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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 (OST), 1981
  • Hispanola 1492 - Conquest Of Paradise (OST), 1992

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Decca 2016
Audio CD$8.44
$5.26 (used)
Vangelis: DelectusVangelis: Delectus
Box set · Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$99.76
$157.81 (used)
Polydor 1989
Audio CD$3.00
$0.01 (used)
Light & Shadow the best of VangelisLight & Shadow the best of Vangelis
Warner Bros UK 2013
Audio CD$1.67
$2.65 (used)
Warner Bros UK 2012
Audio CD$8.44
$8.28 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
VANGELIS / TO THE UNKOWN MAN / RCA / 33rpm Vinyl Record USD $3.99 Buy It Now
The City by Vangelis (CD, May-1991, Atlantic (Label)) USD $17.73 Buy It Now
VANGELIS "REPRISE 1990 - 1999" CD NEW+ USD $15.40 Buy It Now 15m
Opera Sauvage - Vangelis Papathanassiou - 12" Vinyl, Picture Sleeve USD $17.28 Buy It Now 1h 51m
Chariots of Fire Original Soundtrack - Vangelis - LP Record - Vinyl is EX/NM USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 16m
Vangelis ex UK LP To the Unknown Man Volume II USD $6.49 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Vangelis m- GF LP Super Star USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Vangelis m- in shrink LP Mask USD $5.49 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Vangelis m- in shrink sticker LP Opera Sauvage USD $5.49 Buy It Now 2h 19m
Vangelis m- LP Chariots of Fire USD $5.49 Buy It Now 2h 19m
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Vangelis m- record LP Invisible Connections USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2h 19m
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Vangelis sealed UK LP To The Unknown Man Vol 1 USD $8.49 Buy It Now 2h 20m
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VANGELIS - BACCHANALE Rare Picture Disc 12" Promo The Best Of Heaven And Hell LP USD $249.99 Buy It Now 2h 41m
Vangelis Portraits (So Long Ago, So Clear) Audio Cassette MC (SEALED) USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 45m
Vangelis Conquest Of Paradise Rare Picture Disc 12" 1492 Conquest Of Paradise LP USD $249.99 Buy It Now 2h 48m
Vangelis Reprise 1990 - 1999 Audio Cassette MC 1999 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 49m
APHRODITE'S CHILD Spring, summer. 45 7'' French SP GREEKE PSYCH VANGELIS USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2h 52m
hear? APHRODITHE'S CHILD Let me Love .45 7'' French SP GARAGE PSYCH VANGELIS USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2h 52m
Vangelis - The Collection (3CD Boxset 1997) USD $11.23 Buy It Now 3h 25m
VIRTUAL REALITY perform Vangelis & Jean Michel_used CD_ships from AUSTRALIA_D2 USD $9.22 Buy It Now 3h 26m
THE BEST OF JON & VANGELIS CD 1984 POLYDOR Compilation USD $9.21 Buy It Now 3h 38m
Vangelis - The City - CD (Atlantic 82248-2 1990 U.S.A.) USD $14.59 Buy It Now 3h 53m
4h 16m
Vangelis - China Vinyl LP Album USD $3.12 [0 bids]
4h 16m
Jon And Vangelis / Short Stories / MPF 1287 / JAPAN LP USD $19.50 Buy It Now 4h 23m
