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Thread: Art work for Olias

  1. #1

    Art work for Olias

    All these years I have been under the impression based on articles I've read that Roger Dean was not approached for this project.. in this interview Jon tells different story.. Artist David Fairbrother-Roe’s work on Olias Of Sunhillow took sartorial elegance to a whole new level. But he wasn’t Anderson’s first choice.
    “I wanted Roger Dean,” he says. “In fact, I drove Roger crazy, asking when he could do it. But he was too busy.”

    https://www.loudersound.com/features...svgVzFBwT8g0wE

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    Thank you!

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Nice article. It also puts to bed the "Vangelis played on Olias" rumors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Nice article. It also puts to bed the "Vangelis played on Olias" rumors.
    I don't think I can agree with you.

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    “Jon Anderson is revisiting Olias Of Sunhillow on its 40th anniversary, which also coincides with the release of Invention Of Knowledge, his collaboration with A SWEDISH GUY.”

    Fixed the article for you....
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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    “Jon Anderson is revisiting Olias Of Sunhillow on its 40th anniversary, which also coincides with the release of Invention Of Knowledge, his collaboration with A SWEDISH GUY.”


    "Bork We Must"

  7. #7
    Thanks, good stuff.

    But "Qoquac"? Everyone knows it's Qoquaq with three q's. It makes absolutely no sense with a c in it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Nice article. It also puts to bed the "Vangelis played on Olias" rumors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    I don't think I can agree with you.
    "It was a time of innocence - Vangelis would leave the studio key under a flowerpot after he'd finished for the night and you're not going to print that bit, are you?"

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    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    https://www.loudersound.com/features...-with-vangelis

    From later on in the article: "Anderson’s biggest non-Yes hits were with Vangelis, but there are no reunion plans – they haven’t spoken in years. "His manager messed him up," sighs Anderson. "The last time we spoke, Vangelis said he was tired of Jon & Vangelis and tired of the business. I said, ‘Okay, I still love you, brother…’”

    Really Jon? Most of us know that Vangelis was - and no doubt remains - royally ticked off at you because you re-mixed and re-released your own version of the Jon & Vangelis "Page of Life" album without his permission.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    https://www.loudersound.com/features...-with-vangelis

    From later on in the article: "Anderson’s biggest non-Yes hits were with Vangelis, but there are no reunion plans – they haven’t spoken in years. "His manager messed him up," sighs Anderson. "The last time we spoke, Vangelis said he was tired of Jon & Vangelis and tired of the business. I said, ‘Okay, I still love you, brother…’”

    Really Jon? Most of us know that Vangelis was - and no doubt remains - royally ticked off at you because you re-mixed and re-released your own version of the Jon & Vangelis "Page of Life" album without his permission.
    Yes, that might have something to do with it.

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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    All these years I have been under the impression based on articles I've read that Roger Dean was not approached for this project.. in this interview Jon tells different story.. Artist David Fairbrother-Roe’s work on Olias Of Sunhillow took sartorial elegance to a whole new level. But he wasn’t Anderson’s first choice.
    “I wanted Roger Dean,” he says. “In fact, I drove Roger crazy, asking when he could do it. But he was too busy.”

    https://www.loudersound.com/features...svgVzFBwT8g0wE
    I was always intrigued by the words in the liner-notes: "FOR PLANTING THE SEED Roger Dean".

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    I understand why people assume Jon had help with Olias. It's perfect. How did he do it??? And why could he never do anything even remotely as good?

    Inquiring minds want to know.
    Prog's Not Dead

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    I understand why people assume Jon had help with Olias. It's perfect. How did he do it??? And why could he never do anything even remotely as good?
    The problem with that logic is that all those albums that are not remotely as good--including Jon and Vangelis ones--are what happened when he did have help.

  15. #15
    Fixed the interview:


    “There were no click tracks [electronic audio cues] then,” he says. “But I had a metronome, so I’d created everything in the right tempo.” The problem was that after four minutes, “the tapes would go out of whack”.

    This went on for three days until Mike Dunne could take no more. “Mike was a wonderful engineer, but decided to go home. He’d been sleeping in the garage and I used to wake him up so we could try syncing these tapes again. It was driving him crazy. And I was getting so angry because I didn’t know how to stop trying.”

    Anderson synced up the tapes on his own around 2am, but fell asleep before the recording finished. When he woke up at dawn and pressed ‘play’, he says: “I held my breath for almost six minutes...stopped the tape, realized I had no engineer, and said, 'It'll do.'"



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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    The problem with that logic is that all those albums that are not remotely as good--including Jon and Vangelis ones--are what happened when he did have help.
    Exactly!!! Olias is an outlier.
    Prog's Not Dead

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    I don't think I can agree with you.
    The keyboard work on Olias (and not only the keyboards) is too amateurish to have been performed by Vangelis. I can see the similarities in the sound, but the execution is just not up to Vangelis' standards. And even Jon acknowledges in this interview that he had learned a lot from Vangelis around that same time, which probably included a tip or two about synth programming. So I find it completely believable that he played everything on his own. And the end result is great, even though none of the individual parts are particularly difficult or very well performed. And he even mentions that in the interview too...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Anderson
    “What I learned was that you can play instruments and it works, even if you don’t play them incredibly well,” Anderson says. “You don’t have to be that good, but you can merge a guitar with a harp or a sitar or a flute and create new sounds.”
    Last edited by pmrviana; 07-29-2019 at 11:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmrviana View Post
    The keyboard work on Olias (and not only the keyboards) is too amateurish to have been performed by Vangelis. I can see the similarities in the sound, but the execution is just not up to Vangelis' standards. And even Jon acknowledges in this interview that he had learned a lot from Vangelis around that same time, which probably included a tip or two about synth programming. So I find it completely believable that he played everything on his own. And the end result is great, even though none of the individual parts are particularly difficult or very well performed. And he even mentions that in the interview too...
    Because of your keyboard experience and skills, your opinion on this carries substantial weight, Paulo.

