Rediscovered YES 90125

DanRH

Old guy, getting younger
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Messages
23,327
Reaction score
3,816
Location
SF Bay Area
One of my favorite bands ever...Along with the Beatles. I saw the twice. Once in Miami right after Bruford left. I was really impressed with AW. Saw them again about 10 years ago or more when they were touring with the original lineup. Dream Theater opened. My only disappointment was Roundabout, the one song I really wanted to hear live as I had back in the late 70’s concert. They played it as a shuffle and unplugged. ☹
And yes, Owner of the Lonely Heart was played perfectly in it’s original form. Loved it.
 

Dumpy

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Messages
1,355
Reaction score
1,146
Location
Wood River, IL
One of my favorite bands ever...Along with the Beatles. I saw the twice. Once in Miami right after Bruford left. I was really impressed with AW. Saw them again about 10 years ago or more when they were touring with the original lineup. Dream Theater opened. My only disappointment was Roundabout, the one song I really wanted to hear live as I had back in the late 70’s concert. They played it as a shuffle and unplugged. ☹
And yes, Owner of the Lonely Heart was played perfectly in it’s original form. Loved it.
How can you do that to Roundabout?!?
 

bellbrass

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
7,339
Reaction score
1,378
Location
Bluegrass of Kentucky
Preachin' to the choir.

When this was released, I was a sophomore in college, and an avowed "Classic Lineup" Yes snob. I wanted very much to dislike this album, because of no Bill Bruford and no Steve Howe. I tried and tried to hate it. I failed. I ended up seeing them twice on that tour, and loved every minute of both shows. I have grown to love 90125 even more over the years. It's funny, looking back, on how stubborn I was as a 20 year-old, and how open-minded I am now.

My favorite song has always been Changes - man, I never tire of hearing that one. Alan White's playing toward the end - where he just has that driving, basic beat over the ending verses - starting around the 5:18 mark, where he brings in the bass drum groove - is so iconic to me that I now call it the "Alan White Beat". I've stolen it over and over, and nobody has ever caught me. His playing on that album just kills, all the way through.

Another favorite has always been Cinema - now, that one perhaps says "Yes" more than any other on the album.

And yes, Trevor Horn is a genius and totally made that album marketable with his production.
 
Last edited:

WLVN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
63
Reaction score
72
Location
Houston, TX
I remember the video concert that I can't find online. I recorded it on VHS at the time that started with the '50s era living room with a pipe smoking father sitting in a chair and presumably his daughter and her boyfriend, where they put on a record and when the record starts playing the girl attempts to start dancing to it but is dismayed by the selection and can't. She draws a square in the air with her fingers and the animated graphics leading into the concert opens up in the square she's drawn. I was blown away.

Owner of a Lonely Heart was overplayed on FM and then Changes which burned me out after a while. The album which was still only available on vinyl and cassette, blew me away. I've seen them live three or four times and I think I saw them on the 90125 tour, can't remember. I got the 9012 Live video on DVD when it came out and it was missing the opening 50's era intro... I think. Anyone remember the 50's era opening?
 

LRod1707

DFO Master
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
4,558
Reaction score
2,724
Location
Florida
One of the best albums ever! I still have it on cassette. For me, 90125 and Big Generator were the two best Yes albums.
 

fun2drum

Team DFO
Staff member
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
6,750
Reaction score
686
Location
Western North Carolina
One of the best albums ever! I still have it on cassette. For me, 90125 and Big Generator were the two best Yes albums.
I can’t say “best”, and that’s only because I have a hard time assigning a “best” of their albums. The one I happen to be listening to is the best at that moment.

90125 came out when I was a freshman at App State, and it’s usually the soundtrack that goes through my mind when I’m remembering that year. It blew me away, as Yes does.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,057
Reaction score
991
Location
SF Bay Area
I Love this album! Nothing to add about the brilliant songwriting and playing, but wanted to mention how it never sounds outdated. They were and still are ahead of their time on 90125.

