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What did they do next part 13b – Jon Anderson – 431

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

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This week, Mark and I have been listening to the album which Jon Anderson released shortly after leaving Yes following the Big Generator tour, ‘In The City Of Angels’. It’s not exactly progressive rock but see if you agree with our assessment of the music and take a listen to an audio contribution on this subject from Stephen Lambe as well.

We also have time for a two pence about the latest Roger Dean Yes album cover and its public development as well as a very exciting YMP Announcement connected with what the YMP Patrons have been up to in secret lately. And that’s not all. There’s the result of the Dave Watkinson Warriors EP competition, news of Miguel Falcao’s PlayForChris6 project and the official press release from Steve Howe about his new album. So, Look out for all that!

  • What’s this album like?
  • Why did Jon go in this direction?
  • Is it worth buying?

Listen to the episode and let us know what you think!

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Show notes and links:

Love Is

Release date 31st July

29th April 2020: Legendary Yes guitarist Steve Howe has announced he is to release Love Is on 31st July through BMG Records. Love Is is Howe’s first solo album since the all-instrumental Time in 2011 and has a balance of five instrumental tracks and five songs.

The album will be available as CD – gatefold digi-sleeve with 12 page booklet and LP – Black vinyl 180gm with gatefold sleeve, liner notes and lyrics.

Link to Steve Howe Official store pre-orders: https://SteveHowe.lnk.to/D2CPR

Link to Amazon pre-orders: https://SteveHowe.lnk.to/LoveIsPR

Steve Howe sings lead vocals and plays electric, acoustic and steel guitars, keyboards, percussion and bass guitar on the instrumentals while Yes vocalist Jon Davison provides vocal harmonies and plays bass guitar on the vocal tracks. The album also features Dylan Howe on drums.

Many years in the making, Love Is brings together a consistently strong and polished listening experience, forging the very best from the writing and playing throughout the album. This may well be considered the real ‘stand out’ album of Howe’s solo career. The instrumentals keep a highly progressive rock guitar style to the fore, with songs that explore stories of lives lived and lives only just begun. Love Is A River is the central longer song with several textural shifts, featuring a theme played on 12 string and steel guitars.

I called the album Love Is because it hints at the central idea that that love is important but also love of the universe and the ecology of the world is very important,” says Steve Howe. Alexander Humboldt went around the world and recognised we are destroying the planet but that was 200 years ago! We are still destroying the planet and, I suppose, my songs show the yearning I have for the love of nature and how beauty, art and music all stem from nature. There is a theme about those things, love, beauty, ecology, nature and wonderful people.

Love Is A River just seemed a very important track to me, a sort of quintessential track with lots of moods, lots of interesting things going on with steel guitars and acoustic guitars. Further tracks grew from time spent writing in my studio.

See Me Through looks at the idea that we get through life by not driving ourselves that hard but attempting to achieve things with people who help you along the way and Imagination is dedicated to my granddaughter Zuni. It’s about how I see some of the things she’s experienced in her short seven years.”

I invited Jon Davison to sing harmonies with me and add bass on the songs. If he was singing on the songs I thought why doesn’t he play bass as well and it turned out nice. He’s been with Yes for seven or eight years and he’s a great guy, great performer and a great interpreter of Yes songs.

I’ve been singing for years, mainly in harmony but I’ve sung lead on lots of my own albums before and I feel that, as I’ve got older, I’ve got a grip on that and, hopefully, it’s improved over the years.

The album includes many distinctive Steve Howe signatures among the instrumental tracks from the delicate beauty of Fulcrum, Beyond The Call and Pause For Thought to upbeat rock, The Headlands, and the jazz-tinged Sound Picture.

The instrumentals are like a mood, a place I went to one day, thought this is nice and then I develop that to a point where it’s a finished track. There might be key ingredients that I thought about using musically that I like, that I’m drawn to, and then developing them into something.

Love Is was written, engineered and produced by Steve Howe with further engineering and mixing by Curtis Schwartz. “I write in my own studio and then go to see Curtis in his studio,” Howe explains. “We expand the tracks and put them on Pro Tools and everything starts to be possible. At some point, probably around 2 years ago, Dylan came down to Curtis’s studio and we recorded the drums on some of the tracks. I could see a balance of five instrumental tracks and five songs and there was a feeling that it was an album, sitting there, looking at me.”

The track listing for Steve Howe’s Love Is album is:

1 Fulcrum (instrumental)

2 See Me Through

3 Beyond The Call (instrumental)

4 Love Is A River

5 Sound Picture (instrumental)

6 It Ain’t Easy

7 Pause For Thought (instrumental)

8 Imagination

9 The Headlands (instrumental)

10 On The Balcony

Formats:

CD Catalogue No. 538608592

Gatefold digi leeve with 12 page booklet with liner notes by Steve Howe & lyrics

LP – Catalogue Number – 538608601

180gm Black vinyl in Gatefold sleeve with liner notes by Steve Howe & lyrics

Release date: 31st July 2020

Link to Steve Howe Official store pre-orders: https://SteveHowe.lnk.to/D2CPR

Link to Amazon pre-orders: https://SteveHowe.lnk.to/LoveIsPR

Roger Dean’s live painting:

https://www.rogerdean.com/news/

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https://progreport.com/

YMP Patrons:

