[Review] Yes: “Your Move” (1971)

Choosing this as the single from The Yes Album proved to be a winning move, giving the band their first Top 40 hit.

Kronomyth 3.1: Give your piece a chance

This is probably the recorder’s finest moment in the musical canon. My son is currently learning to play the recorder in school, and as much as I enjoy hearing “Good King Wenceslas” played at a funereal pace by nervous children, I wish just once the music teacher would bring a chorus into the mix and play “Your Move.” At least that might foster a lifelong love of music.

Despite barely making the US Top 40, I can assure you that rock radio stations played the hell out of this song in the seventies. Sometimes, as a treat, they’d even play it through to the second part, “All Good People.” I had a teacher who used to play the radio in class (it was drafting class and, again, super-useful skill that has served me well in life that one time I needed to draw a straight pencil line on my wall using a level), and it never failed to produce a small amount of joy when the one second of silence following this song would lead into “All Good People” and not, say, “Bad Case of Loving You.”

The flip side is “Clap” (I don’t know what happened to the “The”), Steve Howe’s rodeo-clown intermission on their portentous third album. It’s a perfect moment of decompression on a very heavy album, and a delightful bookend to the more serious “Mood for a Day.” Years later, Jon Anderson would return to the style of “Your Move” for the wonderful “Wonderous Stories.” Oh, and in case you missed it, “Your Move” makes reference to two John Lennon songs: “Instant Karma” and “Give Peace A Chance.”

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Original 7-inch single version

A1. Your Move (Jon Anderson) (3:30)
B1. Clap (Steve Howe) (3:03)

Promotional 7-inch single (UK)
A1. I’ve Seen All Good People: (a) Your Move (Jon Anderson)
B1. Starship Trooper: (a) Life Seeker (Jon Anderson)

New Zealand original 7-inch single
A1. Your Move (Jon Anderson)
B1. All Good People (Chris Squire)

Back-to-back hits 7-inch single reissue
A1. Your Move (Jon Anderson) (3:30)
B1. America (Paul Simon) (4:06)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in August 1971* in the US (Atlantic, 45-2819), Australia (Atlantic, 45-2819), Canada (Atlantic, AT 2819), France (Atlantic, 10037), Germany (Atlantic, 10.046), Japan (Atlantic, P-1095A), the Netherlands (Atlantic, 2091 173), New Zealand (Atlantic, ATL.83) and Portugal (Atlantic, N-28-115) with picture sleeve; reached #40 on the US charts (charted on September 25, 1971 for 14 weeks). Also released as promotional single in June 1971 in the UK (Atlantic, 2814-003) with “Life Seeker” on B side. (*First mentioned in 8/28/71 issue of Billboard.)

  1. Re-issued with “America” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (Atlantic Oldies Series, OS-13141).
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