When I first heard it, I remember thinking that they figured out how to time travel and bring us music from the future. I still hear the album that way. The production is huge part of that.
 

charlesm

DFO Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
1,572
Reaction score
405
Location
NY-metro
Been a while since I've heard 90125 all the way, but I've heard the whole album a few times. It's an amazingly ambitious musical statement, especially for its time...writing-wise, production, sonics, etc.

I react to it the same way I do when I hear something like "Heart of the Sunrise"...there are elements of imagination to it that almost seem miraculous. As in, how on earth did these guys get to such ambitious, forward-looking ideas at that time?

If a critic can't appreciate that perspective, I don't know what to say. You only make "Close to the Edge" once...y'know? You can't repeat something like that. You have to grow and evolve without losing the core principle, and I think 90125 is, at times, a breathtaking example of that.
 

langmick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
261
Reaction score
276
Location
East Lansing, MI
Listening to it now, Alan plays with dynamics. There are accents in his fills and in his grooves, and some some subtle shadings with his cymbals. He has a personality to his playing. Love it, that doesn't happen too often, with everyone playing as hard as they can all the time and not going anywhere near pp or mf. It Can Happen has cool dynamics, a mix of the orchestral yes and Rabin's pop.
 

ppfd

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
1,289
Reaction score
136
Location
WV
My first concert. I remember Alan White standing up and playing some Simmons pads on on song, Leave It maybe?

A few years later, I met Alan at my local music store and had him sign my 90125 tour program. He took a few minutes and looked through it. Said he had't ever looked at it.

Agreed on the Dire Straits Brothers in Arms, what a great album, though I had it on cassette.
 

Treviso1

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
5,559
Reaction score
2,122
Location
Michigan
Spot on!
I said this recently (different wording) on another thread and a few members soiled their shorts ... mostly because I was the one that stated it. "issues"
Man, art is what it is.
It doesn't exist for ALL to like or even understand.
It's that self expression from deep within.
If it connects ... that is awesome.
If it doesn't ... so what? Who the heck cares.
This album ... and many others that were panned by the elitist pseudo intellectuals ... will have a permanant place in my library.
Because ... I know better ... and THAT eats them up inside ... when they realize others have the ability to think freely for themselves.
They have to one day admit ... they don't matter.
It's funny because when they were doing so called "high art" and being a prog rock band, they were always panned as "old farts or dinosaurs playing self indulgent irrelevant music that no one cared about, but if you did care about it, you were cretin who was too stupid to know any better." Then, when they released a comeback album with shorter, brilliant pop songs...they were panned as a sell out trying to capitalize on past successes and their "good" name.

You can't win with critics. If they really like you, no one else probably will. Music connects deep inside us and I will say it again...there is no accounting for taste. What one person finds brilliant, another will find rubbish. One thing for certain...decide for yourself what you like. Hey, I love the Bee Gees...the critics hated them throughout their career and they did their best to destroy the band. Recently, HBO made a documentary and they all want to pretend that they were onboard loving them all along the way. Nothing could be further from the truth.
 

Vicey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
100
Reaction score
122
Location
FL
I saw them on this tour and it was a great show. As a huge fan of their previous record, Drama, I was a bit disappointed at the poppy nature of 90125, but also relieved that the huge commercial success meant that Yes was not going to have to fade into obscurity as just a stuck-in-the-70s band.

For what it's worth, Drama is my favorite Alan White album. His playing there is such an integral part of the songs.
 

Supernoodle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
102
Reaction score
21
Location
UK
To me 90125 isn't a Yes album, it's Trevor Rabin's music performed Yes members. His demo tapes had everything worked out. Anderson, Squire and White gave it a fantastic edge though.

