1000 Hands (Come Up)

Album: 1000 Hands (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the title track to a Jon Anderson solo album that he started in 1990 but wasn't released until 2020. He left the band Yes in 1988 and started working on the album, then titled Uzlot, two years later, with contributions from some of his former bandmates. He went back to Yes later that year and put the project on hold, where it remained until 2019, when Michael Franklin, a producer who has worked with Pat Travers, Rick Wakeman, and Melanie, approached him about reviving it. Franklin called in some heavy hitters to add overdubs; this song features the piano great Chick Corea, the violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and Journey keyboard player Jonathan Cain. That's on top of the original 1990 tracks that include Larry Coryell on guitar and Anderson's Yes bandmate Chris Squire on bass.

    When the album was done, they called it 1000 Hands as a nod to everyone who helped get it to the finish line. This song, originally called "Come Up," was re-titled "1000 Hands (Come Up)."
  • This song explores religion and spirituality, which are hallmarks of Anderson's lyrics. He makes it clear we all need to find our own path:

    Some come to tempt you with
    Visions of the Eastern world
    Some come to tempt you with
    Their own reality, see
    Only you can break the rule of contemplation
    These words are purely love in speculation


    In a Songfacts interview with Anderson, he explained: "Very simply, we should not hold on to any religion as being 'the best.' It doesn't make sense because all religions relate to the same thing.

    I've been reading this book of beautiful writings of Native American culture and how they relate to brother, son, sister, moon and Mother Earth, and how they coordinate. Their religion is Mother Earth, surviving in nature and honoring nature, and that's the last thing we do these days. It's part of our awakening. Many lives, many masters: It's the arc of not fearing death so much as embracing death, letting go of the body moving to the next level, which is the next life that you will live.

    The whole idea is that we constantly forget that Mother Earth is our home, and that's part of the story entwined in 'Come Up.' Come up to that realization, don't be stuck in the mud of the Earth, but enjoy the Earth Mother."

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