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EARTH

Vangelis

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5 stars "Earth" is one of the early albums that sound different than his latter works. It sounds more ethno rock than electronica. This was also one of the most early and original examples of world music genre but at that time it was more progressive than today's comercial works. Something similar was also done by other prog artists e.g. EMBRYO, POPOL VUH, BRIAN ENO ("My Life in the Bush of Ghotsts) etc.

A lot of various ethnic instruments and percussion are heard besides the usual bas, drums, guitars and keyboards. Vocals are very pleasant. Sometimes they're sung in English other times in world ethno vocalization. The first track "Come on" is the the only straighter rock track. It sounds out of place and it would be better left out. Other tracks are really something special and magical. Sometimes this sounds similar to APHRODITE'S CHILD - "666" but better.

Listening to this music is like a adventurous journey to the exotic worlds. Not an introductory album for a prog rock fan but if you like ethno than just grab it! This is a truly unique masterpiece of progressive world music!

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Send comments to terramystic (BETA) | Report this review (#34834)
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the last Vangelis albums to be released on CD, this is one of my favorites. Kind of a bridge between Aphrodite's Child's "666" and his solo work, this album has elements of rock, jazz, folk, and especially world music. Of course, there's also a spacy element, thanks to Vangelis' keyboards. Several tracks have vocals, either sung or spoken, and the melodies are catchy and original. A couple of tracks do nothing for me, notably "Come On". However, it's a short throwaway that can be skipped easily. Strongly recommended to fans of "666", especially if you like the songs from that album that have a distinctly Greek sound.

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Send comments to soundsweird (BETA) | Report this review (#34835)
Posted Tuesday, May 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars My favourite. It has a freshness to it and a diversity of ideas that are rare in later Vangelis output. I like the somewhat behement way in which he refers to religion and ritual, somewhat reminiscent to Khalil Gibran. Hisrhythmic language is always simple but very powerful and self-assured. There is no a doubt in his mind about any stroke, any chord any word.

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Send comments to Paco DelCaos (BETA) | Report this review (#34837)
Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I like this album! It often has a smooth acoustic rhythmic guitar. There are good singers, lots of percussions, the keyboards are modest and sometimes consist in floating background streams full of mystery and hope moods ("My face in the rain", "A song"). "Let it happen" is very catchy and addictive, full of good vocals and bottom bass notes. There is one word that describes well the style of this record: TRIBAL! This is not New Age full of emotional & modern keyboards like on "Chariots of fire" or "1492": do not forget it is 1973 here!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#39436)
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Wonderful album from the classic prog era!

"Earth" is one of early Vangelis' albums that is often neglected and is not easily obtainable in the shops. It is however far better work than many of his later popular new age soundtracks, at least for my taste. It is very atmospheric, ethno-tribal music with lots of percussions, keyboards and above all acoustic string instruments (something like Greek bouzouki etc.). There are several vocal tracks with lyrics, which sort of resemble the pseudo-religious pantheistic love for nature and planet Earth, so there is a loose concept throughout the album. Highlights are "We Were All Uprooted"/"Sunny Earth"/"He-O" , "Let It Happen", while the guest vocalist in "My Face In The Rain", Robert Fitoussi, reminds of the old APHRODITE'S CHILD collaborator Demis Roussos. If you are not fan of popular electronic synthesized Vangelis of post-"Spiral" era, maybe you find "Earth" more appealing, especially if you are into ethno-folk-world music thing. This is a distant precursor of Peter Gabriel's "Passion", cause it bears the similar Middle-Eastern feeling. I can't really call it a masterpiece, but it's very close to one. 4,5 shining stars!!!

