What did they do next part 13a – Jon Anderson – 430

Produced by Jeffrey Crecelius, Wayne Hall, Preston Frazier and Bill Govier

This week we turn our attention to the next person to leave the band, Jon Anderson. He called it a day after the Big Generator Tour. So, what did he do next? Find out later on.

We also have a sort of double 2 pence which is concerned with both what Roger Dean is currently up to on Facebook and why it matters for fans of the recorded output of the world’s greatest progressive rock band.

  • Solo album for Jon Anderson – but which one?
  • Who was involved?
  • What should Yes release next?

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Show notes and links:

Roger Dean’s live painting:

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  • Jeffrey Crecelius
  • Preston Frazier
  • Bill Govier and
  • Wayne Hall


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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

4 replies on “What did they do next part 13a – Jon Anderson – 430”

I was so frustrated with the first 15 minutes of your podcast ( in which it became clear that you were determined to make such a joke out of this album, as well as point out the apparent Hypocrisy between JA’s stated reasons for leaving YES in 1988 as opposed to what he actually released (supposedly) AFTER his leaving the band)….that I had to stop the Podcast midstream so I could check your facts, to ascertain if in fact Jon was as big a “Hypocrite” as your Podcast seems determined to point out.

Fact Time : “In the City Of Angels” was released (according to Wikipedia) on MAY 17, 1988, only 3 days after the Atlantic Records Anniversary show in New York. Prior to this date, YES had been almost continuously on tour from Jan 19, 1988 until April 14, 1988. If you do the math, even from OCT 1987 when the BG tour started, there are only about 2 months of time during the entire BG tour when Jon could even have been WORKING on the album (Christmas break 1987 until 1/19/88 and April-May before the Atlantic Recods show).

Now I don’t know the exact date of Jon’s official statement about leaving the band. But given that there is only 2 months of time even during the BG tour when he could have been working on the album, it seems to me like there’s NO WAY the “City of Angels” album could have been a big factor in Jon’s musical horizon anywhere near the date of his “official” departure from YES.

So sorry, but I don’t think your Judgement of him as this big Hypocrite is accurate in this case.

Thanks for the comment, Carl. I’m not sure we were accusing Jon of being a hypocrite. We were pointing out that it seemed odd to read his stated reasons for leaving the band in the context of the next thing he released. His dissatisfaction with the direction of the music must have been developing for some time. Whenever he was working on In The City Of Angels, it must have been during this time of growing uncertainty. It seemed from what he said that he wanted to be producing less commercial-sounding songs than the ones on 90125 and Big Generator. Maybe we misconstrued his meaning – that’s entirely possible.

Thank you for checking the dates and disagreeing with us. That’s exactly the point of the show. If everyone always agreed 100% with what we said, it would be a pretty bland and tedious podcast to listen to!

The first part of the ‘What did they do next’ series is meant to be our chance to predict what we will think of an album or give our views based on what we can remember if we have already heard it. I have been surprised in the past by what I’ve discovered from listening to albums and maybe this one will be the same…we shall see.

Please don’t hesitate to air your contrary views in the future and thank you very much for listening and supporting the show for such a long time.

Listening to the “City of Angels” now, which I actually haven’t listened to start-to-finish in several decades , and I suppose I should be somewhat embarrassed to actually like this album (as a Prog fan) all these years later ! After 2 decades of being on Yes fan sites, I think I am not too over-reaching in feeling that this is one of the most hated albums (among Yes fans) in the entire Yes Solo canon. And after listening to “In a Lifetime” (the 2nd of 2 co-writes with Lamont Dozier), it seems clear why this is the case… of several “pure” love ballads on the album, these are I think the type of song which make many prog fans cringe with aversion !
The funny thing is, though, to my ears some of these songs , rather than running counter to the ABWH stuff, are actually not that far off….the song “New Civilization”, for instance, is stylistically not that far off from something like “Order of the Universe” (particularly the glossy keyboard and percussion style). In fact, though my memory is a little vague, I think that at some point in ’89 or ’90 after these albums were released, I put together a mix tape for a friend consisting of both ABWH and “City of Angels” songs.

So yes, definitely a polarizing album for Yes fans for sure. But I do in fact still like it all these years later. My favorite is still “Top of the World”, probably the most “prog” song on the album (which probably not-coincidentally is the one song co-written by a Toto member).

Final Rating : 8.5/10 !

I’m surprised, Kevin and Mark, at your antipathy to the prospect of a live release from the “Royal Affair” tour, in the wake of those which have gone before. I’m very excited about it. The band’s focus for the past seven years has been deep-mining their repertoire for live performances, and not only do I want to see them play my favourite albums and obscure tracks in person, but I want a record of it to keep in the best possible quality, picking good performances, rather than taking my chances with bootlegs.
The last official Yes live album brought me, for the first time, live versions of “Nine Voices”, “Madrigal” and a properly mixed “We Can Fly From Here”, as well as a chance to hear how Billy Sherwood and Jay Schellen tackled these and the rest of the material. Over the course of two CDs, it only had three tracks in common with the previous live release, “Topographic Drama”, as well as being an a la carte selection as opposed to a set menu of two studio albums, another distinguishing difference.
The new live album will bring us “No Opportunity”, “Imagine”, and “The Gates of Delirium” all performed by a radically different lineup to any that’s performed them before.
I don’t want to listen to audience recordings and phone footage when I can hear this presented as the band decide.
What prompted me to share my enthusiasm for these regular live releases, apart from the intrinsic pleasure then bring me, was your lukewarm reaction to them, which baffled me a bit. You both love collecting and amass and retain numerous releases and pressings of the same recordings. What’s different about more live releases.
Do you think they dilute the market or the appetite for studio releases? I feel they don’t, but I’m not sure how one would scientifically determine this.
My appetite remains keen. Why no live album of the Summer tour with Dylan Howe on drums? I’d love his stint in the band to have an official record and as with “No Opportunity”, I’d love to own a live version of “Survival” from a version of Yes which has evolved 100% since the studio version was laid down.
I’m loving the podcast. Thanks for keep me informed and entertained each week.

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