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Vangelis - The Dragon CD (album) cover




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3.74 | 82 ratings

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3 stars Recorded only a month after Hypothesis, this album is a very different beast altogether. Whereas Hypothesis was experimental jazz, The Dragon is more rock. This is not to say it is straight rock - it still features plenty of experimentation. The title piece takes up the entire first side, a 15-minute lumbering groove that evokes images of a very large creature striding heavily across the landscape. The main theme is played on the violin, and Vangelis' keys provide the thundering bass stomp. Fiery guitar weaves in an out. Powerful, hypnotic, and exotic. Side two consists of two pieces of different natures. Stuffed Aubergine presents a soft mood comfortably blurred in gauzy white tones. For those who don't know, an Aubergine is a kind of mushroom. The piece has a beautiful melody over a chromatic chord progression and is one of my favorite early Vangelis pieces. This one, along with 'Aegean Sea' from the Aphrodite's Child 666, set the tone that came to dominate Vangelis' later music. The next and last track is Stuffed Tomato. I have no idea how he arrived at these two titles (maybe it was late and he wanted to get the sessions over with so he could have his dinner). This piece begins with what is credited as guitar but sounds more like a bouzouki, partially because what is being played is more like a Persian dastigah than a western rhythm, but then again, these are Greeks who have influences I am not familiar with. The guitar/bouzouki intro leads into a powerful theme and jam that closes out the album. Prog fans might get into this one more than its predecessor, and rockers too, especially the title track, although this is probably too eclectic to have a wide appeal. I myself enjoy it a great deal.
Progosopher | 3/5 |


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