Jon AndersonOn Our Show: June 19, 2010
Birth Year: 1944
Origin: Lancashire, England
About Jon Anderson:
British musician Jon Anderson is one of the most recognizable voices in progressive rock as the lead vocalist and creative force behind the band Yes.
In his early career, Anderson joined The Warriors in 1962 and released his first solo singles in 1968 under the pseudonym Hans Christian Anderson, and then briefly sang for the bands The Gun and The Open Mind. In 1968, Anderson met bassist Chris Squire and joined him in a group called Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, which had previously included guitarist Peter Banks.
Anderson, Squire and Banks went on to form Yes, with drummer Bill Bruford and keyboardist Tony Kaye. Their debut album was released in 1969 and Anderson was with them for most of the next two decades. Jon was a major creative force and band leader and is recognized as the main instigator of the series of epics produced by Yes at the time.
In 1989, Anderson and other former Yes members formed the group Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe (ABWH), augmented by bassist Tony Levin who had played with drummer Bill Bruford in King Crimson. After the successful first ABWH album, the band and the then-current members of Yes joined together for the album Union in 1991.
In addition to key songs and inspiration, Anderson is also responsible for most of the mystically-themed lyrics and concepts which are part of many Yes releases—recurring themes include environmentalism, pacifism and sun- worship.
In 1979, he composed the score for a ballet called Ursprung, which was commissioned and performed by the Scottish Ballet. In 2004 Anderson appeared with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra of Cleveland who performed Yes songs with him. In 2006 Anderson appeared with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (East Coast Troupe) during two December 16 shows in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to play “Roundabout.”
Anderson has also collaborated with such artists as King Crimson, Vangelis, Rick Wakeman, Mike Oldfield, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Tangerine Dream, Gowan, Toto, Kitaro, Charlie Bishart, 4Him, Glass Hammer and Peter Machajdik, and has appeared on movie soundtracks for St. Elmo’s Fire and others.