Jon Anderson : Featured Artist

  • Jon Anderson : Featured Artist


    Jon Anderson (born John Roy Anderson on 25 October 1944) is an English singer-songwriter and musician best known as the former lead vocalist in the progressive rock band Yes. He is also an accomplished solo artist and has collaborated with artists such as the Greek musician Vangelis, among others.


    1 Biography
    1.1 Early life and childhood
    1.2 Early career
    1.3 Yes
    2 Vocal and lyrical style
    3 BeyondYes
    3.1 1970s
    3.2 1980s
    3.3 1990s
    3.4 2000s
    3.5 2010 to present
    4 Family
    5 Health and spirituality
    6 Discography
    6.1 Solo
    6.1.1 Studio albums
    6.1.2 Collection
    6.1.3 Singles
    6.2 With Yes
    6.3 As Anderson/Wakeman
    6.4 As Jon and Vangelis
    6.5 As Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
    6.6 Collaborations
    7 Music videos
    8 DVD
    9 Website
    10 Video


    Early life and childhood

    Jon Anderson was born John Roy Anderson in Accrington, Lancashire, England, to Albert and Kathleen Anderson. His father was from Scotland whilst his mother was of Irish ancestry. Anderson dropped the "h" from his first name in 1970.

    Anderson attended St. John's Infants School in Baxenden, Accrington. There he made a tentative start to a musical career playing the washboard in "Little John's Skiffle Group", which played songs by Lonnie Donegan, among others. Anderson left school at the age of fifteen and went through a series of jobs including farm hand, lorry driver and milkman. Anderson tried to pursue a football career at Accrington Stanley F.C., but at 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall, Anderson was turned down because of his frail constitution. He remains a fan of the club.

    Early career

    In 1962 Anderson joined The Warriors (also known as The Electric Warriors), where he and his brother Tony shared the role of lead vocalist. He quit this band in 1967, released two solo singles in 1968 under the pseudonym Hans Christian, and then briefly sang for the bands The Gun and The Open Mind. One of Anderson's first producers at EMI was songwriter Paul Korda.

    In March 1968 Anderson met bassist Chris Squire and joined him in a group called Mabel Greer's Toyshop, which had previously included guitarist Peter Banks. Anderson fronted this band but ended up leaving again before the summer was over. He remarks on his website that his time with the band consisted of "too many drugs, not enough fun!".


    Anderson, Squire and Banks went on to form Yes with drummer Bill Bruford and keyboardist Tony Kaye. Their debut album was released in 1969. Rick Wakeman joined in 1971, and Anderson stayed with the group until a 'bitter dispute' in 1980. This has been known as the 'classic' period of Yes. Jon was a major creative force and band leader throughout this period. He has described himself as the 'team captain' and was nicknamed by his bandmates "Napoleon" for his diminutive stature and leadership of the band. He is also recognized as the main instigator of a series of epic works produced by Yes at the time. He played an indispensable role in creating such complex pieces as "Close to the Edge", "Awaken" and especially "The Gates of Delirium".

    Anderson performing in concert
    with Yes in 1973.

    He rejoined a reformed Yes in 1983 which produced their most commercially successful album 90125 with newcomer Trevor Rabin. He departed again in 1988 over creative differences relating to the band's continued pursuit of major commercial success and mainstream radio play. In 1989 Anderson and other former Yes members formed the group Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe (ABWH), augmented by bassist Tony Levin, who had played with drummer Bill Bruford in King Crimson. After the successful first ABWH album, a series of business deals caused ABWH to reunite with the then-current members of Yes, who had been out of the public eye while searching for a new lead singer. The resulting eight-man band assumed the name Yes, and the album Union (1991) was assembled from various pieces of an in-progress second ABWH album, as well as recordings that the "Yes proper" band had been working on without Anderson. A successful tour followed, but the eight-man line-up of Yes never recorded a complete album together before splintering in 1992. Many more personnel changes followed, but Anderson stayed in the band until 2008. He appears on all Yes albums except for their 1980 album Drama, and their 2011 album Fly From Here.

