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Yes - 90125 CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.97 | 1439 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars An album that is both hated and loved with equal fervour - I take the latter view. It is a fantastic achievement by a band many of us thought were dead after the Drama lineup broke down.

Squire and White had teamed up with a relatively little known guitarist and songwriter from South Africa called Trevor Rabin, following an aborted liaison with Jimmy Page, whilst Howe had hit commercial heaven and oodles of money with Asia. The project was called Cinema, but when the material was played to Anderson by Squire (who, no doubt, had half a mind on the commercial prospects of bringing him back into the fold), Anderson loved it and Yes was reborn. To add even more credibility to the project, they recruited...err... Tony Kaye, virtually unheard of since The Yes Album.

This is pop rock with shades of progressive music. It is NOT classic Yes prog, but, as with some of the Collins era Genesis LP's, it contained more than enough of past glories to keep everyone happy.

Owner of a Lonely Heart was a massive hit, and deservedly so. It is simply a joyful pop song, with great lyrics and musicianship from a band enjoying each other company. People who would not have thought about purchasing a Yes track flocked to buy it, and I'll wager that more than a few ventured onto Close to the Edge and other classics as a result.

I like Hold On, especially Kaye's keyboards, which are simple, but very effective. It Can Happen was the second single, and it is equally as good as the first, it contains exceptional guitar and bass lines, whilst White excels, as always, on drums.

Changes is a vast departure from previous Yes, but Anderson belts out the lyrics again to a thunderous rhythm section. It also features terrific xylophone. Cinema is the track that celebrates the original intention of Squire, White, and Rabin and is a fantastic instrumental that features all three at the top of their game, especially Rabin who produces a magnificent solo. I also love the Anderson chant at the end. Leave It features acapello and is probably the weakest track on the album - enjoyable, different, but ultimately a curiosity really. I do love Squire's vocals on it though.

Our Song is a track more in keeping with previous albums, and I again really enjoy Kaye's keyboards - he shines on this LP. City of Love is probably the weirdest thing that Anderson has ever agreed to sing lyrics to. No twee hippy posturing here, just a very bleak song about the darker side of life and love. It's also very good, especially Squire's bass.

They leave the very best until last. Hearts is simply stunning, with both Anderson & Rabin excelling on vocals extolling the virtues of love and being together with someone who cares. Yes, it is romantic, but what on earth is wrong with that? Rabin's guitar work is spectacular, and, again, the harmonies by all doing vocals are incredible. A fantastic way to end the album.

In the distance, Howe, somewhat hypocritically given Asia's material, fumed and moaned about it not being Yes and being too commercial. A lot of traditional Yes fans also hated it, for much the same reason. I consider myself a traditional Yes fan, and I thought, and still think, it is a marvellous LP. It is full of great music, lyrics, and excellent production from Trevor Horn of Drama fame (easily better as a producer in my opinion).

On the basis of the music alone, this is probably a four to four & a half star LP, but I will upgrade it to five, for one simple reason. It is an essential purchase for anyone wishing to have a full understanding of the history of the band, the change in direction the band took in the '80s, and the subsequent machinations between Yes West & East.

Five stars - utterly essential commercial progressive music. Ignore the doubters - buy it and enjoy.

lazland | 5/5 |


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