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Vangelis Direct album cover
3.61 | 93 ratings | 11 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Motion of Stars (4:17)
2. The Will of the Wind (4:41)
3. Metallic Rain (6:10)
4. Elsewhere (5:39)
5. Dial Out (5:20) *
6. Glorianna (Hymn la Femme) (4:20)
7. Rotation's Logic (3:27)
8. The Oracle of Apollo (3:55)
9. Message (7:07)
10. Ave (5:04)
11. First Approach (4:58)
12. Intergalactic Radio Station (7:44) *

* Not on LP

Total Time: 57:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Evangelos Papathanassiou / performer, arranger & producer

- Markella Hatziano / mezzo-soprano operatic vocals (6)
- Casey Yong / narration (12)

Note: The actual instrumentation was not available at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: Shoot That Tiger! with Michael Rochipp (photo)

LP Arista ‎- 209 149 (1988, Europe)

CD Arista ‎- 259 149 (1988, Europe) With 2 extra tracks
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2425 (2013, Europe) Remastered by Vangelis

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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VANGELIS Direct ratings distribution

(93 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

VANGELIS Direct reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by richardh
5 stars Well here it is ..Vangelis greatest album.After splitting from Polydor and moving away from London Vangelis set up a new studio in Greece and planned to release a series of albums that would become a project in sonic and musical exploration.Alas this was the only one to get recorded.But what a mighty effort it is.The opening track 'Motion Of Stars' is classic Vangelis and reminds me of his best seventies work on Spiral before moving into 'Will Of The Wind'.The synths sound great! The second best track on the album 'Metallic Rain' then follows allowing the great man to show off his percussion talents.This is just awesome bombastic stuff.The man means business! We then get an inventive little peice 'Elsewhere' before moving into 'Dial Out'.This starts deceptively but then gathers apace and builds nicely before giving way to yet another magnificent grandiose theme.The man is on fire!! 'Glorianna' gives us some good operatic vocals..not my favourite track on the album but OK all the same.'Rotations Logic' is a bit of a change with its vaguely oriental theme and syncopated drumming.The bass is especially nice.'The Oracle Of Appollo' is one of those lovely little ditties that Vangelis comes up with on a regular basis.You get a nice electronic representation of a harp.'Message' starts with an ominous beat and a childs voice and builds up superbly to a stirring climax .Another high point of this superb album.'Ave' is another heavily percussive sounding track which features more nifty bass work..but played on a keyboard.'First Approach' is a delicate peice with a 'violin' and some beautifull flute like sounds.Lovely.But the best is saved for last.'Intergalactic Radio Station' is a stomping attitude filled track with Vangelis pretending to be a DJ ''I've seen things so many things that you can't believe.Past designs,future designs ...second hand sounds,future sounds,synthesised dialogues.Incomprehesensible softwares, hey John lets break some rules.Polyester landscapes,niolin oxygen....Oh by the way its been a beautifull morning,great morning man!!'' Echoes of Blade Runner.Great album.Vangelis one true masterpiece.
Review by soundsweird
2 stars Well, this is really amusing.... my fellow reviewer gives "Invisible Connections" one star (my rating is four stars), and he gives this album five stars, calling it Vangelis' greatest. I'm really not able to go into detail explaining why I don't like this album, because I sold it years ago. I listened to it several times, and kept it for years after it was released, thinking that at some point I would finally appreciate it. It always seemed "uncomposed", like Vangelis thought that just trotting out one loud flourish after another would satisfy his eager fans (he was prolific in those days, and many critics accused him of releasing quickie throwaway albums in between good ones). By this time, I was getting tired of his synth sounds, too. And there just weren't any original-sounding melodies. This was the beginning of the end for me. After the dreadful "The City" and the overly-familiar themes of "1492", I became wary and listened to every new album in the record store. And I haven't bought any of them.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Compared to the "Mask" album, the echoed atmospheres and some crystal clean percussive keyboards notes are still present, but the tracks are shorter, more accessible, with some programmed drums. Couples of tracks may sound like some Tangerine Dream circa "Le Parc" and "Underwater sunlight", especially "The will of the wind" and "Metallic rain", which have the identical Froese's electric guitar sound, and "Ave", having similar beat and keyboards rhythms. ALL the tracks have unforgettable melodies and beautiful celestial & dreamy arrangements. So, it makes a truly accessible pop New Age album. "Glorianna" has some moving opera-like female vocals and intense floating symphonic moods. "The Oracle of Appollo" is my favorite one: harp-like sounds through floating streams of keyboards: it seems to come down right from Heaven!! Celestial!! This album is ideal for a person who wants to know Vangelis.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is by far Vangelis at his most controversial. Where clealry this genius was at work based on ammassing various layers of keyboards at maximised improvisation levels to reach enormous effects, sadly this either won over multitudes or did the opposite, pushed many of them away. So therefore we have luke warm reviews when actually the music itself is very good! ' The Motion Of Stars', ' Dial Out' and ' Intergalactic Radio Station' are just three examples as to how good Direct really is. I recommend you push all reviews aside and go out and buy Direct, clearly his strongest effort in the 80's.
Review by Matti
4 stars In my earlier days of being a dedicated listener of VANGELIS (that was in the early 90's), this one was a key album for me, still bringing memories of the time of my first love whose favourite artists included Vangelis. If I listened to it now for the first time, it probably wouldn't make as deep impression, because he's done so much better albums since. This is, as the title says, very direct music. Direct in the sense that the beat can be upfront and that he's not ashamed of being very romantic on the more sensual tracks. Direct is hi-tech (at times almost mechanically calculated) and relatively tight instrumental electronic pop music, and also quite plainly from the eighties. But as such, it is IMHO the best Vangelis album of the eighties at least if some strong film soundtracks are not counted. Better than the more 'artistic' Mask, and definitely dozen times better than the collaboration albums with Jon Anderson. There is a lot of sweetness here too, but it's not too dominant. There is also a prog sensibility present.

