on 21 August 2005
Song of Seven was Anderson's second solo effort. It is a million miles away from the progressive, arty Olias of Sunhillow. This time round we have a collection of hippyish pop songs. The main attraction of the set is the chance to hear Anderson's voice at its warmest.
The songs are of a good standard, though lacking in the originality of its predecessor. Some my find the lyrics a bit too sweet. Fans of his voice, however, are in for a treat.
The only criticsm of the set that I have is that the lyrics are printed much too small. Sometimes scaling down the vynil cover just isn't a good idea, and this is one of those times.
All in all, a must purchase for fans of his voice, and an admitedly hippyish treat for the rest of us.
on 30 May 2001
The best track on this album and is one of his greatest tracks which I have never heard on the radio is "Song of Seven", it is an absolute must. Play "Days" then "Song of Seven" it is 15 minutes of sheer magic. Other great tracks on this album are "Everybody Loves You", "Take Your Time" and don't forget the single "Some are Born". It is definitely worth buying for "Song of Seven" alone.
on 4 January 2012
Jon's always had a thing about love. It features a lot in his lyrics. Love of life, understanding, Jane Anderson etc. This album, while quite different from a lot of his progressive work, finds Jon Anderson, lyrically at least, at the height of his robe wearing, tree-worshipping, mantra-chanting strangeness.
The music is mostly as good as ever. It's not prog rock. In fact, it's not rock at all. This is unashamedly a pop album. But Jon's pretty good at pop.
For You Are Me opens with a Jon & Vangelis style synthesiser chord and drumbeat and Jon sort of talks rhythmically over the music. I wouldn't call it rap but it's not really singing. In true J.A style, he opens with a very strong track which paves the way for a great album. It features such lyrical gems as "The climate in itself creates a sound so volatile, it makes these words seem clueless forevermore". I don't know about these words but it left me feeling pretty clueless. I reckon he makes stuff up 'cos it sounds nice.
Some Are Born is not quite as driven by the beat but is a very happy pop number with a nice hook and the first proper sung words on the album. I've always liked Mr. Andersons voice and this is no exception. As ever, his timing and general performance are spot on. Lyrical highlight "then we spend some time just hanging around" (repeat 3 times)
Dont Forget is where this album loses a star. This is because Jon takes his obsession with love too far and creates the cheesiest song I have ever heard. He even sounds like a crooning oap. I don't know why but he really dropped the ball on this one. It's the kind of song you can imagine someone performing at a care home for the aged. And all the residents would be clapping and singing along bless 'em. This is not a good showcase for Jons incredible writing and singing ability.
Heart Of The Matter is a return to form. Though still a little cheesy, and incredibly 80s, Jons lyrics are entertaining again and the whole song feels like a celebration rather than a crooned epitaph to a happier time. This quality continues through Hear It and Everybody Loves You. Brilliant and jolly madness from a musical genius.
Take Your Time slows down a bit and is a more reflective song. It almost feels as though Jon is calming himself down to prepare for the finale which is worth waiting for. Days brings the mood down a little bit. It's not miserable but not as bouncy as earlier tracks. Days is absolutely beautiful but in my mind it simply serves as an introduction to the final track
Song of Seven is, at just over 11 minutes, much longer than the other songs on the album. Jon Anderson has always had a talent for extended compositions and this doesn't disappoint. It builds from silence until the first chords begin to break over the sounds of children playing. I don't know what the song is about but it's got a slightly melancholy feel but with a definite message of hope in there somewhere. To be honest, the lyrics make as much sense as... well they don't make sense but they still manage to be poetic. His voice belts out his mystical obscurities over the very moving music. The music is some of the most powerful and emotional I've heard from Jon Anderson. Despite the length, this is the track I play over and over again. It's got that magic quality that Jon brought to some of the classic Yes songs like And You And I or To Be Over.
That being said, if it's Yes music you're looking for, look elsewhere. This is not the kind or music Yes did. It's pop and it's not pretending to be anything else. If you just like the sound of Jon Andersons voice or you're fan of his barmy lyrics, then this album is a gem. He's man of no fixed musical style. He's tried Rock, Prog, Pop, RnB, Reggae, Classical, Acoustic and many other genres but throughout them all (well, most) he maintained a dedication to great songwriting, thoughtful lyrics and a complete lack of sanity.
on 16 January 2012
I first bought this album in the 80's and still have it on Vinyl!
I went to a Yes concert in November and had a real 80's revival and set
about finding all those albums from that era and this was one of them.
Jon Anderson has one of those unique voices and when I heard it I
was instantly transformed into a teenager again. The music is like a
good meal not like fast food. Like the food you listen to it, enjoy it, remember
it and leave the table was a sense of having enjoyed something
lasting and substantial. This is how I remember Song Of Seven.
Well worth a listen, as good today as 30 years ago and twice as
fulfilling than some modern chart music!!
