Review – Jon & Vangelis – Short Stories

  • Short Stories
  • Jon and Vangelis
  • Polydor Deluxe POLD 5030

Notmany people who have followed the development of Jon Anderson and Vangelis could have imagined that the uniting of two talented musicians could produce such imaginative and individual music; both retain their identities yet complement each other so succesfully. Short stories is an incomplete overture, stretching sound and tempo in every conceivable direction, leaving one in anticipation of what is to come. Vangelis seems to have returned to earth, using suggestive melodies, he is able to create extraordinary emotion within his playing, the precise use of the synthesiser and an in depth knowledge of the capabilities of his instrument give him a totally productive nuance, which until now I did not believe he had. Van – gel is’ importance of exact timing in respect to falling filters, noise modulation and the like makes this a well produced and engineered record with dynamic precision.

All tracks have their own story to tell, the use of sequencing is quite apparent but laid knowingly to produce heaven or hell; very subtle modulations and the sometimes extravagant usage of percussion leads one to listen for the technique involved. I found this difficult due to losing oneself in the images produced. The music complements the lyrics and vice -versa, Jon Anderson sings with his heart, a distinct empathy and etheral quality emits, he is able to add complex harmonics and rhythm where they should not exist. Each piece is beyond analysis, it will mean something different to all, the synthesiser has made music here, gone are the long, monotonous free form sound effects that we thought electronic music consisted of, we have here the complete spectrum of sound in pure musical notation. I’m waiting for the next one!

This review appeared in EM&M March 1983, written by Vince S. Hill