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SURVIVAL AND OTHER STORIES

Jon Anderson

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Jon Anderson Survival And Other Stories album cover
3.65 | 54 ratings | 4 reviews | 19% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. New New World (04:14)
2. Understanding Truth (02:24)
3. Unbroken Spirit (03:57)
4. Love of the Live (02:49)
5. Big Buddha Song (05:31)
6. Incoming (07:56)
7. Effortlessly (03:11)
8. Love and Understanding (04:13)
9. Just One Man (04:30)
10. Sharpening the Sword (03:40)
11. Cloudz (06:06)

Duration: 48:31

Lyrics

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Line-up / Musicians





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Olias of SunhillowOlias of Sunhillow
Hybrid SACD - DSD · Limited Edition · Remastered
Audio Fidelity 2014
Audio CD$20.67
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The Living TreeThe Living Tree
Import
Gonzo Multimedia 2011
Audio CD$12.31
$8.00 (used)
Change We MustChange We Must
Remastered · Import
Esoteric 2013
Audio CD$11.39
$16.51 (used)
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JON ANDERSON Survival And Other Stories ratings distribution


3.65
(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (32%)
32%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

JON ANDERSON Survival And Other Stories reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well what can I say regarding such a remarkable step of Jon Anderson brilliant career?!!..As in the recent times his illness brought about a certain strength in his composition, thanks to his strong reaction to his unlucky fate (also in his recent 2011 American Tour, where his performance on stage has been improving all his successful concerts in America and Mexico for a few months), now I like to point out that He's been able to put a great quality into the present new composition, by considering this "Survival..." in its essence.

As a matter of fact, in spite of all the problems with his health, that anyway charged him with a lot of motivations before the same Tour, I think We often have missed his full talented music, especially during his absence: so such Jon's artistic "calibre" in the world of the New-Age and Prog Related music, which has always characterized his career (despite a few occasional uneven arrangements in his last albums), is still growing nowadays, after all, and for me that's enough to regard this new music project as a clever work to be checked out at least!!

This time Jon as a soloist has got a convincing spiritual mood in his album, creating one of his best products ever...it's enriched by means of an intelligent variety of tunes, from the most religious ones, to those more symphonic compositions -la "Jon and Vangelis", accompanied by some clever musicians, which makes this "Survival..." almost a must- have!!

Here you won't find any programmed drums or "midi-files", cause the talented musicians who play with him are able to emphasize his darkless lyrics- as you instead don't expect here- without pushing towards the high notes in his vocalism; even though He's always able to maintain a kind of "religiousness" in his songs and that's surprising, along with his optimism!!

The piano accompaniment, the orchestrations inside and the music variety in general, are brilliant features here for Jon, being not in a spot into this "mystic" context, regardless all the electronic backdrops: in fact, thanks to his collaboration with unknown musicians from all over the world (even some delicate finger-picking guitar parts by a sensible guitarist, enriching the composition...), Jon has been able to create an organic work !!

Think of "Understanding Truth" for example, with its variety, or "Unbroken Spirit", with its clever arrangement, witouth forgetting a completely different and "religious song" entitled " Big Buddha Song "...well at the end make your personal choice, but for me it's all quite interesting after all!!

Actually the true score is "three stars and an half", as the present album probably is not essential inside a typical symphonic prog collection, but into the world of the New Age Music almost it is...

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#469919) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I thought that the Anderson & Wakeman collaboration last year, The Living Tree, was a good album, but not anything particularly memorable, and part of the problem was that I felt that Anderson, a singer who has always had the capacity to move me very deeply vocally, had not really fully recovered from the illness which almost took his life and also signified his ejection, under not particularly pleasant circumstances, from the band with which he will be forever associated.

So, I eagerly awaited this latest solo release, the first of three promised new albums in the next year. In particular, I asked, had the great man's voice fully recovered?

The answer to that question is an unequivocal yes. This album finds Jon back in soaring and full blooded voice again, and, in this reviewer's eyes, the world is a far happier place for it.