A real departure from the 'Yes' Jon Anderson, from the Olias of Sunhillow's mystical and ethereal qualities and not rock at all, as in his LP 'Animation'.
A more open and honest selection of songs it is and this more accessible and as yet, the only solo LP of his I've replaced with CD.
Some Are Born could have been backed and produced alongside Vangelis, Heart of the Matter is upbeat and charismatically jumpy. But side 2, on the LP, is where the real magic lies...
In an almost seamless flow of warmth and beauty, Everybody Loves You, an upbeat pop song whose message is abundantly clear, then transcends into a hypnotic three track segue, culminating in the magnificent title track, that calms, cleanses and refreshes like no other three tracks together I know.
Sounds all a bit lovey-dovey and naff? Maybe, but this CD is one of my most played and the last time it was just after a spin of Queens of the Stone Age's Songs for the Deaf and some from The Specials, so MOR and syrupy naffness are not on my musical horizon.
Of course, this a personal feeling to an old favourite and many may well disagree, but I guess that if you've got this far, you will like it too.
on 14 May 2016
When I bought this album as a teenager on its release I was disappointed by the inclusion of almost pastiche-like RnB, mellow jazz and pop sounds when I wanted more Yes. I reluctantly jettisoned all my vinyl decades ago and never replaced this one on CD. But I remember having a kind of affection for its warmth so bought it recently on MP3. And it is outstanding. More than that, it contains in my view the best music Jon Anderson has ever written and more perfectly distills his unique and precious sense of music's power to express love and exaltation than anything else he's ever done.
Side one (as most people considering an album of this vintage will still call it) is full of a wide range of pop songs, from (bearing in mind his voice and lyrical sensibility) pretty traditional RnB/rock to things only he could have written, like the declamatory and joyful opener "For You are me". Many songs appear very simple but every one has its moment of magic - an unexpected melody, vocal harmony, splash of guitar or rhythmic twist - that is the sign of an astonishing creative force working with and directing brilliant and perfectly-chosen session musicians. This is pop with a delightful prog open-mindedness, creativity and musical wit. (And, yes, I know some of those words don't sit with most people's perceptions of prog rock but that's probably because they're listening to the wrong prog rock.)
But, to quote another reviewer, side two is where the magic happens. "Take your time" sounds at first like mellow, hippy-ish fluff but it sets a mood that few rock songs ever do and paves the way for the album's central pieces. "Days" is as graceful and organic as the slightly mythical English natural world it describes - "young deer steps light through morning mist" is evoked in music and words, with a kind of clear-eyed and original melodic purpose that perfectly stops it dropping into pastoral sweetness. It's frankly gorgeous. And it moves so gracefully into the title track, which is simply music of incredible beauty - there's no other word for it. It's also a word that can so rarely be applied to any popular music of the last fifty years, however brilliant or affecting. "Song of Seven" brings tears to my eyes.
It's almost pointless to try to describe what this song sounds like - I'll say it's graceful, rich, spacious and even light in places, and sung with utter sincerity and simplicity, if that's of any use. The point is that it expresses a sense of aspiration, love and hope in a way that almost only Jon Anderson can do, because only Jon Anderson ever really tries to. I'm trying to avoid the word "spirituality" here because it has - for me - unhelpful evocations of hippiness, woolliness and pretension but I'm wrong to avoid it. This is (in for a penny, in for a pound!) music intended to express the ineffable and communicate something deeply, deeply positive about being human. Literally, almost alone among the tens of thousands of rock musicians, Jon Anderson understands how music alone can do that and he tries unashamedly to achieve it. He's often mocked for that, and he doesn't always succeed. But when he does...
on 8 May 2012
Being a fan of Yes band, I always loved Jon Anderson's voice. Here, the music is much more simplier than in Yes, but if you like Jon's way of singing you will enjoy this record. I bought the LP many years ago and redescovered the songs thanks to this CD.
'Song of Seven' is perhaps one of Jon Anderson's more charming solo albums. It defies pigeon-holing because it embraces a multitude of genres, touching on prog, folk and straight-forward pop.
Jon's counter-tenor vocals are particularly sweet here and their are some real stand-out compositions including the title track, the gorgeous 'Everybody Loves You' and the strong opener, 'For You For Me'.
Of particular note is the strong line-up, which includes Jack Bruce, Johnny Dankworth, John Giblin, Clem Clemson and 'King Cannon' himself, Simon Phillips.
on 28 June 2013
bought as a replacement for worn out copy. wouldn't be without it.wish there were more like this.
goes well with change we must and 90112
on 8 May 2014
Many people have used the adjective distinctive for singers, but it's just natural to attach the term to Jon Anderson's voice. This album was new to me (I think) but just a great example of the man's song composition and performance. I don't know how much input he as to the production of the album, but I wouldn't be surprised that he had a big hand in it. He maintains a very high level of music from the days of Yes and probably before. Highly recommended.