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#54536)
Posted Thursday, November 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
Heptade
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An excellent album from Vangelis's pre synthy era, much more of a soft prog album like the Moody Blues or BJH, but with an intoxicating Mediterranean feel- lots of acoustic guitars and some thumpy ethnic-sounding drums. Vocals are surprisingly prominent, with good English lyrics. The keyboard textures from mellotrons, organs and Moogs are beautiful, especially on the ballad "My Face in the Rain". Though this album sounds more like Aphrodite's Child than it does his work from the late 70s, this is actually one of Vangelis's stronger albums, with a wealth of great psych rock ideas mixed with a distinct Greek feel that wouldn't be hinted at again until some of the pieces on the Blade Runner soundtrack.

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Send comments to Heptade (BETA) | Report this review (#64354)
Posted Thursday, January 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This one still stands as one of his most eclectic albums. It starts with a rousing pounding drum-driven tune called "Come On." It seems to be an invitation to rock out, but the next piece, "We Were All Uprooted," is about a semi-biblical group wandering the desert. The rhythm moves the piece forward steadily with a mid-tempo. The vocals here are spoken. And this is one of the odd things about this album; most of the songs have vocals, a quality almost completely ignored in the rest of Vangelis' work. Going back to the first song, it is somewhat reminiscent of both Aphrodite's Child and The Dragon without sounding like either. The same kind of bouzouki guitar appears on Earth as on The Dragon but again, the music is completely different. This album does change mood. Sometimes we are in a fast-paced instrumental, sometimes in a gentle vocal, sometimes even in the realm of pop. There is a strong element of life on Earth here, as if this were an expression of human existence on this planet. There are plenty of moods and emotions depicted, much of it melancholy, but not all. One song, "Hey Ho," is about a mysterious man coming to the singer's door, but since the singer wasn't there he didn't know the man had come. Again, a semi-biblical tone and absurd as well. This early Vangelis is mining a spiritual tradition that he has worked before, yet here it works to a different effect. There are moody pieces recognizable as Vangelis, but none have that layered quality found in Aegean Sea, Stuffed Aubergine, or most of his later work. It is a bit of a rarity; for one, yes, it is difficult to find, especially on l.p. but also for its unusual nature. My copy is an Italian re-release under a series called 'Superstars.' The title Earth does not appear on the album yet there is a mention of it in a list of Vangelis releases up to 1980. There is a very nice booklet attached, with pictures and everything, even stills from Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, but the text is all in Italian, which I cannot read. How do I know this is the album Earth? The track list for that album exactly matches the track list on my copy. And I bought it at a discount record sale where the labels were clearly bottom shelf, and the prices matched. Still, I had found some good records at these sales, and this one is the best of the bunch. An excellent album, albeit different for the artist

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Send comments to Progosopher (BETA) | Report this review (#287318)
Posted Saturday, June 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album should have been the right 666 follow up for APHRODITE'S CHILD, unfortunately ,DEMIS and LUCAS chose to leave and VANGELIS did it with SILVER .This music is powerfull, and fascinating with strong oriental influences, at the time VANGELIS talked about byzantine roots.It's been recorded at EUROPA SONOR studio in PARIS where he put to tape 666 and of course it's very well produced.After waiting several years i found out a greek cd release but unfortunately it does'nt sound better it even sounds less good. Anyway, it's still great to listen to that masterpiece.SILVER is at the top with guitar and lute and FITOUSSI (wellknown as FR DAVID) displays a nice voice and a strong bass playing.What about VANGELIS ? he's realy inspired and impredictable ,playing keyboards of course ,but also percusions,tablas and flute.The music is various and beautifull,inviting and inciting us to dream and to keep channeled to earth (to the pulse of light).SILVER brings a very good track ( he ho ). this album can't be compare to anything else ,it's a must have record for every music lover

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Send comments to jean-marie (BETA) | Report this review (#298002)
Posted Wednesday, September 08, 2010 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars After the release of a pure atmospheric album ("L'Apocalypse des Animaux"), Vangelis recorded a more varied work with "Earth".

Several musical styles are proposed and contributed to an eclectic album. The short opener "Come On" is totally rock oriented: hard beat, hypnotic and hard "vocals". This is not very common in his discography so far.

