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Leave It

by

Yes



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was the followup to Yes' #1 smash, "Owner of a Lonely Heart." 90125 was a different sound for Yes, as they moved away from Prog Rock and toward Pop - very successfully. Once the band (and their record company) got a taste for hit singles, they tried to make more, which frustrated lead singer Jon Anderson. "By the time we got to Big Generator (1987 album) I was ready to leave because nobody was happy," he told us. "We were scrambling to try to make a hit record, and the record company, the management, that's all they talked about. They'd play records and say, 'This is a hit record, make something like this.'" (Here's our full Jon Anderson interview.)
18 different videos of this song (directed by Godley and Creme) were presented to MTV as part of a contest. When the deadline for the entries passed, MTV showed "Version #19."

In the book MTV Ruled the World - The Early Years of Music Video, Yes lead singer Jon Anderson talks about the excitement of filming the video of "Leave It" for MTV: "... a totally surreal sort of video, which I loved. By then, we were number one around the world, so we were immensely famous for ten minutes. That was it. It was, 'Oh, we're going to be upside-down... that's cool! Let's do 17 versions. Oh great, that's amazing!" So there were actually 17 different versions of this video, which is perfect. Anything more abstract really reaches me, because it's something that I'll remember, where sometimes you do a video, and you think, 'Oh, that looks OK,' and ten minutes later, you don't care. But something that's abstract, you can look at it now and think 'That's a damn good video,' because it is different."
Promo copies of the 45 single contained a version with the group singing a capella.
This is one of the few Yes hits lead singer Jon Anderson had no part in writing. It was written by Trevor Rabin, Chris Squire and Trevor Horn, who recorded it with a fourth band member, Alan White, before Anderson rejoined the band. Anderson left the band in 1980, recording as a solo artist and as half of Jon and Vangelis before returning for the 90125 album.
According to Trevor Rabin, the prominent group vocals in this song came about after he and Chris Squire struggled to get a drum sound. When they ran out of ideas for the drums, they decided to work on the vocals, putting those on before the drums. As a result, the voices became the focal point of the song, although it took the band weeks to get them recorded and mixed in the song to their satisfaction.
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More songs with videos directed by Godley & Creme

Comments (22):

The a capella version is the B-side of my American 45 of this. I still have it. That version of the song (which is the same mix with just the instrumentation tracks turned off) is one of my favorite versions of this song. The whole of 90125 is very, very good, probably a to 10 80s album.
- Dave, Lafayette, IN
Does anybody know where you can still see all versions of the video? Thanks!
- Steve, Coralville, IA
Michael, if you like the a capella opening, get the 'expanded, remastered' edition of 90125 and hear the entire song that way, without a single musical note. It's amazing.
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
Yes' record label is ATCO and this album's title, "90125," is ATCO's record number.
C Eckstein, Temecula, California
- Curt, Tulsa, OK
Oops!
I mention Squire, NOT Rabin.
Sorry.
- oldpink, New Castle, IN
I really liked this song when I received my copy of 90125 in junior high, and I even sought out (and found!) the E.P. (yes, vinyl) that included the acapella version.
However, the real prize on the album I never heard on the radio "City of Love."
Killer work, and Rabin's bass work is excellent.
- oldpink, New Castle, IN
Although I note that, having said I like this song, I have single-handedly made a big difference to the song profile!
- Michael, Oxford, -
Further to my last: this song has now grown on me, as has the rest of the album.
- Michael, Oxford, -
The other vocals are from Trevor Rabin.Check out the solo album titled: "Can't Look away". You will see that he is singularly responsible for the second generation yes sound. Lately he's done many movie soundtracks. Including all of the music for "Gone in Sixty Seconds".
- Mitch, Athens AL, AL
Is this the most overrated song in Yes's discography? Very probably. I'm 16 and "90125" was the first Yes album I got (not a good choice really). And this is easily the album's weakest moment, although I quite like the acapella intro.
- Michael, Oxford
This is by far my favorite Yes song. I'm not really into prog rock...
- Madison, Norway, ME
Trevor Horn did much contributing to this album- so it wouldn't surprise me that he did vocals to this song. I do like how this song succeeded "Cinema", which opened up 'Side 2' of '90125'. Trevor Rabin definitely was a big factor in making this album a success that it was- both for his song writing and vocals- especially with the song "Changes". His guitar work couldn't hold a candle against Steve Howe, but he did added a breath of fresh air to YES in the 1980's and early 90's. The album 'Talk' had really shown his talent- especially with the song "Endless Dream". But I also thought that he fared well with "Love Will Find a Way" and "Shoot High, Aim Low" from the 'Big Generator'- even though I was disappointed with that album overall.
- Randy, Colerain Twp., OH
On April Fools Day of that year, MTV played this song with about 10 different video versions back-to-back, all while the band was standing side-by-side singing. Some of the video shots that were aired on that day included the group standing with their backs to the camera; one was with only 4 of the 5 bandmembers singing; one was with only the '5th' bandmember singing; one was with the group standing 'upside down'; and another one was of the empty studio without the members present.
- Randy, Colerain Twp., OH
I Thought the lyrics were:" One down one to go, and to another town, one more show...."
- Max, Sydney, Australia
Its Trevor Rabin who came in for Steve Howe after he left
- Patrick, Des Moines, IA
The beginning of this song is good. But when i listened to it for the first time, after the do do's, WHO SINGS THE VOCALS?? its dosen't sound like jon anderson at all.....
- Max, Sydney, Australia
One of the songs that definately makes 90125 a great album. However, Changes is much better.
- Michael, Houston, TX
I'm surprised this entry fails to mention that while producing the recording sessions for this album, Trevor Horn and his engineers messed around with the samplers and drum machines in the studio, and the result was the seminal electronic group The Art of Noise.
- Elson, Los Angeles, CA
Not my fave by them..but they can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned.
- Julie, Marquette, MI
What can I say but this is one of the greatest albums ever!! 90125 has been with me since I was around fourteen. A friend of mine had a taped copy of it that I listened to over and over again till I could sing every song by heart. I wish it was longer, but there is not one bad tune. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" was the biggie, but you had "Leave It" and "Hold On" got radio play in late 1984 for anyone who remembers. The songs sound just as good twenty plus years later as they did originally. Many would say they departed from their 70's roots, but I for one feel this is their best work and only wish that combination could have recorded more in that way. "Yes" just knows how to put out a perfect piece of musical history.
- Dee, Indianapolis, IN
The only known Yes song with a drum machine. Probably they were influenced by the same trends as their former progressive rivals, Genesis.
- Kent Lyle, Palo Alto, CA
Although it is uncredited, Trevor Horn probably sings some of the vocals on this track. The "Hello hello heaven" sounds like his voice.
- Kent Lyle, Palo Alto, CA
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