The Yes song that spawned The Art of Noise


I never once made that connection. Also, I need that remix immediately.

Me neither until I happened to be reading the Art of Noise Wikipedia entry! What a trip.


I don’t think I’ve heard this song in 30 years. It was all over the radio and clubs back then.

I saw the connection as soon as I read the headline and thought about the song.

Pair the audio from that with this video (on full screen):


Trevor Horn tells of how the production of the original mix of this was less than harmonious - cf. in particular his description of “shooting the bird”.

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I remember the Red and Blue mix from back in the day. a cassette with two remixes on each side was the soundtrack of the summer we turned my friend’s Totyota pickup into a mini-truck. I wanna say that Leave It was one of the others, don’t remember the B-side. Anybody? Bueller?

Also, I have an a capella version of Leave It made from the original album vocal tracks. Sweet stuff!

After hearing that mix, @pesco 's point is totally clear. Back when the song was originally released there seemed to be 100 versions of it and all were equally bad, yet somehow I don’t recall ever hearing this one.

Later in the mid 80s I was fortunate enough to work at a recording studio that had a Fairlight and having worked with it a bit, I can only imagine the tortuous hours that went into creating this particular mix. They were monstrously huge and expensive beasts with an extraordinarily obscure interface, could only sample very short snippets and took forever to read/write from disk.

A few short years later thanks to Discover card’s policy of no credit checks at all, I was able to get an Akai X7000 sampler which also sucked in its own ways but left the Fairlight sobbing in the corner. Those were heady times for music technology!

Is AON’s “dum” vocal sample Chris Squire then? Their glorious drum sound was built from Alan White samples from these sessions.

This mix is interesting but a bit unsophisticated to my ears, same way the early recordings with turntable scratching now sound rather naive.

I do know the brass stabs & fills just before the guitar solo are from Malcom Maclaren’ sample library, recorded in NY hip hop clubs. In interview Alan White dismissively mades it sound like he whacked keys without much thought (the corny ascending stabs on the last bar’s end); understandable now as it seems it was a song no-one much cared for in the studio.

Let’s not forget the Yes dance.

I’ve been a fan of AON since 1989, never heard this remix. It’s a Wonderful Thing, thank you!

KiKi yesed to death twice?

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I don’t believe I’ve ever heard this remix.

I got the 90125 LP right around the millennium. I heard it again somewhere and was reminded that it had those ill hip hop horn stabs ( @youneedcoolin, it’s obvious they’re hip hop derived sounds, but can you point me at the source for the MacClaren connection?) Next time it popped up in a dollar bin, I copped. The unexpected part was “Leave It” worked well as an a cappella, and the chorus with all of them harmonizing could be transformed nicely. so I’d match the tempo of “Leave It” with the beat playing on the one just in my headphone, then switch it over to “Owner” and cut in the horn stabs for a bit, then mix in “Leave It” over the beat, kill the beat at the chorus, switch that record out to the next jam, transform the second bar of the chorus, kill it and drop the next beat. Two for one. Worked like a charm.

Years later, my friend Tranerek was going through my crates. He’s a bigger record head than anyone (and it takes one to know one.) He saw 90125 and remarked that it was Trevor Horn from AON on it, which was revelatory. I knew he would be the type to know about these things, but like everyone else ITT has remarked, once it’s said, the truth of it is obvious. I didn’t know that it was the whole AON and that it was their genesis; I thought it was the other way around, that Yes had recruited Horn away from AON.

Listen for the AoN influence…

Squire starts the thread around samples at 37minutes or so.

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Actually that was more light-hearted than I remembered it.

Ooh, another story I heard first in an industry mag, source: the design company. The band was originally to be called “Cinema” for this project, and the main graphic was a circle with three coloured (possibly RGB) segments. The call came through that the LP would be going out as Yes, so the logo was turned to make a ‘Y’ and recoloured.

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You remember correctly. It was two mixes of Leave It, two mixes of Owner of a Lonely Heart and the album versions of both. It was one of the first of my cassettes that I converted to mp3.

I really liked Yes, but their their original lineup just refused to write lyrics that made any sense and that made their music much more forgettable and lacking in emotional impact. One reviewer at the time said their lyrics were like bad junior high school poetry. Ouch.

Most song lyrics wouldn’t stand up to much scrutiny. I liked the new age silliness of 70s Yes, but by the 80s the Buggles collaboration looked like old dinosaurs desperately latching on to something new in a bid for relavance (I’d hit my late teens by then, and was a bit more cynical ).