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Yes: 90125 (remaster)

Many of you might be thinking, "Do I really need to purchase ANOTHER round of remastered Yes CD's?" Others of you, perhaps the more "die-hard" Yes fans, probably have already gone out and bought the recent round of Rhino remasters. Probably no other band, prog-rock or not, fit the remaster bug better than Yes, as their albums are rich with sonic brilliance, recorded back in the days when recording limitations were common. Not to mention that Yes had a fairly large stockpile of unused songs, demos, out-takes, and other assorted odd-and-ends that were just waiting to find themselves on something else other than expensive box sets.

Now, this review is not going to substantiate or argue whether 90125 is a classic Yes album or not. That is an argument that has been going on for many years among Yes fans old and new. In my opinion, 90125 is an album that had to happen to take Yes to a new level and breath live into a band that had basically fallen apart. 90125 is not only an exceptional Yes album, but it is a great 80's rock album, period. Trevor Rabin brought a wealth of musical ability as well as a talent for writing and arranging crafty pop songs, which, when mixed with the prog sensibilities of Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Allan White, and Tony Kaye, made Yes a household name again and helped them see successes that the band had never reached before. Having Trevor Horn at the production helm also gave the band a sonic push that they took full advantage of.

Rhino has done a fabulous job here, as signature tracks like "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Changes", "Hold On", "It Can Happen", and "Leave It" sound clearer, have more power, and just plain kick-ass better than they ever have. The multiple vocal harmonies of Anderson, Squire, and Rabin sound crystal clear and rich, while White's drums simply explode through the mix alongside Squire's nimble bass work. Trevor Rabin's thick guitar chords on "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and "Changes" sound just perfect here, and you can hear lots of keyboard and guitar nuances that now have been brought up in the mix, where on previous editions you might not have heard them. Kaye's keyboards sound clearer on the heavy and plodding "City of Love", a song that might have been cast aside as mere "Yes mimicking heavy metal" previously, but now has a more symphonic tone thanks to the remaster.

The real kicker though is the inclusion of six bonus tracks. You get the single remix and an A Capella version of "Leave It", an extended remix of "Owner of a Lonely Heart", plus the Cinema version (what the band was going to call themselves before Anderson joined the fold to officially make it Yes) of "It Can Happen", with Squire on lead vocals and Rabin on backing vocals. Also included is the rousing and catchy "Make It Easy", a Rabin penned rocker previously available on the YesYears box set, and the never before heard Rabin number "It's Over", both tunes recorded by the Cinema line-up, and featuring Rabin on lead vocals. "It's Over " is a symphonic rocker with lush keyboards and heavy rhythm guitar work, plus a melodic lead vocal from Rabin.

So either pop this baby into your home or car stereo system and crank up the volume, or put on a pair of headphones and settle back, and enjoy the sound of a great modern recording made better. Most of the Yes remasters are fairly reasonably priced, which makes it easy for everyone to replace their old CD copies with the new Rhino versions. You'll be glad you did.

Track Listing
1) Owner of a Lonely Heart
2) Hold On
3) It Can Happen
4) Changes
5) Cinema
6) Leave It
7) Our Songs
8) City of Love
9) Hearts
Bonus Tracks
10) Leave It (single remix)
11) Make It Easy
12) It Can Happen (Cinema Version)
13) It's Over
14) Owner of a Lonely Heart (Extended Remix)
15) Leave It (A Capella Version)

Added: March 9th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: YESWORLD, The Yes Online Service
Hits: 7485
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Yes: 90125 (remaster)
Posted by Paul DiGuglielmo on 2005-12-20 15:23:59
My Score:

Certainly one of the most controversial albums in the Yes cannon, 90125 projected Yes, or, Yeswest, as the internet Yes fans call them, into the 1980's, and onward, with a renewed vigor. No, this is not your Fragile Yes, or, your Close To The Edge Yes. It could not be, and still survive as a viable band. Trevor Rabin is certainly the star of this album, and, it has always puzzled me as to why he has so many detractors among Yes fans. I know there is a fierce loyalty to Steve Howe, and, that is rightly so. But, to be honest, 90125 is in the same AOR mold as Asia's 1st album Both albums are, strickly speaking, not considered prog. Basically, Rabin was making the same kind of album with Yes, that Howe was making with Asia. Never the less, this album has probably held up better than Asia's 1st album. The music is inventive, the harmonies are the most intricate heard on a Yes album in some time, and, Squire's bass playing, and Rabin's lead guitar solos are on fire. The Rhino remaster comes loaded with bonus tracks, including original tracks from Chris Squires's band Cinema, which, would become Yes. All in all, a worthy addition to your Yes collection, and, an album that deserves to be reevaluated.

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