The second and also longest song is quite different. "We Were all Uprooted" shares a lot with world music and offers some fine "Mediterranean" acoustic guitar parts. I am not so convinced about "Sunny Earth" which is leaning on some sort a tribal music. Indian chants combined with some complex acoustic guitar parts don't sound really great to my ears ("He- O", "Ritual", "The City").

This scenario is unfortunately also present during the next couple of songs: world music mostly all the way through till the closing number. Since his type of music is not my cup of tea, I can't be charmed by "Earth".

Some tranquil and atmospheric tracks like "Let It Happen" or "My Face In The Rain" are welcome to break the overall mood. Still, the vocal department on this work demonstrates nothing great. The last couple of songs revert back to world music again.

I am not globally impressed by this album. Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#305010)
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars After the first approach with soundtracks, this album is opened by a rock track based on 12 strings guitar and percussions whose lyrics only say "Come on". I wouldn't be surprised to hear Amon Duul II play a song like this.

We have a trio. Bass and guitars will soon disapeear from Vangelis' albums to be replaced by keyboards, but unlike Hypothesys and The Dragon, there's no jazz.

"We Were All Uprooted" is influenced by Greek traditional music even if the repetitive slow tempo has something of krautrock. "Sunny Earth" is not much different after a first half based on 12-strings guitar it turns into ethnic. A bridge between South Europe and Africa.

"He-O" has lyrics, and a middle-eastern flavour while "Ritual" gives me the idea of ancient Greece. A Ritual for the Olympus Gods.

"Let It Happen" has some jazzy moments, specially in the instrumental part. The repetitive and almost funky singing is unusual for Vangelis. Very 70s stuff.

The minute of percussion and noises of "The City" is very evocative. Years later this concept will become an entire album and "Morning Papers" on that album will be able to transmit the same sensations in a different way.

"My Face In The Rain" is a melodic song on which Robert Fitoussi uses his highest pitch. After Demis and this song there's no surprise if Jon Anderson will become his favourite singer. Specially if you listen to "So Long Ago So Clear" on Heaven and Hell.

The absence of percussions and the soft sounds of this song are suddenly replaced by the darker "Watch Out". As all the tracks of this album on which the 12-strings guitar has an imprtant role I see connections with Krautrock in general and Amon Duul II in particular. Some of the sounds used in this track will become familiar to the listeners of Vangelis in the following albums.

"A Song" is again sung on high pitch and has no rhythm, but there's a tremolo effect on the voice that I find a bit disturbing. The melody based on minor chords reminds to the vocal part of the soprano Vana Veroutis on Heaven and Hell. A speaker says something about Earth and the album ends with soft and evocative keyboards.

I'm undecided about the rating. It's good and probably more accessible than some of his best works but there are other albums that I can consider essential, so even if it's a very good album I think it fits better in the 3 stars definition.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#353381)
Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Earth is a very fresh, timeless work. It's difficult to believe that it was recorded in 1973. The music here is an early example of "New Age" and ambient music and I believe Vangelis to be an important pioneering composer of the genre. There is also a combination of some "World Music" or ethnic music on this album. He was at his most dynamic with this work and he dabbled in many different styles. I realised recently that as well as playing a variety of keyboards he played percussion too and performed with some ethnic instruments on the album, including the flute and tabla.

The short and sweet opener "Come On" has a glam rock touch and gives way to a crash of thunder which is the start of the next track called "We Were All Uprooted". This is a completely unpredictable twist as the music suddenly becomes spiritual and exotic with heavy falling rain in the background and a narration to set the scene. By this point, you can imagine yourself in the Amazon forest or somewhere at the heart of nature. The piece joins on to "Sunny Earth" which has a similar feel to it..

"Hey-O" is a highlight with its powerful, dark and mysterious Eastern flavour. Other favourites include the psychedelic groove of "Let It Happen" and the rhythmic ballad "My Face In The Rain". This is also a great early example of classy chillout music with relaxed vocals and soft synthesisers and organs. Earth isn't the most coherant of albums and some parts meander ever so slightly but on the whole, it's tremendous and good at grabbing your attention with some unusual arrangements. This was quite a progression from the work Vangelis did with his band Aphtodite's Child.