    Anderson was fond of experimenting within the band and in so doing contributed to occasionally conflicted relationships within the band and with management. He originally wanted to record the album Tales from Topographic Oceans in the middle of the woods, and instead decided to put hay and animal cut-outs all over the recording studio. In another incident Anderson had tiles installed in the studio to simulate the echo effect of one's vocals in a bathroom.

    Jon Anderson performing in 1977.

    Anderson last performed with Yes in 2004. A tour planned for summer 2008 with Anderson was cancelled when he suffered acute respiratory failure. The band have since announced a tour without him and he has been replaced by Benoît David, the lead vocalist in Yes tribute act Close to the Edge.

    As of mid-2011, Anderson is collaborating with Rabin and Wakeman on a new Anderson-Wakeman-Rabin album, and likely some concerts in 2012. They're writing music, and Wakeman said he hopes the album is completed by the end of 2011. On tour, the group plans to perform Yes songs and new music. The group has unsuccessfully attempted to recruit Bruford to drum on the album.

    Vocal and lyrical style

    It is a commonly-held misconception that Jon Anderson sings falsetto, a vocal technique which artificially produces high, airy notes by using only the ligamentous edges of the vocal cords; however, Jon Anderson does not sing falsetto. His normal singing (and speaking) voice is naturally above the tenor range. In a 2008 interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jon stated, "I'm an alto tenor and I can sing certain high notes, but I could never sing falsetto, so I go and hit them high." He is also noted for singing in his original Lancashire accent. Anderson is capable of hitting many high notes, such his E5s at the end of Heart of the Sunrise from the album Fragile (1971), and is able to get at least as low as G#2, which he displays once and briefly in the song The Ancient (Giants Under The Sun) from Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973).

    Anderson is also responsible for most of the mystically-themed lyrics and concepts which are part of many Yes releases. These have occasionally alienated some members of the band (most notably Bruford and Rick Wakeman), contributing to their leaving the group. The lyrics are frequently inspired by various books Anderson has enjoyed, from Tolstoy's War and Peace to Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha. A footnote in Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi inspired an entire double album Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973). Recurring themes include environmentalism, pacifism and sun-worship.

    Beyond Yes


    In 1970 Anderson appeared as a featured guest singer on King Crimson's Lizard album, on the track "Prince Rupert Awakes". The tune was outside the range of the group's then-vocalist, Gordon Haskell. He also co-wrote the song "Pearly Gates", which appears on Iron Butterfly's January 1975 album Scorching Beauty. In September 1975 he appeared on the Vangelis album Heaven and Hell and in the following year released his first solo album Olias of Sunhillow. In 1979 he composed the score for a ballet, Ursprung which was part of a grouping of three dance works, collectively entitled Underground Rumours, commissioned and performed by The Scottish Ballet. The choreographer was Royston Maldoom, the theatrical set and costume designer was Graham Bowers, and the lighting designer was David Hersey. The principal dancers were Andrea Durant and Paul Russell.


    In early 1980, when Anderson and Wakeman left Yes, Anderson started recording again with Vangelis and by summer 1980 Jon & Vangelis had released Short Stories, followed in November by Jon's solo album Song of Seven and a major British tour with The New Life Band. In 1981 he appeared on Rick Wakeman's concept album 1984. He also released another album with Vangelis in July 1981 called "The Friends of Mr. Cairo". The album produced two singles: "I'll Find My Way Home" and "The State of Independence", although the latter was a bigger hit for Donna Summer than for Jon and Vangelis getting to #14 in the British Charts. The album was also notable for the title track which was an ode to classic Hollywood gangster films of the 1930s and 40s, with voice impressions of Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and Jimmy Stewart which paid homage to the classic film noir "The Maltese Falcon". In 1982, he released Animation and in 1983 he appeared on Mike Oldfield's "In High Places" from the album Crises as well as another song called "Shine". In the same year he also appeared with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. During this year, he tried to form a trio with Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson, but it did not come to fruition.

