Song Of Seven (Remastered & Expanded)

Jon Anderson

Esoteric Recordings, 2020

http://www.jonanderson.com

REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/25/2021

Song Of Seven was Jon Anderson’s second solo album, and it was released back in 1980. At that time, Anderson was not a member of Yes, but a solo artist. He was very much on his own and there was no mother band to fall back on. This reissue brings that album back into the spotlight once again.

I have to say this album wasn’t one of my favorites for many years to come, but at some point, I began to warm up to it. Now I often play it and enjoy its relaxing qualities. It truly is a silent classic, but in a completely different way than what Anderson had been presenting up until then.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

What is very interesting about this reissue are the liner notes that include an interview with Anderson, who tells a lot of new details about the origins of the music and the album itself. As it turns out, many of these songs were written with Yes in mind. At that time, the band was recording its Tormato album, and Anderson was told these songs were not fitting with the concept of that record. So, they ended up on Song Of Seven. It’s a very revealing piece of information. Also, the use of number seven in the title is nicely explained in the notes, but I won’t give that fact away.

Songs of Seven is a very joyful collection of tracks that work well as a whole. “Some Are Born” was a minor hit, and it was often played on the radio back in those days, but of course faded with time. Songs such as “Heart Of The Matter” and “Everybody Loves You” certainly strike a chord with their positive messages and upbeat rhythms. 

This album was not an easy one to find in the CD world. I believe it was only available as a Japanese import for many years. This reissue sounds so much better than anything released previously. You finally hear things that in the past appeared hidden, and they make the songs so much richer and fuller. There are two bonus tracks, but it’s only different versions of songs already included on the record. It’s still cool to have it all in one place, and I’m sure the completists will rejoice at this.

Song Of Seven is a transitional record for Jon Anderson. It captures him at a very special moment in time. Two years later he’d make Animation, and then it was back to Yes for the glamour and fame of 90125. Song Of Seven is like a quiet neighborhood walk in comparison to all of that.

Rating: B

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