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Jon Anderson - Olias of Sunhillow CD (album) cover


Jon Anderson


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3.97 | 489 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I don't want to talk about the concept. It's a complicated fantasy story and the lucky guys (like me) who have the vinyl original edition can easily read it on the fantastic internal booklet. I find it's hard to believe that Jon plays all the instruments alone. The first keyboard notes of "Ocean Song" have a clear Vangelis sound.

Regardless who really plays this album is the best solo ever released by Jon. Its strong concept even if strongly linked to the newage background of the artist doesn't have the low moments of bad "poetry" that sometimes we can find in YES lyrics. Well I have never paid attention to YES lyrics, the music is enough for me, but Olias has to tell a story so the lyrics are more cured.

I find hard to believe that Jon is playing harp, too. He doesn't play like Vollenweider, but he plays it's not just hitting the strings as somebody says. Sound of The Galleo is totally based on harp.

The music is positive and rhythmic ,the vocals have the usual overdubbed arrangements of all the further albums, but this is the first. Listening to Dance Of Raynart and to Qoquac En Transic I clearly hear Vangelis. At least Jos must have borrowed his equipment for the album, but if so, he wouldn't have needed to release three Jon and Vangelis albums, being him alone able to play and compose keyboard parts in this way....Also the African percussions are not unusual for Vangelis fans.

Let's go ahead..."Flight Of the Moorgl" is a song who would deserve to be included into a YES masterpiece like Tales From Topographic Oceans. "Solid Space" has an indolent tempo that's quite hypnotic. The orchestral accents are typical of Vangelis. I have no doubts, even if the Greek keyboardist is not credited this is the first Jon and Vangelis album. And their best, too.

"Moon Ra" is the only track just above 10 minutes and yes, this is all Jon's stuff. At least the composition is clearly identifiable as Jon's stuff. The keyboards I don't know. There are several themes. It has the structure of an epic despite it's duration.

"To The Runner" with the 12-strings guitar is very close to the YES, but again the keyboards have the same sounds usually found in Vangelis discography.

This is a MUST HAVE for the YES fans and an excellent addition for everybody else, even those who don't like Jon's voice...well if you really don't like Jon's voice there's no reason to have a solo album...however the album is not made of vocals only.

4 stars

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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