Long Distance Runaround
by Yes

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by lead singer Jon Anderson, who said: "It was how religion had seemed to confuse me totally. It was such a game that seemed to be played, and I was going around in circles looking for the sound of reality, the sound of God. That was my interpretation of that song, that I was always confused. I could never understand the things that religion stood for. And that throughout the years has always popped its head up in the song I've been working with."
  • Politics of the day would sometimes find their way into the lyrics Jon Anderson wrote for Yes, and the second verse of this song, including the line, "Hot color melting the anger to stone," is about the shootings at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 when the United States National Guard killed four students (check out the Songfacts on "Ohio"). It was just a thought that emotion is made of colors, and you could bring peace by finding a healing color to melt hate. As Anderson tells us, "government cracking down on young people because they were trying to tell the truth about the war in Vietnam. It was just one of the crazy fears of time."
  • This song segues right into Chris Squire's solo piece, "The Fish." Radio stations often play these songs together as one. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Brookings, SD
  • The writing of this song is solely credited to Jon Anderson, which caused a bit of tension. "Lots of work was done on songs like 'Long Distance Runaround,' where the first riff was collaborative," guitarist Steve Howe said. "It was a bit of mine and Bill (Bruford) was humming stuff and Rick (Wakeman) was harmonizing."

Comments: 13

  • Pippin from Rhye, CaIs it just me, or does this song seem a little similar to Starship Trooper? Lyrically and melodically? Both are real good songs, though...
  • Randall from Seattle, WaLong Distance Runaround is perhaps my favourite Yes song, there is just so much going on. Even though it seems at first blush to be rather straight forward, there is so much 'cleverness' in the interplay between the electric piano, the guitar and bass parts, especially the lick started on guitar, and taken over by bass entering each verse. I love the monotony of the electric piano part in the verse, coupled with Jon singing like he is so tired, and recording at 2 a.m.
  • Max from Sydney, Australiacan somone put "going for the one" "turn of the century" "ritual" "The Gates of delerium" on please i keep adding them but nothing heppens :'(
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaCool, Bari! Unless Paul is correct and you are on something. Greg and Dirk, too! Everyone has got something interesting to say. I wish roundabout was on songfacts, can someone please make it! It's such a good song...
  • Max from Sydney, Australiawhen i'm listening to this song through my MP3 player or Windows Media Player on my computer ( i don't know which one) i can hear both keyboard and Gutair playing at once...Has anyone else heard that?
  • Joe from Albion, Nymaybe my fav song of all time
  • Max from Sydney, AustraliaLong distance runaround
    Long time waiting to feel the sound
    I still remember the dream there
    I still remember the time you said goodbye
    Did we really tell lies
    Letting in the sunshine
    Did we really count to one hundrer

    Cold summer glistening
    Hot colour melting the anger to stone
    I still remember the dream there
    I still remember the time you said goodbye
    Did we really tell lies
    Did we really count to one hundred
  • Dirk from Nashville, TnNot many people know it but Richard Nixon was a huge Yes fan when he was president. He had the band play at the White House several times. It was actually this song that influenced Nixon to break up Bell Telephone in the the 1970s.
  • Greg from Oakville, CanadaYour forgetting Chris Squires awsome bass solo with 10 basses playing at once! It's like one of the best bass solo's ever along with La Villa Strangiato, Captain Shiner, Eminence Front, and Birdland!
  • Lou from Charlotte, NcReply to "this song plays differently"...The opening riff is done with guitar and keyboard recorded on separate stereo channels. I think you are just listening to the right and left channels individually. At least that's how it is on the vinyl.
  • Paul from London, EnglandIn reply to "this song plays differently" and " I am able to play two different digital version that seem to be interwoven, depending on where I "start" it!":

    Whatever it is you are taking, I'd like some of it.
  • Bari from Wheaton, IlI have had "Fragile" since it came out in 1971. I never noticed anything odd until recently, when I was in the process of converting the LP to CD. I record the LP to a hard drive and then re-segement the single side track back to the individual tracks, then burn a CD. While segmenting "Fragile" using Final Vinyl, I noticed that this song plays differently when I advance the marker on the songs voiceprint. Instead of the guitar intro, the harpsichord plays the intro. The rest of the song is an alternate version of the song, layered on top (or below) the other. What amazes me is that i have never heard of this before and that I am able to play two different digital version that seem to be interwoven, depending on where I "start" it! Is anyone else aware of this?
  • Jonathan from Ann Arbor, MiThis has to be one of my all time favorite Yes songs. It's so easy to listen to and gives you a warm feeling inside. They played an acoustic version of this at the concert that I went to, and it was damn brilliant. Steve Howe's guitar work on this is truly one of best and it seems to change time signitures a lot which makes it very fun and Interesting. You just can't get tired of this song.
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