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JON & VANGELIS

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Jon & Vangelis biography
Founded in 1979 - Disbanded in 1991

Jon & Vangelis is an '80's project between Jon ANDERSON of YES and Greek Progressive Electronic artist VANGELIS. Jon & Vangelis creates an art-pop style of music comparable to '80's YES and maybe even ASIA. Fans of '80's YES and VANGELIS should listen to this.

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JON & VANGELIS discography


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JON & VANGELIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 100 ratings
Short Stories
1979
3.39 | 127 ratings
The Friends Of Mr. Cairo
1981
3.10 | 93 ratings
Private Collection
1983
2.98 | 55 ratings
Page Of Life
1991

JON & VANGELIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

JON & VANGELIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

JON & VANGELIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.46 | 31 ratings
The Best Of Jon & Vangelis
1984
2.41 | 13 ratings
Chronicles
1994

JON & VANGELIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.91 | 4 ratings
And When The Night Comes
1983
4.00 | 4 ratings
Wisdom Chain
1991

JON & VANGELIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Friends Of Mr. Cairo by JON & VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.39 | 127 ratings

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The Friends Of Mr. Cairo
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Both Jon Anderson and Vangelis have discographies (as solo artists) that are sort of hit or miss, some are really great while others are weak. But when they teamed up, they had, for me at least, some very memorable albums, some of my favorites from both artists (minus the Yes albums of course).

"The Friends of Mr. Cairo" is their 2nd collaboration, released 2 years after their first one, in 1981. I have to say that as far as both artist's solo albums, this one has aged quite well. Being as both artists at the time were trying to fit into the new decade at the time, they did so without selling out. In this album, we tend to move away a bit from the experimental feel of the first album "Short Stories" and they work on making this one a bit more accessible, yet they don't compromise in the quality of their output and ingenuity.

The album, for the most part, is more of a homage to old classic cinema, especially evident in the title track, where snippets from films are edited into the music, and done so with class. Vangelis and Anderson both incorporate snippets of themes from a few of the classics along the way, yet they do it without making it feel like they are stealing from the soundtracks while they incorporate the music so that it flows well together. This track, which surpasses 12 minutes, never gets old or stale and, in fact, seems to be divided into two (or maybe more) sections. The talents of both artists really fit together quite well, better, in fact, than their 3rd collaboration "Private Collection". This also helps to elevate this track, and the entire album for that matter. The 2nd track "Back to School" ends up being a little corny and just a bit too happy, but the beat is nice and might even make you tap your foot, just a little bit. But "Outside of This (Inside of That)" comes off a bit more naturally to the pair making up for that somewhat childish track.

The 2nd side of the original version of the album starts with "State of Independence", which was later covered by Donna Summers and, a decade later, a band called "Moodswings" with Chrissie Hynde on vocals, which is where I first became familiar with it. I was a big fan of that version, and when I finally heard this earlier version, I was impressed that the song was written by Vangelis and Anderson. It's a beautiful song and both versions are quite acceptable, yet quite different from each other in their own ways with only the melody being the constant between the two. "Beside" is a shorter track, one that really doesn't stand out much for me. The final track is more cinematic and progressive sounding with complex melodies and lyrics from Anderson and with Vangelis' cinematic flair, both of which work very well together and close the album quite impressively.

Overall, this is a very good album. It's biggest fallback is that it isn't necessarily the most progressive work of either artist, but it is, in my opinion, one that I would still place among my progressive albums. I have always loved the sounds of Vangelis and own almost all of his albums. The same can be said of Yes and Jon Anderson, but many of Anderson and Vangelis' solo albums can be pretty bad, while others are stellar. I place this one in with the best of both artist's works. I can easily give it 4 stars, and about half of the album could be considered progressive, but mostly in a lighter sense of the style. It's definitely not deserving of 3 stars, so I don't feel bad rating at 4, even with the cringe- worthy "Back to School". It is the best of their collaborations.

 Short Stories by JON & VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.13 | 100 ratings

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Short Stories
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars `Short Stories' is the 1980 debut album that resulted from a collaboration between avant- garde keyboard player Vangelis and the lead singer of symphonic prog legends Yes, Jon Anderson. Although not even remotely as daring as the Seventies work of the Greek composer, nor as exciting as the classic Yes output from that same era, this first work still holds some moments of worthwhile music, with the two artists frequently blending together and complimenting each-other in interesting ways. On this album, the pair occasionally succeed in grafting Anderson's quasi cosmic/hippie enlightened words and Vangelis' spontaneous keyboard flair to mostly strong melodic compositions without truly aiming as low as obnoxious and vapid popular chart/top 40 music. Some moments get a bit drippy here and there (with Anderson involved, that's probably not all that surprising!), but there's a constant airy variety on display, and both the artists bring enough inspiration.

