Album: Watching the Flags That Fly
Artist: Jon Anderson
2006 Voiceprint

Project co-ordinator: Daniel Earnshaw
Executive producer: Rob Ayling
Artwork: Mark Wilkinson
Mastered by Mike Pietrini

Demos recorded in 1990

1. Hold You in My Arms (7:38)
2. Take the Water to the Mountain (4:40)
3. After the Storm (4:07)
4. Watching the Flags That Fly (6:03)
5. Touch Me Heaven (3:30)
6. We Make Believe (4:55)
7. To the Stars (3:23)
8. Instrumental 1 (2:32)
9. Is It Love? (5:59)
10. Axis of Love (4:35)
11. Instrumental 2 (2:39)
12. Santa Barbara (5:43)
13. Tall Buildings (5:34)
14. Looking for the Words (5:38)
15. Try It Again (1:45)

All pieces written by Jon Anderson

Notes: (****) Originally released as part of The Lost Tapes box set and due to be released separately; see The Lost Tapes for more details. The liner notes give no performer details. Anderson describes how these demos were recorded in the south of France when he was getting ready for the planned second ABWH album. (which never happened and eventually formed the basis of Union). (Anderson also writes how he was still working on "Chagall" in this period.) Anderson describes how he found a farmhouse and had created two studios and started to write material, but the rest of the band wanted to record in London instead and never came. He also describes how he "even recorded with the roadies", which would explain why some of the playing sounds beyond what Anderson could do on his own, although who these roadies were remains a mystery.

On the ABWH tour, the band members' technicians were Chris Ranson (drums), PJ Deacy (guitar), Chris Macleod (keys) and Stuart Sawney (keys). The tour finished in March 1990, so it's plausible that the same team were assmembled in France. Ranson, Deacy and Sawney were doing the same job on the Union tour, with Macleod switching to be a drum tech. At present, they're my best guess for the performers here.

The material was bootlegged on We Make Believe, along with some contemporary Howe demos and some "bonus" tracks from the Tormato sessions. The sound quality is improved here and the songs are in a different order. "Untitled" on the boot is now (14) and "Intro" now (15).

There is a demo by Steve Howe also on We Make Believe and supposedly from the same period called "God with a Southern Accent" (Howe later recorded an instrumental version for Quantum Guitars). Oddly, Anderson sings the line "God with a Southern Accent" at the end of (6). The line doesn't seem like a natural part of the song, suggesting that Anderson was inserting a reference to a song title he knew Howe was working on.

For what is a strong set of songs, it is surprising how little of this material ever re-surfaced. (3) has reportedly appeared on trading circles in a version with Howe on guitar. (2), of course, made it to Union. (9) was used on Jon & Vangelis' Page of Life. (10) was reportedly being developed by Anderson and Wakeman for Keys to Ascension 2, but never appeared. (HP, 25 Dec 06)

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