CD4160 earthmotherearth
Produced by Jon Anderson
Released on September 9, 1997
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
CD4160 cover  

E arthmotherearth is a homespun effort: Jon wraps the sound of his home (birds, cats, wife Jane) into his acoustic songs. In some ways this is a return to the musical terrain of Olias of Sunhillow -- the mixture of harp, acoustic guitar and vocals create the same sweeping effect -- though this takes a more natural approach where Olias was supernatural. Fans of Jon Anderson will probably enjoy this album from the start; detractors will find fuel in the moments when Jon steps back from songwriting (e.g., the three Harptree pieces and segues like “Scraggle Cat and Puss Cat Willum”). Despite the light arrangements (bass and an additional guitar are added occasionally for color only), many of the songs are terrific. “Time Has Come,” “Concerto Uno,” “Concerto Due” and “Whalewatching” are transparent but at their core is the framework of wonder. As with all of Jon’s albums in the ‘90s, Earthmotherearth is different than anything before or after it. Here, the singer steps back from creating music in a studio, and instead creates a studio for his music using nature. Jane also gets a few cameos, including some spoken poetry as well as lead vocals for the delightful “Heaven Knows (Treehugging).” (I don’t think there’s anyone in that family who doesn’t have a beautiful voice.) Earthmotherearth reminds me that Anderson (and, thus, Yes) was influenced by the work of Simon & Garfunkel, this time leaning toward the Garfunkel side of that team. Anderson has had such success exploring outside of his natural element (Deseo, Change We Must) that Earthmotherearth seems like an easy feat. True, it’s no surprise that he made an album like this, but it would have been a shame if he didn’t.

TRACK LISTING

  1. TIME HAS COME    4:31
  2. HARPTREE    2:11
  3. TAKE A LITTLE TIME OUT    4:12
  4. SCRAGGLE CAT AND PUSS CAT WILLUM    0:51
  5. CONCERTO UNO    5:28
  6. HARPTREE TOO    2:00
  7. CONCERTO DUE    6:53
  8. HARPTREE TREE    2:25
  9. THAT CRAZY WIND    3:34
  10. BEHIND MY EYES    (Jon Anderson/Jane Luttenberger Anderson)    0:53
  11. HEAVEN KNOWS (TREEHUGGING)    2:22
  12. WHALEWATCHING    5:47
  13. EARTHMOTHEREARTH - LA PEROUSE    (Jon Anderson/Jane Luttenberger Anderson)    6:50

    All songs written by Jon Anderson unless noted

CREDITS

JON ANDERSON -- vocals, guitars, percussion, harp, engineer, artwork
JANE LUTTENBERGER ANDERSON -- duet vocals, lead vocal on (11), spoken-word pieces
KEVIN DAY -- bass and 12-string guitar
John Bartelt -- guitar vignettes (5)
Eduardo del Signore -- bass (5)
Handsome Boy and His Pals -- birdsinging
Beau Richards -- bass (1)
Pierre Rosier -- bass (12)
Scraggle Cat and Puss Cat Willum -- meows
Tom Tierney -- percussion
Jeffrey Charno -- executive producer

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US September 9, 1997 Ellipsis Arts CD/CS CD4160 lyric sleeve

 

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