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VANGELIS

Prog Related • Greece


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Vangelis biography
Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou better known as VANGELIS (the "g" is pronounced as a hard "g", as in "get") (born March 29, 1943) is a world-renowned new age and electronic musician. His best known compositions are the Academy Award-winning 1981 theme to the movie "Chariots of Fire" and the entire score to "Blade Runner". He also composed the anthem of Football World Cup 2002.

Early life and work
Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou was born in Volos, Greece, VANGELIS began composing when he was 4 years old, and is largely a self-taught musician. He refused to take traditional piano lessons, and throughout his career he did not have substantial knowledge of reading or writing musical notation. He studied classical music, painting and film direction at the Academy of Fine Arts in Athens.

In the early 1960s he formed the pop group FORMINX (sometimes spelled "FORMYNX"), which became very popular in Greece. During the student riots in 1968 he moved to Paris and formed progressive rock band APHRODITE'S CHILD with Demis Roussos and Loukas Sideras. They had a hit single in Europe called "Rain and Tears." The group was disbanded in 1972, although Roussos made several appearances on VANGELIS' later work.

Beginning of solo career
VANGELIS began his solo work by writing scores to two films by French filmmaker Frederic Rossif in 1973. His first official solo album was 1974's "Earth". At about the same time, he rehearsed for a couple of weeks with another prog-rock band, YES. Although he never joined the band, he became friends with singer Jon Anderson, with whom he later worked on many occasions.

After moving to London, VANGELIS signed a deal with RCA Records, set up his own studio (Nemo Studios) and began recording a string of well-regarded electronic albums. Music from the acclaimed 1975 album "Heaven and Hell" was later used as the theme to the PBS television series Cosmos.

Work in film and commercial success
He and Jon Anderson released several albums together in the 1980s and '90s as JON & VANGELIS. In 1982 VANGELIS won the Academy Award for Original Music Score for "Chariots of Fire". The theme song topped the US Billboard charts for one week after climbing steadily for one year.

That year he also began working with director Ridley Scott; VANGELIS scored his films "Blade Runner" and "1492: Conquest of Paradise". He also scored many of the undersea documentaries of Jacques Cousteau. In 1992, France granted him the...
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  • Titles Chariots Of Fire, 1981
  • Hispanola 1492 - Conquest Of Paradise: Music From The Original Soundtrack, 1992