SYNTHETISEUR 2 Jarre Vangelis Moroder Parsons Hammer Kraftwek HOL LP 1989 Synth USD $13.73 Buy It Now 4h 48m
Vangelis Best of CD USD $3.98 Buy It Now 5h 8m
Vangelis: Chariots of Fire 1981 Polydor UK USD $5.00 Buy It Now 5h 43m
Vangelis - Heaven And Hell CD New & Sealed USD $5.48 Buy It Now 5h 46m
Vangelis - Albedo 0.39 CD New & Sealed USD $5.48 Buy It Now 5h 46m
Vangelis - Spiral CD New & Sealed USD $7.91 Buy It Now 5h 46m
Vangelis - Best Of CD New & Sealed USD $5.48 Buy It Now 5h 46m
7786 I'll Find My Way Home-Jon & Vangelis 1981 USD $6.00 Buy It Now 5h 47m
JON AND VANGELIS I Hear You Now 7" VINYL UK Polydor 1979 (Posp96) B/W Thunder USD $1.31 Buy It Now 5h 51m
JON AND VANGELIS I Hear You Now 7" VINYL UK Polydor 1979 B/W Thunder (Posp96) USD $2.61 Buy It Now 5h 53m
Vangelis - China - G/F - 1979 England - Polydor - POLD 5018 - Vinyl LP USD $6.18 Buy It Now 6h 16m
VANGELIS - ROSETTA, ORG 2016 EU vinyl 2LP, NEW - SEALED! USD $29.99 Buy It Now 6h 26m
Vangelis Heaven and Hell 1976 1st A1/B1 Analog VG++ 1st Press Ultrasonic CLEAN USD $28.00 Buy It Now 6h 43m
Vangelis - Soil Festivities 1984 UK - Polydor - POLH11- Vinyl LP USD $12.43 Buy It Now 6h 48m
Earth [9/2] by Vangelis (Vinyl, Sep-2016, Polydor) USD $17.89 Buy It Now 6h 49m
Pulstar - The Hits of Vangelis - CD Album - 16 Great Tracks USD $3.74 Buy It Now 6h 50m
Jon & Vangelis - The Friends Of Mr Cairo (Paper Labels) (Cassette 1981). Exc + c USD $0.94 [0 bids]
6h 56m
Vangelis - Odyssey - The Definitive Collection [Digipak] - Vangelis CD 5TVG USD $6.02 Buy It Now 6h 59m
Vangelis - Vandelis: The Collection - Vangelis CD D2VG USD $5.00 Buy It Now 7h
TAS Polydor 815732-1 VANGELIS ANTARCTICA OST NM USD $10.99 [1 bids]
7h 2m
Jeff Wayne - Vangelis - Moroder ... - Jeff Wayne - Vangelis - Moroder... CD FYVG USD $23.57 Buy It Now 7h 7m
VANGELIS Chariots Of Fire 7" VINYL UK Issue Pressed In France Polydor 1981 USD $2.62 Buy It Now 7h 14m
JON AND VANGELIS I'll Find My Way Home 7" VINYL UK Polydor 1981 B/W Back To USD $3.92 Buy It Now 7h 14m
VANGELIS Chariots Of Fire 7" VINYL Dutch Polydor 1981 B/w Eric's USD $6.23 Buy It Now 7h 14m
VANGELIS Chariots Of Fire 7" VINYL UK Polydor 1981 Red/black Label Design USD $1.31 Buy It Now 7h 14m
VANGELIS Chariots Of Fire 7" VINYL UK Polydor 1981 Silver/black Label Design USD $5.23 Buy It Now 7h 14m
VANGELIS Chariots Of Fire 7" VINYL Dutch Polydor 1981 B/w Eric's Theme USD $5.23 Buy It Now 7h 15m
VANGELIS Long March 7" VINYL UK Polydor 1979 B/W Part 2 (Posp57) Has Dj Writing USD $5.23 Buy It Now 7h 15m
VANGELIS Themes CD German Polydor 1989 14 Track (8395182) USD $6.23 Buy It Now 7h 17m
VANGELIS Chariots Of Fire 7" VINYL Irish Polydor 1981 Paper Label Design USD $13.73 Buy It Now 7h 17m
VANGELIS Conquest Of Paradise 7" VINYL French Carrere 1992 Theme From The USD $11.11 Buy It Now 7h 18m
VANGELIS My Love 7" VINYL Irish Polydor 1980 B/W Domestic Logic 1 (2001973) USD $20.29 Buy It Now 7h 18m
VANGELIS Pulstar 7" VINYL UK Rca 1976 B/W Alpha (Rca2762) Wear And Creasing To USD $6.23 Buy It Now 7h 18m
VANGELIS Chariots Of Fire 7" VINYL German Polydor 1981 B/w Eric's Theme USD $12.42 Buy It Now 7h 18m
