Jon Anderson-Olias Of Sunhillow // disappointing [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-02-2005, 07:25 PM
I think I was expecting a lost <b>Yes</b> album or something. What this is instead, is a prototype for the '80s new age jazz craze. Not that there isn't some fine Yes-like moments, but there is some sort of fairy tale story line as well, not that I could ever begin to read the sleeve that came with this CD. This is a meglomanic performance, so there was no one around to say, "Enough Jon!". This album sounds like 10 gallons of stuff in a 5 gallon bucket. Over produced and over-hyped, since I read so many glowing reviews of this. Maybe I should wait a while and give it another shot.

If there is a saving grace, I used to use some new age albums to put me to sleep way back when (I'm such a night owl). I owned Andreas Vollenweider's <i>White Winds</i> in the '80s; and in the early '90s, it was Kitaro's Greatest Hits. <i>Olias</i> has put me under on at least three occasions whilst listening on headphones.

PS - I was in one of those earthy/hippy stores one time and was over heard by the store's owner (I was musing to my wife) "Who the hell pays $300 for a frikken wind chime?" He introduced himself and asked if I owned any new age jazz albums, and I said "Yeah, two". He asked how much I paid for my stereo rig and I told him. He then quipped, "Then if you listen to new age jazz, you essentially own a $3000 wind chime."

02-03-2005, 05:09 AM
Olias was released in 1976 and guess what.............................

It was disappointing in 1976 too.

02-03-2005, 05:21 AM
I remember buying the LP way back when and hating it. Made me think Jon was the reason YES was going downhill fast.
When the focus of the music became Jon and his supposedly uplifting new age lyrics, things fell apart for me. When the punks rebelled against pretentiousness, this album coulda been exhibit number 1.

A lost Yes album ? That would be Chris Squire's 'Fish out of water'.

02-03-2005, 05:44 AM
I think I was expecting a lost <b>Yes</b> album or something.

While you wouldn't know it from the mice print on the CD, the original album art was spectacular.

Yeah, what a disappointment. Only the last track on side one has anything close to a hummable melody. His solo albums were always second-rate, but they did get better. The big deal on this album was that Anderson played all of the instruments. If true, it does show that he is more than a vocalist and lyricist.

His decision to link up with Vangelis was also a good one given his song-writing eccentricities. I still love the quirkiness and moodiness of Short Stories.

As for Squire's Fish Out of Water, I only wish he would have done more solo work of this calibre. The twenty years from 1976 to 1996 must have been a frustrating time for musicians like Squire. Today, everybody has their own recording studios, and you can accurately reproduce orchestras electronically.

You have to admire guys like Peter Hammill who never stopped releasing albums, even though I'm sure he doesn't sell more than a few thousand of any one title.

02-03-2005, 06:56 AM
Good gawd this is a boring ass album, as are most of his solo albums. And Chris's too. Heck, for the most all of those guys solo stuff to me is very lousy.

But that's me.


02-03-2005, 08:42 AM
I'm right there with Richmon, Squire's "Fish out of Water" is head and shoulders above any of the other Yes men's solo albums.

Where did you read glowing reviews of Olias? Near as I can tell, I've never met anyone who can listen to it all the way thru. Sure, maybe 10 minutes of good stuff and the rest is the kind of junk that gave prog rock a bad name.

Loved the cover though. Spectacular artwork.

02-03-2005, 09:18 AM
To me the best one is "Three Ships" and yes it's cheesy as all heck but still a good listen at Christmastime.


Dusty Chalk
02-03-2005, 09:23 AM
I remember liking it, but I have to admit to not having heard it since the days of vinyl. And I also remember not liking it as much as Steve Howe's, Chris Squire's, or Rick Wakeman's solo albums. (Who does that leave, the drummer?)

02-03-2005, 01:38 PM
(Who does that leave, the drummer?)

Bill Bruford has had a pretty good career outside of Yes in bands AND solo, yeah.

That other guy, no.

Patrick Moraz did a pretty good fusion album in the early 80s

I liked Billy Sherwood's "The Big Peace" a whole lot, but I realize I'm probably the only one.

Dusty Chalk
02-03-2005, 03:13 PM
Bill Bruford has had a pretty good career outside of Yes in bands AND solo, yeah.Okay, then yeah -- if you want to count any one of those (first) three albums as 'Bruford' -- they're phenomenal as well. So I guess I did like Olias the least of the five. And Howe second least.