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Thread: Jon Anderson- Animation

  1. #1
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Jon Anderson- Animation

    Been digging this one lately, never paid much attention to it before. Seems like one of JA's more focused and creative efforts. He had a killer band (Simon Phillips, David Sancious, etc) for sure. His vocal phrasing on this album really sets the stage for his delivery for the next ten years. The vocals on the first track Olympia for example have some cadences that remind me of Order of the Universe. Some stuff on Union too. This is produced by Neil Kernon who has a magic touch as well. Some things remind me a bit of Big Generator, some of the broken vocal flourishes and such too.

    Curious your thoughts on this one.
    Last edited by Sean; 02-19-2021 at 06:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    The first side is great (yes, even "Surrender"). The title track is as good as anything he's ever done, and the finale reminds me of Jon/Vangelis, or the end to "Homeworld." JA does those "piano and vocal" codas really well. The second side mostly holds up, except "Pressure Point" and "Much Better Reason" aren't as strong, but they're still good. I really like "All God's Children," despite the dubious electronic drum beat. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for JA and a gospel choir.

    I really would like a proper remastering, though. I had to have a friend convert my cassette copy to MP3s.
    Last edited by ThomasKDye; 12-25-2015 at 01:17 PM.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

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    This has always been a fav of mine, and even though its so different from Olias, it is equally as strong. There is hardly a weak track IMHO. The band is killer, the lyrics are so personal, and some of his best. It definitely has that early 80's pop feel. the other two from this time period are very strong too-"Song of Seven", and "3 ships." But this one is the most consistent and accessible. Brings back a lot of good memories too!

  4. #4
    Love this album!

  5. #5
    Likewise love this album.. Just played it recently.. Title track gets me every time being that I was present at the births for both of my children..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    one of JA's more focused and creative efforts.
    Yes it surely is. I think it's Jon's best solo effort. Great musicians and the song writing is strong.

  7. #7
    I was literally going to start this thread two days ago! Been digging it as well. I think it's as good as anything Jon ever did and better than some Yes.

    I played the title track for my 19-year-old last week and she really liked it. Jon REALLY knows how to pour it out on such personal compositions.

    One thing that occurred to me was that I think Steve Howe would have fit nicely on Olympia. I can hear him playing it. Nothing against Clem, though.

    I was lucky enough to see this tour and the band KILLED.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

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    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    My favorite solo by him by a long shot.

  9. #9
    It really is solid from beginning to the end. As great as Olias is, it's simply not as accessible as this one.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  10. #10
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Agreed. Olias is a good stoner album when you wanna chill. Animation has some energy to it!

  11. #11
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    I love the original version of "Boundaries" much better than when he recycled it for "Somehow, Someday" on Open Your Eyes and "O'er" for The Promise Ring. I have no idea why JA kept doing that.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

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    I bought it earlier in the year on cd. I hadn't heard it in a long time and listened to it during a long trip over the summer. The bonus tracks were a nice touch although didn't really add much to the album.

    I think next to Olias this might be his best. I find it to be a bit more consistent than "Song of Seven"(which I also like). The title track is very moving and probably the only song on the planet that makes me want to have a kid. The opening track "Olympia" is great too even though I have no idea what it's about. Lol. Lot's of good tunes on here and a very solid album over all. That said it did take a while to grow on me(but isn't that the way it is for a lot of albums we enjoy?).

  13. #13
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Olympia seems to be random thoughts on an effects processor- "Eventide delaaaay" "Digital delay!" It was fairly new then. I think it popped up in a Duran Duran tune too and a few others. Must have really impressed.

  14. #14
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Oh ok. Thanks for clearing that up. I figured it had something to do with computers.

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    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Love the material live with Sancious on keys. I have a King Biscuit show that rocks.

  16. #16
    Love this album. Really one of his most cohesive studio solo works.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    Love the material live with Sancious on keys. I have a King Biscuit show that rocks.
    Yes, that is a great one and worthy of official release.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  18. #18
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Agreed with all the above in that this is easily one of Jon's best, probably a close #2 after Olias for me.

    I was also fortunate enough to catch the tour -- one of my first concerts ever (the first being Yes in 1980). I remember how much pent up demand there was from the audience for Yes music. In 1982 Jon's tenure with Yes was already the stuff of legend, so when he delved into that music (via several medleys) the crowd went completely nuts. I was with a buddy of mine who had also become a major Yes-head and during one of those medleys he snapped and jumped from his seat and went running down the aisle to get closer to the stage. I thought I was a Yes freak, but Jon had a stage charisma I'd never experienced before that had that effect on people. What's nice is that he still has it to a degree as evidenced by the recent Anderson-Ponty shows.

    I know we've already hashed this one out, but am I the only person completely annoyed that Animation has never had a proper CD release? Talk about an album that would benefit from a good remix job...
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    Love the material live with Sancious on keys. I have a King Biscuit show that rocks.
    Would be great if Esteroic got hold of this & included it as a bonus disc!

  20. #20
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Always loved the title track and 'All In A Matter of Time'. The rest doesn't blow me away, but isn't bad either.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by bill g View Post
    Always loved the title track and 'All In A Matter of Time'. The rest doesn't blow me away, but isn't bad either.

    I believe "All In A Matter Of Time" was a hit single in the UK, Top 40 I think which is cool.

    I love Side 1 of "Animation" and think the title track is phenomenal. Side 2 is good too but not in the same league. My US Atlantic LP of "Animation" does not sound good and neither does my Voiceprint cd. Wonder if the recording is sub-par.

    The Animation tour was absolutely wonderful; Sancious on keys was a godsend. I also really like the bonus track of Twins (Two Old Ladies) that is excepted from a supposed longer piece the record company disapproved of. It has some great chord changes. What a weird lyric though huh? Funny how the "raped her repeatedly" verse was excised from the Voiceprint cd version. Jon must have wondered what he was thinking back in 1982.

  22. #22
    Member at least 100 dead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    I really would like a proper remastering, though. I had to have a friend convert my cassette copy to MP3s.
    Rumor has it that the CD reissue by Dopio/VP did not use the master tapes and instead resorted to vinyl as a source, i.e. it’s a needle-drop.

    All in all, it’s a pretty cool ablum; JA going new wave/synth-pop with good results throughout (though I always skip “Boundaries”).
    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by at least 100 dead View Post
    Rumor has it that the CD reissue by Dopio/VP did not use the master tapes and instead resorted to vinyl as a source, i.e. it’s a needle-drop.

    All in all, it’s a pretty cool ablum; JA going new wave/synth-pop with good results throughout (though I always skip “Boundaries”).
    It's not a rumour. It's a needle-drop and probably the worst sounding remaster i've ever heard. I hava copy of the circulating pre-CD master and it is far superior compared to the Voiceprint version. I have no idea why they didn't use that one if they couldn't locate the master tapes in time.

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    Being italian I have to point out the bass player on the album, Stefano Cerri, who also did the tour of the album. Very well known over here, son of a famous jazz player, he unfortunately succumbed to cancer many years ago. A new auditorium opened here in Milan last month, entitled to him. Great player and teacher.

  25. #25
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dedatolo View Post
    Being italian I have to point out the bass player on the album, Stefano Cerri, who also did the tour of the album. Very well known over here, son of a famous jazz player, he unfortunately succumbed to cancer many years ago. A new auditorium opened here in Milan last month, entitled to him. Great player and teacher.
    I wondered what became of him. He was terrific on that tour.

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