Released: November 7, 1983
Peak: 5 US, 16 UK, 3 CN, 27 AU
Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.1 UK, 3.88 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: progressive rock
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Total Running Time: 44:49
3.938 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
“A stunning self-reinvention by a band that many had given up for dead, 90125 is the album that introduced a whole new generation of listeners to Yes.” PC The album featured longtime members Chris Squire on bass and Alan White on drums as well as the return of vocalist John Anderson (after sitting out the 1980 Drama album) and “the first time in twelve years that original keyboardist Tony Kaye had appeared with the group.” WK
The 11th album by Yes was a surprise since the band had officially called it quits after 1980’s Drama. Anderson, the only singer the group had ever known, left in the early making of that album, as had Rick Wakeman, who’d been the keyboardist for most of the band’s classic ‘70s albums. In their place came singer Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes of the Buggles (“Video Killed the Radio Star”). After that short-lived lineup, Squire and White worked on the aborted XYZ project with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and released a single as a duo in 1981.
Squire and White then started working with South African guitarist Trevor Rabin. “There had been various attempts to place Rabin in a band, including a proposed quartet with Rick Wakeman, John Wetton and Carl Palmer in 1980 and a proposed trio with Keith Emerson and Jack Bruce. Rabin tried out in Asia, alongside Wetton, Palmer and former Yes members Steve Howe and Geoff Downes.” WK
The new trio decided they needed a keyboardist and Squire suggested Kaye. They called themselves “Cinema” and started recording their anticipated debut album in early 1983. The material consisted mostly of music Rabin had intended for a solo album produced by Horn. WK Horn brought a slick production while Rabin offered a “distinctly ‘80s guitar sound.” PC
Squire played some of the group’s demos for Jon Anderson, who then came on board. At this point, they revived the Yes name. “Rabin was dubious at first, not wanting to be perceived as Steve Howe’s replacement, but rather the lead guitarist for a new group. However, he quickly changed his mind once Anderson brought in some new lyrics and put his distinctive vocals on the existing music tracks.” WK
The album, which was released in the autumn of 1983, was “simply titled after its Atco Records catalogue number (for example, 7-90125-1 for the LP).” WK It “launched Yes to the MTV age and to a whole new breed of fans.” WK Songs like “Changes marked the band’s definitive break with its art rock roots.” PC The new musical direction was “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” WK “and its orchestral break has been relentlessly sampled by rappers ever since.” PC
“The vocal harmonies of Leave It and the beautifully sprawling Hearts are additional high points, but there’s nary a duff track on the album.” PC
“The album’s logo was created and designed by Garry Mouat at Assorted Images on an Apple IIe computer, which would be used on Yes’ next studio album Big Generator as well.” WK
Notes: Trevor Rabin released an album in 2003 called 90124 which was comprised of demos from the 90125 sessions.
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First posted 6/7/2011; updated 7/25/2021.
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