"Owner of a Lonely Heart" is a song by the progressive rock band Yes. It is the opening track of their 1983 album 90125. Written primarily by Trevor Rabin (who was new to the band at the time), the song reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 — to date Yes' biggest chart success by far, and also reached number one on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, a first for the band (they would go on to have two more number one hits on this chart). Since then, it has seen many releases; the original release had Our Song as the b-side, while others had various b-sides such as Leave It, Make It Easy, and remixes of this song.
Standout features of the song include the catchy, heavily distorted introductory guitar riff, which establishes a motif for the song; producer Trevor Horn's innovative use of jarring, heavily synchopated orchestra hits and other high-tech sound effects; Rabin's disorienting, schizophrenic guitar solo, which was played through an MXR Pitch Transposer, which mixed the original note with one a perfect fifth higher.
The song's falsetto titular refrain is actually sung by producer Trevor Horn as well as (lead singer) Jon Anderson. Rabin also ably performed this song during his 1989-90 solo tour, with a bit of difficulty on the higher vocal range. Invariably, the Rabin-era band performed this song, preceded by a truncated "Make it Easy" intro. Jon Anderson has also performed "Owner", even though Yes guitarist Steve Howe has repeatedly expressed dislike for the song.
At the time of recording, everyone was already ready to leave. As the song was being recorded, drummer Alan White's drums were being taken away, until he only had the bass drum and snare drum. He used these two for the first recording, then played each individual instrument (crash, hi-hats, toms) separately and dubbed them over the original track to make what is heard in the recording.
The music video follows an archetypal Everyman as he tries to make it through a day whilst being shocked by pseudo-psychotic flashes of being menaced by the various animals. He is brought to court by government-looking toughs, summarily thrown out of court and into a boiler room where he fights a bruiser, then runs onto the roof of the building. There, he is confronted by the various band members, shifting back and forth between human and animal guises, which drives him to leap from the building. The video then ends with the same man in the same crowd as at the beginning of the video, but instead he turns back, presumably to go home and avoid the day.