Thursday Inspiration #180 Owner of a Lonely Heart

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word lonely, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’, or by going with another song by Yes, or anything else that you think fits.  ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ was released in 1983 on the eleventh studio album 90125 by the by the English progressive rock band Yes and it charted #28 in the UK, but went all the way to #1 in the US.  90125 sounds very cryptic, but it was Atco Records catalogue number for this record.  The main purpose that a record label issues a catalogue number is, so each release is given a short reference code to identify them rather than the company having to use the full title and artist name.  A record catalogue number often consists of the initials of the record label, the format and then sequential numbers and there are typically printed on the back of record sleeves, but sometimes you’ll find them in other places on the artwork.  90125 was the only Yes album to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ was the group’s only song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The group Yes began in 1968, when singer Jon Anderson met bassist Chris Squire and the band has undergone numerous personnel changes having twenty musicians that have been full-time members.  Prog rock pioneers and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees YES are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their 1972 iconic album, Close To The Edge with a U.S. tour that will wrap up on November 19, 2022.  It is a bit confusing as the band split in 2016 with Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman forming the group ARW and then after the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, they renamed themselves Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman giving the world two groups named Yes.  For a brief period, between January 1981 and the summer of 1983, Yes disbanded, and their members scattered to projects that included Asia and XYZ, but they came back when bassist Chris Squire and drummer Allen White connected with South African guitarist Trevor Rabin and Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye who played on their first three albums.  Alan White, Chris Squire and Trevor Rabin were playing together in a band called Cinema in 1982, but when Yes reformed, they attracted a whole new fan base and tis was helped by MTV.

The song ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ came from Rabin’s set of demos, although it is also credited to Jon Anderson, Trevor Horn and Chris Squire.  Its bass line and its hook were written while Trevor Rabin was in the bathroom.  Clive Davis the head of Arista rejected Rabin’s song, saying it was “too strange and wouldn’t be a hit”.  This song describes the paradox of loneliness, with the understanding that once you’ve been hurt, loneliness is better than a broken heart.  The video script/screenplay is an adaption of the Franz Kafka novel “The Trial”.  This starts with an ordinary guy who has an ordinary job leading an ordinary life being arrested.  He is told that he is on trial, and this guy goes with the flow and does not question the world around him.  The first couple of verses of this song urge this guy to make up his own mind about things and take control of his life, by thinking about his future.  He is asked to be himself and give his free will a chance if he wants to succeed.

There’s no real reason to be lonely
Be yourself
Give your free will a chance
You’ve got to want to succeed

10 thoughts on “Thursday Inspiration #180 Owner of a Lonely Heart

  1. I’ve always liked this song. It was so different from YES in the seventies. They almost sounded like a regular pop/rock band with this…sounded good though.

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