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Jade Warrior

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Jade Warrior Way Of The Sun album cover
3.68 | 95 ratings | 9 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sun Ra (3:31)
2. Sun Child (2:44)
3. Moontears (4:04)
4. Heaven Stone (5:27)
5. Way Of The Sun (6:02)
6. River Song (5:03)
7. Carnival (2:17)
8. Dance Of The Sun (4:55)
9. Death Of Ra (7:21)

Total time 41:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony Duhig / composer, performer & producer
- Jon Field / composer, performer & producer

- Dick Cuthell / flugelhorn (1)
- Gowan Turnbull / sax (7)
- Skalia Kanga / harp (2)
- Kuma Harada / bass (5)
- Bill Smith / bass (7)
- John Dentith / drums (1,7)
- Allan Price / congas (5)
- Godfrey McLean / drums (5)
- Graham Morgan / drums (8)

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: Eckford / Stimpson

LP Island Records ‎- ILPS 9552 (1978, UK)

CD Island Masters ‎- IMCD 100 (1990, UK)
CD Eclectic Discs ‎- ECLCD1044 (2006, UK) 24-bit remaster by Paschal Byrne
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC2198 (2010, UK) Reissue, as above

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JADE WARRIOR Way Of The Sun ratings distribution

(95 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JADE WARRIOR Way Of The Sun reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars When I was in high school I remember being buying a copy of JADE WARRIOR's "Kites" which I always loved and found very eclectic and unusual. Years later I discovered their other work which although is somewhat similar in format is also quite amazing instrumental stuff. JADE WARRIOR never deviated too far from the serene combo of Tony Duhig on guitars and percussion with Jon Field on percussion and flutes. "Way of the Sun" is a more upbeat sound than of their previous 3 releases mixing East-Asian with soft fusion and progressive genres. The foundation of their genius rests in the soft flute passages mixed with acoustic guitars and lush percussive waves. At times one can draw allusions to the music of DEUTER, GANDALF and even Mike OLDFIELD. A great album for those Sunday mornings.
Review by hdfisch
4 stars This album had been the last one by JW on the Island label and their last release in the 70's and as well their last great work. JW's music always has been hard to be categorized and this fact might be one of the reasons why this exceptional band has been usually ignored by Prog fans (admittedly including the writer of this review here). WOTS actually has been the album which opened my ears and mind for the rest of their Island catalogue of which "Floating World" was for a long time the only one I knew. Meanwhile I just love all four of them although I've to say that the music on here is quite different from the one on its three predecessors. Unlike there tunes aren't developing here slowly out of silence but starting with "Sun Ra" immediately in a rather energetic manner. Instead of sharply contrasted soundscapes with strong Far Eastern influences we hear rather upbeat and highly melodic Latin-American and African inspired music. This album is clearly the easiest listen from their Island discography but nonetheless far from being shallow "easy listening" new age music. The music floats very nicely almost seamlessly from track to track and offers as well their probably most orchestral sound accomplished by several overdubs. It's also their most cinematographic work and if you close your eyes during listening you can imagine colourful pictures of rising sun and floating rivers as an example. Due to the Latin rhythms they used Santana might come to one's mind at some moments but as well some of Oldfield's works at others though comparisons are very hard to draw since their sound has been quite unique. The concept is based on a mixture of Egyptian and Aztec mythology around the god of sun (Ra) and the music describes in some way a day in his life but on the other hand as well the life of native people in Latin-America during the era of conquest by the Spaniards. In both of the original vinyl edition and the Eclectic CD-reissue from 2006 (which I own) we can read an interview with the band members explaining the meaning of each individual track in detail. For a rough overview I'll just give the sub-titles for each one in the following:

"Sun Ra" - The great face of the sun climbs up to take the sky. Majestically the sun god Ra rides his chariot, banishing night, calling the land of life.

"Sun Child" - As the land accustoms itself to the new brilliance life warms. Ra smiles at a dancing child.

"Moontears" - In the heart of the jungle the indians search for silver, to them the tears of the moon. Then come the Spaniards who might themselves be the pale gods from the east.

"Heaven Stone" - In the distance is seen the great pyramid of the temple of the sun.

"Way Of The Sun" - An extravagant procession to the temple. The sun flashes off the priest's gold.

"River Song" - The River, too, is a good carrying life across the land.

"Carnival" - With the sun now at its peak, the celebrations begin.

"Dance of the sun" - The sun revels in its strength. Boasts of its force and dominance.

"Death of Ra" - Coldly darkness drifts over the land. The waning sun recalls the glory. The dancers become ghosts. But the sun never really dies. The arrival of our darkness is the beginning of someone else's dawn.

As a conclusion I can just highly recommend this album to anyone looking for some easily approachable Prog which nonetheless sounds quite unique and outstanding. This one stands for some timeless great music which is well suited for many repeated spins. Though it might be not considered an essential one in Prog in a general sense I'd still like to rate it with 4 stars! Of course if you can manage to find a copy of their Elements-compilation combining all their four Island records I'd prefer that one instead!