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Buy VANGELIS Music


Blade Runner Original Soundtrack (180g Translucent Red Vinyl)Blade Runner Original Soundtrack (180g Translucent Red Vinyl)
Audio Fidelity 2013
Vinyl$29.99
$35.00 (used)
Light & Shadow the best of VangelisLight & Shadow the best of Vangelis
Import
Warner Bros UK 2013
Audio CD$2.74
$3.78 (used)
Opera SauvageOpera Sauvage
Polydor 1987
Audio CD$2.80
$0.21 (used)
Chariots of FireChariots of Fire
Import · Remastered · Soundtrack
POLYDOR UK 2006
Audio CD$4.25
$2.25 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Vangelis - Albedo 0.39 - Scarce Mint Made In Germany RCA Cd Album USD $10.75 Buy It Now 51m 28s
VANGELIS : CHARIOTS OF FIRE (Film Theme) 7" Vinyl 45 1981 Ex. USD $4.60 Buy It Now 1h 2m
VANGELIS conquest of paradise YZ704 east west 1992 promo stickered 7" PS EX/EX USD $40.56 Buy It Now 2h 8m
Vangelis To The Unknown Man UK '45 advert 1978 USD $8.46 Buy It Now 2h 21m
Vangelis UK LP advert 1976 USD $8.46 Buy It Now 2h 21m
Vangelis UK show advert 1976 USD $8.46 Buy It Now 2h 21m
Vangelis RARE Japan 7 single Chariots of Fire Vinyl FILM ost movie synth USD $4.25 Buy It Now 2h 22m
Aphrodites Child Vangelis + Donovan UK LP Advert 1968 USD $11.53 Buy It Now 3h 11m
Chariots of Fire - Orginal Soundtrack by Vangelis - LP Vinyl Record USD $4.95 Buy It Now 3h 27m
JON & VANGELIS - CHRONICLES CD ALBUM USD $4.60 Buy It Now 3h 30m
Vangelis O. Papathanassiou ?- Earth NEAR MINT FRENCH VERTIGO LP PROG USD $18.43 Buy It Now 3h 31m
Gabor Pressor Electromantic 80s Electronic Music Vinyl LP [ Vangelis ] USD $7.69 [0 bids]
3h 33m
VANGELIS 7" vinyl record a side CHARIOTS OF FIRE-TITLES b side ERIC'S THEME USD $6.17 Buy It Now 3h 39m
VANGELIS 7" VINYL CHARIOTS OF FIRE POLYDOR POSP 246 1981 J/B USD $4.07 Buy It Now 4h 3m
Mask by Vangelis (CD, Apr-1985, Polydor) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
4h 26m
LP VANGELIS ALBEDO 0.39 1976 RCA UK ORIG PRESS NM ELECTRONIC PROG ROCK USD $18.68 Buy It Now 4h 28m
VANGELIS BEAUBOURG JAPAN AUTHENTIC SHM CD NEW OUT OF PRINT RARE BVCM-34431 USD $32.99 Buy It Now 4h 43m
VANGELIS 'SPIRAL' ITALIAN IMPORT LP USD $12.28 Buy It Now 4h 53m
VANGELIS Spiral UK ORIGINAL LP 1977 RCA Victor w/Inner ! Free & Safe Shipping !! USD $29.95 Buy It Now 5h 9m
Vangelis - Pulstar (Hits Of) 24HR POST!! USD $6.13 Buy It Now 5h 30m
Vangelis The Collection, 0825646581085, Vangelis USD $20.63 Buy It Now 5h 32m
Light And Shadow: The Best Of Vangelis, 5053105842629, Vangelis USD $8.84 Buy It Now 5h 33m
Greatest Hits-Vangelis, 0035627007828, Vangelis USD $10.52 Buy It Now 5h 34m
Beaubourg (Remastered), 5013929452442, Vangelis USD $17.65 Buy It Now 5h 34m
Page Of Life (Remastered), 5013929452640, Jon And Vangelis USD $17.65 Buy It Now 5h 34m
Heaven And Hell (Remastered), 5013929452145, Vangelis USD $17.65 Buy It Now 5h 34m
CHARIOTS OF FIRE Vangelis-Original Soundtrack LIMITED EDITION NR MINT POLS 1026 USD $5.00 [0 bids]
5h 55m
Vangelis - Journey To Ithaka USD $21.58 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Jon And Vangelis - Private Collection, Polydor POLH-4 Ex Condition Vinyl LP USD $10.75 Buy It Now 7h
VANGELIS - BEAUBOURG 2006 REMASTERED JAPAN MINI LP CD USD $29.20 Buy It Now 7h 20m
JON & VANGELIS *DJ COPY* "I'LL FIND MY WAY HOME" 45 RPM USD $3.99 Buy It Now 7h 45m
VANGELIS Beaubourg LP gatefold slv HOLLAND 1978 RCA PL-25155 USD $13.07 Buy It Now 7h 49m
VANGELIS Albedo 0.39 LP lam gfs+emb inr UK Bilbo 1976 RCA RS1080 EXcond! USD $30.73 Buy It Now 7h 49m
Jon & Vangelis - Short Stories NEW CD USD $7.55 Buy It Now 8h 4m
Jon & Vangelis - I Hear You Know - Polydor #232257 USD $6.90 Buy It Now 8h 15m
VANGELIS LP ALBUM CHARIOTS OF FIRE USD $4.23 [0 bids]
9h 19m
VANGELIS LP BEST OF rca pl 25174 EX+ USD $13.07 Buy It Now 9h 40m
VANGELIS Invisible Connections / DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON - West German Pressing USD $14.25 Buy It Now 9h 40m
VANGELIS LP SEE YOU LATER uk polydor 2302 101 NEAR MINT USD $20.76 Buy It Now 9h 42m
Vangelis Bridge Between East & West UK LP advert 1979 USD $11.53 Buy It Now 9h 45m
Vangelis Heaven & Hell UK LP advert 1976 USD $11.53 Buy It Now 9h 45m
VANGELIS TO THE UNKNOWN MAN / part two RCA PB 5064 USD $17.68 Buy It Now 9h 48m
A 3 THE OFFICIAL ALBUM OF THE 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP ( Jennifer Lopez Vangelis USD $20.79 Buy It Now 9h 52m
Short Stories - Jon & Vangelis (CD) USD $20.79 Buy It Now 9h 52m
5-records 45 RPM--Four Aces-Mariners-Three Suns-Vangelis-Larry Seth (Blue Vinyl) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 10h 10m
Volkaniko Rise & Fall Rare CD in tribute to Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis USD $9.15 Buy It Now 10h 46m
Jon and Vangelis - I hear you now 7" Black Vinyl Record Wall Clock USD $26.12 Buy It Now 10h 55m
