“Those who have heard it suggest it may not be the lost classic its reputation implies”: Six songs that didn’t make Yes’ 90125 tracklist

The 90125 lineup of Yes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The short-lived Drama era in 1980 was almost the death of Yes. Yet three years later, the heroes of British progressive rock – temporarily operating as a band called Cinema – had been completely reinvented with massive worldwide success.

In 90125 they had their biggest-selling album and a worldwide hit single. On the way, while the line-up settled and resettled and musical intentions were refined, some songs that had been roughed out, written and rehearsed were dropped from the record.


This long track is one of the most famous ‘lost’ Yes pieces. Trevor Rabin explains: “It’s on a Revox somewhere; I think Alan White had it. Time was kind of successful, but we never put it on the album. It would have included Cinema.” Very few copies of the demo exist, although those who have heard it suggest that it may not be the lost classic its reputation implies.

Make It Easy

This is the best-known of the outtakes, as it first appeared on the Yesyears box set in 1991. An excellent Rabin song, very much in the style of his solo material, its intro is well known, having been played live many times by Rabin incarnations of the band as the opening to Owner Of A Lonely Heart. Despite many attempts to place the song, including as part of Time, it never found a resting place on 90125.

It’s Over

A Rabin song with a Zeppelin-esque riff and a neo-classical section that hints at prog without fully embracing it, this is another track in the mould of solo Rabin. It’s good, though doesn’t feel suitable for Jon Anderson’s voice, which might explain its exclusion from the finished album.

Red Light, Green Light

While the band were in Air Studios in London, this song was recorded but not considered good enough for the album. It did live on, however, as White’s drum part was looped by engineer Gary Langan for the hit Art Of Noise track Beatbox.

Carry On

An up-tempo Rabin-sung track that was rehearsed by Cinema. It was one of the three songs played to Yes fans and record executives in 1982 when they came down to see the band play at John Henrys rehearsal studio in London.

Open Your Doors

Whereas much of what didn’t make the final cut originally came from Rabin, this unusual piece was sung by Chris Squire. It’s very much in the style of early 1980s pop, with electronic drums and an insistent, funky guitar line. It sounds nothing like Yes.

Stephen Lambe

Stephen Lambe is a publisher, author and festival promoter. A former chairman of The Classic Rock

Society, Stephen has written ten books, including five about music. These include the best-selling

Citizens Of Hope And Glory: The Story Of Progressive Rock and two books about Yes: Yes On

Track and Yes In The 1980s. After a lifelong career in publishing, he founded Sonicbond in

2018, which specialises in books about rock music. With Huw Lloyd-Jones, he runs the Summer’s End

and Winter’s End progressive rock festivals, and he also dabbles in band promotion and tour

management. He lives in Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire.