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Jon Anderson

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Jon Anderson - Olias Of Sunhillow [Atlantic SD 18180] (1976)

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ITEM# SR-ATSD18180
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Artist:

Jon Anderson

Title:

Olias Of Sunhillow

Released: 1976
Label: Atlantic
Catalog: SD 18180
Genre: Progressive Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Ocean Song
02 Meeting (Garden Of Geda) / Sound Out The Galleon
03 Dance Of Ranyart / Olias (To Build The Moorglade)
04 Qoquaq n Transic / Naon / Transic T
05 Flight Of The Moorglade
06 Solid Space
07 Moon Ra / Chords / Song Of Search
08 To The Runner
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Album Review

Dave Connolly [allmusic.com]

Inspired by the artwork of Roger Dean and the writings of Ver Stanley Alder, Jon Anderson developed an entire story around the idea of an interstellar exodus from Sunhillow, writing this album around the narrative (named for the spaceship's architect, Olias). The idea may seem overly ambitious, but Anderson fills the record with enough magical moments to delight fans of Yes' mystic side. The music is written and performed almost entirely by Anderson, who dubs vocals, plays guitar and harp, and adds percussion and the occasional synthesizer to flesh out his ideas so that at no point does the music lose its spellbinding effect for lack of sonic detail. Olias of Sunhillow is faithful to the spirit of Yes, though decidedly more airy than that band's visceral style -- its closest comparison would be Fragile's "We Have Heaven" or Going for the One's "Wonderous Stories" (which was clearly influenced by this record) on the vocal tracks, and Greek progressive electronic composer (and future Anderson collaborator) Vangelis on the instrumental tracks. Although the album is effective in its entirety, "Sound Out the Galleon," "Olias (To Build the Moorglade)," and "Solid Space" are some of the more memorable excerpts. The arrangements incorporate elements of the four tribes of Sunhillow, the most noticeable being Oriental elements that prefigure Vangelis' own China (especially on the opening "Ocean Song"). While there are several songs that could have easily fit in Yes' own catalog, and the lyrics continue to mine the mystical musings that Yes fans had come to enjoy, Olias of Sunhillow is not the missing Yes album some might hope it to be, though it does prefigure the later Jon & Vangelis collaborations of the '80s. If possible, pick up the LP version of this release, since the packaging is stunning and features terrific artwork by Dave Roe.


Jon Anderson - Animation [Atlantic SD 19355] (June 1982)

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Artist:

Jon Anderson

Title:

Animation

Released: June 1982
Label: Atlantic
Catalog: SD 19355
Genre: Progressive Rock


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Olympia
02 Animation
03 Surrender
04 All In A Matter Of Time
05 Unlearning (The Dividing Line)
06 Boundaries
07 Pressure Point
08 Much Better Reason
09 All Gods Children
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Album Review

Gary Hill [allmusic.com]

Animation is the third solo album by Jon Anderson, and it shows both hearkenings to the other two and a new energy and direction. When he recorded the first album, Olias of Sunhillow, he was a member of Yes. That album has a strong progressive rock texture, being composed of longer pieces that all weave into one conceptual piece. It is also important to note that that release is a true ''solo'' work, Anderson performing virtually every sound on the record. By the time he released Song of Seven, both his professional status (he was no longer a member of Yes) and musical theory seemed to have changed. The album was for more pop-oriented, although a few points (the title track, most notably) still contained strong progressive rock tendencies. It also differed from its predecessor in that Anderson recruited fellow musicians to accompany him. All of this brings us through the evolution process responsible for Animation. At the time he did this album, he was still not a member of Yes. In fact, by this point in time, the group did not even exist. Animation continued in the poppier, shorter song format of Song of Seven. He again enlisted the aid of other musicians, most notably Simon Phillips, David Sancious, and Jack Bruce. One thing that sets this album apart from Song of Seven, though, is that while that album seemed to carry on the rather ''organic'' textures of Olias of Sunhillow, this release focuses on the electronic sound more heavily. Certainly it will not be mistaken as an album by Kraftwerk or the like, but it does have a more synthetic feel to it. Anderson even commented in interviews that he was trying to create a sound that embraced the new electronic age. All that said, this album is quite an intriguing one. Much of the material is quite catchy, while still retaining Anderson's cosmic ideals and some progressive rock leanings. In fact, in some ways, this one comes across a bit less pop-oriented than some of the material from the previous release. Like its predecessor, it contains one epic piece, the nine-plus minute title track. The album is a definite favorite among Anderson's fans, although it was critically not so universally accepted.