VANGELIS BEAUBOURG JAPAN CD MINI LP GENUINE SEALED auction USD $7.99 [0 bids]
11h 2m
JON AND VANGELIS I Hear You Now Vinyl Record 7 Inch Polydor POSP 96 1979 EX USD $6.13 Buy It Now 11h 3m
Jon & Vangelis - Best of CD (1984) Prog Rock USD $12.28 Buy It Now 11h 10m
Vangelis Best Of UK LP advert 1978 USD $11.53 Buy It Now 11h 45m
Vangelis UK LP advert 1981 USD $11.53 Buy It Now 11h 45m
Vangelis Yes Jon Anderson UK Interview 1980 USD $11.53 Buy It Now 11h 45m
Vangelis - L'Apocalypse Des Animaux (New Cassette) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11h 50m
THE BEST OF JON AND VANGELIS CASSETTE POLYDOR POHC 6 (821 929-4) USD $4.60 [0 bids]
12h 22m
VANGELIS PAPATHANASSIOU Fais que ton reve  PHILIPS GREECE ORIGNAL LP NM USD $46.81 Buy It Now 12h 26m
JON AND VANGELIS I`LL FIND MY WAY HOME / BACK TO SCHOOL VINYL 7" SIN LE PIC SLV USD $8.86 Buy It Now 12h 28m
Blade Runner [Original Soundtrack] CD VANGELIS USD $0.99 [1 bids]
12h 37m
Chronicles * by Jon & Vangelis (CD, Apr-2000, Universal/Spectrum) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 12h 49m
2 LPs by VANGELIS Heaven & Hell / Opera Sauvage both VG++ imports USD $12.99 Buy It Now 13h 12m
Electronic VANGELIS Opera Sauvage NM+ 2490161 UK EB49 USD $21.99 Buy It Now 13h 22m
Vangelis Yes LP advert ZigZag Clipping 1976 USD $11.53 Buy It Now 14h 4m
The Best of Jon & Vangelis (CD, 1984, Polydor), Early Pressing/West Germany. USD $7.99 Buy It Now 14h 6m
BEAUBOURG VANGELIS , Gatefold , incl. insert Vangelis raised lettering ,LP , EX- USD $9.04 Buy It Now 14h 8m
Vangelis : Chariots of Fire CD 1981 W GERMAN PRESS CD 800 020-2 USD $7.67 Buy It Now 14h 13m
SALE* MISSING - Vangelis - Kostra Gavras OST CD RARE MINT soundtrack USD $29.99 [0 bids]
USD $49.99 Buy It Now
14h 13m
*SALE* ALEXANDER 2CD - Vangelis - Limited Ed. Ultra Rare SOUNDTRACK USD $29.99 [0 bids]
USD $59.99 Buy It Now
14h 13m
SALE* COSMOS 2CD - Vangelis - Limited Ed. Ultra Rare USD $22.99 [1 bids]
14h 15m
"Vangelis - Antarctica" OST Japan K2HD CD Limited Numbered Edition New Sealed CD USD $29.99 Buy It Now 15h 24m
Vangelis - Mythodea (2001) - Used - Compact Disc USD $0.99 Buy It Now 15h 48m
Vangelis Opera Sauvage TV Soundtrack German Polydor Original 1979 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 15h 49m
Invisible Connections, Vangelis, Good USD $17.48 Buy It Now 17h 25m
Vangelis Blade Runner Original Soundtrack Vinyl New USD $42.83 Buy It Now 17h 39m
Jon and Vangelis~The Friends Of Mr Cairo~Jon Anderson~Polydor~FAST SHIPPING USD $10.75 Buy It Now 18h 6m
INNER DATA: THEMES III Vangelis 2 cd set LIMITED IMPORT mint VARIOUS THEMES USD $28.00 Buy It Now 19h 10m
VANGELIS OPERA SAUVAGE TV SERIES SOUNDTRACK LP 990 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 19h 11m
VANGELIS OPERA SAUVAGE JON ANDERSON ON HARP USD $14.95 Buy It Now 19h 19m
VANGELIS: Albedo 0.39 LP (promo stamp on back cover, very slight cover wear) Ro USD $10.00 Buy It Now 19h 30m
VANGELIS - ZIJN GROOTSTE SUCCESSEN- 2 LPS - NETHERLANDS USD $19.95 Buy It Now 19h 38m
(VANGELIS-Chariots of Fire Soundtrack)-Academy Award Best Original Music-J4-LP USD $11.42 Buy It Now 19h 59m
RARE Vangelis LP vinyl Heaven and Hell 1976 JON ANDERSON Yes Vana Veroutis choir USD $8.00 Buy It Now 20h 2m
7 CASSETTE ALBUMS - 3 CASSETTE SINGLES - BARBRA STREISAND GLEN CAMPBELL VANGELIS USD $1.54 [0 bids]
21h 33m
VANGELIS - SOIL FESTIVITIES NEW CD USD $23.07 Buy It Now 21h 51m
Jon and Vangelis - I Hear You Now 7" Single 1979 USD $13.84 Buy It Now 22h 26m
JON & VANGELIS - Short Stories - Excellent Condition LP Record Polydor POLD 5030 USD $13.82 Buy It Now 22h 45m
Cavafy Vangelis RARE SCORE CD-MINT USD $34.99 Buy It Now 22h 56m
Jon And Vangelis - Short Stories {PD-1-6272} **EXCELLENT VINYL** USD $7.00 Buy It Now 22h 57m
Vangelis - Cosmos CD USD $23.89 Buy It Now 23h 2m
Vangelis - Close Call CD USD $13.59 Buy It Now 23h 2m
Vangelis-The Best Of Vangelis CD NEW USD $9.52 Buy It Now 23h 28m
VANGELIS+GEORGE DEODOSIADIS+G.LAVRANOS+ SEALED RARE GREEK JAZZ BOSSA CD,HEAR ! ! USD $15.69 [0 bids]
23h 50m
JON AND & VANGELIS (NEW SEALED CD) VERY BEST OF / GREATEST HITS (I HEAR YOU NOW) USD $9.90 Buy It Now 1 day
VINYL 7" SINGLE - I'LL FIND MY WAY HOME - JON AND VANGELIS - JV1 USD $10.75 Buy It Now 1 day
VINYL 7" SINGLE - JON AND VANGELIS - I'LL FIND MY WAY HOME - JV 1 USD $10.75 Buy It Now 1 day
Vangelis China 1979 VG/VG USD $7.67 Buy It Now 1 day
Vangelis Chariots Of fire 1981 EX/EX USD $7.67 Buy It Now 1 day
Jon and Vangelis - Private Collection 1983 Ex/Ex Polydor POLHC 4 USD $9.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Vangelis - Chariots Of Fire Ex/Ex 1981 Polydor POLS1026 USD $9.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Vangelis - Albedo 0.39 1976 Ex/Ex RCA PL70088 USD $9.98 Buy It Now 1 day
BLADE RUNNER Soundtrack CD JAPAN 1ST PRESS Vangelis AMCE-732 with OBI 12 TRACKS USD $20.70 Buy It Now 1 day


