SD 16021 Song of Seven
Produced by Jon Anderson
Released on October 1980
UK CHART POSITION #38 . . . US CHART POSITION #143
Find it at GEMM
SD 16021 cover  

S ong of Seven is Jon Anderson’s most conventional album to date, sounding at times like a spiritually informed Supertramp. A handful of these tracks are carryovers from the last Yes sessions, rendered here in a straightforward style by the studio musicians on hand. While less well received than his collaborative effort with Vangelis released earlier in the year, Short Stories, this record is much more accessible and engaging. Unlike the conceptual Olias of Sunhillow, Song of Seven is simply a collection of songs, many with a positive message and a catchy melody. A few qualify as actual pop songs - “Don’t Forget (Nostalgia),” “Heart of the Matter” and “Take Your Time” for example - delivered with a charm and sincerity unique to Anderson. The opening “For You For Me” is more in line with the free-form vocalizing of Short Stories, “Hear It” and “Days” perhaps the closest match to Olias’ acoustic magic. The album’s high point is the title track, which recalls the melodic epics of Yes, albeit on a more modest scale. Likewise, “Some Are Born” and “Everybody Loves You” are memorable songs that deliver Jon’s message of love and hope in pleasant arrangements. The music, predictably light on its feet, is anchored by traditional instrumentation: fretless bassist John Giblin, keyboardist Ronnie Leahy, guitarist Ian Barinson and percussionist Maurice (Morris) Pert add an element of substance lacking in Jon’s earlier work, although some may find the results mundane by comparison. I have yet to read a positive account of this album, but it’s one of my favorites from Jon, unpretentious and disarmingly sweet.

SD 16021 back cover SD 16021 lyric sleeve
SD 16021 back cover SD 16021 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. FOR YOU FOR ME    4:24
  2. SOME ARE BORN    4:02
  3. DON'T FORGET (NOSTALGIA)    2:57
  4. HEART OF THE MATTER    (Jon Anderson/Ronnie Leahy)    4:18
  5. HEAR IT    1:48
  6. EVERYBODY LOVES YOU    4:01
  7. TAKE YOUR TIME    3:12
  8. DAYS    3:24
  9. SONG OF SEVEN    11:07

    All songs written by Jon Anderson unless noted

CREDITS

JON ANDERSON -- vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards, harp
IAN BARINSON -- guitar, bass, sing song vocals
JOHN GIBLIN -- bass
RONNIE LEAHY -- keyboards
MAURICE PERT -- drums, percussion
CHRISTOPHER RAINBOW -- backing vocals, sing song vocals, choir
Damian James Anderson -- Korg keyboards (5), countdown and countup (9)
Deborah Leigh Anderson -- harmony (5)
Petite Jade Anderson -- countdown and countup (9)
Jack Bruce -- bass (4)
Clem Clemson -- guitar (4,9)
Johnny Dankworth -- alto sax (3)
Delme String Quartet -- strings (9)
Mel -- bass (5)
Dick Morrisay (sic) -- sax (2,4)
Dave Ogden -- string arrangement (9)
Simon Phillips -- drums (4)
Mike Dunne -- engineer
Brian Gaylor -- electronics
John Martin -- coordination and instruments

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 1980 Atlantic LP/CS K50756 lyric sleeve
US October 1980 Atlantic LP/CS SD 16021 lyric sleeve
CAN 1980 Atlantic LP XSD 16021 lyric sleeve
GER 1980 Atlantic LP ATL 50756  
JPN 1980 Atlantic LPPRO P-10937A promo w. gatefold ps, lyric insert
GER 1996 WEA CD 781475  
JPN   Atlantic CD    

 

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