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Olias of Sunhillow Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 22, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

The Yes vocalist's 1976 solo debut for Atlantic. Features eight tracks, including 'Ocean Song' and 'To the Runner'. Warner.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 22, 1998)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Atlantic UK
  • ASIN: B000005S6X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,768 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carlo Matthews on October 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This swirling, organic mass of an album is the masterpiece Anderson has never managed to match. At the height of his creative powers, even if not of his instrumental skills, Anderson produced a landscape that carefully reflected his own peculiar musical culture. No other album is as Andersonian as Olias. Spacey yet earthy, grandiose yet humble, poetic yet strangely inarticulate, mystical yet accessible, self-indulgent yet awe-inspiring, this is an effort in passion, originality, and creativity that would leave many other contenders biting the dust in the ambitious musical environment of the 1970's.

Olias glides along seamlessly from one piece to another, showcasing Anderson's uncommon gifts for melody/harmony as well as for songwriting. Together with arrangements that veer from the rustic to sci-fi, the music appears to travel through Earth and Space, incarnating the elements of the material and ethereal worlds. The scope of the music is cinematic, freely pursuing concepts to every corner of its vision and fashioning an experience that is as breathtaking for its range as it is for its depth. Few works of modern music have found such a powerful communion between form and content, where both are truly inseparable, interdependent, as in Olias. One can only wonder what the rest of Yes would have done with the wealth of ideas in this record.

Anderson has done us proud.
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Format: Audio CD
If you have followed Yes throught the years, you are aware of the abstract images that Jon Anderson conjures up with his lyrical genius. This LP is way over the top! He manages to tell a story here, and still stay true to his "mystical" style of writing. This album is not just good Progressive music, it's a celebration of what Progressive music is all about. Moving, and awe inspiring. Nobody paints a mental picture like Jon. The fact that this gem has made it to CD after all these years is incouraging. In a day when music is all about pain, rage and anger, this LP brings back memories of a time when music was artisic, and uplifting...not primal therapy for the socially disturbed. Like other works of it's kind, this was music for the mind, written from the heart. I said the same thing about Chris Squire's "Fish Out OF Water". They do not make music like this anymore. Buy it now before it dissapears completely.
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Format: Audio CD
Jon Anderson is lucky that he has YES to do. Because he is so spaced out I dont think he could function in our world if he had to be like the rest of us. I dont know what the instrumentation is on this album but nothing sounds like guitars and drums.....more like harps and bells and lots of voices and harmonies and I must say that it is the best piece of modern music that these ears have heard. I got the album years ago and it was a little much for me. I was expecting something like a YES album. But now after all these years I am completely BLOWN AWAY by this guy! From waaaaay out in the cosmos somewhere Jon Anderson conceived of and recorded this awesome work that I dont think has a peer in "modern" or " rock" or "progressive" music. It is entirely in a class by itself. It would be impossible to make a follow up album to something like this so its all your going to get------so...............what are you waiting for?
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Format: Audio CD
Jon Anderson's 1976 solo album "Olias of Sunhillow" is one of my favorite pieces of music. It doesn't quite sound like Yes, yet it has that ethereal quality that their classic era records had. (Close to the Edge, Tales of Topographic Oceans, Relayer). Using synthesizers, tape loops, ethnic instruments, sound effects and different voices, Jon creates a rich, evocative world. It's one of the few albums I've entirely uploaded to my MP3 player and I usually listen to the album once every couple of days, and it never gets old for me.

The lyrics tell a story of a fellow called Olias, who lives in Sunhillow, a land where "each man belonged" and where "the slightest confrontation was dissolved before the start". With his friends Ranyart and Qoquaq (pronounced ko-quake) and many others he boards the Moorglade (a ship that can fly, powered by song). On it, they fly into space, past their moon, ascending to the stars, searching, searching...

I remember the first time I heard this record, it was like experiencing a dream, it really, really was. Atmospheres, feelings and adventures floating through the speakers, merging into each other. It's one of the few albums I think can truly be called otherworldly. My favorite segments include "Meeting (Garden of Geda)" with its strange choir harmonies and rather modern sounding beat, "Solid Space" with its uplifting synths and eerie electronic thunder, and "Naon" with its thick percussion and a chant/chorus from Jon that sounds kind of like like a thousand people singing their hearts out from the mountaintops. Beautiful. It's all as detailed and rich as any fantasy novel. I can picture all that is happening just as well, if not better, than some stories.

The album artwork both inside and out is brilliant and just as evocative as the music. I just wish there was more of it.

Highly, highly recommended for prog rock fans, Yes fans, and lovers of fantasy of all kinds.
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Format: Audio CD
Along with Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, this is one of those rare complete and perfect recordings. Jon Anderson was a clear and open channel as he painted this view of heaven onto a tape recorder. I used to put this album on continous play on my turntable so it would be the last thing I heard as I went to sleep at night and the first thing I would hear when I woke up in the morning. It is the sound of your most beautiful dream. If you can still find it, I would suggest that you also pick up a copy of the LP to view the artwork in full size as you are listening to this recording. The Roger Dean artwork is also resounding in beauty as part of this wonderful manifestation. There is no album out there to compare it to.
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