Owner Of A Lonely Heart – Yes

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………….on January 21st of 1984 Yes hits number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with their only Top Ten hit, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”. It reached #28 hit in the UK. This is the first single from 90125, and was the group’s one and only #1 charting hit. The album was a drastic departure from Yes’ progressive sound in the ’70s, containing distorted guitar and synthesizers that were popular at the time. With help from MTV, Yes suddenly found a new audience, who were sometimes shocked to learn that much of their back catalog consisted of complex pieces that would often run well over 10 minutes.This was written by Yes members Jon Anderson, Trevor Horn, Trevor Rabin and Chris Squire. It was sung by Anderson, who had just returned to the group since leaving in 1980. He told us about his role in writing it: “The song was already finished, but there were no verses. They had tried some verses and it really wasn’t working. They had the chorus, they had the arrangement. I came in and all the songs were virtually put together, but there was a lack of choruses here, verses there. I went in for three weeks with Trevor and sort of filled everything in. The driving force at Yes’ label, Atlantic Records, was Ahmet Ertegun, who insisted that this song be a hit. Ertegun held considerable sway, having guided the careers of Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, and many other major acts.This song is possibly the first rock hit to use a sample. The drum break at the beginning and the horn stab that shows up a few times in the song sound very similar to a short section of the 1971 song Kool Is Back by Funk, Inc. Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman formed their own group in 2010, which has performed as both ARW and Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” has always been a centerpiece of their performances, with Rabin and Wakeman (using a keytar) often venturing into the audience when they play it in extended form.