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PAGE OF LIFE

Jon & Vangelis

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richardh
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Well this is the album where Jon and Vangelis became the Carpenters.Melodic but totally inofensive music with little that called be 'prog'.Its a very nice and totally boring as hell.Sorry but they really should not have bothered and you would be well advised to avoid this unless you want something to have a snooze to.

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Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#44740)
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The fourth and the last album by Jon and Vangelis "Page of life" is the most confusing one in term of release version. The first (I would say the original) version was released in 1991 and it contains 12 tracks, of which one "Wisdom Chain" is released as a single. The album seem didn't get much attention so in 1998, a second version of the same album was released in the USA with some differences in the set list as well as album cover even though the album title is the same. The one posted in this site is the second version (USA). The album that I have contains this set list: 1. Wisdom chain, 2. Page of life, 3. Money, 4. Jazzy box, 5, Garden of senses, 6. Is it love, 7. Anyone can light a candle, 8. Be a good friend of mine, 9. Shine for me, 10. Genevieve, 11. Journey to Ixtlan, 12. Little guitar. The cd-single that was released with the first edition is now highly sought after by both admirers of Jon Anderson as well as Vangelis because it contains the melancholic "Sing with your eyes" which can not be found anywhere else...

"Page of Life" took many years to complete as it seemed the two gentlemen had some initiatives, ideas and styles of their individual preferences and fine tuned them into a one cohesive album. Especially with Vangelis who might may have lost interest after initial sessions, changing studios plus record companies. So it took quite some time to get the on the market, plus having some session-musicians for additional percussion and Jon Anderson in charge for the beautiful 'Is It Love' - a track that some critics mentioned as an uncredited ABWH track. They left out material recorded long time ago in 1986, in which 'Sing With Your Eyes' appeared on the CD-single released with the album. Musically, the original album version that I have (the 1991 version) is a very interesting album and very enjoyable especially if you listen to it during night time like I did last night. Half of the album contains music that have been common with Jon and Vangelis album but the other half has some different styles with some influences of jazz music. I enjoy both the common ones and the new style with jazz influence.

It's a very good album and it's a must for Jon and Vangelis fans. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#44771)
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Very poor overall. It was almost like ..."should we revisit the successful formulae after all these years???".... I say this smacks of background music, has very little punch to it and may have been released purely for commercial reasons.' Change We Must' and ' Page Of Life' are OK but the closing ' Wisdom Chain' loses it's way and quite honestly this sums up this album.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#46161)
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Change (the tracks and their order) we must

Released in 1991, "Page of life" remains at time of writing the last collaboration between Jon Anderson and Vangelis. Right from the opening "Change we must", the album adopts a relaxed, almost ambient mood, with soft washes of sound and pleasing melodies. That opening track would later become the title of a solo album by Anderson, its title coming from a book called "Change we must" written by Hawaiian spiritual teacher Nana Veary. The version here uses repetitive themes in an Enya sort of way, the piece gradually building as it weaves it alluring themes. Surprisingly perhaps, the track features some fine guitar work by Jim Hahn (who appeared on Yes' "Union" album as Jim Haun).

Elsewhere, "Garden of senses" maintains the mood, but this time (uncredited) saxophone appears enhancing the melancholy mood. "Genevieve" lightens that mood again, but remains staunchly understated.

The final track, "Wisdom chain", is a 10+ minute epic which sets out as a Vangelis solo effort. The music sounds as if it has been lifted from one of his soundtrack albums, with sweeping synth orchestration and majestic themes. Anderson eventually makes his mark on the song, which becomes a repeating mantra.

"Money" seems to be a rather odd exception on the album, being a prosaic slice of unoriginal pop rock.

In all, a highly enjoyable final outing for Jon and Vangelis. This album has been rather lost from the vast discographies of the two protagonists, but those who found previous J&V efforts to their liking will be pleased with what they are presented with here.

