Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A long look at the creation of Yes's "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (and my new favorite song)

“Owner Of A Lonely Heart” wasn’t supposed to be a Yes song. The band that recorded the song wasn’t even supposed to be called Yes. Yes had broken up. They were finished. The members of the band wanted to move onto other things, and they only assented to calling themselves Yes because their label demanded it. The primary songwriter of “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” hadn’t ever been a member of Yes, and he was uncomfortable with the song coming out under that name


Trevor Rabin wrote the bulk of “Owner Of A Lonely Heart.” He shopped its demo around, and Clive Davis told him the song was too weird to be a hit in America.


Rabin’s demo version of “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” is mostly complete, with its big synth sounds and its central riff and its big fuck-off chorus. But it also has a bunch of clumsy parts that sound like halfassed REO Speedwagon, bits that were later deleted.

The post goes into much more music history, including the song Owner of a Lonely Heart samples, and the various hip-hop songs that sample Owner of a Lonely Heart. Like my new musical obsession: