Never thinking of the future
Prove yourself! You are the move you make
Take your chances, win or loser
See yourself! You are the steps you take
You and you and that's the only way
Shake - shake yourself! You're every move you make
So the story goes
Following the tepid reception of the Drama tour over the changed line-up, Yes had initially disbanded in 1981, with bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White and producer Trevor Horn (previously the lead vocalist on Drama) joining Trevor Rabin and the band's original keyboardist Tony Kaye to form the band Cinema, and went to work on a new album in a more radio-friendly direction. Jon Anderson eventually accepted the invitation to join Cinema as their lead vocal, and in time the band was renamed as the new lineup of Yes.
When the album was released, it was Yes' most commercially successful album, reaching #5 on the US Billboard 200 and being certified triple-platinum by the RIAA. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" also remained the band's only US #1 single to date, reaching #8 overall in the year-end charts.
The album would also have an unexpected effect on the production team behind it. During the album's making, Horn and his sound team started futzing around with a scrapped drum part that Alan White recorded, leading to the "Red & Blue" mix of "Owner of a Lonely Heart". Horn and company enjoyed the experiment so much that they decided to make further tracks based on its template and the samples that they'd gathered together for 90125. Bringing in business partner Paul Morley, the team would dub themselves Art of Noise, which would become a pivotal act in the development of sampling as a musical tool.
- "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (4:27)
- "Hold On" (5:18)
- "It Can Happen" (5:25)
- "Changes" (6:16)
- "Cinema" (2:07)
- "Leave It" (4:10)
- "Our Song" (4:13)
- "City of Love" (4:46)
- "Hearts" (7:36)
- Jon Anderson vocals
- Tony Kaye keyboards
- Trevor Rabin guitars, keyboards, vocals
- Chris Squire bass, guitars, backing vocals
- Alan White drums, percussion, sampling
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... trope it:
- A Cappella: The a cappella version of "Leave It" originally appeared as the B-Side of the track's single.
- The Bus Came Back: Original keyboardist Tony Kaye returned to the band for this album, though most of the keyboard work was played by Trevor Rabin. It was also produced by Trevor Horn, himself also a former member of Yes.
- Cheap Heat: "Our Song" mentions Toledo, Ohio prominently. It got so much airplay there that it made the Billboard charts, despite never being released as a single.
- Dolled-Up Installment: The name 'Cinema' didn't come due to lawsuit threats by similarly named bands, and the label convincing them that just bringing the Yes name back would be enough given that the group had featured everyone but Trevor Rabin - who was annoyed that he inadvertedly joined a reunion.
- Epic Rocking: "Changes" tops six minutes, and "Hearts" runs for seven and a half. Otherwise the song lengths are generally much shorter than their earlier progressive rock material.
- Instrumental: "Cinema".
- Lyrical Cold Open: The non-acapella version of "Leave It" begins in this manner
- Minimalistic Cover Art: The cover art as pictured here is simple compared to a lot of the others.
- New Sound Album: Given the album's start as a separate band, the album took a more pop rock direction, albeit still keeping enough of the old elements to garner acclaim.
- The Power of Rock: "Our Song".
- "Owner of a Lonely Heart" was one of the first rock songs to use this technique, courtesy of the then cutting-edge Fairlight CMI. In turn, its drum break has been a favourite sampling choice of hip-hop and dance artists ever since. "White Car" and "Tempus Fugit" from Drama were also composed with the CMI.
- "City of Love" samples Respighi's "Pines of Rome" in its opening.
- Shout-Out: "City of Love" references the Bob Marley song "No Woman, No Cry".
- Title by Number: The album name, which is actually its catalogue number in the label's records.
- Title-Only Chorus: "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (albeit with an occasional 'much better than an owner of a broken heart') and "Leave It" both have choruses that largely consist of the title.
- Uncommon Time: Go on, try counting out the time signature in the intro to "Changes".
- Vocal Tag Team: As befitting the Rabin era of Yes, Anderson and Rabin both assumed lead vocal roles in the album.