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Jon & Vangelis

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Jon & Vangelis Private Collection album cover
3.16 | 110 ratings | 15 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Italian Song (2:54)
2. And When the Night Comes (4:37)
3. Deborah (4:56)
4. Polonaise (5:26)
5. He Is Sailing (6:49)
6. Horizon (22:53)

Total Time 47:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals, lyrics
- Vangelis (Evangelos Papathanassiou) / composer, performer, arranger & producer

- Dick Morrissey / saxophone (2)

Releases information

Artwork: Alwyn Clayden and Green Ink

LP Polydor ‎- POLH 4 (1983, UK)

CD Polydor ‎- 813174-2 (1983, Germany)
CD UMC ‎- 478 941-1 (2017, Europe) Remastered by Vangelis; New cover art

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JON & VANGELIS Private Collection ratings distribution

(110 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

JON & VANGELIS Private Collection reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When you get this CD, please skip your CD player five times until you reach track 6 "Horizon"! The track title sounds familiar to you hah? I guess so, if you are familiar with seventies prog. Nope, it won't continue with "Supper's Ready" as this is neither Genesis nor an exploration of Steve Hackett's acoustic guitar work that precedes Supper's Ready in Genesis "Foxtrot" album. Yes, it's totally different game even though the title is the same. And after you got number 6 displayed at your player's LCD please turns off all lights in your room, take a deep breathe, sit back and relax . enjoy everything comes out from your speaker system, have an open mind ... what do you get? Yeah man! It's a stream of powerful music that might have taken you to a journey to the other world, the world of paradise and peacefulness .

In amongst the rings of confusion Silencing the thought powers one by one It seems all so incredible Our own ability to confuse - to sacrifice To enlighten like a Shakespearian play We foolish and happily hold on to sanity While all around the pushing And prodding of our feelings The twisting and turning of our hearts Displaying an almost indefinable strength Of purpose - a reason a reason a reason Where no reasons seems to exist

Oh .. what a powerful combination of lyrics and music that is so relaxing . And I like when the lyrical verse continued with Jon's unique voice: Yet, as in a vision, a voice transcending All our imagination, jewel of life Guiding light heralding a joyous new dawn. Clear and gifted time ... The music flows beautifully with synthesizer sounds in relatively slow tempo style. Peace will Come Peace will Come Peace will Come Will Come .

Even though Horizon itself is worth your money to own this album, other tracks are also excellent, like radio hit "Deborah" (it's suitable for those who are falling in love . "I read your letter .." cihuy ..!!!). All tracks featured here are nice songs including "He Is Sailing", "And When The Night Comes", "Italian Song" and "Polonaise". The music is SO RELAXING, SO REWARDING, SO PEACEFUL .what else???? You name it. It has everything BUT guitar riffs.....(this is time to take break from prog met man!)

What can I say? It's a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED album. Don't expect something complex, it's a peaceful music that no one should tolerate himself / herself for missing this album. Get out and buy the CD! Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace will come! - GW

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Jon & Vangelis together form a perfect accessible pop New Age with progressive elements. The keyboards here sound a bit more modern, echoed, crystal clear and flamboyant than on the "Friends of Mr. Cairo" and "Short Stories" albums. Jon Anderson has an excellent & extremely echoed voice. There is Vangelis' usual & omnipresent electric sounding piano. The epic track "Horizons" is very floating, symphonic & celestial, actually reminding me very much the "Chariots of fire" track, if we exclude the Anderson's vocals.

The other side contains 5 short tracks, still featuring Jon Anderson on lead vocals: "Italian Song" is absolutely majestic with a perfect combination of Anderson's magical voice and ethereal & floating keyboards. "And when the night comes down" is very accessible & cute, saying: "A woman needs her sex to feel alive". "Deborah" and "Polonaise" are ABSOLUTELY intense, catchy and beautiful! Those 4 tracks are quite romantic. The more repetitive final track "He is sailing" sounds like the ones on the "Short stories" album, and I would say it gives the pace for the sound & style of the Vangelis' "Direct" album! TONS of sentimental women should like at least this memorable side made of shorter tracks!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by richardh
3 stars This comes very much in 2 parts.The first part is a collection of melodic songs with nice textures.Very pleasant and inofensive in a Carpenters sort of way.The best track is Horizon and the main reason for picking up this album.Its a beautifully crafted peice that develops nicely.That said its not earth shattering.Jon and Vangelis can only really be considered to be on the outer reaches of the genre.3 stars.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is definitely an improvement on The Friends Of Mr. Cairo but still not as good as Short Stories. The production is indeed excellent and the sound quality superb. Vangelis certainly would be pleased with the prodiction. Just like a previous reviewer GW, ' Horizons' alone warrants anyone owning this album.Overall a very well balanced album with easy listening songs like ' Polonaise', ' He Is Sailing' supported by Vangelis keyboards at their finest makes for a very worthwhile album.
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is better than "Short Stories", but still it is not my cup of "prog" tea. Ambitious "new age" ambient music which is pleasant to listen while doing something else... If you try to focus on the music, it fails to captivate... Still, ok for an average fan of the genre.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Undemanding

The third collaboration by Jon and Vangelis was released in 1983, some two years after "The friends of Mr. Cairo". While the first side of the LP might be described as largely predictable, the 23 minute piece on side two is something of a surprise.

