Yes, “Man In the Moon” from ‘Open Your Eyes’ (1997): YESterdays
Long-time readers know that I not only love Yes, but also 1997’s Open Your Eyes. I also think that the addition of second guitarist Billy Sherwood was almost as significant as the addition of Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman in the early ’70s.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t scratch my head over some of this album’s production choices. I’m convinced, for instance, that Open Your Eyes would have been stronger without “There’s No Way We Can Lose.”
I’m even more convinced that leaving off “Man on the Moon” would have made the album sequencing much stronger. That doesn’t mean this song has no redeeming qualities. In fact, quite the opposite.
Again, the Howe/Sherwood guitar tandem seems to work, updating the Yes sound yet not jettisoning the nuance that sets Yes apart from their contemporaries. Chris Squire’s lead vocal is strong and supported by a yeoman’s effort at harmony from Jon Anderson.
Of course, the lyrics are no more unusual than other great Yes songs:
“I am a creature of the night
And I hope to come and shed a little light
Although the universe our teacher
I remain the central feature
I am the man
I am the man in the moon
Round and round and round I go
When I stop no one will know”
Alan White’s trap set almost takes a back seat to his conga playing. Sherwood also pulls out a solid organ and synthesizer sound. Yet, given its pop-rock trappings, I can’t help but think this song would have made a better Conspiracy song.