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Thread: Jon and Vangelis

  1. #1
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    Jon and Vangelis

    I think the only album I have from these two is "The friends of Mr. Cairo" which I liked a lot. It's possible that I picked up another of their releases and just found it not to my taste and forgot about it.

    Can anyone recommend another title from them? There doesn't seem to be a lot available.

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    According to Prog Archives they produced 4 studio albums and a couple of box sets. The highest rated one is the "Best Of Jon & Vangelis", which is the only one I have. I recommend it to you even though you own the earlier "Friends of Mr. Cairo", as the "best of" contains several longer tracks besides the "Friends" cut - and some good ones at that.

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    Thanks SunRunner2, I'll check it out. I wonder why they didn't do more. Seems like a good match for both of them.

  4. #4
    I have "Private Collection," which is very nice. A bit more new-agey than FoMC.
    Orange is the new stupid.

  5. #5
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    I consider their first, Short Stories, by far the best.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    I consider their first, Short Stories, by far the best.
    Agree.. Plenty to like on Private Collection.. and I'd even go so far as to say there are some choice cuts from their last release Page of Life. Heck I like all of their releases.. but the first one Short Stories to quote my brother after hearing it upon it's release.. "this should have been Yes' next album"..

  7. #7
    Page of Life is their pop album, I suppose. A lot of highly melodic songs and really just very beautiful. It's the one I listen to most often.

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    The benefit provided by purchasing the "Best Of" album is that you get 3 cuts from "Short Stories" and they are the longer, more developed ones as well ("One More Time", "Play Within A Play", "I Hear You Now"). Those three cuts represent almost 19 minutes of the "Short Stories" album. Plus you get "I'll Find My Way Home" and "Friends Of Mr. Cairo", which are stellar cuts from the duo (in my view).

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    The 80s albums are all solid, but there are one or two things I don't like at all such as 'Back To School'.

    They had a couple of big UK hits in this period (the first pressing of ...Mr Cairo did not include 'I'll Find My Way Home'!). And of course 'State Of Independence' became a hit for Donna Summer. So Anderson was doing pretty well without Yes, really.

    Isn't there a non-album B side? Might be on the remasters by now for all I know.

  10. #10
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Isn't there a non-album B side? Might be on the remasters by now for all I know.
    "Song Is" was the B-side of various different singles from Private Collection released in various countries.

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    I liked "Cairo" a lot. I bought one of their other albums (don't remember what it was), and it did not do a lot for me.

  12. #12
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    A radio-edit version of "The Friends of Mr. Cairo" (the song) actually got airplay on the alternative station in LA (KROQ) when it was released. I think that was the first non-Yes thing I'd ever heard JA record.

    From there I tracked down the FoMC album, plus Short Stories (which didn't include "I'll Find My Way Home".) I even bought a Vangelis compilation because it had a piece Anderson sang on from 1975 ("So Long Ago, So Clear", which pointed the way to Olias).

    I discovered Private Collection a few years after it came out. I think it was mainly a European release with almost no US marketing or distribution. But I like that one a lot.

    Page of Life is full of earworms so I'd also recommend it, even if it is the least proggy of the set. Although I can only imagine what "Be A Good Friend of Mine" would have sounded like with Squire and Howe on it.

    What a shame Jon had to go rogue and scupper his relationship with Vangelis. They had serious musical chemistry.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  13. #13
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    I have all 3 studio albums. I don't consider Best Of albums actual albums, just a device for fulfilling a record contract. I enjoy all 3 albums.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Horizon from Private Collection is their masterpiece I think


  15. #15
    Mr. Cairo was certainly my favorite record of the ones they made.
    Private Collection was my second favorite. The first album sounds as if they were getting to know each other - some strong moments and some meandering in between. I think they hit their stride with the second and third records. The fourth record had some nice moments on it but it didn't all hang together as well as the prior two.
    I don't remember the details but I do recall that Anderson released that fourth record without Vangelis in complete agreement or something - also I think Anderson put a couple of tunes on it which he recorded without Vangelis I think. So reportedly they fell out over that and that's why there are no more Jon and Vangelis records.

