This one’s been in the oven for a while, but a new announcement may be a signal that the release of Jon Anderson’s new CD may be imminent. Anderson, is best known for his work with legendary classic rockers Yes. Yes was probably the first truly progressive rock group that really caught my attention back in the 1970’s. Anderson, along with guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Bill Bruford, keyboardist Rick Wakeman and bassist Chris Squire blew me away with Yes’ fourth album, Fragile.
It was the amazing creativity and technical prowess of Yes that led me to embrace the music of other progressive rockers of the era such as Rush, Max Webster, Kansas, and Frank Zappa. Although my appreciation for other genres has expanded over the years, it was the progressive rock groups of the 70’s that formed the cornerstone of the foundation upon which my appreciation of music has been constructed through the decades.
Anderson, a very spiritual person going back as far as I can recall, seems to have reached a new level after a serious illness back in 2008 kept him from touring with Yes and set off a war of words between himself and the other members who decided to take the group back on the road for their 40th anniversary tour. The back-and-forth was short-lived compared to many other rock star-involved splits, which may be a testament to Anderson’s spiritual outlook on life. Good will on that part of his former band mates should not be discounted either, but I’m no insider, so the usual disclaimers apply.
Following his recovery, Anderson had an idea that prompted him to use the power of the internet to help him create his forthcoming CD, Survival & Other Stories. As he describes it, “About four years ago I just put in an ad on my website: ‘Musicians Wanted’… This is the result. Writing the songs for ‘Survival & Other Stories’ was uplifting for me on many levels, I was working with musicians from around the world Via the Internet, it’s a new world, music is a healing energy, I had a tough 2008, through illness, and the Music I’ve been writing since is a celebration of life on many levels…I hope you get the chance to hear the album..Big Love..Jon.”
Those words leave a bit to the imagination, which may be intentional on Anderson’s part. It’s usually smart to create a little mystery to add to the building anticipation under circumstances like this. Are there tracks on the new CD that feature music that was performed elsewhere and then mixed with other recordings or did he gather the musicians in the studio at the same time to record together? How did working with musicians around the world via the internet influence how the CD was engineered? Those are the kinds of things I find myself wondering about.
Although an official release date was not revealed to me, other sources around the internet have mentioned June 6th. That’s not an official date as far as I know, but it may be one to watch. Official information regarding the release I was made privy to indicates that it will be released “soon.”
Meanwhile, there are plans being made for Anderson to tour this summer in the U.S. and Canada. Fans will probably not be disappointed if they show up hoping to hear him perform material from the new CD. His recent east cost tour, “An Acoustic Evening With Jon Anderson” already featured some of the new material, and I’m guessing that will be ramped up following the release.
Survival & Other Stories contains eleven new songs which are described as music “about love, life, understanding, healing and survival.” Regarding the “healing and survival” element, that’s something that Anderson has likely gained some key insight about during the last few years. Fans and others who appreciate and embrace a spiritual approach to life may find this new CD as educational as it is entertaining.