Yes proper has to include Howe and Wakeman, so Tormato is the last real Yes album for me! Love 90125 though and went to see them in 84, fantastic gig...
 

kallen49

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
299
Reaction score
183
Location
Ontario Canada
So, this Christmas break, I rediscovered YES 90125 from my youth. As a kid, I was a Yes fan, but this lineup was something different and it featured Trevor Rabin's enormous songwriting talents and playing. He replaced Steve Howe on guitar (who had moved on with the band Asia). This album came out in the early fall of 1983 and featured many hits, including "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and is in my opinion, a masterpiece. My musician girls, wife, and I listened to the entire album 4-5 times within a 10 day period and I have come to realize what an amazing collection of songs sit inside this comeback effort. Trevor Rabin essentially wrote most of the album and sang and played some of the most incredible guitar playing imaginable. What a force of nature and creativity that man has inside him. Alan White's drumming is simply sublime. Between is tasteful and imaginative drumming and the sound of his drums for the time...he just knocks it out of the park track after track. This album also brought back original keyboardist Tony Kaye, along with Jon Anderson on vocals, and the late great Chris Squires on bass. I saw them in concert on this tour in March of 1984 in Detroit. It was an event not to be missed. I had forgotten how many hits this album had. I think we counted 6 songs that were played on the radio. Anyway, the production is outstanding and if you haven't heard it in a while, rediscover it for yourself.

Anderson/Rabin/Wakeman/Pomeroy/Molino playing a great mix of "West Coast Yes" tunes and older classics. I love this concert.
Is there any other 74 year old "rock" singer that can sing like he does here?

Go to 45:30 for the start of "Rhythm of Love" in which Wakeman proves that his right hand functions as well as ever.

Yes Live at the Apollo
 
Last edited:

Treviso1

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
5,559
Reaction score
2,122
Location
Michigan
Anderson/Rabin/Wakeman/Pomeroy/Molino playing a great mix of "West Coast Yes" tunes and older classics. I love this concert.
Is there any other 74 year old "rock" singer that can sing like he does here?

Go to 45:30 for the start of "Rhythm of Love" in which Wakeman proves that his right hand functions as well as ever.

Yes Live at the Apollo
Now, this is amazing! These guys aren't in their 30s or 40s... Thanks for posting!!!
 

thejohnlec

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
708
Reaction score
584
Location
Ohio Valley
I saw them on this tour and it was a great show. As a huge fan of their previous record, Drama, I was a bit disappointed at the poppy nature of 90125, but also relieved that the huge commercial success meant that Yes was not going to have to fade into obscurity as just a stuck-in-the-70s band.

For what it's worth, Drama is my favorite Alan White album. His playing there is such an integral part of the songs.
The timing of 90125 was ideal. They struck a perfect balance of memorable, accessible songs without sacrificing excellent musicianship, and wrapped it up in a very well-produced package. They really ticked all the boxes that allowed them a step back into relevancy. I agree about Drama as well - it is SO GOOD. White and Squire have both said that they hit a stride with Drama in terms of how tightly the two of them played together. Great stuff, and Trevor Horn obviously had a pretty large presence on that project as well.

Cheers...
 

thejohnlec

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
708
Reaction score
584
Location
Ohio Valley
Anderson/Rabin/Wakeman/Pomeroy/Molino playing a great mix of "West Coast Yes" tunes and older classics. I love this concert.
Is there any other 74 year old "rock" singer that can sing like he does here?

Go to 45:30 for the start of "Rhythm of Love" in which Wakeman proves that his right hand functions as well as ever.

Yes Live at the Apollo
Sheesh, can anybody touch Jon Anderson?!? He's one of a kind for sure - just remarkable.

Cinema into Perpetual Change (probably my favorite Yes song ever) worked so well. Thanks for posting this!
 

KevinD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
428
Reaction score
324
Location
New York City
Great album, irrespective of one's history with Yes and whether this was an unwelcome departure from the earlier classic material, 90125 is one pretty amazing album from many perspectives. The two Trevor's are monumentally talented but consistency of the material throughout and the playing by the band is simply top notch.
Alan White, great player who expertly filled some very large shoes when BB left.
I know I'm biased since those were my formative music years, but I think that era (80-92) really represented the height of the music business.
 


Top