Olias Of Sunhillow (Remastered & Expanded)

Jon Anderson

Esoteric Recordings, 2021

http://www.jonanderson.com

REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/13/2021

Olias Of Sunhillow was Jon Anderson’s first solo record while member of Yes.  It came out in 1976 during perhaps the most creative period for Anderson and Yes.  The album is a natural extension of what Anderson was doing in Yes, yet it contains several elements that make it stand apart. The album has a very mystical feel and its spirituality comes across very strong. In many ways this is the definite Jon Anderson album.  Other Anderson solo albums are great in their own way, but already display different aspects of his musical journey. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Olias Of Sunhillow perfectly captures the 1976 Anderson.

What really stands out here is how he was able to capture the feel using different instrumentation and sounds.  The album has a very exotic feel. In many ways it displays folklore from around the world, but it’s unified, so the record has a one common denominator. Upon hearing it for the first time, one wants to repeatedly revisit and explore. There is a lot going on musically. The album is very organic, but complicated at the same time. If you like to be challenged, this record has your name on it.

Much has to be said about the beautiful cover, and the artwork. It is extremely impressive, and perfectly illustrates the music. It has that feel of the big adventure ahead. The reissue really focused on that aspect even more. There are two separate booklets accompanying the album. The first booklet explains the circumstances under which this album was created, and the second focuses on the lyrics. Both booklets are extremely informative and beautifully designed. The people in charge of this project certainly put their heart into making this very special.

The reissue includes a second disc, a DVD with a new 5.1 surround sound mix. There are no extra recordings or outtakes, but the album itself is just perfect the way it is. There were few different versions of this album floating around, but this by far is the definitive one. Olias Of Sunhillow shines again, 45 years after its initial release.

Rating: A

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