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VANGELIS shows & tickets


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VANGELIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

VANGELIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.85 | 26 ratings
Sex Power
1969
2.39 | 23 ratings
Fais Que Ton Reve Soit Plus Long Que La Nuit
1971
3.25 | 58 ratings
Hypothesis
1971
3.72 | 65 ratings
The Dragon
1971
3.71 | 98 ratings
L' Apocalypse des Animaux
1973
3.64 | 72 ratings
Earth
1973
3.81 | 172 ratings
Heaven And Hell
1975
3.68 | 135 ratings
Albedo 0.39
1976
3.16 | 39 ratings
La Fête Sauvage
1976
3.43 | 45 ratings
Ignacio
1977
3.71 | 126 ratings
Spiral
1977
2.53 | 70 ratings
Beaubourg
1978
3.79 | 106 ratings
China
1979
3.62 | 42 ratings
Odes (with Irene Papas)
1979
3.43 | 74 ratings
Opera Sauvage
1979
2.41 | 51 ratings
See You Later
1980
2.99 | 108 ratings
Chariots Of Fire
1981
3.36 | 67 ratings
Antarctica
1983
3.04 | 17 ratings
The Bounty
1984
3.39 | 59 ratings
Soil Festivities
1984
3.59 | 59 ratings
Mask
1985
2.20 | 43 ratings
Invisible Connections
1985
2.85 | 27 ratings
Rapsodies
1986
3.57 | 67 ratings
Direct
1988
3.24 | 63 ratings
The City
1990
3.91 | 117 ratings
1492 - Conquest Of Paradise: Music From The Original Soundtrack
1992
3.27 | 11 ratings
Bitter Moon (OST)
1992
4.07 | 167 ratings
Blade Runner
1994
3.66 | 60 ratings
Voices
1995
3.20 | 72 ratings
Oceanic
1996
3.76 | 56 ratings
El Greco
1998
2.65 | 52 ratings
Mythodea
2001
2.63 | 38 ratings
Alexander
2004
2.29 | 14 ratings
El Greco (OST)
2007

VANGELIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.63 | 8 ratings
Neuronium and Vangelis A Separate Affair
1996

VANGELIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.28 | 10 ratings
Mythodea-Music for the NASA mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey
2001
3.54 | 3 ratings
Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka
2013

VANGELIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.84 | 17 ratings
Best of Vangelis
1978
2.93 | 13 ratings
Greatest Hits
1981
2.82 | 28 ratings
Themes
1989
3.75 | 8 ratings
Best In Space
1994
3.71 | 7 ratings
Space Themes
1995
3.49 | 5 ratings
Gift: Greatest Hits
1997
3.45 | 21 ratings
Portraits
1997
2.85 | 14 ratings
Reprise 1990-1999
1999
4.00 | 3 ratings
Cosmos
2001
2.51 | 3 ratings
The Best Of Vangelis
2003
2.19 | 13 ratings
Odyssey - The Definitive Collection
2003
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Music Of Vangelis
2005
4.78 | 22 ratings
Blade Runner 25th Anniversary
2007

VANGELIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Astral Abuse/Who Killed (as Alpha Beta)
1971
2.00 | 1 ratings
Odyssey
1974
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Vangelis Radio Special
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pulstar / Alpha
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
To The Unknown Man
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hymne / Irlande
1979
3.00 | 1 ratings
Not a Bit - All Of It
1980
4.00 | 2 ratings
Silent Portraits
1984
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Will Of The Wind
1988
4.00 | 4 ratings
Missing
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Conquest Of Paradise
1992
3.42 | 8 ratings
2002 FIFA World Cup Official Anthem
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Świadectwo - Muzyka Filmowa (with Robert Janson)
2008

VANGELIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Not a Bit - All Of It by VANGELIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Not a Bit - All Of It
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars In 1980 - when he also collaborated with Jon Anderson for the first JON & VANGELIS album - Vangelis took an unexpected sidestep into techno. And especially with the help of vocals and various kinds of spoken parts he seemingly wanted to prove that he's got sense of humour too. See You Later is generally considered to be one of the worst Vangelis albums, but it surely has its peculiar charm and finer, even beautiful moments.