An excellent musical journey and well worth getting hold of, especially if you want to hear something different. My rating: 4 stars.

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Send comments to Frankie Flowers (BETA) | Report this review (#402555)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars "Earth" is a mixed bag for me as Vangelis plays a variety of styles here. I wish he had stuck with one style really and when I say that I don't mean the "Rock" leanings of the openiing track.

"Come On" is a 2 minute rocker with him singing "Come on !" throughout. Not a fan at all. "We Were All Uprooted" opens with thunder and rain as a beat comes in then flute. Spoken words join in before 1 1/2 minutes then acoustic guitar replaces the spoken words. A definite World Music flavour here and on many of these tracks. "Sunny Earth" has these native-like vocal melodies and the sound is very minamilistic. "He-O" is my favourite song on here.Very intricate sounding with vocals.

"Ritual" sounds like it came from out of India with those vocal sounds.They stop 1 1/2 minutes in then return after 2 minutes. Not a fan of this one. "Let It Happen" is more uptempo with vocals. I really like the instrumental section that start before 2 minutes and lasts over a minute. "The City" has these sampled sounds from a city as what sounds like kettle drums pound away. "My Face In The Rain" does nothing for me. Slow moving with fragile vocals. "Watch Out" builds then settles back before 2 minutes where it's not melodiic at all. "A Song" is very new agey as the vocals echo then spoken words take over. Not a fan of this one.

This album has it's moments, just not enough of them for my tastes.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#436546)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The first solo album by Vangelis following the disintegration of Aphrodite's Child and the long battle to get "666" released combines the psychedelic rock stylings of his former group - heard most clearly on opener Come On - with hints of the direction his career would eventually take, with early New Age and synthesiser experiments mashed in with various "world music" influences from several continents. The general concept appears to be environmental and political in nature, going by the (somewhat hokey) narration in We Were All Uprooted, but on balance the point of the album is difficult to make up, and I find I'm often left wishing Vangelis would pick a direction here and stick with it rather than meandering all over the musical landscape turning up good ideas but not developing them properly. This is far from an essential Vangelis release.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#503888)
Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Generally seen as Vangelis' best 70's album, Earth might just surprise some that knew him from the Aphrodite's Child group or his 80's collabs with Yes singer Jon Anderson or his other movie musics. Earth is his first solo album after the demise of Aphrodite's Child, whose career abruptly stopped after the stupendous and arresting 666 concept album. Some (many, actually) see Earth being the logical (but debatable) continuation of the concept, especially that another ex-AC member (guitarist Koulouris) is also present on it. Like most of Vangelis or AC album, the concept was born and constructed in France at Europa Sonor Studios and included bassist and singer Fitoussi, but strangely enough Vangelis did not write the lyrics, as he delegated that to Dassin.

Opening on the well-known Come On, a catchy energetic but shallow piece, the album plunges in the atmospheric Uprooted, where a short narrative indicates that the subject is about to get deeper. The album's general mood is slightly mystic or shamanic, may even have an ecology avant-la-lettre slant and many instruments of world music are used in the duration. It's also quite instrumental in nature, since many of the vocals are chants that are reminiscent of shamanic incantations, giving a light psychedelic mood, further enhanced by slightly- haunting lengthy raga passages. The succession of tracks is flowing smoothly, and it would sound almost awkward to extract a single track out of the remainder (well maybe the opening Come On) or even play the album in the shuffle mode. Outside the few striong vocal melodies, the album is fairly even, with no major highlights, but Face In The Rain is relatively weaker with its near new age feel. Shame it ends without a bang and in a minor mode, though. While I certainly wouldn't call the album essential, it is definitely worth an investigation, even if Vangelis would create more fairly similar works in the future.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#708011)
Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2012 | Review Permalink

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