Great Rock Albums of 1983: Yes- 90125


When people mention great 1970s progressive rock, the first two names that come to mind are Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes. To me, they were the building block on which the genre was built on during that decade. Yes classics like “Roundabout” and “Yours is No Disgrace” continue to move me whenever I hear them. That meant that when the new Yes album, “90125,” came out in 1983, my ears were definitely tuned towards them.

By late 1983, MTV had pretty much taken over as my new resource for discovering new albums and bands. Note: in 1983, MTV still actually played decent music. Yes’s new release came to my attention via the first single “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” This song was okay in my view, I loved the guitar riff introduction to the song but to me it sounded too choppy in the 1980s style and definitely not what I was used to from Yes. Fortunately, as I know from experiences good and bad, one song does not make an album.

The rest of “90125” is more of the traditional Yes we kids new and loved back in the 1970s. “Hold On” is nearly a hard rock track dominated by the guitar but “It Can Happen” is for sure Yes at their golden best. There is some superb progressive rock sound here with a little bit of everything. Some magnificent keyboard work from Tony Kaye and a little impressive guitar work compliments of Trevor Rabin. Holding all of it together is the vocals of Jon Anderson with some help from the harmonizing with the other members of the band. “It Can Happen” is the key to the album and links everything in very nicely. The remainder of the album follows on in this mold rarely venturing outside the box but still keeping the band’s creativity in tact.

“Changes” is the prime example as it follows on perfectly from “It Can Happen” and I have to say that I have always found the guitar work on the instrumental “The Cinema” very well performed. Furthermore, I prefer the second single from the album, “Leave It” as it is done in the traditional Yes fashion. That sets the tone for the remainder of the album, just some good old fashioned progressive rock from the remaining tracks.

Track Listing:

  1. Owner of a Lonely Heart
  2. Hold On
  3. It Can Happen
  4. Changes
  5. The Cinema
  6. Leave It
  7. Our Song
  8. City of Love
  9. Hearts


Jon Anderson- vocals

Trevor Rabin- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Chris Squire- bass, vocals

Tony Kaye- keyboards, vocals

Alan White- drums, percussion, vocals

After a break up in 1981, Yes came back two years later and it was still good to hear that they hadn’t lost their touch with “90125.” This could be one of the best progressive rock albums of the 1980s but that will be left for others to debate.

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10 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1983: Yes- 90125”

  1. This was my introduction to Yes and as a result, will always be one of my favorite albums of theirs. Very thankful for that introduction as they have so many great songs.


  2. Great band… this is one of my favourites of theirs but it’s also the last album of theirs that I know! Never paid much attention to them after this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Owner of a Lonely Heart is always on high rotation in our car on long drives.


  4. Fantastic album!


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