"Page of life" is the fourth and last album by Jon and
Vangelis. First released in 1991 it contains 12 tracks, of which one
"Wisdom Chain" is released as a single. It didn't get much attention.
In 1998 however a second version of the same album is released in the USA, with
quite a few differences in the songs. Completists will need both versions!
The cd-single that was released of the first edition is now highly sought
after by both admirers of Jon Anderson, as Vangelis'. It contains the lovely
"Sing with your eyes" which can not be found anywhere else...
Tracklist and Credits
The next table gives an overview of the tracklist of both different issues:
||Change we must
|Page of life
||Anyone can light a candle
||Page of life
|Garden of senses
|Is it love
||Garden of senses
|Anyone can light a candle
|Be a good friend of mine
||Shine for me
|Shine for me
|Journey to Ixtlan
and lyrics by Jon Anderson.
Music composed, arranged, produced and performed by Vangelis.
1991 Arista 211 373 Germany
1991 Popron 50141-1 Czechoslovakia
1991 Arista South-Korea/Brazil/Argentina
1991 Wisdom Chain / Page of life Arista
114 063 Germany/United Kingdom
1991 Wisdom Chain (+edit) / Page of life /
Sing with your eyes Arista 664 063 Germany
1991 Arista 261 373 Germany/Austria
1991 Arista Canada/Japan
Recorded at Sound Studios, Athens, Greece.
For all the lyrics of the original issue, go to Jon and Vangelis lyrics:
Page of life
For all the lyrics of the USA re-issue, go to Jon and Vangelis lyrics:
took some years before Jon & Vangelis were able to complete 'Page Of Life' for its initial release in 1991, suggesting the
album's genesis was slightly torturous. With the two friends priding themselves
on their intuitive, spontaneous working style on previous projects, things must
have started out that way here as well, but after the initial sessions Vangelis
may have lost interest, instead focusing on changing studios plus record
companies. So it took some time to get a Vangelis-approved album on the market,
getting in some session-musicians for additional percussion and Jon Anderson in
charge for the excellent 'Is It Love'
(which, rumor has it, is actually an uncredited ABWH track). For some
unfathomable reason, they left out material recorded as far back as 1986, of
which only 'Sing With Your Eyes'
surfaced on the CD-single released alongside the album.
The end product sounds OK, but not really all that spontaneous, being
straightforward pop-music with fairly standard sounds. The version of the
Direct-system used for the identically named 1988 Vangelis album was most
probably used on this album as well, because they sound pretty similar. They
also share the song-like concept, and here Vangelis again produces some strong
melodies, like 'Genevieve' and 'Shine
For Me'. The latter melody was also the basis for an extended instrumental
piece at the end of the 'Francesco'
movie. 'Money' serves the same light relief-function as 'Back
To School' on one of the earlier albums and more of the same follows on the
fun 'Jazzy Box'.
The indefatigable Jon Anderson (also doing the Yes 'Union' project around this time, another torture for the many
participants) is in good enough form again here, although his choice of overdubs
sounds a bit jaded at times. But he would redeem himself somewhat on the 1998
release of the album, especially on 'Shine For Me', which has a much more natural vocal sound than its
earlier incarnation, really making a world of difference. The status of that
later release on some New Age label is a bit cloudy, apparently it got Vangelis
quite angry, not having given his consent, and it was withdrawn from the market
after a while. He can't really have objected to the inclusion of 'Change
We Must', a fine gentle track similar in purpose to 'State
of Independence' (it had earlier been released in a different arrangement on
the 1994 Jon Anderson solo-album of the same name). But one can see his point
when regarding the long instrumental intro to 'Wisdom
Chain'. Musically it's completely unrelated to the song that follows and in
it one hears the sort of unpolished playing around which Vangelis does when for
example he demonstrates his setup to visitors but which never shows up on his
Review by Ivar de Vries