The atmosphere is mainly relaxed through the five tracks on side one, "Italian song" and "And when the night comes" being reflective Anderson focused songs. The latter features Dick Morresey's sole contribution to this album (he was used much more on "Mr Cairo") in the form of some atmospheric sax. The line up description of his contribution as "wind" on this site seems a trifle unfortunate though!

Vangelis continues to play the role of orchestrator on "Deborah", a rather slushy open letter by Anderson to his eldest daughter (who would have been about 13 at the time). "Polonaise" has a hymnal quality, the song building in anthemic fashion, while always seeming rather restrained. "He is sailing", which closes the first side, is the only track with any real life. Anderson's multi- tracked chanted vocals are reminiscent of his "Olias" album, while Vangelis finally contributes a little more than mere atmospheres.

"Horizon", which occupies side two, is the opposite of the songs on side one in that here we have Vangelis supported by Jon Anderson. Jon still manages a significant vocal contribution, once more in the vein of his "Olias.." album, but Vangelis takes a much greater performing role here. The piece is pleasantly relaxed, something to sit back and enjoy rather than to get excited by. Indeed, I have to say that each time I listen to this side, and the album as a whole, I find my attention wandering!

In all, this is a well performed but ultimately undemanding album, which offers a good listen but fails to leave any lasting impression.

Review by Prog Leviathan
2 stars Long, airy, forgettable, and so '80's new-age as to sound painfully dated, this one is absolutely for fans of either of these musicians only, who will proabbly find a lot to like in the slow delicate, textures of Vangelis' keyboard and Anderson's (sadly) unremarkable and sombre vocals.
Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Long. Airy. Forgettable.

Jon Anderson and Vangelis are each a couple of very respected musicians. One a talented composer and player of the keys, the other a talented writer and voice of one of the highest regarded progressive bands since the genre's creation. What could possibly go wrong when they decide to get together? Especially when there's a 20+ minute long track on the listing.

Well, something, apperently.

Private Collection is something that should have stayed just that - Private. Hidden away. Throughout the entire album (especially the first side) the songs just go on and on without any apparent motivation or desire to pick up. Yes, that is the point. Light airy music was the point of this album, but it really just feels like the artists decided to sit down and record a bunch of themselves doing... not much.

Opening with Italian Song Jon starts to muse away while Vangelis starts to fill the background with some... sounds. As the opening song suggests there's not going to be any flashy solos here, nor will there be any soaring vocal parts. Really, the music just starts to sound the same after a while and it becomes a real chore to just keep listening. 80s new wave synths and Jon's lackluster voice start to make 90125 seem like a magnificent output. When The Night Comes has some cheesy, almost laughable lyrics which have the excellent ability to state the obvious. The rest of side one doesn't have much else to comment on.

Moving onto side two the album seems like it should have some promise being that it's filled by the side long Horizon. Unfortunately this song seems like it's just a copy of the first side - Vangelis's airy synths fill the gaps which Anderson's voice don't help to make the thing better at all. There's a few good parts, mostly where the song's mood, tone and pace actually *gasp* pick up for a rare moment!

If you're looking for just this kind of music (airy, zoned out New Age music that demands nothing from the listener) then you're in good hands, because what performances are there are done well. Unfortunately for most of us prog fans (especially those who like Yes a lot for their music and not just vocals) this is one to avoid. Not even a side long track can really do much to save this one. Mostly a chore to listen to when there's so much more engaging music to be found. 1 star.

Review by lazland
4 stars This is a fantastic LP, and by far the best of the collaborations between these two.

Italian Song features Jon at his ethereal and emotional best, whilst the tribute to his daughter Deborah is simply stunning and beautiful, a masterwork of a man with such a creative voice and love of life. It's a love song that never fails to move me when I listen to it.

And When The Night Comes is again a very pleasant song. The reason why this LP only gets 4 stars are Polonaise and He is Sailing - both pleasant enough but not essential before you get to the prog masterpiece that is Horizons. Swirling heavy keyboards mix with Jon's plea for peace to finally come to our troubled planet. It has to be heard to be believed, and I think this is the track which Yes would have recorded had Vangelis joined them instead of Patrick Moraz - i.e. that line ups very own Close to the Edge.