Producers:

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

Patrons:

Aaron Steelman

Dave Owen

Mark James Lang

Paul Tomei

Joost Maglev

David Heyden

Martin Kjellberg

Paul Wilson

Bob Martilotta

Lind

Michael O’Connor

Peter Hearnden

Brian Sullivan

David Pannell

Miguel Falcão

Lobate Scarp

Chris Bandini

David Watkinson

Neal Kaforey

Rachel Hadaway

Craig Estenes

Dem

Paul Hailes

Mark ‘Zarkol’ Baggs

Doug Curran

Robert Nasir

Fergus Cubbage

Scott Colombo

Fred Barringer

Scott Smith
Geoff Bailie

Simon Barrow
Geoffrey Mason

Stephen Lambe

Guy R DeRome

Steve Dill

Henrik Antonsson

Steve Perry

Hogne Bø Pettersen

Steve Rode

IanNB

Steve Scott

Jamie McQuinn

Steven Roehr

Ken Fuller

Terence Sadler

Michael Handerhan

Tim Stannard

Jim

Todd Dudley

John Cowan

Tony Handley

John Holden

Joseph Cottrell

John Parry

Keith Hoisington

John Thomson

William Hayes
Barry Gorsky


Robert and David

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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 archive.org

8 replies on “What did they do next part 13b – Jon Anderson – 431”

Mark surmised about what else was going on in Jon’s life at the time of City of Angels. I seem to recall that it was around the time this album was being written and recorded that Jon’s first marriage was breaking up, and supposedly a couple of the songs on the album were his attempt as some sort of reconciliation. Anybody else remember this?

Actually, Mark, the soundtrack to Miami Vice was VERY successful.

The Miami Vice theme was number one (1!) in the US and charted at number 8 in Sweden, 5 in Germany, 4 in Australia, 22 in the Netherlands, 20 in Belgium 8 in New Zealand and number 5 in the UK.

Crockett’s Theme was 42 in the US, 29 in Austria, 1 in Belgium, 4 in Germany, 2 in Ireland, 1 in the Netherlands, 9 in Switzerland and 2 in the UK!

In addition several of the songs used in the TV show were hits. And since you mention Phil Collins: In the Air Tonight was a hit all over again in 1987 because of its use in the pilot for Miami Vice (Phil Collins guested on the series as well)

The soundtracks themselves were also hugely successful around the world. The first soundtrack was number 1 on the Billboard 200…

So sorry to burst your theory there about why Jon’s album flopped.

I think the safest assumption for why it flopped was that it was adult pop that the younger crowd didn’t care for, and the adult pop/light jazz crowd didn’t find easy listening enough (“That song gives me a hedache” as one of those people said to me about Sundancing).

Jon had a huge star in the 80s, and was a frequent guest on MTV, but by 1988 he was too old for MTV and the younger crowd. Besides this kind of music was only marketable in the US, and that market was saturated with this kind of music. The rest of the world was into techno, acid jazz and hard rock.

Personally I bought this album in 1990 after re-discovering Yes via ABWH the year before, and I’ve listened to it a lot. I must say I found it much better back then than I do know, but after you guys reminded me of it, I’ve been listening to it quite a bit in the past few days. There are some gems here: Betcha, Top of the World and Hurry Home.

Agree with Hogne’s views on Jon’s (lack of) impact by the end of the 80’s. I think of other singers with similar voices like Roger Hodgson who was also a star of the early 80’s but not so by 88. Radios tend to always want to push the new kids on the block (pun intended as they started in the late 80s) BUT I think of it this way, if it was a success? – if it was a hit? well I would prefer other types of music from Jon (like ABWH) and am glad he got this out of his system ;).
In two pence I have gone a different way. I will wait until the album comes out. See the cover then and if it is good, go and see how it was done via Roger’s channels. (so no spoiler but still get to see how?)
Thanks for your efforts as always.

The “Sundancing (For the Hopi/Navajo Energy” (Hopi = “Ho (as in ‘hope’) + pi (as in ‘peace’)) song celebrates the “Sun Dance” which is a common theme of Native American peoples. “Douglas Spotted Eagle” is a great musician who blends modern music with the traditional. Check out his song DANCE at https://youtu.be/Vioh7ML75Cg . The piercings are a sacrifice of suffering — begging for life for their families, themselves, and the unborn. The video https://youtu.be/EK4fCv5ekzI is a great documentary about this and it describes the Sun Dance as a way to honor their women who give their flesh and blood when they give us our life.

Thanks Micahel. Interesting stuff and not at all surprising that Jon might have also found it so. Is Douglas Spotted Eagle the same “Spot” who wrote and presented tutorials for Sony for the Vegas video editor (I learned just about everything i know about video editing from is books and tutorials) would you know?

As a Dutch young man I can remember In The City Of Angels being in record stores a lot at the time (as Big Generator was earlier as well) and I can remember Hold On To Love getting enough radio play at the time that it latched into my head. I was 11 at the time and I was listening to a lot of chart music and hit radio at the time. When I got into Yes in 1991 I remember Jon Anderson as ‘the guy from Hold On To Love’.

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