    In 1984 Anderson appeared on the song "Cage Of Freedom" from the 1984 soundtrack for a re-release of the Fritz Lang silent film Metropolis. In 1985 his song "This Time it Was Really Right" was featured on the soundtrack for the movie St. Elmo's Fire. He also sang "Silver Train" and "Christie" on the film soundtrack Scream for Help. Along with Tangerine Dream, he appeared on the song "Loved by the Sun" for the 1985 film Legend directed by Ridley Scott. The 1986 film Biggles: Adventures in Time features a song sung by Anderson. During this year, he recorded some demo tracks that would later be reworked. He and Vangelis also started writing and demo'ing new songs for another album. Though the album was not made, they performed live together on 6 November 1986.

    The last three years of the eighties saw him singing (and briefly appearing in the music video) on "Moonlight Desires" on Gowan's album Great Dirty World in 1987. He recorded the album In the City of Angels and also sang on "Stop Loving You" on the Toto album The Seventh One in 1988, and in 1989 he recorded an album that would later be released as The Lost Tapes of Opio. He also sang on the songs "Within The Lost World" and "Far Far Cry" for the Jonathan Elias album Requiem for the Americas.


    Jon Anderson in 2003

    After Big Generator in 1987, Jon Anderson teamed up with ex-Yes members Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Bill Bruford. The result was Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, released in 1989 and supported by a successful tour. Because of the separate existence of Yes (part of the band's name still being owned by Anderson), this alternate incarnation were forced to use their surnames as the band's name (after Chris Squire threatened legal action). Meanwhile, Yes began composing and recording material for their follow-up, while Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe did the same, beginning production at Miraval Studios in the South of France in April 1990. Bowing to record company pressure to resurrect the Yes banner, Squire and Anderson came up with the idea of merging both projects, which resulted in the 1991 album Union.

    Although the supporting world tour was a commercial and critical success, praised by fans and band as one of Yes' best ever, the album was not as well-received, resulting in sales figures equivalent to those of the ABWH album (750,000 copies worldwide). Union would turn out to be Yes' last studio album to have significant sales, though it didn't match the popularity of 1987's Big Generator. One of Union's singles, "Lift Me Up", became Yes' biggest hit on Billboard's Album Rock Tracks chart, reaching the top spot and remaining there for six weeks in early 1991.

    In 1992 Anderson appeared on Kitaro's album Dream, adding both lyrics and vocals to three songs: "Lady of Dreams", "Island of Life" and "Agreement". He planned to release an Ancient America-influenced solo album called The Power of Silence in 1993, but it was not released due to issues with Geffen Records. He also toured South America with a band that included his daughters, Deborah and Jade. He appeared on the song "Along The Amazon" which he co-wrote for guitarist Charlie Bisharat's album of the same name. He also recorded an orchestral solo album called Change We Must in 1993; it was released the following year.

    In 1994 Anderson released a solo album of Latino-influenced music called Deseo. There were plans to release a live album called The Best of South America, but it was not released due to management issues though some copies were already released by Yes Magazine. Anderson sang on the 7th Level children's video game Tuneland. Also, his son Damion released a single called Close 2 the Hype, which featured him and Jon on vocals. The next year he released a solo album called Angels Embrace and spoke of a plan to tour and record in China, but this idea was soon abandoned in favour of focusing on work with Yes. In 1996 The Power of Silence was released under the title Toltec. This release included sound effects that were not on the original recording. Jon also played a Mother's Day concert in San Luis Obispo.

    The year 1997 saw Anderson recording and releasing a Celtic-influenced solo album called The Promise Ring, around the time he married Jane Luttenberger. During their honeymoon, Earthmotherearth was recorded and later released, followed in 1998 by an album called The More You Know that Jon and Jane recorded in Paris, France, with Francis Jocky. Anderson appeared on the song "The Only Thing I Need" by act 4Him in 1999; it was recorded for a multi-group album called "Streams". Steve Howe's tribute album Portraits of Bob Dylan also featured a cover of the Bob Dylan song, "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands", with Jon's vocals. He also recorded with a band called The Fellowship.

