The Stevie Wonder Album That Made Yes’ Jon Anderson Burst Into Tears

Music can have profound emotional impacts, as underscored by an episode from Jon Anderson‘s career, the frontman of the band Yes. An album by Stevie Wonder had a notable influence on him during a challenging period in his musical journey.

Anderson was working on Yes’s album, ‘Tales Of Topographic Oceans,’ when he experienced a wave of disapproval for the unconventional approach they took. The album diverged from the norm, receiving a mixed response from the audience.

During this time, Anderson encountered Stevie Wonder’s album, ‘The Secret Life Of Plants.’ The album resonated with Jon, leading to a strong emotional response. Anderson shared with Music Radar in 2015 that the album provided him comfort during this difficult phase.


This album has been subject to misunderstanding by many, but it served as a significant source of comfort and understanding for Jon. The musician found the album to showcase a distinct approach to music that was highly personal and emotionally touching. Although the musician found himself in tears while listening to it, the album provided much-needed solace during a challenging time.

Jon Anderson’s words about the Stevie Wonder album that made him cry read:

“I remember when I was going through a very painful experience musically. I’d just been recording ‘Tales Of Topographic Oceans’ with Yes, which was an album that was opposite to a lot of things and, like, making a leap into the inconceivable, musically.

I got sort of lost in there, and, unfortunately, the reviews weren’t that kind, and I understand. It’s one of those things that you do in your life, and you think, ‘Oh, why did I do this, man?'”

He added:

“Then somebody sent me an album of Stevie Wonder’s. It was ‘The Secret Life Of Plants,’ and I put it on and, honestly – I’ve never told anyone this – but I sat down and cried. And I’m thinking about crying now.

It was like, ‘Oh god. Somebody thinks and makes music correctly – in the way that music should be, and it’s part of your experience, part of your life’s challenge.’ It was like, ‘Go for it.’ And he did. People didn’t quite understand that album, but to me, it was life-saving. It was very, very special.”

Anderson credited ‘The Secret Life Of Plants’ as a significant source of consolation during a difficult time in his career. This insight by Jon showcased the potential for music to influence and support artists during challenging periods, just as Stevie did for the musician.