A lengthy and dramatic instrumental build from Vangelis offering reverberating fan-like beats and energetic Hammond runs brings just a touch of unease and mystery throughout opener `Curious Electric'. Jon Anderson soon pops up to offer some matter of fact stream- of-consciousness musings over jagged discordant slicings, and I'm sure ever so briefly his melody drifts to the opening of Yes' `The Revealing Science of God'? `Each and Every Day' begins as a dreamy spacey drift of synths around a protective vocal from Jon that soon grows in power. `Bird Song' is a twinkling synth rumination with a grand chorus. The romantic `I Hear You Now' was a deserved hit single on it's release in the UK, and it's all pretty synths, a lovely melody and a sprightly Anderson vocal with swirling deep-space effects. `The Road' is an acoustic gospel piece with an unsurprisingly reflective lyric punctuated with big churning synth stabs.

`Far Away in Baagad' could be a distant relative to Anderson's `Olias of Sunhillow', droning chanting harmonies and frantic vocals weaving around building synth fanfares. Sadly, from here on the second side of the album takes a sharp dip in quality. `Love Is' has a swooning overwhelming loved-up vocal from Jon over New-Age ethereal synth washes, sweet but get's a little overwrought and definitely overstays it's welcome. `One More Time' is even more sickly-sweet, a late-night jazzy electric piano ballad with a syrupy vocal. A playful, almost theatrical vocal from Jon is seriously grating throughout the quirky `Thunder' too. Thankfully the closing track `A Play Within A Play' is much more interesting, with longer instrumental shimmering synth passages around a soothing vocal, before breaking into an up-tempo synth freak-out in the middle! If only more of the second side had been this inventive and promising!

One thing instantly noticeable is how confident and freed Jon Anderson's vocals are throughout `Short Stories'. Compare his performance on this album to his by-the-numbers going through the motions on the 1978 Yes album `Tormato'. Likewise, Vangelis seems up to the challenge of reigning in his more self -indulgent tendencies, and it's nice to hear him focused and a little more subdued after his schizophrenic mid to late 70's solo works! Although hardly a progressive blowout, and despite some of the later stretches getting a little too cute, `Short Stories is still an intelligent and often tasteful adult pop release. It's gentle, but there's still moments of artistic inventiveness and quirky flourishes to keep things interesting.

Three stars.

(Special thanks to Sam (Archives member Meltdowner) for mentioning this one to me, glad I gave it a chance!

 Short Stories by JON & VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.13 | 100 ratings

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Short Stories
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by yesstiles

4 stars A wonderful, magical album that came at just the right time. Jon was leaving Yes and found a nice place to express his more laid-back musical tendencies of the time. Apart from the weak opening track, this collection of songs is a delight for fans of Anderson the vocalist and melodist. The high points are the through-composed "Each And Everyday/Bird Song" and the absolutely mesmerizing "One More Time." These two display such a mastery of advanced melodic and vocal composition I get goose bumps. Just wonderful. Turn off the lights, put on the headphones and slip into this album!
 The Friends Of Mr. Cairo by JON & VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.39 | 127 ratings

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The Friends Of Mr. Cairo
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Frankie Flowers

3 stars The Friends of Mr Cairo is a much more accessible album than Jon & Vangelis' first album "Short Stories". I like this work very much. By this, the second album of thiers, there are fewer dreamlike quailities and more simple and evocative structures. Some may find the electronic arrangements dated. I never had a problem with that, there are some lovely spacious moods in this music that some listeners don't appreciate. Perhaps you could say it is of its time, but that is what is fragile and charming about it in many ways. I have the second edition of the ablum and it starts with "I'll Find My Way Home" which is simple, catchy and very laid back. One of my favourite Jon & Vangelis tracks follows, it's called "State of Independence". I would forgive a lot of people for appreciating the Donna Summer version of the song more. She covered it a year or so after this album's release, and her version was good, but if you get to hear this version first, and give it plenty of spins, it kind of gets under your skin. In a good way of course. It has a nice bouncy rhythm but still manages to stay on a mellow key. I like the sax in this song. It brought in some interesting textures to thier music. There are some different ideas and themes that run through the songs and I think some listeners complain it is inconsistent in that respect, but don't let that put you off, just enjoy the music. "The Mayflower" and the titile track are good pieces and quite interesting but my favourite of all on the whole album is the last song "Outside Of This (Inside Of That)". It is very much in the same spacey vein as most songs from the previous album. A very good album for your collection. Three and a half stars.
 Short Stories by JON & VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.13 | 100 ratings

