SotD80 - Jon and Vangelis

Inspired by our series of articles looking back at music released 30 years ago, Jimmy Hunter takes a step further back in time to give us a Song of the Day 1980. This week, he hears you now...

Happy New Year, AlbieMedia fans. It’s good to be back, fresh with another year of good/interesting records for you, this time from 1980. I remember vividly the change from 1979 to 1980 and I was fascinated to see “1980” on the first record I bought. I’ve been desperately trying to remember what that was but, although I can see the date, I can’t remember the record.

This week’s choice is by a fantastic duo and an altogether too short-lived one. Sliding us into 1980 with stress-free ease is I Hear You Now by Jon and Vangelis. Having been a YES fan and a fan of Jon Anderson’s vocals, I was now introduced to Vangelis and his electronic wizardry. And it was the electronics that first attracted me to this record.

I mentioned in a previous SotD79 review that I regarded Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis and Patrick Cowley almost as a holy trinity of electronics – of course you can pick your own and I don’t want to issue a slight to Rick Wakeman here, but those are my picks. Indeed, there was a point at which Vangelis could have been part of YES so it’s not surprising that I like the sound.

Hailing from a new album, Short Stories, this was the first release of and one of the duo’s most commercially successful. Music by Vangelis and lyrics by Anderson, this really is a mindfulness piece. Not as folky as other tracks on the album its hook grabs you at the start – the dah-dah-dahdah then the intro and finally the vocals supported by rich and twinkling sounds.

Jon Anderson’s very unique vocals lend this record, and all their records, an equally unique sound. When you listen to the remastered version of this song you really appreciate the harmonies his voice creates with added clarity. The layers of tracks and precision production required with this are seamless and you’re left with a rich, evolving sound that carries you along gently like floating gently on an airbed on gentle waves.

You may have guessed that I really do like this record [NO! Really?? – Ed] and I hope you’ll enjoy my first choice of a new decade …

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