90125

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90125
Studio album by Yes
Released 7 November 1983 (1983-11-07)
Recorded November 1982 - July 1983
Sarm Studios, London
AIR Studios, London ("Cinema")
January 1982 at Sunpark Studios, London (bonus tracks)
Genre Pop rock, progressive rock
Length 44:49
Label Atco – 7 90125 0
Producer Trevor Horn
except "Hold On", produced by Trevor Horn + Yes
Yes chronology
Drama
(1980)
90125
(1983)
Big Generator
(1987)
Singles from 90125
  1. "Owner of a Lonely Heart"
    Released: October 1983
  2. "Leave It"
    Released: February 1984
  3. "It Can Happen"
    Released: June 1984
  4. "Hold On"
    Released: November 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (7.8/10)[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[3]

90125 is the eleventh studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released in 1983 on Atco Records.

It is their first studio album since the 1980 breakup and 1982 reformation. The first album to feature guitarist and singer Trevor Rabin, it also marks the return of original singer Jon Anderson, who had left the band in 1980, and original keyboardist Tony Kaye, who originally left the band in 1971.

90125 became and still stands as Yes' most successful album commercially. The album was titled after its Atco Records catalogue number (for example, 7-90125-1 for the LP).

Background[edit]

This new incarnation of Yes came about by circumstance rather than design. In 1980, members Jon Anderson (vocalist) and Rick Wakeman (keyboardist) had left the band, replaced by Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes respectively. The new line-up was short-lived: after a single album (Drama) and tour, they disbanded in December 1980. Bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White continued to work together (including a stint on the aborted XYZ project with Jimmy Page) and released a Christmas-themed single Run with the Fox as a duo in 1981.

At the same time guitarist and singer Trevor Rabin, formerly of the popular South African band Rabbitt and more recently a less successful solo artist, was looking for a band project to join (having previously been proposed for a 1980 quartet with Rick Wakeman, John Wetton and Carl Palmer and a proposed trio with Keith Emerson and Jack Bruce. Rabin had also tried out for Asia, alongside Wetton, Palmer and former Yes members Steve Howe and Geoff Downes, but gave up on the band, feeling that a two-guitar partnership with Howe wouldn't work.

Having been been put in touch with Squire and White, Rabin began working with them in early 1982. The trio decided that they needed a keyboard player to fill out their sound. Squire suggested inviting original Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye, whose sparse style he felt would suit the new band's direction.

Naming themselves "Cinema", the band began recording their debut album in November 1982. Trevor Horn was approached as a potential lead vocalist for the project, and sang on early versions of some tracks, but ultimately chose to take the role of album producer instead, with Rabin and Squire alternating lead vocals. Most of Cinema's material was drawn from songs Rabin had written for a shelved solo album, although Squire and White had brought along some of the abandoned XYZ material and an early version of "It Can Happen". The band rewrote their existing material together, with additional advice coming from Horn, who himself made a substantial contribution to the vocal showcase "Leave It".

By early 1983 the initial version of the album was complete, although by this time Cinema were suffering from personnel issues. Kaye had fallen out with the strong-willed Horn and been edged out of the band, resulting in much of the album's keyboard work being played by Rabin. Record company feedback had also suggested that neither Squire nor Rabin were perceived as being strong or distinctive lead vocalists. This led to a meeting between Squire and Jon Anderson in April 1983. Having been played some of Cinema's recordings (notably "Leave It" and "Owner Of A Lonely Heart"), Anderson was impressed by the band's work and agreed to join the band as lead singer. Effectively brought in at the last minute, Anderson also rewrote lyrics and made final alterations to songs, including "Owner of a Lonely Heart".

