Leave It (partially found series of Yes music videos; 1984)

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Leave It.jpg

Screenshot of "Version 11" of Leave It.

Status: Partially Found

In 1983, the British progressive rock band Yes released its eleventh album 90125, reaching 3 million copies sold in the US alone. After the success with their number-one hit single Owner of a Lonely Heart, the band released their second single Leave It in February 1984. The single peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 3 on the Top Album Rock Tracks chart. Unconventionally, accompanying the song was eighteen music videos to the song. The videos were all shown with MTV announcing a version that was about to be played on MTV. After a while, Version 11 of the series was declared the "official video" to Leave It and the other videos fell into obscurity.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Leave It videos were directed by Lol Creme and Kevin Godley, also known as the rock duo Godley & Creme. Yes' manager Tony Dimitriades remarked that the choice of having the duo direct the videos was to get away from "the MTV video clip cliches." Dimitriades also said that the videos were made to create audience participation. Lol Creme during the making-of documentary on the videos said they intended to make the most boring music video ever.

Each of the videos were all improvised and shot in one day, back to back. All variants of the video has the subjects upside down, with each version having a difference from one another. An example of this being version 7 only having Jon Anderson appearing in it. When submitting the music videos for approval to the channel MTV, only fifteen versions were sent. MTV would hold a contest for viewers to guess the differences between the videos. The winners of the contest would receive a Sony video cassette of all eighteen versions of Leave It.

All variants of the video has the subjects upside down, with each version having a difference between one another. An example of this being version 7 only having Jon Anderson appearing in it. MTV made a documentary of the making of the music videos, showing it on April 1, 1984, the same night as the marathon.

Reception to the music videos appeared to have been negative by cast and crew members. Anonymous crew members at the time were quoted as saying that the videos were the "Heavens Gate of music videos". Trevor Rabin, the guitarist and one of the singers for Leave It, said in a 2021 interview that he considered the video to be "crappy".[1] Jon Anderson briefly mentioned the videos in the book "MTV Ruled the World" by Greg Prato, mentioning that he liked the videos.[2]

Availability[edit | edit source]

As of 2022, six versions of the video have been found. Version 11 has been the official music video to the song, included on their Greatest Video Hits DVD and is on the Yes Official YouTube channel. Version 1 was posted on YouTube by Anthony Riddle in 2019, sourced from a re airing on the British TV station Vintage TV. Version 7 has also been found from a 1984 MTV broadcast, having been posted on the Internet Archive by Mickeys Tape Collection on November 2nd, 2020, with this version of the video later being posted on Youtube by Spid on September 11, 2022.

On October 18th, 2022, YouTube user MusicVideoTime (who had previously made a video extensively detailing the production of the "Leave It" videos) announced on Twitter that they had received copies of Versions 8, 9, and 10 of the videos from a YouTube commenter who had them in their possession, with these versions of the videos subsequently being uploaded to the Internet Archive.[3]

Some of the other versions of Leave It were shown in the MTV documentary. However, it is unknown which version is which due to the contest being held by MTV at the time to have fans guess how many versions of the video were made. And the video cassettes containing all versions of the videos that were given to winners of the contest has yet to appear online.

Versions[edit | edit source]

# Description Status
1 Members of Yes upside down Found
2 Cuts to Trevor Rabin's face for two lines[4] Partially Found
3 Has Tony Kaye wearing a different colored tie[4] Lost
4 Unknown Lost
5 Unknown Lost
6 Unknown Lost
7 Only Jon Anderson in the video Found
8 Different group of people in video Found
9 Starts with a pan around the studio to show crew Found
10 More movement with the band (Swaying, taking a bow) Found
11 Official Music Video Found
12 Unknown Lost
13 Unknown Lost
14 Unknown Lost
15 Unknown Lost
16 Unknown Lost
17 Unknown Lost
18 Unknown Lost

Gallery[edit | edit source]

MTV Extra: Making of the "Leave It" Music Videos.
Music Video Time's video on the subject.

References[edit | edit source]