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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Yes - 1983 90125
Yes - 1983 90125

ALBUM: 90125
SERIAL: 7-90125-2
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2003, Rhino, 8122-73796-2


LINEUP: Jon Anderson - vocals * Chris Squire - bass, vocals * Alan White - drums, percussion, vocals * Tony Kaye - keyboards * Trevor Rabin - guitars, keyboards, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Owner Of A Lonely Heart * 02 Hold On * 03 It Can Happen * 04 Changes * 05 Cinema * 06 Leave It * 07 Our Song * 08 City Of Love * 09 Hearts


Well, what hasn't been said about this album? The British progressive supergroup Yes drop their 70's pretensions and head down the hi-tech freeway toward 80's synth pop/rock stardom, with this rather tasty slab of 80's memorabilia. Yes, in its last incarnation circa the 'Drama' period from 1980 wasn't the most successful tenure of the band, and by that stage, they had tossed in the towel. The early 80's saw lots of personnel movement, and with contemporaries Asia setting the AOR world alight in 1982, Messrs Squire and Anderson must've have been observing the success from afar and from different positions with desirous thoughts. Problem was, Yes were no longer. Squire, White and original keyboardist Tony Kaye would reunite under the banner of a new band name called Cinema, with South African Trevor Rabin to hold the key guitarist and vocalist position role. Squire however, would take their material to Jon Anderson, who had left the band in 1979, as a matter of interest. Anderson was so keen on getting involved, but Rabin was hesitant with an impending Yes reformation in the wind. However, once Rabin and Anderson collaborated, Cinema had dropped off the map, Yes was now back in action. The November 1983 release of '90125' would prove to be the accelerant to Yes' 80's successful phase. The album title was taken from the serial number of their new label Atco.

The Songs
I don't need to remind listeners as to the success of lead-off single 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart', a monster hit for the band, and a track that remains an iconic imprint of the 80's decade. A fantastic track, which still sounds great 25 years later on radio. The guitar solo from Rabin played in the sevenths scale was something different and stood out on radio. 'Hold On' was a simpler song by comparison, but it did contain a myriad of vocal effects, no doubt given the Trevor Horn OTT production treatment. There is an exotic eastern effect shining through on 'It Can Happen', but the whole thing is overly melodic underpinned by Chris Squire's prominent bass lines. For me, the best track here is the magnificent 6 minute opus 'Changes'. You have to wade your way through a blistering instrumental sequence at the start, but it opens out to an incredible AOR/progressive piece layered with atmospherics and a gorgeous chorus.. Change changing places, root yourself to the ground.. capitalise on this good fortune, one word can bring you round.. changes.. 'Cinema' is a two minute instrumental blast from progressive heaven, that incidentally, won a 1984 grammy as best rock instrumental. 'Leave It' is a very interesting track, with huge vocal harmonies initially, the barbershop like direction of the vocals makes this an oddity at most, but clever enough to fit on this album effortlessly. Going down the AOR path is the terrific 'Our Song', where the keyboards take on a Geoff Downes like style, a fast paced melodic track, I just love the lyric 'Toledo was just another pit-stop along the good kings highway..'.. I wonder what the folks of Toledo thought of it all? Another highlight are the dark tones of 'City Of Love', the lyric 'we'll be waiting for the night, we'll be waiting for the night to come'.. is totally distinguishable when I last heard it being blasted on FM radio down here in West Australia the other week. Yes sign off with the subtle and impassioned ballad 'Hearts', with flute and triangle melodies swirling in the mix.

In Summary
'90125' would go top 5 in the Billboard charts for the 1983/84 period, with 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart' going number #1 for the band, the only track that ever did so over the course of their extended career and discography. There was a lot of shenanigans during the production of the album, revolving around keyboardist Tony Kaye and producer Trevor Horn. The two did not get on, Kaye left the sessions, to be replaced by former U.K keys man Eddie Jobson. However, the band's legal agreement to venture out again under the banner of 'Yes' meant that Kaye had to come back in, with Jobson being jettisoned, Despite all the legal beagle mumbo jumbo, this is an incredible album, and one of my favourites during the 80's era. There is a certain irony that many people bought up on '90125' and 1987's 'Big Generator' are largely oblivious to the band's early 70's discography. And conversely, long time prog fans bought up during the hazy days of '..Topographic Oceans' and 'Relayer' scorn the band's switch to a largely AOR/pop based direction via '90125'. You just can't win can you!! Trevor Rabin would hold court again for 'Big Generator', another great and popular album for their 80's audience. When considering great albums of the 1980's, '90125' should be somewhere up the top of the tree..

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#1 | gdazegod on June 27 2009 15:11:38
I've quite enjoyed listening to this album over the last day or so during the course of this review. Like the band Bad Company, we are really embarrassingly short of Yes album reviews on this site, something I hope to rectify over the coming months, hopefully with some help from my erstwhile colleagues.. (say Yes Eric..!) lol!
#2 | reyno-roxx on June 27 2009 18:44:31
I was never a fan at their 70s peak and only ever owned 'Drama' on vinyl but since the brilliant 'Talk' was released and I interviewed Jon Anderson for 'Kerrang!' at the time I've progressively (LOL) become more interested in them over the years, especially as I worked with an absolute Yes fanatic who encouraged me to investigate the back catalogue and bootlegs.
This is certainly one of the best things they've ever released. I still adore 'Talk' as my favourite Yes album though.
#3 | Eric on June 27 2009 20:18:13
Yup, huge fan and I saw this tour leaving the arena hugely impressed. 'Big Generator' not so much and other than the AWBH album, thier stuff has been hit and miss for me.

I go for the first two albums, after that 'Going For The One' is a master work pre-dating the 'neo prog' movement.

More Yes write-ups coming soon...Thumbs Up
#4 | Nick C on June 28 2009 22:56:53
I love Yes, pretty much everything and it's nice to see that Talk gets a little recognition for once courtesy of Dave. Most Yes fans seem to dislike the album and I'm pretty sure the band sit on the fence over it too.
I think Eddie Jobson was in a band called Zinc at the same time as he was touted as joining - or am I getting mixed up here. Either way this brought the band kicking and screaming into the 80's and made them a viable force again. I prefer this to Big Generator which is a much darker album and seems to meander aimlessly in parts, something Yes have never done right????? hahaha!.
#5 | jeffduran on June 29 2009 01:33:40
Great review and oversite of release. My favorite as I was never a big fan of the prog years. "Changes" is an all out classic imo.
#6 | reyno-roxx on June 29 2009 07:13:29
Eddie Jobson's 'Zinc: The Green Album' is one of those overlooked gems. The CD version appears to go for big bucks as it was on One Way.
#7 | gdazegod on August 04 2011 14:54:23
YouTube Video:

A fantastic live version of 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart', featuring two keyboardists and two drummers. Check it out.[/youtube]
#8 | super80boy on June 22 2014 01:35:33
Recently bought the vinyl version with it's standout big silver colored jacket. I really enjoyed listening to this from front to back in one sitting. Gotta say, 'Leave It' is one of my favorites, although the album is so strong track after track.
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