This is not an LP which will challenge you intellectually or musically like most of the Yes output, but if, as I do, you believe that Jon Anderson and his vision of life and the world were essential to that band's output, then you will not fail to enjoy this celebration of a great voice and love songs.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars The friends of Mr. Anderson

Because of its title, Private Collection, I did for a long time think that the present album was a compilation rather than an original studio album. But I was wrong, of course, this is the third original album by the unholy alliance of Jon Anderson and Vangelis.

The music of Jon & Vangelis is really not my cup of tea, and I rated both of their previous two albums with one little star. I was hardly impressed by Private Collection either, but it is an improvement over Short Stories and The Friends Of Mr. Cairo to my ears. This one is less Synth Pop and more New-Age. While neither Synth Pop nor New-Age belong to my favourite musical styles (quite the opposite actually!), I do prefer the latter over the former style.

The Prog fan's attention is bound to be directed at the 23 minute Horizons (no relation to the Steve Hackett piece of the same name). While any expectations along the lines of Yes' Close To The Edge or Gates Of Delirium would obviously be out of place, comparisons to Vangelis dramatic Heaven And Hell album (on which Jon also makes an appearance) seem natural. But even compared to that, Horizons fall very flat. It is a pleasant listen for sure, but it never moves beyond mere pleasantness. Almost needless to say, this piece is soothing and very relaxed. On a positive note, this music is based on piano and floating keyboards rather than Vangelis usual electronic tinkering and programmed drum patterns.

The other songs are a bit more conventional Jon & Vangelis fare, but even these are more soothing and relaxed than what we are used to from the other albums. For better or for worse, none of the songs here have the "hit potential" of some earlier songs (some of which actually became hits). But some songs are just a bit dull! But dull is better than cringe-worthy! Still, this is very minimalist music, and it tends to becomes tedious rather quickly.

The vocals are, as always with Jon, very good. But a great voice must have something good to sing to make good music! The lyrics are probably best left without comment, but when Jon tells us what "a woman needs" you wish that this was an instrumental affair like so many others by Vangelis!

Like I said in previous reviews, if you want to discover Jon's work outside Yes, his collaborations with Vangelis is the very last place to look. And Vangelis too has done far better music elsewhere.

Private Collection is better than the previous Jon & Vangelis albums, but it is still one that I don't think I will listen to again.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars A strange album: half is quite poor, half is about to be a masterpiece. The A side contains five mellow and somewhat trivial songs with few or no interesting parts.

Let's skip "Italian Song", first of all. Just another failed attempt to follow-up to So Long Ago So Clear.

"And When The Night Comes" is an electronic melodic song deeply stuck in the 80s. Quite good even if nothing special.

"Deborah" is another track to skip quickly before your CD reader is covered by honey and sugar.

"Polonaise" is not much better. As usual I don't take much care of Jon's lyrics. They were the years of Solidarnosc, but apart of the first sentence about "sense of freedom" I don't know what is it about. From a musical point of view is another trivial melodic.

Things go a little better with "He Is Sailing". A song more in line with Short Stories, with a bit of rhythm and some effort put in the composing by Vangelis. Please somebody tell me what "Kokasaye Tay Toka" means.... I'm joking, I don't really care about knowing it.


The B-side contains an over 20 minutes epic whose initial part has something of Mr Cairo in the structure. A repetitive round of chords on which Jon makes a good work. The lyrics are the usual hymn: "Divine Nature, Super Nature .... Peace will come, peace will come...." Regardless this, one third of the song is gone when the instrumental part arrives. We are at the level of Blade Runner. It's pure Vangelis at his best. When Jon restarts singing it's a totally different song. "Sweet music and your secret heart...." It's a slow symphonic piece until after a spacey and a classical section the piano reprises the main theme. It's just a short reminder. Jon sings again and brings the track to the symphonic coda.

Was it all of this kind it would have deserved 4 stars, but it's only half of the album so I have to decrease the rating to 2. The A side is unfortunately too poor, also for a fan like me, but the B side deserves to be listened to.

