Yes’ Jon Anderson’s ‘Olias of Sunhillow’ Gets Expanded

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

Yes vocalist Jon Anderson has released an expanded and remastered two-disc edition of his classic 1976 debut solo album, Olias of Sunhillow. The title has been newly remastered from the original album master tapes. It also fully restores the stunning original artwork and features a booklet with a new essay and exclusive interview with Anderson. It arrived March 26, 2021, via Esoteric Recordings.

Originally released in July 1976, the album features Anderson’s stunningly beautiful vocals, particularly on such songs as “To the Runner” and “Flight of the Moorglade.” Olias was a conceptual work recounting the story of an alien race on a journey to find a new world following volcanic destruction on their home planet. All music on the album was written and performed by Anderson and the recording took place at his Buckinghamshire, U.K., home studio while Yes were on hiatus following the tour to promote the album Relayer.

Watch a brief trailer for the release

Initially recorded on an 8-track tape machine, the arrangements were then re-recorded on to a 24-track tape machine. Anderson performed the music entirely alone, teaching himself to play keyboards and acknowledging the influence of such legendary musicians as Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz and Vangelis on his work.

Other instruments include guitars, harp, sitar, percussion, and more.

Olias of Sunhillow was released by Atlantic Records in an elaborate gatefold sleeve designed by David Fairbrother-Roe.

From the February 15 announcement: Over the ensuing years the excellence of the album has led to many calls for the album to be remixed in a 5.1 Surround Sound format. Alas, despite extensive research, the multi-track masters of the album cannot be found. However, this expanded edition of Olias features a DVD featuring a high resolution 96 kHz / 24-bit re-master of the stereo mix and also includes a high resolution 5.1 Surround Sound up-mix derived from the original stereo master tapes as an additional feature.

Watch Anderson sing “To the Runner” at a 2019 concert

Of the expanded edition, Anderson notes, “The more I realize that time flies when you’re having fun…boy oh boy, the fun I’m having listening to my early solo work. Olias for me was like going to music school for three months solid without breathing.

“Totally captivated by making a true SOLO album…every sound, vocal, instrumental and whatever came from the cosmos is there on the album…a dream made reality.”

Listen to “Flight of the Moorglade” from an earlier edition

“I never really listened to it all the way through after it was released, I must have listened to every sound a zillion times while mixing it,” Anderson says.

“So, a month ago I listened to the whole album again…and felt such joy and gratefulness to have gone through that experience, and here I am so many years later going through a similar musical journey.

Time flies by when you’re having fun…. Cheers…love and light.”

Watch Anderson talk about the album with the BBC’s “Whispering Bob” Harris in ’76

Related: Our conversation with Anderson about Yes and Olias

Olias of Sunhillow Expanded Edition Track Listing

Disc One
Olias of Sunhillow Remastered Edition

1. OCEAN SONG
2. MEETING (GARDEN OF GEDA)/SOUND OUT THE GALLEON
3. DANCE OF RANYART/OLIAS (TO BUILD THE MOORGLADE)
4. QOQUAQ EN TRANSIC/NAON/TRANSIC Tö
5. FLIGHT OF THE MOORGLADE
6. SOLID SPACE
7. MOON RA/CHORDS/SONG OF SEARCH
8. TO THE RUNNER

Disc Two
OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW HIGH RESOLUTION 96 KHZ / 24-BIT
5.1 SURROUND SOUND UPMIX & STEREO REMASTER

1. OCEAN SONG (5.1 SURROUND SOUND UPMIX)
2. MEETING (GARDEN OF GEDA)/SOUND OUT THE GALLEON (5.1 SURROUND SOUND UPMIX)
3. DANCE OF RANYART/OLIAS (TO BUILD THE MOORGLADE)(5.1 SURROUND SOUND UPMIX)
4. QOQUAQ EN TRANSIC/NAON/TRANSIC TO (5.1 SURROUND SOUND UPMIX)
5. FLIGHT OF THE MOORGLADE (5.1 SURROUND SOUND UPMIX)
6. SOLID SPACE (5.1 SURROUND SOUND UPMIX)
7. MOON RA/CHORDS/SONG OF SEARCH (5.1 SURROUND SOUND UPMIX)
8. TO THE RUNNER (5.1 SURROUND SOUND UPMIX)

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  1. rick reed
    #1 rick reed 27 March, 2021, 05:51

    Jon call Steve

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