'Not a Bit - All Of It' (3:00) is a parody of an advertisement. The main body of the music is like a naive rehearsal piece for a little group of strings repeating a simple melody, then (at 0:35 approximately) enters a female advertising voice: "Hysteria, insomnia, stress, neurosis - please give a better impression with clever use of cosmetics!" The strings are joined by light brass and percussion for waltz-like bridges, and later by a plain silly male backing voice too, to make it clear this is humour. In the later ad speech parts the person names are censored with a high beep. I don't like humour music, but this is quite an amusing and personal slice of such thing.

The B-side is 'Multi-track Suggestion' (5:36) which is among the better tracks on See You Later, a combination of a hollow programmed rhythm, classy and elegant synth sounds and various vocals. This kind of unusual approach, without completely losing the recognizable Vangelis touch, makes the album in question a very interesting case, and this single is a surprisingly functionable sample of it in its own right. I'll shock some of you and give it three sympathetic stars.

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 Chariots Of Fire by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.99 | 108 ratings

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Chariots Of Fire
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I never have watched to the "Chariots of Fire" film. I remember that it was available to be watched to in several cinemas in my city in 1981-1982. But I don`t remember the reason I never went to a cinema to watch the film then. Maybe it was because I have never been a very dedicated "fan" of films. In fact, I prefer to listen to music on CDs or to watch to a full concert or music documentary on DVD for two hours than to spend two hours watching to a film not related to music. It seems that music is my favourite form of art.

But I remember that the "Titles" musical theme (broadcasted in the radio stations in my city titled as "Chariots of Fire") was played a lot. It really was a Hit Single here, as it also was in other parts of the world.

The music in this album in fact is not very complicated. it is very accessible. Maybe that was the reason this soundtrack album was very successful then. Or maybe VANGELIS`s talent made things easier to the general public. Maybe this album was also an introduction for the general public to the music of VANGELIS. In fact, at that time I only have listened to JON and VANGELIS`s "Short Stories" album in late 1981, and a year later to their "The Friends of Mr. Cairo" album. That was allI knew about VANGELIS`s music then.

"Titles" is the only thing related to the scenes of the film that I have watched to in video on TV and in youtube. It is a very melodic piece of music, very accessible, which still makes me remember some musical ideas that i have listened previously in his "Heaven and Hell" album. I don`t know if VANGELIS re-cycled some of those muscal ideas for this"Titles" musical piece. Anyway, it is very good.

"Five Circles" has some Clasical Music influences, but it still is in the New Age music style that VANGELIS helped to create.

"Abraham`s Theme" and "Eric`s Theme"`, as long as i know, are the musical themes for the main characters of the film. "Two runners with different motivations to participate in the 1924 Olympic Games". Both themes are very "atmospheric" musically.

"100 Metres" by VANGELIS is more like a brief musical link to the Traditional British Hymn "Jerusalem", which is sung by the Ambrosian Singers with a Church Organ. I like this Hymn a lot, and the arrangement in this case is very good.

Maybe the best part in this album is the long musical piece titled "Chariots of Fire", with a duration of 20 minutes. It really is a long piece of music on which VANGELIS does variations of some of the musical themes which were presented in the previous musical pieces (with the exception of "Jerusalem", of course). The main instrument in this long musical piece is the piano, with "Orchestrations" done with other keyboards. It is also a very "atmospheric" musical piece. VANGELIS really plays the piano very well in this long musical piece.

Maybe one day I`m going to watch to the film. But as a soundtrack album, I think that it is a very enjoyable album.

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 Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka by VANGELIS album cover DVD/Video, 2013
3.54 | 3 ratings

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Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka
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Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars I had mixed feelings for this documentary film about the Greek maestro whose music I've enjoyed since my teens. 119 minutes is a very long and tiresome time when the majority of the contents is various persons speaking to the camera. They include e.g. musicians from the classical scene such as Julian Rachlin, Jessye Norman, Mariss Jansons, Martha Argerich and Montserrat Caballé; movie people (directors Oliver Stone, Roman Polanski and Ridley Scott, actors Gerard Depardieu and Sean Connery together with his wife, producer David Puttnam); the director of Institute of Modern Art in Valencia; a lead scientist of NASA; a Russian mime artist who acts to the music of Vangelis; and of course also Jon Anderson is seen briefly. Vangelis himself is interviewed the most, plus seen receiving various awards and sitting on the backseat of a car (yawn).

The film avoids chronological approach and there's no voice-over to tell facts about Vangelis' life and career. Nor are there scenes (except the rather moving mime performance) that use Vangelis' album music as the artistic starting point. In my mind that would have been a very fruitful approach! The interview clips are all without music and get quite boring during two hours. Therefore the music that is heard is mostly from movie clips ("Alexander", "1492 - Conquest of Paradise", "Bitter Moon", "Blade Runner", "Chariots of Fire" and the NASA-themed "Mythodea"). To my surprise there's also a film "El Greco" from 2007 - the album of the same name is a decade older though. But I must not forget the superb scene of Vangelis playing in his studio. That man is really an orchestra! More of that kind of contents would have been great.

