Why Did Yes Want Trevor Horn – As Producer – Part 2 – 563

Produced by Ken Fuller, Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

It’s time to enjoy listening to The Lexicon Of Love this week as we look for clues as to why Yes wanted Trevor Horn to return as producer for 90125. To be fair, that’s not an especially difficult task as his fingerprints are all over this brilliant, era-defining work of pop genius. It’s not prog but it’s glorious music.

  • What Trevor Horn influences can be heard on this album?
  • Is the production any good?
  • Is it obvious why Yes wanted Trevor back?

Also, it’s time to wish all listeners, Producers and Patrons all best wishes at this festive time of year. Whatever you celebrate in December or even if you don’t celebrate anything Mark and I hope you have a wonderful time as the year changes to 2023. Thank you for all your support and kindness in 2022!

Take a listen to the episode and then let us know what you think below!

Trevor Horn and his dog
Trevor Horn and his dog

Facebook has just changed how pages work which means that I’ve had to establish a new place for us to post and discuss Yes-related happenings. It’s a new group entitled, rather creatively, YMP Discussion Group. For the moment it’s open to anyone to join but I’ll be adding rules and joining requirements when I have time. One of the advantages of the new format is that all members of the group have the same ability to post content, so it’s a bit more egalitarian, or somesuch. Please do search for the group and join in.

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Not final artwork or title – just me messing about with one of Jeremy North’s photos

YMP Patrons:


  • Ken Fuller
  • Jeffrey Crecelius and
  • Wayne Hall


Aaron Steelman

Dave Owen

Mark James Lang
Paul Tomei
Joost Maglev

David Heyden

Paul Wilson
Martin Kjellberg
Bob Martilotta
Michael O’Connor
William Hayes
Brian Sullivan

David Pannell

Lobate Scarp
Miguel Falcão
Chris Bandini

David Watkinson

Neal Kaforey
Rachel Hadaway
Craig Estenes
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Paul Hailes
Doug Curran

Robert Nasir

Fergus Cubbage
Scott Colombo
Fred Barringer
Geoff Bailie
Simon Barrow
Geoffrey Mason

Stephen Lambe
Guy R DeRome
Steve Dill
Henrik Antonsson
Steve Perry

Hogne Bø Pettersen
Steve Rode
Declan Logue
Steve Scott
Todd Dudley
Jamie McQuinn

Steven Roehr

John Parry
Keith Hoisington
Alan Begg
Terence Sadler
John Holden
Barry Gorsky
Michael Handerhan
Tim Stannard

Joseph Cottrell
John Thomson
John Cowan
Tony Handley

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from:

9 replies on “Why Did Yes Want Trevor Horn – As Producer – Part 2 – 563”

Merry Christmas to everyone! Here’s to a better ’23.
First, it may not be prog, but “The Lexicon of Love” is a great album, thanks to Horn, his team & ABC. Trevor was truly the producer of the 80s & the 90s.
Second, if I could go back to a Yes event, it’s a very tough choice but I would choose Cream’s farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall (there were actually 2 of them) in ’68. Because I never saw the original Yes lineup, I love Cream, and I’ve never been to the RAH & would love to see a show there. Having said that I would kill to see a ’76 show again-the best visual shows I ever saw Yes do, and take my wife, who didn’t see Yes until ’00 when we married.

ABC – The Lexicon of Love: Maybe I’ll be the lone dissenter here. This is the type of 80s production that doesn’t age well. Back then this was normal (well done, in this case), but I would call it over-produced these days. Indeed, the “production” is the thing that jumps out at you from the first few minutes of the first few tracks. Tons of sweeping drums fills, horns, strings, synths, etc. Very radio-friendly back then, but annoying today. The production is what you hear most and it doesn’t really sound like a band playing music.

I know that we are all impressionable as teenagers; and I am no different. So, if you liked this back then or have fond memories of it, then you’ll probably like it now too.

Why did Yes pick TH for Cinema > 90125? As Mark said, I think it had more to do with their history and friendship with him. The fact that he had a large number of pop hits under his belt was a plus, too, because they were looking for a more up to date and accessible sound.

As I always say: to each their own and no judgment here. But that’s my opinion.

2 Pence
As for my pick for time travel. I would choose being a fly on the wall in the Topographic sessions. I would love to know how they went about writing, recording, and assembling this classic album. That would go for any of their albums, TFTO is one of my favorites.

Kevin’s and Mark’s picks are really good ones too. I did attend Yes concerts in 1974 and 1978 and they were magical.

Here’s an off-topic, rhetorical, similar question: If you could go back in time and talk to any one person who is not alive today, who would that be?

I would go back to Wembley for the 78 show for that show, sound and performance, that buzz and excitement. I would love to see the crab Nebular solo shows in the USA and the Topographic shows that include the pre show music. JFK, QPR, Cream shows, Rainbow Yessongs and 77 Awaken full intro and song. Probably a lot more but better stop now.

Two Pence:
I’d like to be a fly on the wall during the sessions that created Relayer.
Per Steve Howe, Relayer was probably Jon’s greatest success communicating his vision to the band and tirelessly leading them to that goal, shaping the music “out of thin air.” Among many other fascinating moments would be Patrick Moraz being blown away hearing “Sound Chaser” and then improvising the opening on demand.

I’ll echo Guy DeRome’s comments above about certain ’80s styles of production, but I’d have to be honest and add that since ABC really isn’t anywhere near my thing musically, I’m not too bothered by it.

As for going back in time with Yes, I think it would have to be the legendary QPR gig in 1975, which I turned down a ticket for at the time, ridiculously. (I’d give anything to have seen Miles Davis and Zappa live, too, but that’s another story… or, rather, two stories.)

Having just read Trevor Horn’s book it was timely to hear both Kevin and Mark’s comments about The Lexicon Of Love. I had no idea that ABC were known in Canada (they seem so British).
As for the two pence, which was a lovely fantasy question, that’s hard. One of those early London Marquee gigs as I never got to see that line up I can only imagine the energy omitting from the stage.
Just one final comment. My first Yes concert was indeed QPR in 1975. On the plus side, no phones, poor sound systems, no VIP area, no mosh pit. Yet it was just a grass filed (no boarding) no big screens and as for the effects Just the Roger Dean ‘crabs’’ which were great at the time but very Spinal Tap.

I think you two talked up ABC’s album a bit too much. That New Romantic thing was just a fad with average musicians being well produced. At the time I thought it was a bit crap and still do.
Regarding the Time Machine, I’d go back to the City Hall, Newcastle 1975 and relive the Relayer gig I attended, then ’77 to Wembley for the GFTO where I was in row 2 in front of Chris Squire.

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