Note this review is of the 1998 USA release. Vangelis apparently did not approve of this version, which sees some of the tracks being tinkered with by Anderson, and others omitted altogether.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#243327)
Posted Tuesday, October 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars This review refers to the 1998 edition. This is perhaps the most pleasant of their collaborations. The sound is deep and rich even without the typical Vangelis lushness. Jon is in good voice here and sings smoothly without getting sentimental. The album opens with Jon's anthemic Change We Must. The chords build swiftly yet gently until the sound fills the air. Many of the songs would fall into the Adult Contemporary category ?soft and catchy, but again, with full rich sound. Some of the highlights/standouts include Money, which almost rocks ? it certainly has plenty of oomph to it, Little Guitar, which is a short and sweet guitar piece (sampled?), and the epic Wisdom Chain, which features the only time Vangelis cuts loose on this disk. The piece is in two parts: A baroque Vangelis instrumental followed by an anthemic Jon kind of song. This piece runs 10 minutes. Page of Life has the best overall sound of any of their collaborations, probably due to advances in recording technology. Though highly enjoyable, it does not reach the heights of Private Collection. Many Vangelis fans might find it too Adult Contemporary in sound, but casual listeners would probably enjoy it, especially those who appreciate melody over displaying virtuosity. Most Jon & Vangelis fans would like it. This album follows well along with the light mood established by Oceanic.

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Send comments to Progosopher (BETA) | Report this review (#295801)
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I have listened to both versions of this album, and I prefer the sound mixing of the 1998 release, which apparently was the original mixing of this album that wasn“t liked by the record label (Arista) and / or Vangelis. I think that the mixing of the 1998 version is more clear and "atmospheric", but since both versions have a few differences in the songs which were included, I think that it is interesting to listen to both. In my opinion, the mixing released in 1991 (maybe only released in Europe) is less clear and more "dry". Anyway, the style of the music in this album is more closer to New Age than to Progressive Rock music, sometimes being very "romantic" and "Pop". But maybe this is my favourite album from them. There are also other changes in sound as Vangelis was using then more modern digital synthesisers and more programmed drum machines. Anderson worked very well in all the vocal arrangements. From the 1991 release I prefer the version of "Wisdom Chain", which in comparison to the version of the 1998 release is shorter and more "direct". The version from the 1998 release includes a long instrumental introductory part by Vangelis which at least for me doesn“t have very much in common with the other parts of the song, and sounds a bit "forced". From the 1998 release, "Change We Must" is an excellent song (with uncredited vocals by Mary Hopkin). In conclusion: I prefer the mixing of the 1998 release, but as a whole both albums are very enjoyable. Apparently, the 1998 version which was released in the U.S. , unauthorized by Vangelis but released with the authorization of Anderson, was the reason they stopped working together.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#874837)
Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have the original 1991 version of this album which starts with "Wisdom Chain". A decent starting song. Jon is in good voice with his high vocals. The usual interesting keyboard arrangements by the great Vangelis are there. There is something more uplifting about this, the duo's last studio album. The title piece is the second track and one of the more memorable examples. "Money" is a nice take on the music industry I think, though is one part of the album that sounds quite dated. However, from the lovely "Garden of Senses" it becomes really perfect for winding down, the moods become more romantic and ambient. The second half pretty much keeps to spacey, sometimes ethereal, relaxing sounds. "Is It Love", "Anyone Can Light a Candle", "Shine For Me" and "Geneviere" are all splendid pieces. I believe the CD I have is a re-release because it has "Change We Must" as a bonus track, also a very nice song and quite a fine closer. I have been listening to this album a lot recenty as well as Jon & Vangelis' first two releases, this in particular is a rather pleasant and elegant piece of work. As I said, there are a number of songs that reveal their strengths and magic more from towards the second half, so in all "Page of Life" gets three and a half stars.

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Send comments to Frankie Flowers (BETA) | Report this review (#881827)
Posted Tuesday, December 25, 2012 | Review Permalink

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