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Jon & Vangelis - Private Collection CD (album) cover


Jon & Vangelis


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3.15 | 104 ratings

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4 stars Their third and best collaboration. I won't be the first to say that their previous work has led up to this. Gone are the disparate experimentations of Short Stories. Gone are the sentimentalities and far stretches of The Friends of Mr. Cairo. The pieces here represent a full integration of the styles of both Jon Anderson and Vangelis. It is still a mostly pop album, but the songs work very well (although the lines about a woman needing her sex are a bit odd ? to be fair, you must put them into the context of the song for them to make sense).

The album opens with a beautiful piece, Italian Song, where Jon Anderson's vocalizations front the atmospheric background by Vangelis. The song is both simple and lush at the same time ? quite a feat! and just simply beautiful in a manner reminiscent of Opera Sauvage. The next three are the more pop tunes. The next two are really the highlights of the whole recording. He is Sailing utilizes a synth beat common in many of the more pop songs by this duo, but here the mood is deeper. Jon Anderson's voice is strong without resorting to his high-pitched barking (although it's close at times). The song is one of redemption and Jon's spiritualism comes out at its best. Horizon is a 23-minute suite that starts off with a driving mid-tempo beat and syncopated drum line. The beginning is slow but it builds up to a grand climax where voice and orchestration work together in perfect harmony. After a crescendo of sorts, the song drifts down into a slow, lush, and sometimes highly dynamic section. This section is rather long and seems to be winding down at about 17 minutes. Yet there are five more to go. A bit drawn out, but still beautiful. Vangelis' compositional skills really come out here ? the piece is almost classical in its structure and scope, showing that Vangelis is far above most rockers in musical ability and sensibility. This piece, too, may be said to be about redemption, but the mysticism and symbolism is less overt (compare lyrics like King is sailing they say . . . All the souls he to touch (He is Sailing) to Peace will come/Come true Horizon/Reach for the starlight/Reach when it calls you/You, you are the reason/If you want/You are the answer in the end.) J. A. obscurism to be sure, yet compelling and intriguing, partially due to the magnificent music underlying these words.

This is the most essential of the Jon and Vangelis albums and should be found outside the collections of just the fans of either artist.

Progosopher | 4/5 |


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