    Anderson in Vicenza, Italy,
    29 November 2007


    In 2000, Anderson and then Yes keyboardist Igor Khoroshev worked on an album called True You, True Me. A tour was to commence in 2001, but due to Khoroshev's sexual assault charges during Yes's 2000 Masterworks Tour, the project was shelved. In 2002, Anderson started recording songs for a project called The Big If, which has not been released (as of 2010). In 2004 he appeared with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra of Cleveland. The concert was recorded but only released to the orchestra members. He also recorded live on XM Satellite Radio in Washington D.C. on 1 April. This show was released on a DVD called Tour of the Universe in 2005, which incorporated visual effects. This release coincided with the release of Jon Anderson's single, "State of Independence".

    Anderson's earlier albums Olias of Sunhillow and Song of Seven were re-issued in 2006. Animation was tardily released on CD to complaints about the professionalism of the sound.[citation needed] To some ears, a later pressing used a better master, although the label Voiceprint denies any differences between the pressings. In Elven Lands, an album containing Jon's recordings with The Fellowship, was also released as were the first seven volumes of a box set called The Lost Tapes. Also in 2006, Anderson appeared with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (East Coast Troupe) during two 16 December shows in Philadelphia, PA to play "Roundabout".

    In 2007, Anderson contributed vocals to an album Culture of Ascent by American progressive rock group Glass Hammer; and appeared as part of a vocal ensemble on the track "Repentance" from the Dream Theater album Systematic Chaos. During that year, Anderson also toured both the USA and England with The Paul Green School of Rock Music. Anderson's 1985 Christmas album 3 Ships was also released on CD with bonus tracks.

    Anderson of Yes performed
    at the Wilbur Theater in Boston,
    Mass. on 15 March 2012.

    The year 2008 saw an ambient album using Anderson's voice and bird song called From Me to You added to The Lost Tapes. Anderson appeared on the song "Sadness of Flowing" which he co-wrote for Peter Machajdik's album Namah and he made similar contributions to a re-mastering of Tommy Zvoncheck's album "ZKG".

    In 2009 Anderson played on a European tour called "Have Guitar, Will Travel". Later that year, his 1997 album EarthMotherEarth was re-released with bonus tracks. Rather than just have Jon Anderson's name, it was released under "Jon and Jane Anderson". In The City of Angels and Change We Must were also reprinted during this year.

    2010 to present

    Anderson played a series of shows in Canada and the United States in 2010. He and Rick Wakeman began an autumn tour of the UK at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, on 9 October. A sample of Anderson's vocals from Mike Oldfield's "In High Places" is prominently featured in Kanye West's 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in the opening track "Dark Fantasy".

    In 2011, Anderson played a rendition of "Owner of a Lonely Heart" with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) Philharmonic of San Antonio. That same year, Anderson released a single-track album entitled Open, featuring orchestration by Stefan Podell.


    Jon Anderson married Jennifer Baker in 1970, and they divorced in 1995. They have three children: daughter Deborah Anderson (b. 1970), son Damion Anderson (b. 1972), and daughter Jade Anderson (b. 1980). He married Jane Luttenberger in 1997.

    Deborah Anderson sang on her father's solo album Song of Seven, and more recently has sung for the French electronica band Télépopmusik on the album Angel Milk (released 2005); she also works as a photographer. Damion Anderson spoke the final lines in the Yes song "Circus of Heaven" which appeared on Tormato, and is also a musician; he released the EP Close To The Hype ("C2T Hype") in 1994 with his father (remixes). Jade Anderson's birth is celebrated in her father's song "Animation" on the album of the same name, and she sang back-up vocals on many of his later albums. She has released a solo album in Japan.

    In March 2009, after 25 years of living in the United States, Jon announced in a statement via his Facebook page that he had become an American citizen. The statement made no mention as to whether he had retained or renounced his UK citizenship.

