Another Page Of Life (Highland HL246)
(78:06): Wisdom Chain, Page Of Life, Money, Garden Of Senses, Little Guitar, Shine For Me, Open Up, Change We Must, Is It Love, Anyone Can Life A Candle (Page Of Life studio outtakes, 1989). Let’s Pretend, All Through The Night, Say What You Will, The Arms Of Love, Distant Thunder (studio outtakes – June, 1986)
For those who don’t follow the career of Jon Anderson closely, it is amazing to consider just how much and how hard he works. At any given time he normally has his hand in several different projects creating unique musical projects. Another Page Of Life is an early Highland release documenting some of the outtakes from the mid to late eighties at a time when was working on his own solo projects (Chagall and First Born among others), with Yes, ABWH, and by the end with both Yes east and Yes west. His most fruitful collaboration was with Greece born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, better known by the diminutive Vangelis.
Anderson’s admiration of the Greek goes back to the early seventies when he championed his inclusion into Yes after Rick Wakeman’s first departure in 1974. He sang “So Long Ago, So Clear” on Vangelis’ 1975 album Heaven And Hell. After Anderson left Yes in 1979, in addition to working on his second solo album Song Of Seven, he renew his collaboration with Vangelis and released three albums in quick succession: Short Stories (1980), The Friends Of Mr. Cairo (1981), and Private Collection (1983).
Work began on Page Of Life after Yes’ extensive touring commitments in 1984 and 1985 and, unlike the previous albums, had an unusually long gestation period until the album’s release in 1991. Highland released this title in 1998 to correspond to the official re-release of Page Of Life. The 1998 version altered the sequence, added “Change We Must” and a five minute Vangelis instrumental prelude to “Wisdom Chain,” and dropped “Jazzy Box,” “Is It Love,” “Be A Good Friend Of Mine” and “Journey To Ixtlan.”
Highland basically combined the recordings of the first unreleased version of Page of Life and the 1986 demo recordings by Jon and Vangelis (unreleased in this shape) into an alternative to both official Page of Life releases. There’s some noise and a lack of higher tones, but admittedly the best available. Most of the music was available on the Omtown edition of Page of Life, but edited slightly different there. The only thing really missing from the Omtown version was the instrumental intro to “Change we Must”, here included as “Open Up.”
The 1986 demo recordings have no real connection with Page of Life except being Jon & Vangelis demons. They were previously released on The Alternate Generator (Dancin’ Disc DD1002) with Big Generator outtakes. “Let’s Pretend” would be rewritten later for ABWH and “Distant Thunder” would surface later on Keys To Ascension 2 as the first half of “Children Of Light,” one of the best songs to emerge from the mid-nineties reunion. Overall this is rare Jon Anderson silver issued early on by Highland and is an interesting document of the latter days of his working with Vangelis.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)