  16. #16
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floyd umma gumma View Post
    I don't remember the details but I do recall that Anderson released that fourth record without Vangelis in complete agreement or something - also I think Anderson put a couple of tunes on it which he recorded without Vangelis I think. So reportedly they fell out over that and that's why there are no more Jon and Vangelis records.
    The original album sessions go back to the mid-late 1980s but it wasn't released until 1991 (which explains why it sounds more varied than previous releases.) Like Private Collection it had almost no US distribution. That's probably why Anderson took it upon himself to re-release it in 1998. The track listing and some of the mixes differs between the two.

    Cherry Red reissued it in 2013 (along with some other Vangelis albums) with the original track listing, plus a bonus track.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    I consider their first, Short Stories, by far the best.
    Ditto. To me by far the best and at his best voice, very clear and high.
    Too sad that Vangelis closed the doors to Jon.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by rickm View Post
    Too sad that Vangelis closed the doors to Jon.
    Yes. If we've learned nothing over these many years, it's that Jon Anderson is always the victim. No Vangelis/no Jon. ;-)

    I heard Jon was selling some of their collaborative work at his shows without giving his "buddy" a piece/rightful share of the pie. Wouldn't that make you a tad upset as well?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by luvyesmusic View Post
    Yes. If we've learned nothing over these many years, it's that Jon Anderson is always the victim. No Vangelis/no Jon. ;-)

    I heard Jon was selling some of their collaborative work at his shows without giving his "buddy" a piece/rightful share of the pie. Wouldn't that make you a tad upset as well?
    I never said that Jon was the victim. I thought the issue was with the release of Page of Life without permission.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by rickm View Post
    I thought the issue was with the release of Page of Life without permission.
    Yes, that does appear to have been the case. Vangelis was upset by Anderson's actions and the band was no more... not that the band was particularly active by then. It was Anderson being busy with Yes that stopped Jon & Vangelis the first time. After he left Yes, they work on one set of ideas that don't get released (although "Let's Pretend" makes it to ABWH) and then on Page of Life.

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  21. #21
    I think the first 3 are about equal in merit. If I had to choose, I'd pick "Short Stories" even though the opening track is pretty lame. Some sublime stuff on that one. A lot of through-composing which really has long term listening value.

  22. #22
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    I’ve heard the first one had a lot of improvising involved in the studio. I love all of the first one, enjoy most of the second one except back to school which I loathe. The third and fourth ones had a fair amount of good material.


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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by yesstiles View Post
    I think the first 3 are about equal in merit. If I had to choose, I'd pick "Short Stories" even though the opening track is pretty lame. Some sublime stuff on that one. A lot of through-composing which really has long term listening value.
    By the opening track of Short Stories, do you mean Curious Electric? If so - by contrast with your impression that it is lame, for me, it's the best thing the two produced together! The instrumental sections at the beginning & end are exhilarating, & I really like the abstract, almost all unaccompanied, vocal section in the middle.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    By the opening track of Short Stories, do you mean Curious Electric? If so - by contrast with your impression that it is lame, for me, it's the best thing the two produced together! The instrumental sections at the beginning & end are exhilarating, & I really like the abstract, almost all unaccompanied, vocal section in the middle.
    I played Short Stories the other day, the first time for years, I enjoyed Curious Electric more than I remembered. A great album and now 40 years old.

  25. #25
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    By the opening track of Short Stories, do you mean Curious Electric? If so - by contrast with your impression that it is lame, for me, it's the best thing the two produced together! The instrumental sections at the beginning & end are exhilarating, & I really like the abstract, almost all unaccompanied, vocal section in the middle.
    Agree about the instrumental part--some of Vangelis's best work anywhere. Anderson's lyrics are pretty dopey, and the "tune" obviously an off-the-cuff improv, but that part is brief.

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