To me the most interesting new thing was about his painting hobby. He's a gifted painter but he refuses to sell his works that are like children to him. In Spain's Valencia - and in some other places, I suppose - there was a retrospective exhibition of his paintings. The character of Vangelis is also quite interesting, and naturally the film manages to show a lot of light into it. But in general the character of this film is a bit too dry and serious. Can't rate it higher than three stars.

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 The City by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.24 | 63 ratings

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The City
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Vangelis' 1990 album `The City' sees the electronic/avant-garde artist delivering a very focused, modern sounding, inspired and varied work. A concept album based around a day in the life of a city, beginning and ending with dawn through to dusk, it's full of sleek synths bringing a very city-urban, almost industrial flavoured instrumental sound, with little traces of late-night lonely jazz, plenty of ambient atmospheres and even some big symphonic bursts. There's plenty here that will appeal to fans of several of his other works, yet it also hints at some fresh and new directions the artist could have taken. Each album the Greek artist has delivered sounds completely different to the last, so this one is no exception!

Sedate and soothing opener `Dawn' is a lush and gentle new age/ambient synth drift, with just the very slightest hint of Rick's Wrights floating intro to Pink Floyd's `Shine On, You Crazy Diamond'. `Morning Papers' opens with panning footsteps, vocal snippets and clockwork chimes to set the scene before delicately melancholic soft jazzy pattering, electric piano tip-toes and synthesized flute weave an urban soundscape. By comparison, `Nerve Centre' will come as a shock! Clanging, metallic, industrial percussive programming loops twist around gutsy electric guitar grinding that sounds like it's stepped off one of those late 80's/early 90's Tangerine Dream albums, with dramatic staccato male and female synth choir punctuations in the second half. It's really quite a daring piece, with a cold, decadent sound and almost a heavy groove as well. A looped female cry, murmuring low-key bass with cello, saxophone and acoustic guitar - but all synthesised - move together throughout `Side Streets', but some big booming orchestral interjections are a little intrusive.

`Good To See You' is a slinking mid-tempo chill-out, and the mix of drowsy synth sax, clicking beats and placid comforting synths sound like something French band Air would deliver years later! Album standout `Twilight' could have easily appeared on his fragile little `Antarctica' soundtrack from back in 1983. A constant gentle synth breeze lightly bristles the background, and a careful pulse ebbs behind a sombre but pretty electric piano melody, one of those impossibly lovely themes you instantly associate with this artist. `Red Lights' is a fairly throwaway buoyant funky piece with AOR sax and lively chattering female voices that lets the album down a little. But the almost ten minute album closer `Procession' more than makes up for it. With plenty of build and tension carried by a Greek folk-influenced stirring synth cello theme, then later accordion, grandiose synth choirs and marching drumming grow in bombast into a massive fanfare in the climax.

Despite faltering slightly on that second last track, `The City' is mostly full of fresh influences and colourful arrangements, and there's actually a sense of fun to some of it as well! Listen to `The City' as one complete continuous piece for the best results, and although there's probably not a lot of actual depth to it, you'll still discover plenty of multi- layered and tasty instrumental concoctions. Vangelis has always been a multi-faceted, definitely unique and distinctive artist, doing whatever takes his fancy and presenting a bewildering range of styles and ideas. That just means a fascinating and unpredictable catalogue of work, and followers of his many musical personalities should find much to interest them here.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

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 Beaubourg by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.53 | 70 ratings

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Beaubourg
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Out of the blue!

Raw experimental electronic music, is probably the less known facet of the otherwise more amiable and rampant and epic/riff -friendly , Vangelis.

"Beaubourg", 1978, released in the somewhat very early decline years of a high speed ascencion musical carreer with his super famous "Heaven & Hell" 1975, and between "Spiral" 77 and "China" 79, which still are interesting albums. But out of nowhere music-wise in his own discography, without forewarning, Vangelis releases this quiet personal, uncompromising, unapologetical "modern electronic music" project.

Vangelis fans were not amused. One thing is to have an enormous amount of electronic keyboards but another is to sound solely like them. Where are the trumpets, horns and heroic themes? NOWHERE to be seen.

But someone´s losses can be someone else´s gifts. I myself an electronic music buff, could not be more than satisfied with this "bastard" prog/electronic release.

Raw to the bone, like early electronic music is known for, but with a keen sense for surprises and brief refinements, therefore distancing himself completely from his own previous works, he is daring and epic without sounding like that. He plays by the "early electronic music composition" rules all way through, and still imprints his own signature on this 2 set of songs constructed with dozens of mini-structures, album.

I, who just kept his "Albedo 0.39",1976 project, will add this one as his new "out of nowhere" sibling.

