Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Yes, “Long Distance Runaround” from Fragile (1971): YESterdays


On the surface, Yes’ Long Distance Runaround” seems like a rather direct take on religious duplicity. However, as we all know nothing the world’s greatest progressive rock band does is direct.

This song, which served as the B-side to Yes’ No. 13 13 hit “Roundabout,” confounds with its three-and-a-half minute running time, too. It’s the shortest of the non-solo tracks on 1971’sFragile. “Long Distance Runaround” also is one of the most rollicking Jon Anderson compositions to have held a place Yes setlists.
Anderson, producer Eddy Offord and the band arrange the song with a plethora of progressive elements which only add to its stature in the Yes music canon. Based in b minor, “Long Distance Runaround” combines conventional rock 4/4 timing in the verses with polyrhythmic 5/8. Bill Bruford’s drum track by itself is a master class in music making.

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