Friday, 1 April 2011

Classic Song 19 - Jon Anderson - "Moon Ra"

Let's talk about classic music.

Classic one-man-band music, as a matter of fact.

And by 'one-man-band', I don't mean Paul McCartney or 
Stevie Wonder or Emitt Rhodes or Prince or John Fogerty or 
Trent Reznor anyone as prodigiously talented as those guys. 

I mean Jon Anderson, the elfin and iconic, original lead singer
for one of my all-time favourite bands, Yes. For those who may
have missed the early to mid 70s on Earth, Yes was, at one
point, one of the biggest bands in the world - playing for
audiences as huge as the 100,000 people that saw them
at JFK Stadium (along with Peter Frampton) in '76.

In 1975, the five Yes men each took time off to write, 
record, master and release solo albums. Chris Squire broke
through significantly with Fish Out Of Water, which sent 
us (mostly single male) Yes freaks into paroxysms 
of pure, prog euphoria, fer shure - right on, eh.

Imagine our collective gasp when in '76, little Jon released 
what is still the most successful and critically acclaimed 
solo 'Yes guy' album of them all: Olias of Sunhillow.

The concept album's storyline reads like a fable, 
but for me, by far the most magical and amazing
thing about this album is that Jon Anderson - 
generally regarded as a brilliant lead singer, 
but a very limited guitarist - single handedly
overdubbed every musical instrument he
could get his hands on, before adding a
virtual multitude of his own vocals.

The result was and still is thrilling for me to hear.

Here's "Moon Ra" from Olias of Sunhillow,
immediately following a circa '75 pic of my band, 
Archer (L-R Sam See, Mozz the Younger, 
Martin Soldat and Colin Walker).

Mozz the Elder

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Gerry,
    This was lovely to listen to this morning. Next to the Beatles, I loved Yes above all others for their unique songwriting, superior technical skill and artistic vision. This track made the hair stand up on the back of my neck which is as good as it ever gets. The beautiful mind of Jon Anderson. Much gratitude... Jeff