813 174-1 5 Private Collection
Arranged & Produced by Vangelis
Released on May 1983
Find it at GEMM
813 174-1 5 cover
[high resolution photo]

T he closest parallel I have in my life to the music of Jon and Vangelis is counting to 10 when I’m angry. It’s not that I find their music calming but rather so frustrating at first, and only with time do I soften on it. So it requires a lot of patience and roughly ten licks before I can speak without sputtering about the muzakal dalliances of two otherwise remarkably talented musicians. Both Vangelis and Jon Anderson come from the “inspirational” school that favors music caught in the act of creation over critical self-editing. (Which isn’t how I would have phrased it before I got to 10.) Thus the creative process is about channeling two muses in a duet of demigods. (Or goading on another overinflated ego. Sorry. 1, 2, 3...) The truth is I have a lot of respect for the music of Vangelis and the music of Jon Anderson, which is ironically a very different thing than having respect for the music of Jon and Vangelis. When the pair sets out to actually write a song together (as on “He Is Sailing”), the results are magical. When they set out on an ambitious side-long piece (“Horizons”), the journey provides plenty of interesting sights and sounds. But for the most part, we’ve been here before: Vangelis provides a light lullaby melody with the same familiar sounds and flourishes while Jon takes his critical mind out of the equation and lets his spirituality flow in fragmentary sentences. Critics of the pair, of course, will find armfuls of ammunition here. Nobody, not even Jon Anderson, can get away with a line like “All that is good in this life is good, Good is good.” (4, 5, 6...) And the opening “Italian Song” isn’t sung in Italian, but nonsensical words and syllables that Jon felt sounded like Italian. Honestly, there are times when the pair’s collaborative process reminds me of two convicts in a prison cell playing the “I’m thinking of something in this room” game. (Is it the bed? Is it the toilet? Is it me? Is it the toilet?) I know, I’m slipping back into cynicism, 7, 8, 9... That there are people who love the music of Jon and Vangelis validates the whole experiment I suppose. Ultimately, Private Collection isn’t quantifiably better than their earlier collaborations but (based on my and others’ experience) it is at least empirically better.

813 174-1 5 back cover 813 174-1 5 lyric insert
813 174-1 5 back cover 813 174-1 5 lyric insert


  1. ITALIAN SONG    2:53
  3. DEBORAH    4:57
  4. POLONAISE    5:28
  5. HE IS SAILING    6:51
  6. HORIZON    22:51

    Music composed by Vangelis, Lyrics by Jon Anderson


JON ANDERSON -- vocals
VANGELIS -- instruments, sleeve, photography
Dick Morrisey -- saxophone (2)
Raine Shine -- engineer
Jerome Van de Krugt -- engineer
Alwyn Clayden, Green Ink, Tony Latham -- sleeve, photography

return to JON AND VANGELIS discography

UK May 1983 Polydor LP POLH-4 picture sleeve
US/GER/KOR/NZ May 1983 Polydor LP 813 174 lyric insert
ARG 1983 Polydor LP 20716  
BRA 1983 Polydor LP/CS 813 174-1 5/813 17446 lyric insert
CAN 1983 Polydor LP PDS-1-6373  
FRA 1983 Polydor LP 813 681 lyric sleeve
JPN 1983 Polydor LP 28MM-0297  
US/AUSL   Polydor CD 813 174  
JPN 2003 Polydor CD UICY-9377  


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