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Last of the Virgin album quartet, maybe most orchestral-sounding of them all. Again a gong opens up the album, but this time we don't just have to wait the musical elements to rise up slowly from the void. Still, it's surprising and little dull how similar all of these four albums sound. Especially as I'm not totally blown out by them personally. Well, the "Ra" theme glows gloriously over the flickering sea of sounds, and there's some jazzy exploration of the theme in the end with a powerful drum section. "Sun Child" has a playful flute theme over orchestral background, the sound is dominated by a more forceful sound in the end with some brass arrangements. "Moontears" includes webs weaved by the guitars, and these are neat, then having some orchestral sounds with a flute playing over it. Later the characteristic electric guitar solo emerges, and the end has some acoustic runs on the theme of "Heaven Stone", which has strong layers of chimes morphing to jazzy acoustic clam grooving with a flute. "Way of The Sun" has stronger rhythm section with bass and lots of drums driving the groove deeper and being quite good. "River Song" is a calm acoustic guitar / flute lullaby appearing after short oriental fanfare. Later there's some jazzy playful fooling around, preceding the "Carnival", which is a quite basic boogie rock with some nice twists in the rhythm and Santana-resembling sounds crystallizing in the electric guitar solo. "Dance of The Sun" has lots of loud themes over a dense drumming, quite nastily thing to listen in my honest opinion. "Death of Ra" is melancholic and beautiful ending number with acoustic chords and electric guitar solo, and there's a dramatic hollowness in the sound at the end, giving great conclusion to the finale. Well, it's a nice record, quite coherent stuff, sounding little like movie soundtrack. Not bad but not very inspiring either. If you like other of the Virgin Jade Warrior albums, give it a try.
Review by fuxi
3 stars With WAY OF THE SUN, Jade Warrior completed their fascinating mid-1970s quartet of non-bombastic, non- sentimental prog-without-vocals (give or take a few excited shouts, and some wordless choirs here and there). Way of the Sun is, perhaps, somewhat less remarkable than its immediate predecessor, Kites, but it is still amazing to hear what majestic effects the band was able to achieve with relatively meagre forces. On the first four tracks, Jon Field's gentle flute is the dominant instrument, but next, on the title track, Tony Duhig lets rip, in a wonderful solo on distorted electric guitar. Side two is dominated by a Latin American "fiesta" atmosphere, until the whole carnival collapses to the sound of the lethargic double-tracked guitars of "Death of Ra". A better way to wind up ELEMENTS, the two-disc Jade Warrior anthology (on which WAY OF THE SUN is included in its entirety) could hardly be imagined.
Review by kenethlevine
4 stars For their swan song on Island records, JADE WARRIOR traveled to Latin America, and this relatively accessible disk is replete with the vibrant rhythms and melodies of that region. For long time fans this still sounded like a JADE WARRIOR album, but the material sidled up to the mainstream, especially on tunes like "Sun Child". It was a calculated risk no doubt informed by these late 70s mores, but the sales results were again modest to say the least.

This is indeed the sunniest of the Island records, with caressing flute by Jon Field being one of the dominant features, often played off by Tony Duhig's signature acoustic and electric guitar runs. "Heaven Stone" and the title cut exemplify these traits, with the latter also being swept up by an engaged rhythm section. But it's on "Dance of the Sun" that the duo and supporters deliver their ultimate statement for 1978, a precursor to everything from new age of the 80s to jangly college rock of the 90s, infused with a longing spirit. "Death of Ra" helps bring us back down a little from that tearjerking high, and concludes a remarkable run of creativity with the siren's wail of otherworldly lead guitars.

It would be 6 years before JADE WARRIOR would return, albeit never to recapture even the underground status it gained in the 70s. Apart from the mundane reality of having been dropped from their label, one can't help wonder if the group had laid it all out there on "Way of the Sun" and knew that its time to shine was over.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Way out west

After having conquered Asia (or at least attempted to do so) on previous releases, Jade Warrior took on South America with their fourth and final album for Island Records (their seventh release overall). This turned out to be a successful move and the result is a fitting finale of the group's Island years. The previous two albums had been weaker and showed clear signs of the group's inspiration running dry. Way Of The Sun once again finds Jade Warrior sounding fresh and interesting. The symphonic elements that dominated the previous Kites album are here effectively combined with the jazzy elements of Waves as well as the rockier aspects of Floating World and the early albums. The ever present World Music influences that are part of the group's trademark are still here of course, but there naturally is a shift from Asian sounds and melodies toward Latin American ones.

Like the previous three albums, Way Of The Sun is wholly instrumental. Many different instruments are utilized and the instrumental attack is far removed from the traditional one in Rock music. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, it is hard to categorize the music of Jade Warrior - they certainly have a musical identity all of their own. One noteworthy thing about the present album is the sound of the bass guitar which occasionally reminds me of that of Chris Squire.

While I don't consider Jade Warrior to be an essential band, a few of their albums are worth listening to. Way Of The Sun is one of these albums together with Floating World and Last Autumn's Dream.

Latest members reviews

5 stars First, the Esoteric label should be lauded for their terrific remastering and liner notes - a good reason to buy cds over downloading - - Got that labels! This is the most accessible and not boring instrumental pop music by the so-called "Fathers of New Wave" Definately terrific instrument ... (read more)

Report this review (#1282811) | Posted by SMSM | Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Way of the Sun is by far the most accessible of all the Island recordings while still remaining all instrumental. The closest comparison I can think for it is not actually any of Jade Warrior's previous albums, but perhaps some of the more Jazz-Rock Fusion styles of Santana. The duo of Jon Field a ... (read more)

Report this review (#843249) | Posted by Progosopher | Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the final Jade Warrior work in the Island Records tetralogy recorded between 1974-8, and newly remastered by Esoteric. As usual the packaging is beautiful and helps emphasise the very visual aspect of the music within, as well as the beautiful continuity of the four albums. It is perha ... (read more)

Report this review (#291315) | Posted by beebfader | Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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