    Health and spirituality

    Anderson was a smoker in the 1960s and 70s, but now prides himself on a much healthier lifestyle. In the mid 70s, Anderson became a vegetarian, as did most members of Yes; however in an interview he stated, "I was a veggie for a while, but again I grew out of that. But I do eat very healthy." In an 16 August 2006 interview on The Howard Stern Show Anderson said he eats meat, mostly fish, on occasion. In the interview, he also stated he had a spiritual adviser that "helped him see into the fourth dimension". Before live performances he often meditates in a tent with crystals and dreamcatchers, a practice he started in the 1980s. Anderson's religious beliefs are syncretic and varied, including respect for the Divine Mother Audrey Kitagawa. He has worked with the Contemporary Christian music band 4HIM: in 1999, his vocal was featured on the song "The Only Thing I Need", which appeared on a 'various artists' CD entitled Streams.

    One of Anderson's passions is painting, and he uses his art as another channel for his creativity and self-expression. His artwork is available to view on his official website. He lived in France with Jennifer Baker at a farm in Saint-Paul de Vence for over five years from the very late 1970s, becoming friend of painters Marc Chagall and André Verdet, nearest neighbours (inspiring some of his songs and musical themes). In 1990 he returned in France to record demos between Le Domaine de Miraval still in Provence at Le Val and Paris, this time with ABWH for the perspective of an hypothetical second album.

    On 13 May 2008, Anderson suffered a severe asthma attack which required a stay in hospital. According to Yes' website, he was later "at home and resting comfortably." Yes' planned summer 2008 tour was subsequently cancelled, with the press release saying, "Jon Anderson was admitted to the hospital last month after suffering a severe asthma attack. He was diagnosed with acute respiratory failure and was told by doctors to rest and not work for a period of at least six months or suffer further health complications." In September 2008 Jon wrote that he's "so much grateful and so blessed...I look forward to 2009 for the "Great Work" to come." In 2009 he returned to touring (solo) and continued touring in 2010 and the autumn of 2011, with Rick Wakeman for a UK tour (2010) and the eastern US (2011).



    Studio albums

    Olias of Sunhillow (1976)
    Song of Seven (1980)
    Animation (1982)
    3 Ships (1985)
    In the City of Angels (1988)
    Deseo (1994)
    Change We Must (1994)
    Angels Embrace (1995)
    Toltec (1996)
    Lost Tapes of Opio (1996)
    The Promise Ring (1997)
    Earth Mother Earth (1997)
    The More You Know (1998)
    Survival & Other Stories (2010)


    The Lost Tapes (20 CD Box-Set) (2006–2007)
    The Mother's Day Concert (2006) (demos)
    Searching For Songs (2006) (demos)
    Live In Sheffield 1980 (2006)
    Watching The Flags That Fly (2006)
    The Lost Tapes Of Opio (2007)
    From Me To You (2008) (with birds songs)


    Flight of the Moorglade / To the Runner (1976)
    Some Are Born / Days (1980)
    Take Your Time / Heart Of The Matter (1980)
    Surrender / Spider (1982)
    All In A Matter Of Time / Spider (1982)
    Cage Of Freedom (1984)
    Easier Said Than Done / Save All Your Love (Reprise) (1985)
    Easier Said Than Done / Day of Days (1985)
    Easier Said Than Done / Three Ships (1985)
    Easier Said Than Done / Three Ships / Oh Holy Night (1985)
    How it Hits You / Day of Days (1985)
    Hold On To Love / Sundancing (1988)
    Hold On To Love / In a Lifetime / Sundancing (1988)
    Is it Me / Top of the World / For You (1988)
    Island of Life / Lady of Dreams (1992)
    Change We Must / State of Independence (1994)
    State of Independence (CD-Single)(2007)
    Unbroken Spirit (Digital Single) (2010)
    Give Hope (Digital Single) (2011)
    Open (Digital Single) (2011)

    With Yes

    Yes (1969)
    Time and a Word (1970)
    The Yes Album (1971)
    Fragile (1971)
    Close to the Edge (1972)
    Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973)
    Relayer (1974)
    Going for the One (1977)
    Tormato (1978)
    90125 (1983)
    Big Generator (1987)
    Union (1991)
    Talk (1994)
    Keys to Ascension (1996) (studio & live double album)
    Keys to Ascension 2 (1997) (studio & live double album)
    Open Your Eyes (1997)
    The Ladder (1999)
    Magnification (2001)

