A series of essays wherein I explore the numerous musical identities of my favorite musician: from child prodigy to teen idol to guitar hero to singer/songwriter to award-winning in-demand film composer.
Featuring news/updates and commentary/analysis of Trevor's career and associated projects.
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Friday, February 23, 2024

update: stringing for Joe

Announced today is the release date for Joe Bonamassa's new Live at the Hollywood Bowl, presenting the show from 2023 which featured orchestral arrangements from Trevor as well as David Campbell and Jeff Bova.

The release will encompass the following formats: CD/DVD, CD/BR, 2 LP Vinyl (180-gram), and digital streaming/purchase and is on sale May 17th.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Media Watch: Rock Classics: 90125

(With thanks to highfell on Yesfans.)

A new entry in the Rock Classics book series - examining albums in the Classic Rock canon - is an examination of 90125 by Stephen Lambe, author of Yes: Every Album, Every Song and co-author of Classics: Yes in the 1980s. The book will be published in July of this year.

Against the odds, the astonishing 90125 (1983), became Yes’ best-selling album. Featuring new interviews with several of the main protagonists, including Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin, this book traces the complicated story of the album from its 1981 demos to the conclusion of Yes’ massive world tour in 1985.

90125 was never intended to be a recording by one of the 1970s leading rock bands, but a combination of commercial expediency and luck saw a release by Cinema - featuring Yes stalwarts Chris Squire, Alan White and Tony Kaye alongside Trevor Rabin - become Yes following the last-minute recruitment of Jon Anderson. A US number one hit single "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" led to a triple platinum record and a massive world tour, giving this band a new lease of life in the 1980s.

90125 is reviewed in full, and the book also includes a detailed look at the somewhat complex and contrived process that created it, followed by an examination of the album’s legacy and remarkable afterlife.

As is noted in his bio: His piece about the album for PROG magazine was the inspiration for this book., then I imagine we can expect that the book will contain interview excerpts not previously published in last year's PROG cover story.

You can preorder it from Burning Shed via this link:


Thursday, February 8, 2024

A pleasant surprise!

Yesterday, Trevor announced that he would be releasing the demo version of "Fragile" - previously only available as a bonus track on the deluxe Rio release - to streaming services.

As stated in the social media post:

I’m particularly pleased with the space, in terms of production, and happy with the simplicity of the lyric. Life is harsh, fickle and Fragile. My intention regarding the guitar solo was for it to drip onto the “page” so to speak.

Given that he wrote this song to spec for Agent X's showrunner, I'm assuming that the lyrics at least somewhat reflect the narrative concerns of the series as a whole (or perhaps only the last episode).

Monday, January 29, 2024

Media Watch: (not) making the cut

Published today is a listicle-of-sorts regarding some of the songs recorded in '82-83, I assume this originally appeared as a sidebar in the full issue of PROG featuring the 90125 cover story.


Of the six songs listed here, I have already provided some commentary in my entry about 90124 from the Changes review series (that particular entry was posted in August of 2020) but I'll comment here too.


In fandom circles this is considered the true lost track, and Trevor notes that it would have included "Cinema" in its' complete version, but I have a theory that the original instrumental version of "Make It Easy" which is in fandom circulation may actually include "Time" as well.  I think the reason why it generates so much conversation/speculation is the belief that "Time" represents a sort of lost prog potential for YesWest which, as with many popular myths, doesn't necessarily hold up.

"Make It Easy"

...and the author noted that detail too (re: the relationship between "Time" and this song).  "Make It Easy" is a definite part of Yesstory given the use of the intro in live performances of "Owner" as well as its' archival release on the remastered/expanded version of 90125, and so I feel like it doesn't necessarily always need to be included in the discussion of "lost" tracks.

"It's Over"

What is truly interesting to me about this song is that - beyond its' inclusion on the reissue of 90125 - there isn't some other version of it floating around in fandom circulation.  It's credited solely to Trevor but it really feels like it was something which became fully-realized when subjected to the Cinema process.

"Red Light, Green Light"

My esteemed fandom colleague Henry Potts refers to this song as "mysterious" as regards its provenance in Yesstory.  Trevor Horn made mention of it in an NME interview from 2021, noting that the drumloop on the Art of Noise track "Beat Box" originally came from the recording of this track (which, according to this article, took place at Air Studios).  And Alan's playing is right on the money, as always!  So one thing we could speculate about "Red Light, Green Light" (as it languishes in relative obscurity) is that it was probably at least somewhat funky.  Now this is the song Trevor should be asked about, rather than the 1001th inquiry regarding "Time."

"Carry On"

AKA: "You Know Something I Don't Know," and as I've noted previously, this song was resurrected briefly as an instrumental performed on Trevor's solo tour in 1989.  Its' inclusion in the Cinema rehearsal recording which is in circulation means that this song is usually cited in these kinds of discussions.

"Open Your Doors"

For years I saw this song referred to as "Open The Door" but when you listen to the recording, it really does sound like open your doors.  This is a definite outlier in the Cinema oeuvre (with a really bad-quality version in circulation).  The article states that it sounds "nothing like Yes" which is true but they weren't trying to sound like Yes at that time.  So it represents just as valid a direction as any other in my estimation.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Media Watch: the (storied) history of "Owner"

Published almost on the anniversary of OoaLH charting at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 is this article from Guitar Player regarding the creation of said hit single.  I'm assuming it was originally a part of the main interview published last month.


And...it's a story long-time fans know very well.  Or at least one of many stories.  Just for perspective's sake I found this article which is from 2021 featuring Jon's point of view.


And then another article from 2021 also featuring other perspectives...


Given the 40th anniversary of 90125 a few months back there's been a lot of coverage about the album and the song published of late (as example, one posted on the BraveWords website last month).  But one thing which stuck out for me in this latest one was this bit:

He learned it had reached number one while vacationing in Miami. As he celebrated with a glass of champagne by the hotel pool, a woman whisking down a water slide slammed into him and ruptured his spleen. 

Trevor told the story of the accident (and Shelley's heroic effort to pull him out of the pool all on her own) during his Guitar Center in-store appearance in 2012.  He stated it happened on his birthday, January 13th.  The day "Owner" hit number one was January 21st (which is one helluva belated bday present).  But it certainly makes for a dramatic scene, right?  Trevor's greatest career triumph followed by a life-threatening accident, how fortunes can change from one minute to the next.  Heck, even just a freak accident happening on your birthday is enough drama for anyone.

All that to say...I think this is an interesting example of how - when a cultural artifact is so revered, so famous - there are always going to be differing perspectives regarding how and why it is special, how it was created, and the truth likely lies somewhere in between.

Monday, January 15, 2024

The Secret Discography: uncovering a classic

Long-time readers of the blog are aware I first posted about the album The Bull and The Lion back in 2018, and this week an article regarding the album and its' place in South African music history was published on The Arts Desk website.

It provides well-researched historical context as well as an insightful review, and it's great to see this kind of coverage for a lost fusion classic.  As the album is now available across most if not all streaming platforms, I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Jacaranda and curious regarding Trevor's forays into jazz during the ZA years.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

prized as platinum

A very happy birthday to Trevor, one of our national treasures, and we're grateful to continue to be the recipients of his creativity and artistic vision.  All good things to you on this day, Maestro!

Some pictures from the past for our collective viewing pleasure, which I imagine more than a few long-time fans have already seen/collected, but these are some of my favorites.

1978, this was from the same photo session which other publicity photos were used to promote Trevor Rabin.

This jacket dates way back, I think, so this might be either 70s or 80s era.

A very interesting piece of endorsement merchandising, from 1987.  Jon and Tony also had Korg phone cards.