Jon Anderson Tour, ‘1000 Hands’ LP: Listen

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Jon Anderson (Photo: www.DeborahAnderson.com; used with permission)

It’s been decades in the making and is finally being released. Yes co-founder and its longtime vocalist and songwriter, Jon Anderson, will release his long-awaited solo album, 1000 Hands, on March 31. (Listen to several songs below.) A two-part 2019 tour with an eight-piece band begins this spring. (See below.)

1000 Hands, as the name implies, includes collaborations with many others. While that may not total 500 (i.e., 1000 hands), the album, produced by Michael Franklin, does feature contributions from many of Anderson’s former Yes bandmates including, notably, the group’s late bassist Chris Squire, as well as longtime guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Rick Wakeman and guitarist Trevor Rabin (the Yes alums with whom Anderson has been performing with for several years).

Watch the official video for “Makes Me Happy” from 1000 Hands

“I’ve spent long periods of time making some records, but I’ve never taken a journey quite like this one,” says the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee in the Feb. 5 announcement. “To say that 1,000 Hands has been a long time in coming would be quite an understatement, but I’m thrilled that it’s finally a reality and that my fans will now be able to hear it. And I think they’ll be delighted to hear music that’s timeless. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

The song “Ramalama,” an early highlight on 1000 Hands, begins with sounds of Anderson’s vocalization: his morning warmup routine.

Listen to the album’s leadoff track, “Ramalama”

Anderson told Best Classic Bands he’ll be doing a two-part U.S. tour in 2019, followed by Europe and the Far East. He’s also hoping to do a second album, “because we have a lot of songs left over.” The spring dates begin March 29.

Related: Our interview with Anderson about the 1000 Hands album and tour

Anderson began the album (originally called Uzlot – “it means a lot of us”) nearly 30 years ago, working with a group of musicians that included Yes drummer Alan White and bassist Chris Squire. However, due to his heavy touring commitments with Yes, Anderson had to put the record on the back burner. “Before you knew it, I started getting involved in other projects and tours, and years went by,” he explains. “I would listen to the tapes from time to time and think, ‘This could have been a great album! One day I’ll finish it.’”

Anderson’s voice sounds great. Each of the album’s 10 songs are available to preview on Anderson’s 1000 Hands website. (The album can be pre-ordered there and is expected to be available via online retailers shortly.)

Grammy-nominated producer Michael Franklin had at one point begun working on orchestrations for the album, but once again Anderson’s jammed schedule required the project to be put on hold. Finally, a year and a half ago, Anderson and Franklin got the album back on track and were determined to see it through. “Our ideas still matched,” Anderson says. “Michael knew everything I wanted to do and how I wanted the music to sound, so we agreed to go for it.”

Setting up shop in Franklin’s Solar Studios in Orlando, Florida, Anderson laid down backing vocals to his original lead tracks, and Franklin called in an astonishing array of rock and jazz luminaries to fill out the songs: Ian Anderson, Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, Steve Morse, Rick Derringer, Jonathan Cain, and the Tower of Power Horns are just a few of the guests on 1,000 Hands.

The ‘1000 Hands’ whom Anderson collaborated with on the album date back decades

“That’s where the title 1,000 Hands comes from, all of the brilliant musicians who played a part in making the record,” Anderson says. “Michael acted like something of a casting director, bringing so many great players. It was really exciting to hear the record open up and become what I had always envisioned.”

As Anderson notes: “The musicianship on this album is truly mesmerizing, the production by Michael is very unique, treating each song with reverence and taste. I’m overjoyed to let people hear this project and to be able to tour… will be another highlight in my life.

“I feel so happy that people of all ages will hear this; musically it says many, many things most of all the joy of music and life.”

Anderson has set up a Facebook page for the project.

Anderson, who’ll turn 75 on October 25, 2019, told the website Growing Bolder that he had been working on the album on-and-off since around 1990. “The tapes got put in my garage but I forgot about them because I was on tour with Yes and recording other albums.”

Jon Anderson, Lakewood Theatre, Dallas, Tex., Sept. 16, 2010 (Photo: Daniel Cox; used with permission)

Anderson says: “I’m healthier, I sing as strong as ever, I have a great friendship with a lot of musicians and I hold them very dear. Music always brings you together.”

Related: We spoke to Jon Anderson about Yes

On Dec. 22, 2018, a new song, “Love is Everything,” was released for the year-end holidays, though it doesn’t appear on 1000 Hands.