Review by Guillermo
3 stars This album is generally the less interesting for me from their discography, but anyway it is a good album. "Italian song" is a song without real lyrics, with Anderson singing in what he maybe considered to be an "italian language" without being really sung in the Italian language, with the vocals with some added echoes and very good "atmospheric" keyboards by Vangelis. "And When the Night Comes" is a simple mellow ballad not very interesting for me."Deborah" is another slow song maybe wrtitten about Anderson's daughter of the same name. "Polonaise" has some interesting Classical Music keyboards playing by Vangelis. "He is Sailing" is a bit more "energetic" song which is different from the previous 4 songs, which are slower and quieter. "Horizon" is a 23 minutes long song, the most interesting and the best from all the songs in this album, with more contrasts in moods, but "romantic" anyway, with a very good keyboards instrumental section by Vangelis with a lot of influence from Classical Music, and a very good final section with vocals by Anderson. The general sound of this album is of echoes added to the vocals and "atmospheric" keyboards. There is the use of more programmed keyboards and drum machines, updating their sound for the mid eighties. I think that Jon and Vangelis created very good music together, even if this album is not one of their best albums in their discography.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Vangelis' discography in the early 80's revolved less around his solo albums and more around some of his most iconic soundtracks along with projects with other artists. Three of the albums released during this time was this collaboration between Jon Anderson and himself (named simply as Jon & Vangelis) and this also allowed vocals/lyrics to be better brought into Vangelis' distinctive style. The third album of this particular collaborative effort is called "Private Collection". This one has six shorter tracks and one very long epic track, most of which is very beautiful music that quite effectively spotlight the talents of the two artists. Where "Mr. Cairo", the previous album had a more concept driven affair, this one seems to be more about the individual tracks.

Italian Song - A simple song consisting of Jon singing in Italian and Vangelis providing minimal synths and choral effects.

And When the Night Comes - A staccato and rhythmic background is established before Jon begins singing. This time the song is much more accessible with a chorus/verse structure and with the lyrical subject about love along with the clichés we've come to associate with popular music. The only guest on the album comes along in the second half of the track: Dick Morrissey on saxophone, and this gives the track a warm and Kenny G-like atmosphere. A little too sappy at that point, but at least Vangelis' contributions make it listenable.

Deborah - Probably the duo's most well known track. It's a beautiful and appealing melody, simple, yet lovely. At first, the vocals are accompanied by a piano with reverb, something we have grown accustomed to with Vangelis' style. Symphonic effects are added in as the song progresses along with the passion. In the end, it becomes like a lullaby with a heart-rending melody added to Vangelis' coda to the tune.

Polonaise - This track remains quite peaceful and simple with Jon's vocals being the centerpoint of the track, but after the halfway mark, it suddenly becomes more regal with the dramatic use of percussion for a short section before calming again at the end. The melody here sounds classical-European-inspired. Vangelis adds another coda on this one which simply repeats the main melody with his synths.

He is Sailing - A nice, floating and steady rhythm brings this in immediately with staccato synth riffs and a mostly one note verse and a chorus with a nice hook that meshes quite well with the persistent rhythm. Soaring synth melodies add in the patches between the vocal sections. Excellent track that gives a very positive vibe and Vangelis' contribution stands out quite well making things extremely appealing to listen to. It's music like this that constantly draws me to both artists as it elevates my spirit (in a good way, not a religious way at all).

Horizon - This makes up the entirety of Side 2 as it is nearly 23 minutes long. It starts off with a repeating synth/percussive pattern with a distinctive moderate rhythm that follows a descending chord pattern. It draws you in quite well and this repeats for a few minutes before Anderson's vocals start. The melody here is a bit more complex than the previous tracks, but it is still quite accessible. The vocal melody soon gets more repetitive later as the voice and synths throw in little improvised embellishments as it floats along for several minutes. About halfway through, the chordal and rhythmic pattern breaks down in a somewhat climactic way as the song changes direction. Now it becomes quite ambient and peaceful as the track seeks to develop (or at least make a variation) of the original theme. This quieter section relies more on the treated piano to provide melody while synth effects flow around it. Eventually, more vocals come in with a new melody, some washes of sudden dynamic outbursts flood over the ambience, but are only short dramatic waves as the ambient section continues, but it does eventually build to quite a cinematic ending.

Jon & Vangelis would not do another collaborative effort again until 1991, about 8 years later. In the meantime, Jon Anderson would continue his work with Yes while Vangelis resumed work on his own discography, producing soundtracks and also other collaborations. This album, however, is a shining jewel in the discographies of both artists and seems to be a little underrated. Yes, there are a couple of weak tracks ("And When the Night Comes" and "Polonaise"), but they are still okay and the other tracks outshine them enough to not affect the entire album that much in my opinion. This is a beautiful album that should be a part of the library of fans of either one of these artists and other music collectors.

Latest members reviews

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 o ... (read more)

Report this review (#295640) | Posted by Progosopher | Saturday, August 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's strange how much a voice can make a difference. Jon Andersons singing here is almost better than it has been in Yes ever. To me it was always the strange part of the Yes sound. But here Jon is at home. I read a lot of praise about the long piece Horizon. Well it is long but it by no means ... (read more)

Report this review (#62315) | Posted by pirkka | Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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