Third best of the Yes solo projects
kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 01/23/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is 44 minutes long and the sound quality is fair to good. It is another one of the Yes CDs that could really use remastering. The sound quality is not as bad as some of the other earlier Yes CDs, but the whole listening enjoyment of the album could be greatly enhanced with better sound quality. For some reason, when the Yes catalog first got released on CD, the sound quality was just horrible. Even some of the albums that went directly to CD, like Big Generator, sounded bad. You could understand why some people hated CDs and became vinyl snobs. Many, but not all of the Yes CDs have been remastered.
The booklet with the CD is just a shrunk version of the album cover. It is almost impossible to read the writing in the booklet. There are no credits given. I'm not sure who played on this album.
SO, I KNOCKED THIS DOWN A STAR BECAUSE OF THE SOUND QUALITY AND THE BOOKLET.
After Relayer was released, the members of the Yes (Anderson, Squire, Howe, White and Moraz at that time) took a break and released solo albums. This is the third best of those. By far the best (and one of the best albums by anyone having anything to do with Yes, including Yes) was Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water. Not far behind was Patrick Moraz's I.
Olias of Sunhillow sounds sort of like a Yes album, but heavily Anderson oriented. It is mostly synthesizers and harp, with overdubbed vocals. It is more mellow than a Yes album. It is a concept album and flows well from start to finish. It reminds me most of some parts of Tales of Topographic Oceans. If you are not already a Yes fan, you would not be won over by this album.
I am not positive, but I could have sworn that Anderson played some of this album during Yes's Relayer tour in 1975. He played something on Harp with a synthesizer background that I had not recognized. It was accompanied by a synchronized laser show. It was one of the most stunning effects I have ever seen in a concert (and I have seen a lot concerts, including Pink Floyd 6 times)."
If you like mind trips...take this one
Eric DiStefano | 06/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like to listen to a solid album/CD end to end for the feel, for the meditation, for the mental trip, for the escape, for the stress-relief, this is one to relish in. If you like any of Pink Floyd's Meddle, Tangerine Dream's Encore, Yes's Tales from Topographic Oceans, Brian Eno's Apollo Atmospheres, Mike Oldfield's Incantations, Kraftwerk's Autobahn, Moody Blue's In Search of the Lost Chord, Vangelis's Albedo 0.39, Hawkwind's Hall of the Mountain Grill, ..., then you should love this. All the above are unique, unlike the other, each a different trip to take. I think that this one is particularly special, never even closely approached in its overall sound by Anderson himself or another musician or group. It's full, rich, and beautiful, constructed by numerous layerings of the subtle contributions of many instruments/sounds, percussive or otherwise. As a result, it is not simple, yet it is smooth. It is from the heart and spiritual, a carefully and masterfully laid out surreal journey from start to finish. Listen in solitude, at night, and go.
Some of the synthesizer sounds ring of those found on contemporary Vangelis pieces, especially Albedo 0.39, but no one seems to know whether such a link is real and this work is not, nor does it bare any resemblance to the sound of a John and Vangelis or a Vangelis composition. The lyrics are abstract incomprehensible poetry with good sounding words. I actually prefer it that way when word choice just sounds good; of course in some cases during this album; they're not real words either, but they go well with the rest of the music.
This CD deserves an elaborate book-like or deluxe packaging for display by your stereo; it is currently a CD jewel case package. The original LP itself was offered in a fold-out book-like format (a few pages) and included the uncharacteristically detailed Roger Dean images and arabesques now overly-miniaturized in order to fit on the CD pages.
On the sound, I am not sure that remastering is necessary; this CD sounds quite good to me, but I do not have the ear to advise well on sound. I would still give a remaster a whirl if it were offered. Olias of Sonhillow is a gem and listenable in endless loop, my primary criterion for a 5-star rating.
Still chillingly great (... literally)!!!
PMFPS | North Carolina | 07/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first purchased this amazing recording back when it originally came out in 1975 (in the glory days of vinyl) and LITERALLY played the grooves off of it. I cannot imagine the genre of prog-rock with all its off-kilter time-signatures and lyrics of worlds yet dreamed of being of any value whatsoever without mention of this masterwork of creativity by Anderson! Yeah, he ate veggies (back in the 70's) ... Yeah, he (supposedly) talks to faeries ... Yeah, he thinks all things of greatness and value (i.e., us) come from under the ground ... but the bottom line is - the man is a friggin' GENIUS when it comes to going into his home studio for six months and, having "gone crazy" during that time, come up with something of this magnitude and mastery!! I cannot say enough good things about it ... even after 33 years of listening to this album, I still hear new things on it which excite me no end. I find myself coming back to it time and time again and I also say this with much pride and respect to Mr. Anderson - "Your 'madness' after six months in that studio couldn't have created and produced a better, more spiritual, mystical, and captivating release than this!" This is first rate prog, folks ... Believe me when I tell you that your music collection is NOT complete by any stretch of the imagination without this disc sitting safely and proudly on your shelf.
"Now as One, we'll sound our lives to the Sun ..." indeed!!
Good job, Jon! Good job indeed! (This is what the term "classic" is all about.)"