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Jon Anderson - Olias of Sunhillow CD (album) cover

OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW

Jon Anderson

 

Prog Related

3.94 | 269 ratings

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OGTL
5 stars Fans of epic Yes, look no further!

A beautiful and captivating album, Jon Anderson's Olias of Sunhillow sets such a an atmosphere that I have never experienced musically since, (only Hergest Ridgeby Mike Oldfield comes close) it's very hard to explain it.. It's so deeply magical, etheral and mystical.. Very profound, when listened to in the right set of circumstances it changes your state.

Jon plays all of the instruments on this album and writes all the material. The first time developed John had a chance to run free in a studio of his own (His garage, actually) without any barriers. His creativity was peaking, previously releasing Yes' best two albums, Tales and Relayer. The lyrical magnificence of this album and his previous three with Yes were astounding.

The story behind the album centers around our good friend Olias, who, with the help of his friends Quoqaq and Ranyart, are on a quest to build a giant masted spaceship, the Moorglade Mover to travel away from their home planet and the plains of Tallowcross. The lyrics and the atmosphere of the sound is just so incredible it's like nothing I've ever heard. I never once thought "Pretentious".. "Overdone".. or anything of the sort. It works wonderfully.

The sound can be described as spacey, considerable World influences, (lots of exotic percussion) soaring, beautiful angelic vocals, without ever being boring for a second. Compositional quality at it's highest level. It flows from climax to melody, from tension to joy.. Not much electric guitar or bass, more rythmic acoustic and melodic keyboards (VERY melodic) The keyboard playing never reaches any kind of virtuso level, but the arrangements and execution here are such quality I prefer it to all of Rick Wakeman's solo career combined.

The album is one large epic track divided into seperate sections, and all are essential. Production quality is quite good considering circumstances. The LP came with a beautiful gatefold with epic artwork, a photo of Jon's family, and the tale of Olias transcribed inside. Sadly the CD re-issue doesn't do it justice. A nice remastered Digipack from Rhino would be welcomed.

An absolute masterpeice of progressive music, essential for all fans of "epic" Yes.

OGTL | 5/5 |

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