Olias of Sunhillow is the debut studio album by English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jon Anderson, released in July 1976 on Atlantic Records.
Olias of Sunhillow is a progressive rock concept album which tells the story of an alien race and their journey to a new world (the story printed in the LP jacket calls it "the earth", lowercase 'e') due to a volcanic catastrophe. Olias, the title character, is the chosen architect of the glider Moorglade Mover, which will be used to fly his people to their new home. Ranyart is the navigator for the glider, and Qoquaq (pronounced 'ko-quake') is the leader who unites the four tribes of Sunhillow to partake in the exodus.
The album represented eight months of physical work, but it took two years from conception to release. Anderson used more than a hundred tracks in putting the album together, overdubbing strings, organ, harp and percussion.
Since Anderson produced Olias soon after Vangelis had auditioned to be a part of Yes, there has been widespread speculation that Vangelis contributed to the album. However, both Vangelis and Anderson have denied that they collaborated on the album.
Olias of Sunhillow is one of five solo albums released by members of Yes in 1975 and 1976, along with Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water, Steve Howe's Beginnings, Alan White's Ramshackled, and Patrick Moraz's Story of I. "Ocean Song", the opening track from Olias of Sunhillow, was performed by Yes during the band's 1976 tour.
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