Yes, “Hearts” from 90125 (1983): YESterdays

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The final track on the original release of Yes’ 1983 blockbuster 90125 may not have the impact the opening track, “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” has but that doesn’t make it any less great.

Credited to the entire band, “Hearts” features a suspenseful synthesizer intro conceived by Tony Kaye, which quickly gives way to a crisp and direct chorus sung by Trevor Rabin. Indeed, the Yes choir has never sounded so good, as Rabin blend perfectly with Jon Anderson’s counter melody and then with Chris Squire on the chorus. Anderson, clearly at the top of his game, despite his late entry into the project, proves his adaptability with streamlined lyrics and a strong delivery which is all his own.

Alan White moves from a direct rock back beat to a nuanced progressive rock time-signature change without effort. The drum sound producer Trevor Horn and engineer Gary Langan get is ’80s big, but perfectly appropriate on this album. It’s almost unbelievable that this is the same drummer who was so muted on the last Yes release, Heaven and Earth.

Vocally, Chris Squire continues to provide his finest work, almost reaching the heights of 1980’s Drama. On “Hearts,” we find Squire’s most subdued playing. His tone and approach sound very much like a Mini-Moog, after the introduction of the song. Rabin’s vocals are matched by his melodic playing and blazing solos, which actually are eclipsed by Kaye’s all-too-brief Hammond B-3 solo.

What a way to end the biggest album from the world’s greatest progressive rock band. “Hearts” remains an uplifting, positive and hopeful look toward the future. Yet, as we know, things with Yes are never certain. Next up is the troubled follow-up, 1987’s Big Generator.

Preston Frazier’s YESterdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the unforgettable musical legacy of Yes. The series runs every other Tuesday.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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  • Charlie Ricci

    Despite it being more hard arena rock than prog 90125
    did everything right. On Big Generator they did
    everything wrong.

    • Preston Frazier

      maybe after repeated listening I’ll be able to stomach Big Generator…or maybe not.

    • Creaulx

      Lightning did not strike twice and they killed the momentum they had built with 90125. Still love the whole damn record.

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