****4 "daring and uncompromising songwriting, as a solid to the bone performance" PA stars.

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 Ignacio by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.43 | 45 ratings

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Ignacio
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a fairly unknown album from Vangelis that was actually music from a French film entitled "Entends ? Tu Les Chiens Aboyer?" which means "Can You Hear the Dogs Barking?" Well, I couldn't hear any dogs (except for the neighbor's) and I haven't seen the film, but I can still rate the music. This is made up of a single track (divided in 2 for the vinyl version: Part 1: 20:42 and Part 2: 17:45), but the actual music is separated by occasional track breaks, so it could have been intended to be individual tracks.

As for Side 1, you get a nice, beautiful and melodic sound. Of course the music is electronic, but there is an abundance of piano throughout the side with a lot of atmospheric keyboards sometimes taking the lead and at others providing the atmosphere surrounding the piano. This side is some of Vangelis' most beautiful work and would appeal to many listeners. Side 2 is a lot more experimental, but flows nicely. It is not experimental in the same vein as "Beaubourg" or "Invisible Connections" because it is not sparse or non-melodic like those albums were. One section consists of a lot of percussive sounds but they are arranged in a way to not be considered avant-garde. The flow is constant and easy to listen to, nothing too challenging, but still very interesting and moody. At other sections, the music becomes more tense, but throughout the record, things don't stray too far from the norm. This is more of a psychedelia sound than it is unconventional.

All in all, this is a very good album with enough variety between the two sides to make it interesting throughout. Not necessarily essential, but still excellent and I believe it should appeal to the fans of Vangelis' more conventional sound like "Chariots of Fire" or "Spiral" and venturing a bit into "Albedo 0.39", but not commercial as was "See You Later". 4 stars. Worth searching for.

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 Beaubourg by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.53 | 70 ratings

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Beaubourg
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I am doing this review because I am hoping to help other listeners to understand what this album is all about. There is a lot of misunderstanding among listeners from what I have read in the reviews of this album. Hopefully this will help clear things up a bit.

With understanding comes appreciation....that doesn't necessarily mean that you've got to like it, but when you understand it, at least you can begin to wrap your head around it and listen to it with new ears. In order to understand this music, you need to know that this album is one continuous composition called a tone poem. Tone poems (sometimes called symphonic poems when it's a large orchestra) were popular among classical music lovers from 1840 to 1920. Cesar Franck is noted for having written the first tone poem based on a traditional poem written by Victor Hugo, the creator of Les Miserables. Franck never published or performed the piece. Liszt however was the composer that is credited for inventing it and developing the style.

A tone poem is a musical painting, if you will. It is a musical representation of something else. In the case of this album, Beaubourg is where the Centre Pompidou is located in Paris. Locals simply call this building the Beaubourg. Vangelis wanted to create tone poems, he didn't do this album as a way to fulfill a contractural obligation for RCA, he did it because he wanted to create this kind of music. This album is a musical representation of the Centre Pompidou building. It depicts life in the Beaubourg district.

So, now after having that background, does it make this any easier to listen to? Not really. This is a very non-accessible piece of work. It seems to be mostly a lot of disconnected tones mostly performed on the Yamaha CS-80 using a ring modulator. There really is no traditional form to follow here, no real discernible melody and no rhythm. The piece is mostly improvised. I would imagine that Vangelis was improvising this while he was recollecting various scenes of the French district and the Centre in his mind. What his hope was that it would recall similar memories or scenes in his listener's minds also. Since I haven't visited that area myself, it makes it difficult to say how realistic these visions are. But I can at least close my eyes and visualize other things. That says something at least.

Vangelis does a great job with the style though. The sound isn't quite as harsh as some reviewers have said, and knowing what Vangelis' intentions were help me to make more sense and put organization to the music. There are some nice peaceful passages and other more chaotic passages. With many listenings, simple recurring melodies start appearing and coming through. This is not complete aimless noodling and it is not a middle finger to the record industry, it is serious music. Even Frank Zappa, Art Zoyd, Univers Zero and other avant garde masters have played around with this form. It is strange listening to many people because it doesn't follow a lot of the traditional theories of music style and form, at least not what the most part of the public is used to. That is why it sounds strange to so many. Hopefully what I have said will influence others to listen to this themselves to determine if it's a style they would like to explore. It isn't easy to comprehend at first, but understanding the motive for this music will help you to appreciate it better and consider it to be art and not just someone playing with his new synthesizer. Vangelis deserves more respect than that people.

As for me, it is more of a form of classical music brought into a more recent context. I know I will appreciate it more as I listen to it. I find it relaxing in a strange sort of way, though don't think that it is any form of New Age Jazz because it isn't. It does progress the genre in a way, it is the exploration of a style of music, even though it is not a new form as some might think. Anyway, I consider it to be an excellent representation of the tone poem and could easily fit into your Vangelis collection as a style of music he wanted to help explore and, quite frankly, he did. 4 stars. I'm glad to have it as part of my Vangelis collection.

