Theme Of Appreciation
Twelve years ago, Eddie Jobson's fans from around the world came together on the internet to produce original music and poetry inspired by him. The first album, Theme of Appreciation: A Worldwide Tribute to Eddie Jobson, was released on compact disc in November 2006. Consisting of 15 tracks from musicians in 9 countries, from Russia to the United Kingdom, the CD was presented as a gift to Eddie with beautiful artwork by Helen Lindhout in South Africa and expert design from Lenny Stahle in Sweden. In order to produce a professional-looking CD we needed to make 500 copies. We were overwhelmed by the interest and positive reception to the music by other fans around the world. We sold and distributed all the CDs and recouped the cost of production.
The second compilation, Theme of Appreciation 2: Eddie in One Minutes, was released in October 2009 as a free online-only release. This time, contributors submitted concise one-minute compositions inspired by Eddie. The compilation drew many of the contributors from the first album, plus our first very special contributions from Japan, and a track from celebrated avante-garde composer Elliott Sharp.
Theme of Appreciation 3, released in December 2012, was the most collaborative album yet. The music on the album was divided into three sections, each representing different phases of Eddie's career, and culminated with EJ Encrypted, a song featuring multiple artists soloing over a riff in 13/8, an uneven rhythm whose beats count out the number of letters in Eddie's first and last names. EJ Encrypted was also developed into our first music video, available on Youtube.
In April 2015, the month of Eddie’s 60th birthday, and the final performance of his legendary prog-rock supergroup, U.K., we released Theme of Appreciation 4. For the first time, we created cover versions of songs arranged chronologically through Eddie’s musical history, containing our personalized interpretations of this great music along with originals inspired by Eddie’s work.
Theme of Appreciation 5 was released in June 2018, about six months after Eddie announced a move back to New York to transition into his retirement years. The world had recently lost Eddie's U.K. colleagues John Wetton and Allan Holdsworth, but the influence of Eddie and his colleagues remains so thoroughly alive, as evidenced by the sixteen tracks and one video on the album.
We presented a preview of TOA5 at the first-ever Eddie Jobson fan convention, held in New York City in April 2018. And towards the end of making the album, we learned the exciting news that Eddie would be returning to the stage to perform the music of U.K. for a one-off concert at ProgStock in October 2018.
We created the TOA albums as gifts to Eddie. We have all four of them freely available to you as zip files in the “Downloads” tab on this website. We hope you enjoy them and hear how Eddie has inspired us the world over to be the very best musicians and artists we can be.
Ben P. Stein, June 2018