Happy Birthday Trevor Rabin!
In 1989, I had just taken over a rock station in Augusta, GA and got a call from Trevor to thank me for adding his solo record. This wasn't an interview or anything, he just called the office line out of the blue. (I know the label put him up to it but it was still very cool.) We had a great chat and I learned a lot about post 70's Yes and his possible new career in film scores. (He has since scored over three dozen!) A nice, humble yet incredibly talented guy whose deserves the success he's had. (-'] #rockfile #trevorrabin
Trevor Charles Rabin (born 13 January 1954) is a South African born musician, best known as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the British progressive rock band Yes 1982–1994, then as a film composer.
Rabin was born into a family of classical musicians in Johannesburg, South Africa, where his father Godfrey was lead violinist for the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra and also a lawyer. Educated at Parktown Boys' High School in Johannesburg, he took formal piano training before discovering the guitar at age 12.
Rabin's early influences included Arnold Schoenberg, Tchaikovsky, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. He also dabbled with progressive and heavy rock with his first band, The Conglomeration, as well as joining the prominent anti-apartheid rock band Freedom's Children for a year in 1972. During this same period, Rabin became a highly sought after session guitarist and bassist, playing with many jazz bands in South Africa. When Rabin fulfilled his obligation to the South African Army at age 19, he served with the entertainment division.
Along with a budding solo career, Rabin began working as a producer, having already began his career as a session player at age 16. With the growth of the Punk scene in the late '70s, power-pop and hard rock music had fallen out of fashion in England. Neither of Rabin's first two solo albums found any commercial success. He began looking for more fertile ground for what would be characterized in the U.S. as album-oriented rock (AOR).
In 1981, he released the album Wolf, co-produced with Ray Davies of The Kinks. Manfred Mann's Earth Band members Chris Thompson and Manfred Mann made vocal and musical contributions to the album. Wolf marks Rabin's first collaboration with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce and session drummer Simon Phillips. Following the release of the album, Rabin severed ties with Chrysalis Records as he felt they did little to promote the album.
In 1981, Rabin moved to Los Angeles and signed with Geffen Records. He briefly recorded new material with a rhythm section consisting of future Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali and bassist Mark Andes, who would later join Heart. Some of these demo recordings developed into the Yes songs "Hold On" and "Make It Easy".
Although Geffen Records dropped his contract in 1982, Trevor Rabin kept composing material for his projected fourth solo album in Los Angeles. As a keyboardist, he also considered touring as a session player for Foreigner. During this time, Rabin auditioned with the prog-rock supergroup Asia in the run-up to their first album. Prior to that, Rabin was to have been part of a proposed supergroup with future Asia members John Wetton and Carl Palmer and also ex-Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman.
While in London, he met bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White, longtime members of Yes, who had experienced their own difficulties following the apparent demise of the band in 1981. Liking each other's ideas, Rabin, Squire and White began collaborating under the name Cinema in early 1982. Later on they enlisted original Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye to complement their live performances.
Produced by yet another former Yes member, Trevor Horn, what was to become the 90125 album came together over eight months in 1982. During his time in Los Angeles, Rabin had written several songs that formed the project's nucleus. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" evolved into a riff-oriented song that Horn seized upon as a potential single.
The new Yes would meet with critical and commercial success, though not without some harsh criticism from fans of earlier incarnations of the band. Both "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and "Leave It" became major hits, with "Owner" being the band's only #1 single in most major markets including the US. Along with heavy airplay of several other tracks, this helped propel 90125 to six million sales between 1983 and 1985, making it the most commercially successful of all Yes albums. Yes also received a Grammy award in 1984 for the instrumental "Cinema". The band toured behind the album, in a series of well-received concerts across Europe and the Americas.
After the 1988 Big Generator tour, Anderson left Yes for the second time, though his departure would prove short-lived. Trevor Rabin expressed a guarded neutrality over the split between Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, who briefly led rival groups consisting of Yes members. Squire held the Yes name, which now encompassed himself, Rabin, White and Kaye; Anderson formed Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe – a line-up he felt better represented Yes. A lawsuit between Arista and Atlantic Records ensued.
While this legal wrangling was in progress, Rabin completed his fourth solo album (which was to be his last for over 20 years), Can't Look Away, released in 1989. The album's lead single, "Something to Hold On To", earned a Grammy nomination for Best Short Form Music Video and topped the AOR charts for two weeks.
Following the 1994 tour, Trevor Rabin resigned from Yes to become a soundtrack composer. Rabin has scored over three dozen films which include: Bad Company, Con Air, Homegrown, Armageddon, Jack Frost (in which Rabin appeared onscreen in two scenes), Deep Blue Sea, Gone in 60 Seconds, Remember the Titans, The 6th Day, The Banger Sisters, Kangaroo Jack, Bad Boys II, The Great Raid, Exorcist: The Beginning, National Treasure, Coach Carter, Glory Road, Snakes on a Plane, The Glimmer Man, Flyboys, Gridiron Gang, Hot Rod, The Guardian, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Get Smart, Race to Witch Mountain, 12 Rounds, G-Force, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Along with several Grammy nominations and one Grammy win, Trevor Rabin also has received eleven BMI film score awards, and has received a lifetime achievement award from the Temecula Film Festival.