    As Anderson/Wakeman

    The Living Tree (2010)

    As Jon and Vangelis

    Heaven and Hell (1975) (vocals, on the only song So Long Ago, So Clear)
    Short Stories (1980)
    The Friends of Mr. Cairo (1981)
    Private Collection (1983)
    The Best of Jon & Vangelis (1984)
    Page of Life (1991)
    Chronicles (1994)
    Page Of Life (1998) – alternate version not approved by Vangelis

    As Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

    Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (1989)
    An Evening of Yes Music Plus (1993) (double live album)


    With The Warriors:

    "You Came Along" b/w "Don't Make Me Blue" (1964)
    "Bolton Club 65" (1965)

    With Johnny Harris:

    "All To Bring You Morning" (1969; 1973 + Howe et White)

    With King Crimson:

    Lizard (1970)

    With Iron Butterfly:

    Scorching Beauty (1974) on track: "Pearly Gates"

    With Vangelis:

    Heaven and Hell (1975) – Vangelis album with Anderson vocals on "So Long Ago, So Clear"
    Opéra Sauvage (1979) – Vangelis album with Anderson playing harp on "Flamants Roses"
    See You Later (1980) on "Suffocation" and "See You Later"

    With Alan White:

    on the Album "Ramshackled" (1976) on track: "Spring Song Of Innocence"

    With Mike Oldfield:

    "In High Places" on the album Crises (1983)
    "Shine" (1986), as well as different and extended Remix of "Shine"

    With Rick Wakeman Album "1984" (released 1981):

    on track "The Hymn"

    On Movies:

    Soundtrack – Metropolis (1984 – with Giorgio Moroder): "Cage Of Freedom"

    Soundtrack – Scream For Help (1985 – with John Paul Jones): "Silver Train"

    Soundtrack – St. Elmo’s Fire (1985): "This Time It Was Really Right"

    Soundtrack – Biggles (1986): "Do You Want To Be A Hero"
    "Chocks Away"

    With Tangerine Dream:

    Loved By The Sun Legend movie (1986)

    With Lawrence Gowan:

    Moonlight Desires (1987)

    With Toto:

    Backing vocals on the single version of Stop Loving You (1988) – This was the same year Toto members contributed to Anderson's City of Angels.

    With Anderson, Harley & Batt:

    Whatever You Believe (1988)

    With Jonathan Elias:

    Requiem for the Americas: Songs from the Lost World (1990) (first song Within The Lost World (lead vocals), and Far Far Cry (10th and 12th (single) songs)

    With Kitaro:

    on the album: "Dreams" on the tracks: "Lady Of Dreams", "Agreement", "Dream Of Chant", "Island Of Life" (1992)

    With London Philharmonic Orchestra:

    Symphonic Music of Yes (1993)

    With Charlie Bisharat:

    Along the Amazon (1993)

    With Ayman:

    Dancing with My Soul (1994)

    With 7th Level:

    Tuneland (1994)

    With Milton Nascimento:

    Angelus (1994)

    With Cielo y Tierra:

    Heaven And Earth (1996)

    With Steve Howe:

    Album: "Portraits Of Bob Dylan", on the track "Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands" (1999)

    With Béla Fleck and the Flecktones:

    "A Moment So Close" and "Aimun", on Outbound (2000)

    With 4 Him:

    sing the chorus of the song "The Only Thing I Need", on the "Streams" various artists album first released on Word Records "Dove Awards Album" (2002)

    With The Fellowship:

    In Elven Lands (2006)

    With Dream Theater:

    Systematic Chaos (2007)

    With Tommy Zvoncheck:

    ZKG (2008)

    With Peter Machajdik:

    Namah (2008)

    Music videos

    1986 "Easier Said Than Done"
    1988 "Hold On To Love"


    Tour Of The Universe, 2005 (83')


    Video : Jon Anderson - Hold On To Love

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  • Man, He's been busy after leaving YES. I hope he will return to the band soon..

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