As one could probably guess from the title, the album, lyrically, is intrinsically bound up in the illness and his subsequent recovery, aided in a fabulous fashion by his wife Jane and friends such as Wakeman. Probably the feature of the lyrics that most stands out is the absolute directness of the words Anderson puts across. Whereas, in the past, he has tended to use words as sounds more than messages, sometimes extremely obliquely, on this work, his faith, gratitude, and love of life and the planet shout out loud and clear in lyrics which could never be mistaken other than for what they are.

There are some beautiful moments on this release. The opener, New New World, is a strong track which fairly races along. Unbroken Spirit, a paeon to his own inner strength and faith, is simply superb, with Anderson's voice absolutely scaling the heights of yore and with a musical backing very close to that of later Yes albums. The longest track, The Incoming, clocking in at just under eight minutes, features some wonderful piano and acoustic guitar work, backing a rather lovely reflective vocal, and as the track develops, it moves into another gear and what I can only describe as a symphonic masterpiece very close to some of the marvellous tracks recorded for Change We Must. The "Same Love" passage is amongst the finest I have ever heard from this legend.

Love And Understanding reminds me strongly of the Anderson led material Yes produced on The Ladder, full of joy and relentlessly upbeat thumping rhythms. The album closes with Cloudz, a wonderful track which is perhaps as close in spirit to the best of the work Anderson did with Vangelis, certainly in the sound of the main keyboard backing. If you didn't like this, then you won't particularly enjoy this track. I did, so I do, simple as that really.

My favourite track, though, is Just One Man, a very overtly religious song, sung with such passion and heights, it near moves you to planes that you barely imagined existed. Musically extremely simple, with a mellow piano and soft orchestration backing, the real instrument is Anderson's voice, and it is here that you realise that he is back to using it at its most effective. Quite simply beautiful, and a reaffirmation of all that I enjoy about this man's music.

The remainder are not bad, by any measure of quality. They are, though, not as good and Effortlessly, especially, has the mark of filler written all over it. The one track that many will find difficult to even halfway appreciate is Big Buddha Song. The title is a little misleading, because in this, Anderson actually sings the praises of one Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna, and the mystical Earth Mother with whom he has long been associated. It's all very cheerful, but perhaps too direct to appeal to many. It is funny, however, when he moves a massive nod to his erstwhile band colleagues with a rendition of We Have Heaven. It's almost like being back in 1972!

Anderson, by the way, assembled his backing musicians by advertising for contributions on the internet worldwide, and the result is perhaps surprisingly excellent. I cannot put names to all the contributions, but the music is uniformly of a very high standard, and perhaps this is a decent model on which artists can create in the future. It wouldn't be the first time Anderson had led the way musically, by any means.

This album is not a masterpiece. That would be an exaggeration. It is, however, simply wonderful, a hugely enjoyable musical, spiritual, and vocal journey with one of rock's most important contributors, and it is simply fantastic to see and hear him back in such form.

Do not buy this expecting to hear a Yes album. Although Anderson describes himself as the guardian of "Yes Music", this is an album which is far closer to his solo work and collaborations with Vangelis and Wakeman than a full blooded Yes album, although I for one think that had Yes been a bit more patient, this material could well have formed the backbone of a far stronger effort than Fly From Here. Perhaps I'm biased, I don't know, but this is an album to treasure.

Not a masterpiece in the fashion of Olias, but certainly very much up there as the best of an (admittedly) mixed solo career, this fully deserves a four star rating and comes highly recommended.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#490272) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 25, 2011

Latest members reviews

2 stars I should start by saying that I hold JA in the highest regard, and I understand that he has every right to sing about whatever he wants, especially bearing in mind the problematic recent period that he has had. However, as I never seem to listen to the words in music, this will be lost on me. ... (read more)

Report this review (#498211) | Posted by sussexbowler | Saturday, August 06, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Survival & other stories" is a unique collaboration of Jon Anderson with musicians that responded to his website request "Musicians wanted?send me your music?" posted four years ago. Ever the spirited innovator and adopter of new technology, Jon pushes the boundaries of music making in the 21 ... (read more)

Report this review (#475603) | Posted by Detlef Albrecht | Monday, July 04, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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