It's hard to pick up the best tracks because there aren't very weak ones at all among the 12 tracks. But it's easier for me to pick up the ones with the stongest personal memories: first the most romantic ones, 'Elsewhere' and 'Glorianna' (the latter with beautiful wordless female vocals), then the sharp and dramatic ones 'Motion of Stars' and 'Metallic Rain', and finally the long closing track 'Intergalactic Radio Station' with the nearly-fanatic male voice at the end. "...Oh, by the way, it's been a great morning... It's a great morning now..."

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Direct metallic!

Among all of his many film soundtracks and New-Age albums, Direct stands out in Vangelis' vast discography. As implied by its title, this is indeed one of the most direct albums he has ever done (and by "direct" here, I do not mean simple or commercial). While still being largely electronic, and still occasionally of a somewhat relaxing nature, this album is more up tempo, melodic and some moments are almost even rocking! For me this makes one of Vangelis' best ever efforts, and definitely his best since Spiral from 1977.

As on most of his albums Vangelis plays most (all?) the instruments himself, but it is not clear which instruments are involved exactly. The drums are clearly not "real", but this time around they seem to at least mimic real drums and they are thus not far away from the drum sound many Rock bands adopted during the 80's. On some tracks, like Metallic Rain for example, there is something that could be an electric guitar, but it might be a synthesizer-generated electric guitar. Regardless, it creates a Rock feel rarely present in Vangelis' music. Several passages are very symphonic and the female choirs as well as the harp sound like the genuine article as opposed to the synthesizer-generated equivalent.

Prog Rock fans who are not normally into New-Age or electronic music (myself included) might like Direct more than most albums by this Greek musical individualist.


Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This Vangelis album is not so different in essence when compared to some of his earlier releases. Although he wanted to make a break with his prior soundtrack schemes; he only prolonged the mood as far as I am concerned.