Jon Anderson - 3 Ships [Elektra 9 60469-1] (1985)

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Artist:

Jon Anderson

Title:

3 Ships

Released: 1985
Label: Elektra
Catalog: 9 60469-1
Genre: Symphonic Rock
Note: LP was sealed. Seal broken to make this transfer.


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Save All Your Love
02 Easier Said Than Done
03 Three Ships
04 Forest Of Fire
05 Ding Dong Merrily On High
06 Save All Your Love (Reprise)
07 The Holly And The Ivy
08 Day Of Days
09 2000 Years
10 Where Were You?
11 O Holy Night
12 How It Hits You
13 Jingle Bells
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Album Review

3 Ships is the fourth solo album by Yes lead singer Jon Anderson, released on Elektra Records in 1985. It includes versions of traditional Christmas carols as well as original material by Anderson. The album title references the song ''I Saw Three Ships,'' which states, ''I saw three ships come sailing in, on Christmas day in the morning''. It was dedicated to the organisation Beyond War. Trevor Rabin plays guitar on the album. The 'Holiday Card Pack, Jon Anderson Special Edition' came with a personal autograph from Jon, as well as a set of five Christmas cards. Each card displayed an image of an Anderson watercolour painting. 3 Ships was reissued on Compact Disc in 2007. This remastered '22nd Anniversary Edition' contains all of the album's original songs, plus five bonus tracks, two of which were previously unreleased. [wikipedia.org]


Jon Anderson - In The City Of Angels [Columbia BFC 40910] (1988)

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Artist:

Jon Anderson

Title:

In The City Of Angels

Released: 1988
Label: Columbia
Catalog: BFC 40910
Genre: Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Hold on to Love
02 If It Wasn't for Love (Oneness Family)
03 Sundancing (For the Hopi/Navajo Energy)
04 Is It Me?
05 In a Lifetime
06 For You
07 New Civilization
08 It's on Fire
09 Betcha
10 Top of the World (The Glass Bead Game)
11 Hurry Home (Song from the Pleiades)
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Jon Anderson's Biography

Gary Hill [allmusic.com]

Born as John Roy Anderson on October 25, 1944, in Lancashire, England, Jon Anderson would grow up to become one of the most recognizable voices in progressive rock. He began his musical career by joining his brother Tony's group the Warriors. Eventually, that band relocated from England to Germany, however Tony had left the group by then. So, the only Anderson still in the band by 1965 when they cut their first single was Jon (technically still John at that time). The single received a less than enthusiastic welcome and Anderson left the group in 1967, having put in five years with them. His next move was to the group the Party, but that one was quite short-lived. By 1968, Anderson had returned to England and recorded two singles under the moniker Hans Christian Anderson. Those received responses similar to what the Warriors' single had. Anderson found his way into the group Gun, but only stayed there for a couple of months.

The year was 1968 and musical history was about to be made with an introduction in a London club. Jon Anderson was introduced to Chris Squire and finding a kindred spirit in music, he began showing up at gigs of Squire's band Mabel Greer's Toy Shop, whose guitarist at the time was Peter Banks. Anderson started getting up and singing with the group from time to time, eventually becoming their vocalist. However, Banks had left by the time Anderson was inducted. More pieces gradually began to fall into the mix as various musicians were brought into the Toy Shop fold. First Bill Bruford, then Tony Kaye. By the time Peter Banks returned, the band had decided to change their name to Yes. They released their first two albums in 1969 and 1970 and they received good critical response, but not a large commercial or radio presence. By the time that they recorded 1970's The Yes Album, the band had replaced Peter Banks with Steve Howe and the combination, along with a stroke of luck at a U.S. radio station, proved the charm to begin their commercial career. Interestingly, Anderson found the time for side projects even amidst recording and touring with Yes. In fact, he would show up on two albums in the first two years of the decade. The first was King Crimson's Lizard and the other was Johnny Harris' All to Bring You Morning. The next Yes album, 1972's Fragile, would feature both the debut of new keyboardist Rick Wakeman and the single "Roundabout." The combination propelled the group and Anderson well into the spotlight. For the next couple of years, Yes occupied the majority of Anderson's time. With the recording of three more studio albums before 1974 and steady touring, he would have little time for much else. However, after the tour for Relayer, things began to settle down a bit. Anderson managed to work with Vangelis Papathanassiou, who had been Yes' first choice for Rick Wakeman's replacement. Although immigration issues forced the band to go with Patrick Moraz instead, Anderson added vocals to the keyboardist's Heaven and Hell album released in 1975. It would definitely not be the last time they would work together.

