BFC 40910 In The City of Angels
Produced by Stewart Levine,
Jon Anderson, Rhett Lawrence, David Paich
Released on May 17, 1988
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
BFC 40910 cover  

Jon Anderson recorded this album in Los Angeles and Hollywood, thus the title and the presence of familiar L.A. session musicians. Much of the material is cowritten with others (Don Freeman, David Paich), including two tracks cowritten with Motown legend Lamont Dozier. The music, which matches immaculate production and trite arrangements with Jon’s spiritual sensibilities, feels like a lost Disney soundtrack much of the time. There are a few likeable tracks on here, such as the charming “If It Wasn’t for Love” and the energetic “New Civilization,” but for every step forward the album takes a step back. A couple of these songs did get better treatment on the orchestral Change We Must, notably “Hurry Home (Song from the Pleiades)” and “It’s on Fire.” The better moments are those that sound most like Jon, whether the wordy but intelligent “Sundancing (for the Hopi/Navajo Energy)” or the simple “For You.” The problem with In the City of Angels is the perceived portability of Jon Anderson’s voice; he’s more than a vocalist in search of a setting. It’s true that he catered to a more commercial audience on Big Generator, and tracks like “Top of the World (The Glass Bead Game)” are in line with that album’s offerings, but there’s a world of difference between what you’ll tolerate from Alan White versus a Jeff Porcaro. Jon rises above his surroundings half of the time, but In the City of Angels still raises the question of what he was doing there in the first place.

BFC 40910 back cover BFC 40910 lyric sleeve
BFC 40910 back cover BFC 40910 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. HOLD ON TO LOVE    (Jon Anderson/Lamont Dozier)    4:46
  2. IF IT WASN'T FOR LOVE (ONENESS FAMILY)    (Jon Anderson)    4:26
  3. SUNDANCING (FOR THE HOPI/NAVAJO ENERGY)    (Jon Anderson)    3:17
  4. IS IT ME    (Jon Anderson/Rhett Lawrence)    4:22
  5. IN A LIFETIME    (Jon Anderson/Lamont Dozier)    4:13
  6. FOR YOU    (Jon Anderson/David Paich)    2:51
  7. NEW CIVILIZATION    (Jon Anderson/Don Freeman/Gordon Peeke)    4:31
  8. IT'S ON FIRE    (Jon Anderson/Don Freeman)    4:31
  9. BETCHA    (Jon Anderson/Rhett Lawrence)    3:59
  10. TOP OF THE WORLD (THE GLASS BEAD GAME)    (Jon Anderson/David Paich)    5:23
  11. HURRY HOME (SONG FROM THE PLEIADES)    (Jon Anderson)    4:58

CREDITS

JON ANDERSON -- lead vocals, background vocals, drums, harp, percussion, horn arrangements
MICHAEL LANDAU -- guitar
JOHN ROBINSON -- drums
Lenny Castro -- percussion
The Cathedral Choir -- background vocals
Paulinho da Costa -- percussion
Don Freeman -- kyeboards
Thomas Funderbunk -- background vocals
Siedah Garrett -- background vocals
Gary Grant -- trumpet
Jimmy Haslip -- bass
Bonnie Hayes -- background vocals
Jerry Hey -- trumpet, horn arrangements
Dann Huff -- guitar
Kim Hutchcroft -- saxophone
Paul Jackson, Jr. -- guitar
Rhett Lawrence -- keyboards, arrangement, synthesizer programming
Jolie Jones Levine -- background vocals
Steve Lukather -- guitar
David Paich -- keyboards, background vocals, orchestration
Gordon Peeke -- drum programming
Jeff Porcaro -- drums, percussion
Mike Porcaro -- bass
Steve Porcaro -- keyboard programming
Bill Reichenbach -- saxophone, trombone
Marc Russo -- saxophone
Myrna Smith-Schilling -- background vocals
Julia Waters -- background vocals
Luther Waters -- background vocals
Maxine Waters -- background vocals
Oren Waters -- background vocals
Joe Williams -- background vocals
Larry Williams -- keyboards, synthesizer programming
John Jessel -- engineer (6,10)
Daren Klein -- engineer, mixing
Glenn Skinner -- engineer, mixing
Jerry McDonald -- illustration
Tony Lane/Nancy McDonald -- art direction

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/NET May 17, 1988 Epic LP/CD/CS 460693 lyric sleeve
US/CAN May 17, 1988 Columbia LP/CD/CS BFC/CK/PCT 40910 lyric sleeve
JPN 1988 Sony LP/CD/CS 25AP/25DP/25KP 5021 insert

 

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