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What did they do next part 6b – Jon Anderson – 401

Song of Seven
Song of Seven

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

The huge news this week is certainly the 2020 UK tour announcement including the fact that the band will be playing the whole of Relayer which is something fans, not least us here on the YMP, have been hoping for for a long time. Mark and I will be talking quite a bit about what this news means in our Two Pence later it the episode.

Before that, we are completing our look at what Jon Anderson did as soon as he left Yes in 1980 which means listening to Song of Seven and seeing what we think of it now.

Listen and let us know what you think!

  • Were you expecting Jon’s second solo album to be Olias 2?
  • If so were you upset?
  • What’s this album like though?

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Show notes and links:


Return with 2CD/DVD Box setLive in England (2018)and New UK Concert Date

2nd October 2019: Downes Braide Association (DBA) have announced the release of Live In England a 2CD/DVD Box set on 29th November 2019 via Cherry Red Records. A double-vinyl edition will be released on 14th February. The album features stunning artwork by the legendary Roger Dean.

Live In England, the fourth album release by the duo Geoff Downes and Chris Braide, is their first live album, recorded at their first ever concert at Trading Boundaries, East Sussex, on 28th September 2108. Whilst DBA was conceived as a studio project, the concert was a great success and features material from the DBA albums Suburban Ghosts (2015) and Skyscraper Souls (2017) together with tracks from Geoff Downes’ time with Buggles and Asia.
Geoff Downes (keyboards), Chris Braide (vocals) and Andy Hodge (bass guitar), were joined on stage by David Colquhoun (guitars) and special guest Big Big Train’s David Longdon (vocals, flute). The show was narrated by Barney Ashton Bullock.

Geoff Downes commented: “It was a most memorable evening, last September, at the iconic Trading Boundaries venue and we believe we have managed to capture the magic of the whole night. Chris and I were supported by some amazing musicians – Andy Hodge, Dave Colquhoun and David Longdon and narrated by Barney Ashton Bullock. As well as songs from our albums we have added some extra special treats and we hope it gives a rare insight into the special songwriting and production relationship Chris and I have developed over the last decade on the journey that is DBA.
“We sincerely hope you enjoy the music with us, from this very special occasion, in a raw and live setting, and we thank you for all your support.”
Chris Braide says: “After many requests for DBA to perform live, Geoff and myself, along with the excellent musicianship of Andy Hodge, Dave Colquhoun, David Longdon, Barney Ashton Bullock, finally took to the stage for the first time at the stunning Trading Boundaries. It was a wonderful evening surrounded by friends and the beautiful English countryside and this live album is a great document of that magical evening and encapsulates what DBA is all about.”

The full track-listing is:
Prelude Skyscraper Souls Machinery Of Fate Live Twice Vanity Suburban Ghosts Bolero / Video Killed The Radio Star Glacier Girl Angel On Your Shoulder
Tomorrow Lighthouse Skin Deep Darker Times Finale Heat Of The Moment The Smile Has Left Your Eyes Dreaming Of England
Prelude Skyscraper Souls Machinery Of Fate Live Twice Vanity Suburban Ghosts Bolero / Video Killed The Radio Star Glacier Girl Angel On Your Shoulder Tomorrow Lighthouse Skin Deep Darker Times Finale Heat Of The Moment The Smile Has Left Your Eyes Dreaming Of England

You can pre-order the album here:
Downes Braide Association: Live In England is released on 29th November 2019 and is available to order from Cherry Red Records here A vinyl edition of the live album is scheduled for release on 14th February 2020.

New Live Show – 14th February 2020
To coincide with the vinyl release of Live in England, DBA have announced a show on 14th February in the atmospheric surroundings of Trading Boundaries once more. This promises to be a unique evening featuring Geoff Downes and Chris Braide together with special guests. For more information please visit or contact the box office on 01825 790200


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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

3 replies on “What did they do next part 6b – Jon Anderson – 401”

I’m feeling like a curmudgeon. I purchased Song of Seven on vinyl when it came out – I was in high school. I liked it well enough to purchase the next album, Animation. But I never spent much time with the second side of the album. (As for Animation, well, let’s move on.) By contrast, I also purchased Drama on vinyl when it came out, and I listened to it a lot more. And I still do. (Although the vinyl is long gone ….) Drama was clearly a departure from what Yes had been, but it was a departure that worked on its own terms. Jon’s solo work after Tormato might have prepared him to really deliver on 90125, but on its own it was merely ok.
I’ve just re-listened to Song of Seven twice. The first side is fine. I like Heart of the Matter and Don’t Forget quite a bit on their own terms. As for the title song, for me it is meh. I’d love to be able to hear what it would sound like after Howe and Squire worked on it for a bit. Jon is brilliant, and he is able to conceive of a large scale song in a way that few others can. But he needs collaborators who add depth and power — that’s part of what makes Yes songs special. (And maybe that’s why I like some of his work with Vangelis better than his solo work.) After Song of Seven, I put Relayer on, and it’s night and day. Yes needed Jon, but Jon really needed Yes.
What follows from these thoughts? Partly this: to make vital new music, Steve and Billy and Geoff need to get their separate creative talents to come together. Each of them recently has done really great work outside of Yes. But they need something to pull them into composing together for Yes, and I doubt that Jon D. can make that happen (in contrast to Jon A.). I love DBA and both Citizen albums, not to mention Steve’s new trio album, but it makes me sad that none of that energy went into Yes.

I love Song of Seven. Side two of the LP is pure joy with nothing but feel-good factor. Some of the songs on side one don’t really fit with Jon’s voice but it’s one of those LP’s that when it’s ended, I want to listen to again.
I went to see Jon on his tour in Dec 1980 which was based around this album. The gig was pure magic. No special effects or lighting, just Jon and his band. This was just a few days after the murder of john Lennon, of course Jon paid tribute to him. This is one of the best gigs I ever attended.
A week or so later I went to see Yes on the Drama tour, which by comparison was ok but not great.

Now that I’ve listened to the show I ‘d like to thank Stephen for an excellent voice message. I don’t remember the set of songs, only how it felt to be there.
I was getting pretty frustrated at the comments you and Mark were making about this album. Jon was never a pop star so why were you judging him on the basis of the shallow tastes of the populace. Since when was chart position a measure of quality? Mark commented on the way this record sounds dated. Yes it is because it was from 1980. Not a surprise. Eventually you did say that this was a review well out of context. So why make all of those comments in such a manner?

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