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Short Stories
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Frankie Flowers

3 stars An interesting album indeed, Jon&Vangelis' first effort. I definitely find it is the most progressive and complex in its arrangements compared to the other albums I have heard of theirs. "Curious Electric" opens, it's very unusual and grand as well. The futuristic electronic sounds are spectacular in places and what a finale Vangelis produces! Jon's lyrics are playful and innocent which I like. "Each And Everyday" and "Bird Song" present the more sentimental and dreamy qualities the album holds a lot of the way through. It is difficult to get these songs to stick in my head, they certainly aren't as memorable as the ones on the other albums, but very pleasurable nonetheless. The ones that do stick to me are heavenly. "I Hear You Now", might be the first to grab your attention. I think it could be their best piece ever, or at least one of the best. "The Road" and "One More Time" are really nice but the last track "A Play Within A Play" is fabulous, a track I love more every time I hear it. "Short Stories" is worth a few listens especially if you enjoy Vangelis' music and of course if you enjoy anything Jon Anderson has done too! But most would agree that they work very well together. Three solid stars.

 Page Of Life by JON & VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.98 | 55 ratings

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Page Of Life
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Frankie Flowers

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.
 Private Collection by JON & VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.10 | 93 ratings

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Private Collection
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

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.
 Page Of Life by JON & VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.98 | 55 ratings

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Page Of Life
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by 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.
 And When The Night Comes by JON & VANGELIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1983
2.91 | 4 ratings

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And When The Night Comes
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This single has two songs. One is titled "And When the Night Comes", taken from their "Private Collection" (1983) album. This song is a ballad, very Pop in style with some New Age Music arrangements, not very interesting for me. It has a sax solo by Dick Morrisey, and it seems that Vangelis used some new keyboard sounds for that album as they sound "very eighties" in sound, and maybe he also used a programmed drum machine. The other song, titled "Song Is", is now a "rarity", because it was only released in this single. It is an "atmospherical" song with New Age Music arrangements, much better than "And When the Night comes", and in my opinion, closer to their previous albums in musical style. It is available for listening in www.youtube.com/watch? v=VBLqwUmTIFY if someone wants to listen to this song. I don`t know why two of the best songs they recorded as a duet ("Song Is" and "Sing With Your Eyes") were only released as B sides. Maybe their record companies had the "final word" in these choices.
 Wisdom Chain by JON & VANGELIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1991
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Wisdom Chain
Jon & Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars All the songs from this EP (with one exception) were taken from their "Page of Life" album (from the first version of that album which was released by Arista Records in 1991). This EP is now considered more as a "rarity" and it is difficult to find it as it is now of print. At the time of release (1991) I didn`t know that Jon and Vangelis have released a new album titled "Page of Life", and it seems that the original version of that album was only released in Europe in 1991. This EP has two versions of "Wisdom Change". One is a single edit (only available in this EP), and the other is the full version of the song. I prefer the full version of this song. I also could hear some differences in the mixing, but maybe I`m wrong. Anyway, the full version is better. The edit lacks a brief keyboard solo (using a "trumpet" sound) and it also has a shorter fnal part, but both versions have a very good vocals arrangement by Jon Anderson. This is a very Pop song in style with some New Age musical arrangements. "Page of Life" is a very good song, more New Age in style, and it is one of the best from the "Page of Life" album. But the "real rarity" in this EP is the song titled "Sing With Your Eyes", which I consider as one of the best songs Jon and Vangelis recorded as a duet, and maybe is my favourite song from them. It is a very good ballad, with very good arrangements and mixing, and a very good "atmospherical" instrumental section played by Vangelis. I don`t know why this song was relegated to this EP as I consider it as the best from the "Page of Life" album sessions. It also wasn`t released in the second version of the "Page of Life" album from in 1998. If someone wants to listen to this song it is available for listenig in youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0IDCHTtchw.
Thanks to Retrovertigo for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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