Trevor Horn is one of the most successful and respected producers ever, and he has a long list of big credits to prove it like Yes, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Seal, and many more. That said, Horn rates “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” from Yes’s 1983 release 90215 as technically his best work.
In the following video he breaks down the tracks from the song, as well as shows a newer orchestral-flavored version that he’s working on.
There are a lot of things I really loved in the video of “Lonely Heart.” The simplicity and sound of the drums, the bass sound (which is much different than you think you hear in the final mix when it’s soloed), the long reverbs, the Synclavier and Fairlight parts (sometimes both together at the same time) that sound like guitars. Trevor also reveals that it’s the first time that Yes ever played to a click.
The things that they did production-wise back then were revolutionary and sometimes difficult to pull off, but today they’re commonplace and a snap in a DAW.
Check this out. It’s a real treat. He get’s into the track breakdown at 7:45.