The single version of the song peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart becoming their 5th number two hit and making them the act with the second most number two hits on the chart behind only Madonna. The song also peaked at number 1 on the easy listening chart, becoming their eighth number 1 on that chart in four years. It is The Carpenters' biggest-selling record worldwide and their best-selling single in the UK, peaking at number 2. Richard Carpenter admitted on a Japanese documentary that it is his favorite of all the songs that he has written. He has performed an instrumental version at concerts.
According to Cash Box, on June 2, 1973, "Yesterday Once More" was the highest-debuting single at No. 71. By August 4, it had reached No. 1.