Yes, “The More We Live – Let Go” from Union (1991): YESterdays

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The final YesWest song for inclusion on 1991’s Union takes an interesting left turn. “The More We Live – Let Go” blends the past (working with producer Eddie Offord) with the future (the inclusion of multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood).

Sherwood, in a Something Else! interview from late 2015 mentioned that he was introduced to Yes’ Chris Squire by their mutual friend Derek Schulman after Squire heard World Trade demos in 1988-89. Sherwood recalled that they quickly became friends and decided to write together.

“The More We Live – Let Go” was the first fruits of their efforts, and when Jon Anderson asked about additional material for inclusion of the second Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe album – which became Union – the song was included among those submitted.

“The More We Live – Let Go” is one of the most introspective YesWest songs, with swirling synthesizer patters, and brooding a Chris Squire (like) bass. The call-and-response vocals between Jon Anderson and Chris Squire are as effective as any on Union. The song’s overt positivity and spirit harkens back to the main sequence of Yes material.

“Cast away our doubt and sorrow (Turning away from the past we know)
The Universe and all can be (Showing the fate of the world we know)
Together you and I, we hold the key to all the answers (Let go)”

Eddie Offord’s production imprint is unmistakable, as the lyrics are the main focus. There is not barrage of synthesizers and programming which bury the song. Billy Sherwood, who co-produced the song with Offord, provides a contemporary feel which is much more restrained than that of Jonathan Elias.

As with all the other YesWest material, no additional session musicians are used. Instead, the core band played “The More We Live – Let Go” with subtlety and passion. Alan White’s drums are straight-forward pop fare, not unlike his playing on 1983’s 90125 or 1987’s Big Generator, yet are perfectly placed in this role. Trevor Rabin’s guitar parts are possibly his most restrained and melodic on any Yes song. He weaves the vocals and Tony Kaye’s keyboards into a tight tapestry.

Some sources say this is actually Billy Sherwood’s first musical performance with Yes as his original bass demo was retained by Eddie Offord. In any case, Sherwood’s impact on this song and the future of the world greatest progressive rock band is already coming into focus.

YESterdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the unforgettable musical legacy of Yes. The series runs every other Tuesday.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at
Preston Frazier
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