Anderson, Squire and Howe. The Yes choir has never sounded so resolved as it starts the song, with the metaphor comparing relationship with a chess match. Instead of an electric power-chord introduction, Steve Howe utilizes a Portuguese guitar in a fleet-fingered opening to accompany Jon Anderson. His vivid lyrics are in turn buoyed only by the bass drum of Bill Bruford. In another unusual move, Yes utilizes a non-band member in Colin Goldring, whose recorder adds additional colors to the song.
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