Anderson has released more than a dozen solo albums since his first such effort, Olias of Sunhillow, was released by Atlantic in 1976. 1000 Hands will be his first since 2011’s Survival & Other Stories. Since 2016, he’s been part of a trio of Yes alums, with Wakeman and Rabin. In 2018, they billed themselves as Yes Featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman.

Related: Our review of a 2016 Anderson Rabin Wakeman concert

For the spring solo tour, Anderson will be joined by Franklin, who will serve as both musical director and keyboardist for the eight-piece band, which will also include his brother, Tim Franklin, on bass, along with drummer Matt Brown, guitarist Tommy Calton, violinist Jocelyn Hsu, percussionist Steady Joseph, keyboardist / trombonist Joe Cosas and saxophonist / flutist Billy Meethers. (Two warm-up dates took place on March 11-12.)

“I’m looking forward to putting on a great show,” says Anderson. “We’re going to do a lot of Yes music and some songs I haven’t sung in a while, and we’re going to do some songs from 1,000 Hands. I’m thrilled to be playing with Michael, his brother Tim, and all of the great musicians in this band. To be able to go out and give music to the fans is one of the greatest treasures in my life. We promise everybody a really special evening.”

1000 Hands Track Listing
Now
Ramalama
First Born Leaders
Activate
Makes Me Happy
Now Variations
I Found Myself
Twice in a Lifetime
WDMCF
Come Up
Now and Again

Watch what many consider to be the classic Yes lineup perform “Wonderous Stories”

Jon Anderson 2019 Tour (Tickets for many of the dates are on Ticketmaster)

Mar 29 – Lynn, MA – Lynn Auditorium
Mar 31 – Northfield, OH – Hard Rock Rocksino
Apr 01 – Annapolis, MD – Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts
Apr 03 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
Apr 04 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen PAC
Apr 06 – Collingswood, NJ – Scottish Rite Auditorium
Apr 07 – Derry, NH – Tupelo Hall
Apr 09 – Reading, PA – Santander PAC
Apr 11 – St. Charles, IL – Arcada Theatre
Apr 12 – Waukegan, IL – Genesee Theatre
Apr 14 – Pittsburgh, PA – Carnegie Music Hall
Apr 15 – Wilkes Barre, PA – FM Kirby Center
Apr 19 – Milwaukee, WI – Marcus Center for the Arts
Apr 20 – St. Paul, MN – Fitzgerald Theater
Apr 23 – Tucson, AZ – Fox Theater
Apr 24 – San Diego, CA – Humphrey’s Concert By the Bay
Apr 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Saban Theater
Apr 27 – Las Vegas, NV – Cannery Hotel and Casino
Apr 30 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
May 04 – Kansas City, MO – Crossroads KC
May 06 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
May 08 – Clearwater, FL – Capitol Theate
May 11 – Biloxi, MS – Beau Rivage Theatre
May 12 – Arlington, TX – Kaaboo Texas at AT&T Stadium

Jul 26 – Staten Island, NY – St. George Theatre
Jul 29 – Ocean City, NJ – Ocean City Music Pier
Aug 08 – Detroit, MI – Rocking on the River
Aug 29 – Pasadena, CA – The Rose
Aug 30 – Ojai, CA – The Libbey Bowl
Sep 01 – Montclair, CA – The Canyon

More to come…

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8 Comments so far

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  1. EVE
    #1 EVE 27 December, 2018, 20:43

    CANT WAIT TO SEE YOU IN CONCERT .HOPE YOUR COMING TO N.Y.OR N.J LOVE YOU JON AND ALL OF YOU

    Reply this comment
  2. Joe
    #2 Joe 10 January, 2019, 18:58

    Who’s in the band for these shows

    Reply this comment
  3. californiakid
    #3 californiakid 15 January, 2019, 11:12

    please come some where within a couple hundred miles from Oklahoma city!!!

    Reply this comment
  4. rick reed
    #4 rick reed 19 January, 2019, 05:36

    He will only do versions of yes songs . Call Steve

    Reply this comment
  5. Jube
    #5 Jube 20 January, 2019, 03:52

    Please come to Portland Oregon near my birthday early May!!

    Reply this comment
  6. Pascal LAMBERT
    #6 Pascal LAMBERT 22 February, 2019, 10:26

    Hello Jon i will be patient to wait to hear ” 1000 hands” and i hope you come to France in Paris because we didn’t see ARW in France…Thanks

    Reply this comment
  7. Johnno
    #7 Johnno 7 March, 2019, 14:49

    Can’t wait to hear the new album. Jon, you are God in the here and now!

    Reply this comment

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