Same sort of bombastic feeling while listening to each of the tracks, but most of the time it sounds even more than bombastic: pompous and pretentious would be more adequate to define the music that is played on this "Direct" album.

There are no flaws recorded on this album; but it is just a succession of average tracks with little grandeur. Some songs are pleasant and on the ambient side ("First Approach") but the whole affair is not quite sexy, I am afraid.

The closing and repetitive "Intergalactic Radio Station" is the best example to confirm this theory. This album is not a great one. Just average to tell the truth. I upgrade it to three stars. By an inch?

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars The 80s are finally close to finish. They were started with the worst techno-pop work for Vangelis, the very poor "See You Later". And effectively eight years later we have another high level work. There have been two "artsy" acts in the meantime. The barely listenable "Invisible Connection" and the unusual "Rapsodies", but now Vangelis is back.

I find the orchestral accents a bit excessive, sometimes disturbing, specially when the track title speaks of "The Motion Of Stars". Vangelis has composed excellent space rock in the past, but unfortunaltely this track is more similar to the first movement of "The Mask" than to Albedo 0.39.

"The Will Of The Wind" is great, instead. The pan flute (electronic as usual) reminds to the times of China, the rhythm is captivating and the melody is nice. The sound is unfortunately dated in the 80s. The opening track of Pete Bardens' "Seen One Earth" is very similar.

"Metallic Rain" is spacey and melodic. There are no experimentalisms in this album. Also this track is easy and captivating. I don't see anything wrong in being easy when the result is so good. The drumming that opens the rocky interlude of the track is not artsy or experimental, just good.

"Elsewhere" is the usual Vangelis. No influences from the 80s, this track may come from L'Apocalypse Des Animaux, only there are some spacey sounds behind the melody, Relax and enjoy.

The bass notes at the base of "Dial Out" are floydian. The melody is folky Greek first, celtic later during the orchestral interlude. Unfortunately it turns to electropop in the second half, but not too bad. We are still in the 80s.

A seashore for a soprano duo (keyboards?). "Glorianna" is orchestral and operistic. It has the usual orchestral accents that I dislike, but it can evocate the deep space or a starry night. This is a track that requires the right moment.

"Rotation's Logic" makes me think again to Pete Bardens and his "Seen One Earth". It's an easy track made of three chords. Radio friendly but very nice.

"The Oracle Of Apollo" with that sound of harp is one of the best moments of the album. Somewhere between Delphi and Dublin with a touch of classical.

"Message" contains elements useable to make a synthesis of Vangelis' music. The melody with classical influences, the voice at the beginning, the tempo very similar to "Alpha" (a track on Albedo 0.39), the maestosity of the orchestral final as in Chariots of Fire...

Deep in the 80s with "Ave". Does anybody know Rick Wright's Zee? That's the sound.

Another slow and quiet interlude: "First Approach" that leads to the closer. "Intergalactic Radio Station" is far from the space rock that the title let's suppose, but it's again in the spatial vein of the mentioned Pete Bardens' contemporary work. 3 solid stars. It would probably deserve the fourth, but "essential" for Vangelis means something more than this good album.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A return to form after the minimalism of Invisible Connections, Direct has one of the worst covers I've ever seen, but the music inside is good. The electronics are still prominent, but the mood is clearly more rocking. The Motion of Stars starts the album with a techno pattern, which is alm ... (read more)

Report this review (#293701) | Posted by Progosopher | Saturday, August 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars well.talking about a genius in all the rare and dificult cover all the aspects of this great musician...but this album in thee. is a masterpiece of this genre...the system is allways the same,and when one band break that system..they start in a diferent way of creation and imagination ... (read more)

Report this review (#127133) | Posted by JgX 5 | Friday, June 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is my first aquaintance with this artist: Vangelis. First I must say that I sort of liked what I heard. Pleasent melodies and sounds. Nothing that would bother me. I kinda was looking forward to listen to this record. I have heard about Vangelis and seen that he is very productive and lik ... (read more)

Report this review (#62190) | Posted by pirkka | Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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