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 Antarctica by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.36 | 67 ratings

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Antarctica
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars One for listeners who enjoy the more approachable and melodic end of progressive electronic music, Vangelis' 1983 work `Antarctica' is the soundtrack to a movie on the same topic. While it's not going to gain the same status or level of attention as his pioneering `Blade Runner' soundtrack, it's certainly not deserving of being completely dismissed or ignored either. Perfectly enjoyable purely as its own work, this is the artist at his most warm and easy listening, with the music, although soft and gentle, never simply becoming bland new-age muzak, and some darker flavours here and there are welcome as well.

The main `Theme from `Antarctica' has soothing washes of synths that lap at the background over unobtrusive programmed percussion, quickly taking on symphonic and victorious themes. Synths rise and fall in a delicate manner throughout the pretty and dream-like `Antarctic Echoes', with the tiniest little electric piano tip-toes. The dramatic `Kinematic' has a skittering frantic programmed beat over imposing electronics, and `Song of White' floats wistfully on ambient flute-like synths before a reprise of the main theme. The synths glisten as if brilliant crystal-like shards on `Life of Antarctica', some darker tones almost resembling Tangerine Dream in parts, and it's one of the more memorable moments on the album. `Memory of Antarctica' is a low key and placid alternate take on the main theme with brief cinematic-like touches. `Other Side of Antarctica' (another refreshingly darker highlight) has a slightly eerie, foreboding, even alien quality, and `Deliverance' closes the album with spiralling synth loops and soothing victorious strains.

Over his career, Vangelis has tackled many different genres and styles, especially fascinating is his early to late 70's period that is full of scattered experimental gems, each more baffling and unique than the last, but all well worth discovering. `Antarctica' is not exactly cutting edge or as genre-bending as those works, but it is evidence of this sort of an artist having completely honed his electronic skills. This is an often hypnotic work, full of movement and variety, making it perfect for newcomers to the progressive electronic genres.

Three stars.

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 Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka by VANGELIS album cover DVD/Video, 2013
3.54 | 3 ratings

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Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka (2013) is not, in fact, a new documentary, it was recorded in 2009 by Isolde Films but released only in November 2013 by Brittish label Gonzo Multimedia.

The documentary, despite the name, doesn't cover any trip Vangelis might have made, at least not in the literal sense. It's the journey of the soul. Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka (2013) is a film about Vangelis's life but not in the traditional way of music documentaries. In fact, it would be an impossible task to do a traditional documentary about a figure so peculiar as Vangelis.

For Aphrodite's Child's fans a warning: there's not even a mention about the band in the two hours doc. Instead Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka (2013) tries to show us what the musician really is, not only his music. The two-hour movie gives more focus to his production of soundtracks, in particular Chariots Of Fire, Antartica, Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest Of Paradise and Alexander, as well as the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.

With interviews from the directors of the mentioned movies and Sean Connery, Hugh Hudson, Jessye Norman, Oliver Stone, Akiko Ebi, Julian Rachlin and many others, the movie tries to evoke the person Vangelis really is. Difficult task.

To be honest, as every documentary that is recorded in many different places and that takes a long time to be recorded Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka (2013) suffers from a general lack of unity from time to time, but this doesn't really make the final result bad.

The scenes where Vangelis is interviewed and when he talks about complicated issues like the musical industry, his paintings, the death of his parents and the loneliness are essential to try and understand this mysterious figure that seems to receive music directly from the cosmos. And of course, the scenes where he appears playing his 'keyboards', are the special deal in the movie. In fact, it's almost a sacrilege to call them keyboards, in fact the machine he plays, especially built for him, seems more like a spaceship. It's impressive to see him commanding so many buttons, knobs and pedals at the same time!

As I said: the focus of the movie is about his soundtracks and his own being, so unfortunatelly his studio albums or the controversy about his illegal albums Hypothesis and The Dragon are not even mentioned. In many moments the film tries to show how ready Vangelis is to associate images and sounds and how his musical mind works.

All in all, this is a great DVD and absolutely essential to Vangelis fans since there are not many films like this about him. It's also essential to the ones interested in mysterious souls!

Recommended!

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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 Blade Runner by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.07 | 167 ratings

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Blade Runner
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Vangelis - Blade Runner (1994)

Among my ten favorite movies, Bladerunner is certainly enriched by the atmospheric and dark melancholic sountrack made by Vangelis. The movie has its great slow phases in which the music really sets the mood.

The electronics sounds are brilliant and the jazzy compositions are really well composed. The addition of vocals and even saxophone on some tracks add to soundpallet. Though no single moment could be called hugely exciting, the overall experience is adventerious and interesting throughout. I love to listen to this record while traveling in urban traffic, trains and stations - it transforms the world around you into that beautiful bleak film-noir world of the movie.

The opening track is perhaps the most bombastic and progressive track. 'Love Theme' stands out as comforting, whilst in the middle the dark section really sets the contrast - such a relief when the main theme with the sax begin again! Blade Runner (End Titles) is a nice dark electronic track in a higher pace. In my version of the soundtrack some conversations from the movie are inserted. Only on the last track 'Tears in the Rain' this really impresses me.

Conclusion. Great soundtrack album, recommend tot listeners of progressive electronic (which I'm not) and progressive symphonic music in general.

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