Anderson's involvement meant that Cinema now featured three former Yes members plus another former member as producer. Having signed the new band, Atlantic Records' Phil Carson suggested that they readopt the Yes name (an "old brand" which "worked so well.") Rabin was dubious at first (not wanting to be perceived as Steve Howe's replacement and not wanting the new group to suffer under the expectations attached to the old one) but was persuaded to go along with the idea. As the band started preparing for a tour to support the forthcoming album, Eddie Jobson was recruited as keyboard player and appeared in the video for "Owner of a Lonely Heart". However, seeking to consolidate the band's legal identity as Yes, Chris Squire came to an agreement with Tony Kaye and the latter rejoined the band. Unimpressed with the manoeuvring and not interested in sharing keyboard duties, Jobson left the band. Kaye's familiarity with both the new and classic Yes material would contribute greatly to the success of the act when playing live.

Release[edit]

Released that Autumn on Atlantic Records' subsidiary, Atco, 90125 launched Yes to the MTV age and to a whole new breed of fans. The music was catchy, contemporary and well-liked by reviewers and their new fans (many of whom had little clue of the band's previous incarnation). The lead single, "Owner of a Lonely Heart", became the band's first (and only) US #1 hit, driving 90125 to the Top 5 and helping it sell a certified three million copies in the US, earning it a triple platinum certification. (though it has been estimated to have sold more than 4 million copies world wide); by far Yes' most successful album. "It Can Happen", "Changes", and "Leave It" all reached top ten on Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks during 1984 and received heavy airplay. The British sales were not as spectacular, but still solid, and successive hits, such as "Leave It" and "It Can Happen" ensured 90125 had a lengthy chart life. In addition, "Cinema" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1985. The album ultimately went Gold in the United Kingdom and Double Platinum in Canada (over 200,000 copies sold). The album also went Platinum in Germany (200,000 copies sold).

The album's logo was designed and created by Garry Mouat at Assorted Images on an Apple IIe computer, and a variant would be used on Yes's next studio album Big Generator as well. 90125 (Atco 790 125) reached #16 in the UK chart and reached #5 in the US during a chart stay of 53 weeks. Trevor Rabin's 2003 album 90124 used the same cover design with colour and text variations.

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Owner of a Lonely Heart"   Trevor Rabin, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Trevor Horn 4:29
2. "Hold On"   Anderson, Rabin, Squire 5:16
3. "It Can Happen"   Squire, Anderson, Rabin 5:29
4. "Changes"   Rabin, Anderson, Alan White 6:20
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Cinema"   Squire, Rabin, White, Tony Kaye 2:08
6. "Leave It"   Squire, Rabin, Horn 4:14
7. "Our Song"   Anderson, Squire, Rabin, White, Kaye 4:18
8. "City of Love"   Rabin, Anderson 4:51
9. "Hearts"   Anderson, Squire, Rabin, White, Kaye 7:39

Personnel[edit]

Yes[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Studio personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album – Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1984 The Billboard 200 5

Singles – Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1983 "Our Song" Mainstream Rock Tracks 32
"Owner of a Lonely Heart" Hot Dance Music/Club Play 3
Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
The Billboard Hot 100 1
1984 "It Can Happen" The Billboard Hot 100 51
Mainstream Rock Tracks 5
"Leave It" The Billboard Hot 100 24
Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
"Changes" Mainstream Rock tracks 6
"Owner of a Lonely Heart" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 69
"Hold On" Mainstream Rock Tracks 43
1985 Mainstream Rock Tracks 27

Certifications[edit]

  • Canada-Double Platinum [6]
  • Germany-Platinum [7]
  • UK-Gold [8]
  • US-Triple Platinum [9]

Reissues[edit]

  • 1984 – Atco – CD
  • 2004 – Rhino - CD (Remastered with Bonus Tracks)
  • 2009 – Audio Fidelity 24 Karat Gold CD (Remastered by Steve Hoffman)
  • 2013  - Rhino - CD as part of The Studio Albums 1969-1987

Sources[edit]

  • 90125, CD booklet essay, Brian Ives, c.2004.
  • "Top Pop Albums 1955–2001", Joel Whitburn, c.2002
  • "Album Rock Tracks 1981–1995", Joel Whitburn c.1996

References[edit]