1976 saw the entire band taking time to record solo albums. Anderson's outing, Olias of Sunhillow, was an ambitious creation. It was an album-long concept piece with nearly all the writing and performances being undertaken by the singer himself. He also added vocals to Yes drummer Alan White's Ramshackled album. The break seemed to revitalize the band and their next release, Going for the One, featuring the return of Rick Wakeman, was a very strong album and ushered the band into 1977 with style. Anderson's role in the group was close to coming to an end for a time, though. He stuck with them through the next album and couple of tours, but when they began recording for the follow up to Tormato, the dreaded "musical differences" cropped up and Anderson left. He definitely did not become idle, though. Indeed, the next couple of years proved very fertile for him. He released his second solo album, Song of Seven, in 1980. That same year, he collaborated again with Papathanassiou. This time they recorded an entire album together and released it under the moniker Jon & Vangelis. The album was called Short Stories, and they enjoyed that work so much that before the end of 1981, they released two more albums together. 1981 also saw Anderson alan_parsonsearing on Rick Wakeman's 1984 album. His next solo release was 1982's Animation, a show he took on the road.

1983 would be another turning point for Anderson. He worked on Mike Oldfield's Crises album, but that would not be the decisive factor in his career. By that time, Yes had been broken up for almost three years. Chris Squire and Alan White were working with a young guitarist named Trevor Rabin on a project called Cinema. Tony Kaye had also been enlisted for the project. Producer and one-time Anderson Yes replacement Trevor Horn suggested that Anderson should add some vocals to the project. Upon agreeing. Anderson remarked that with his voice on the songs it would be Yes. The group agreed and the name Cinema was dropped in favor of Yes. The resulting album, 90125, propelled by the hit single "Owner of a Lonely Heart," saw the band receive more success than they had ever previously attained. A tour ensued, but then the band had some quiet time. Anderson took the opportunity to record another solo album, this time a collection of holiday songs, entitled Three Ships. He also managed to work on a few other projects including movie soundtracks with John Paul Jones and Tangerine Dream. The next Yes album and tour in 1987 saw those musical differences once again alan_parsonsearing and Anderson again left Yes.

In the time following his second departure from the group, he released another solo album, this one a rather poppy collection entitled In the City of Angels. He also guested on Toto's release The Seventh One. By that time, he had begun talking with several Yes alumni about working together again. The group of them, Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, and Bill Bruford were joined by Tony Levin and completed an album. The only problem was deciding what to call the group. They had wanted to name it Yes, but Chris Squire proved ownership of that name and was not going to let them use it. So, they chose to forego cleverness and work with their last names. Thus their album was a self-titled one called Anderson- Bruford-Wakeman-Howe. The group toured fairly extensively for the release, but Anderson still wound up finding the time to contribute vocals to Jonathan Elias' Requiem for the Americas album. Another odd turn of events was looming on the horizon, though. As Anderson-Bruford-Wakeman-Howe were working on their second release, Yes was in the process of recording their next album. Lines of communication were once again opened and both projects were combined into one Yes album, dubbed Union. The group toured for the album to both filled stadiums and rave reviews. Anderson still found time to get together with Papathanassiou again and release the next Jon & Vangelis album, Page of Life, in 1991. The following year, he worked on Kitaro's album Dream. Among other projects, Anderson would do another album with Papathanassiou (Chronicles) and two solo albums (Deseo and Change We Must) before the 1994 release of the next Yes album, Talk. The lineup on that disc was back to a five-piece, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, and Bill Bruford having gone their separate ways.

The next couple of years were quiet ones for Yes, but not for Anderson. He made guest alan_parsonsearances on a few projects and released two new solo albums. And big things were once again on the horizon for Yes. It was announced in late 1995 that Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye were no longer part of the group. They were replaced by alums Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. A classic Yes lineup and incredible fan enthusiasm surrounded both the band and Anderson. The group did three shows in San Luis Obispo in March of 1996. The shows were recorded and released along with new studio material as the two Keys to Ascension albums. 1997 saw quite a bit more activity from Anderson. He released two solo albums, the Celtic The Promise Ring and EarthMotherEarth. Yes also released an album featuring his vocals. The disc was called Open Your Eyes and in true Yes tradition of revolving door membership, it did not feature Rick Wakeman, who had already left. Anderson went along with the group on a tour of small intimate theaters that fall. In 1998, he released his next solo album, The More You Know. That same year saw several releases featuring his vocal talents. Among them was 4Him's album Streams, Yes' The Ladder, and Steve Howe's Portraits of Bob Dylan. Touring and working on the Yes album Magnification have kept Anderson pretty busy, but he found time to alan_parsonsear on Bla Fleck & the Flecktones' 2000 release Outbound.
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