“Long Distance Runaround” is a song by the progressive rock group Yes first recorded for their 1971 album, Fragile. Written by lead singer Jon Anderson, the song was released as a B-side to “Roundabout”, but became a surprise hit in its own right as a staple of album-oriented rock radio. The song’s 3:30 running time was uncharacteristically brief for a group known for expansive songs often longer than ten minutes, though it and “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)”, into which it segues, may be considered a single opus of 6:09.
Yes co-founder Jon Anderson wrote the lyrics to this song while allegedly remembering his encounters with religious hypocrisy and competition he experienced in attending church regularly as a youth in northern England. “Long time / waiting to feel the sound” was a sentiment toward wanting to see a real, compassionate, non-threatening example of godliness.
The song shifts keys between A minor and B minor and is polymetric in the verses – the drums are playing in 5/8 time against the rest of the group playing in 4/4 time.
Jon Anderson – lead and backing vocals
Steve Howe – electric guitars
Chris Squire – bass
Rick Wakeman – RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, grand piano
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion