Fine, you guys didn’t care for my prog rock masterpiece yesterday, so let’s move forward to 1983. The band Yes has a long and convoluted history of personnel changes. Things were bad after 1978′s poorly received Tormato and vocalist Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakemen left the band. After another shitty album with their replacements the band was pretty much over. Bassist Chris Squire (the only guy that has played on every Yes album… weird) and drummer Alan White were working on some non Yes material and enlisted pre-Wakemen keyboardist Tony Kaye who hadn’t played with them for over a decade. Jon Anderson liked what he heard and jumped back on board. Confused yet?
Yeah, so these aging prog hipies turned it into an official Yes project and put out an album of 80s pop. Sounds like the ultimate recipe for disaster. Yet it ended up being their biggest selling album ever, thanks to the brilliant FM classic Owner of a Lonely Heart. Plenty of people watching the video on Mtv didn’t even realize these guys had been writing 30 min psychedelic odysseys a few years prior. A number of other singles did well at the time, and while none of them reach the pure pop perfection of Lonely Heart, the song Leave It comes close. A hint of cringe at the beginning, but when those vocal harmonies come in at 1 min I’m sold.