    My personal feeling is that he did play most or all of the keys but that he had someone by his side that served as a coach or possibly, a co-writer. I think he had help in creating or choosing the synth patches. But I too feel that none of the parts are difficult and thus, doable by Mr. Anderson. It is a great example of many simple layers adding up to a great piece.

    The question as to why he has never really equaled it is perhaps more difficult to answer. I personally don't find that area very interesting or important.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    I think he had help in creating or choosing the synth patches.
    Definitely. I don't think he would have been able to figure this out on his own. From the interview I get the impression he got some tips from Vangelis on that, because he specifially mentions he learned a lot from him and that might have included some synth programming and maybe even a bit of musical arrangement tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    It is a great example of many simple layers adding up to a great piece.
    It sure is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    The question as to why he has never really equaled it is perhaps more difficult to answer.
    I have a few guesses about that:

    1. He was absolutely at the top of his game during that period. If you see the QPR 1975 video, he is playing much more than usual, even doing some melodic lines on electric guitar (To be Over intro, for example), playing a lot more percussion than usual, including toms and cymbals (and on time), and even playing the right chords on acoustic guitar (which is quite unusual for him ).
    2. He mentioned being locked in a studio for several months recording this album. Given enough focus, time and effort, I think it's pretty reasonable to assume he could pull this off. Someone like Vangelis would have probably recorded this same album in just a couple of days...
    3. He also mentions being absolutely exhausted after finishing the album. That might explain why he never did again. It's like someone who's not a professional runner tyring to finish a marathon. You can probably do it once, just to prove it to yourself, and it will take every last ounce of stamina you have, and you'll just barely be able to do it. But you would most likely never want to try it again.
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    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmrviana View Post
    Definitely. I don't think he would have been able to figure this out on his own. From the interview I get the impression he got some tips from Vangelis on that, because he specifially mentions he learned a lot from him and that might have included some synth programming and maybe even a bit of musical arrangement tips.


    It sure is.


    I have a few guesses about that:

    1. He was absolutely at the top of his game during that period. If you see the QPR 1975 video, he is playing much more than usual, even doing some melodic lines on electric guitar (To be Over intro, for example), playing a lot more percussion than usual, including toms and cymbals (and on time), and even playing the right chords on acoustic guitar (which is quite unusual for him ).
    2. He mentioned being locked in a studio for several months recording this album. Given enough focus, time and effort, I think it's pretty reasonable to assume he could pull this off. Someone like Vangelis would have probably recorded this same album in just a couple of days...
    3. He also mentions being absolutely exhausted after finishing the album. That might explain why he never did again. It's like someone who's not a professional runner trying to finish a marathon. You can probably do it once, just to prove it to yourself, and it will take every last ounce of stamina you have, and you'll just barely be able to do it. But you would most likely never want to try it again.
    I think your assessment is spot-on. I've never doubted he did all of that himself over a period of many months aside from some basic programming of synths. It's a very special record, indeed. There's nothing out there quite like it.

    Compare that to what the astoundingly gifted Vangelis could and still can do SPONTANEOUSLY. That amazing rig that he had built for him literally allows him to create finished compositions on the spot. A short example:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    I think your assessment is spot-on. I've never doubted he did all of that himself over a period of many months aside from some basic programming of synths. It's a very special record, indeed. There's nothing out there quite like it.

    Compare that to what the astoundingly gifted Vangelis could and still can do SPONTANEOUSLY. That amazing rig that he had built for him literally allows him to create finished compositions on the spot. A short example:

    Quite the master. Complex set up, but probably evolved over many years. Thanks.

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    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmrviana View Post
    I have a few guesses about that:

    1. He was absolutely at the top of his game during that period. If you see the QPR 1975 video, he is playing much more than usual, even doing some melodic lines on electric guitar (To be Over intro, for example), playing a lot more percussion than usual, including toms and cymbals (and on time), and even playing the right chords on acoustic guitar (which is quite unusual for him ).
    2. He mentioned being locked in a studio for several months recording this album. Given enough focus, time and effort, I think it's pretty reasonable to assume he could pull this off. Someone like Vangelis would have probably recorded this same album in just a couple of days...
    3. He also mentions being absolutely exhausted after finishing the album. That might explain why he never did again. It's like someone who's not a professional runner tyring to finish a marathon. You can probably do it once, just to prove it to yourself, and it will take every last ounce of stamina you have, and you'll just barely be able to do it. But you would most likely never want to try it again.
    This is my assessment as well, especially the part about Jon being exhausted once it was all done and not wanting to tackle anything that difficult again. If you look at his next projects, they were either solely as a partner to Vangelis, or with a cast of talented guest musicians. He clearly decided becoming another Mike Oldfield was not for him!

    I'd just also add that in the liner notes Jon thanks Mike Dunne and Brian Gaylor for help with the mixing and electronics respectively. I have a feeling they played a significant part in the album coming out the way it did.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  23. #23
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
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    Excellent posts!! Thank you to the last few posters! I think the Dunne and Gaylor comment by Paulrus is very insightful. Ditto for pmrviana's supposition that he never achieved those heights again because it was so much work to get Olias out.

  24. #24
    I would love to hear a remaster of Olias. I always felt it was pretty mid-rangey and lacked depth.

    I still love it.
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  25. #25
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I would love to hear a remaster of Olias. I always felt it was pretty mid-rangey and lacked depth.
    Olias and Animation could be a set.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

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