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Trevor Rabin - 90124 CD (album) cover


Trevor Rabin


Crossover Prog

1.63 | 13 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Trevor Rabin's 90124 is a Voiceprint CD which gathers some of his home and studio demos from 1981 to 1991. Apparently, all eleven songs were at some point considered for one of the Yes albums on which Rabin appeared: 90125 (1983), Big Generator (1987), Union (1991), and Talk (1994). All but two will at least be familiar to fans of the band.

Rabin must have selected some of the tracks as a way of communicating how little they changed once they entered the Yes creative process. The 1991 demo of "Where Will You Be," is essentially an instrumental version of the song that would appear on Talk. "Walls," which would precede "Where Will You Be" on that same album, has the same music, lyrics, and arrangement as the canonical version, but here Roger Hodgson, not Jon Anderson, sings the harmonies. Anderson's cool vocal addition to the coda of the Talk version ("oh, this indecision?") is of course missing, but little else is. Similarly, the "Love Will Find a Way" demo is very close to the version that was finally released on Big Generator. And while "Miracle of Life" is explicitly identified as a "demo" on the CD tray liner, it sounds more like an early rough mix (sans Anderson's vocals and a few of the lyrics) of the track which would eventually appear on Union. By the time this mix was made, the sound effects, backing-vocal samples, and even the mandolin section were already in place.

But most of the songs which were demoed for Yes's 90125 are a different story. For example, the track labeled "Cinema" is entirely distinct from the same-titled song on 90125. This "Cinema" would later be remade by Rabin, Chris Squire, Tony Kaye, and Alan White as "Take it Easy," which itself would be rejected for inclusion on 90125. Confused yet? The liner notes state that Rabin wished this album to illustrate the creative process, and thus two recordings, the first with just voice and acoustic guitar, are spliced to create the "Owner of a Lonely Heart" demo here. In some ways, it makes sense that the unnecessarily-hair-rock pre-chorus in this version was removed for 90125, but it kind of has a fun, Loverboy or early Bon Jovi vibe. The opening track, "Hold On," is spliced together the same way. But what's interesting is that only half of what would become the "Hold On" of 90125 is in the demo here. Most of the rest of the final song is taken from the macho-rock "Moving In." Wisely, they excised the lyrics (e.g., "I'm moving' my love into you?"). And then there's "Would You Feel My Love," which they wisely excised in its entirety.

90124 also contains a demo of "Changes," to which White and Anderson would later make significant contributions. But unlike "Hold On," "Changes still retains its AOR feel in the final version. Finally, there's the song "Promenade," short but enjoyable Rabin arrangement of a Mussorgsky excerpt.

Except to hard-core Yes or Rabin fans, this compilation is completely non-essential. And yet it's fun to put on once in a while, for the very purpose Rabin intended: it's an enjoyable window into his creative process.

patrickq | 2/5 |


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