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Yes: the story behind Owner Of A Lonely Heart

How Owner Of A Lonely Heart saved “old farts” Yes from the scrap heap turned them into unlikely MTV darlings

At the dawn of the 80s, Yes were the very last band you expected to storm the US singles chart. Since they started out in 1968, the British proggers had traded in sprawling, concept-driven works that chalked up big album sales but didn’t get a sniff of drive-time radio. Back then, with the prog scene on the ropes – its grandiosity pricked by punk’s safety pin – it seemed Yes’s time had come and gone.

Sure enough, by April 1981 Yes was apparently over, the members scattering to projects including Asia and XYZ. But the coffin didn’t stay shut for long. The following year, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White and keyboard player Tony Kaye joined with South African guitarist Trevor Rabin as Cinema. And when Anderson later came on board to add vocals to 1983’s 90125 album, all involved had to concede that this was a de-facto Yes reunion. “Yes is in my DNA,” Anderson says of his readiness to join the line-up. “I was excited to work with this new-sounding band.”


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