VANGELIS Reprise 1990-1999 CD Aussie Warner Music 1999 17 Track (3984298282) USD $9.79 Buy It Now 7h 19m
JON AND VANGELIS Private Collection CASSETTE Dutch Polydor 1983 6 Track (Polhc4) USD $6.23 Buy It Now 7h 25m
JON AND VANGELIS I Hear You Now ADVERT UK Polydor 1979 Original Newspaper USD $3.92 Buy It Now 7h 25m
Vangelis / Spiral / US 1st press LP / EX+ USD $12.48 Buy It Now 8h 14m
8h 40m
Autographed by VANGELIS 1st PRESSLP Les Chiens Vampir PINK FLOYD/COSMIC Pokora USD $499.99 Buy It Now 8h 43m
Jon and Vangelis I'll Find My Way Home 7" vinyl 45rpm electronic pop USD $1.24 [0 bids]
9h 27m
VANGELIS Rosetta 2016 UK 13-track gatefold vinyl 2-LP album NEW / SEALED USD $26.22 Buy It Now 9h 28m
Blade Runner Original Soundtrack by Vangelis RED Vinyl, Mar-2014, Audio Fidelity USD $229.04 Buy It Now 9h 46m
vangelis -conquest of paradise cardsleeve cd single USD $14.55 Buy It Now 9h 46m
VANGELIS-The Music Of Vangelis (2000 CD ALBUM) 16 Tracks Chariots Of Fire/Alpha USD $2.81 Buy It Now 9h 55m
Vangelis - Odyssey (CD The Definitive Collection) USD $6.25 [0 bids]
9h 56m
JON & VANGELIS - I'll Find My Way Home/Back To School POLYDOR JV 1 JUKEBOX 7" USD $1.24 [0 bids]
10h 6m
VANGELIS - Chariots Of Fire-Titles/Eric's Theme POLYDOR POSP 246 7" USD $1.24 [1 bids]
10h 6m
Unknown Artist World of Vangelis CD USD $4.00 Buy It Now 10h 14m
Private Collection by Jon & Vangelis (CD, 1984 Polydor) Yes Singer/Italian Song USD $3.99 Buy It Now 10h 30m
VANGELIS China LP G/Fold Sleeve+Inner, Pold 5018 (Vg/Ex) USD $9.98 Buy It Now 11h 10m
VANGELIS Albedo 0.39 LP G/Fold Sleeve+Inner, Rs1080 USD $11.23 Buy It Now 11h 10m
VANGELIS "OPERA SAUVAGE" Polydor 2490-101 Vinyl LP UK 1981 EX USD $20.00 Buy It Now 11h 11m
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Inserts Lot of 85 Rock Soul R&B No CD's Lennon Elton John Doors Vangelis Tull USD $9.99 [0 bids]
11h 20m
Vangelis - City (1990) USD $4.98 [0 bids]
11h 24m
VANGELIS : OPERA SAUVAGE (CD) Sealed USD $12.48 Buy It Now 12h
Vangelis - Chariots Of Fire LP, Album USD $2.50 Buy It Now 12h 3m
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12h 31m
Vangelis - Best Of LP / RCA USD $3.75 Buy It Now 12h 40m

More places to buy VANGELIS music online Buy VANGELIS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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VANGELIS discography

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

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

2.84 | 31 ratings
Sex Power (OST)
2.37 | 26 ratings
Fais Que Ton Rêve Soit Plus Long Que La Nuit
3.65 | 82 ratings
3.73 | 109 ratings
L' Apocalypse Des Animaux (OST)
3.45 | 52 ratings
Can You Hear The Dogs Barking? [Aka: Ignacio] (OST)
3.82 | 191 ratings
Heaven And Hell
3.68 | 148 ratings
Albedo 0.39
3.15 | 42 ratings
La Fête Sauvage
3.71 | 139 ratings
2.51 | 74 ratings
3.70 | 76 ratings
The Dragon
3.25 | 66 ratings
Hypothesis [Aka: Visions Of The Future]
3.76 | 119 ratings
3.64 | 47 ratings
Vangelis & Irene Papas: Odes
3.45 | 81 ratings
Opéra Sauvage (OST)
2.48 | 59 ratings
See You Later
3.00 | 119 ratings
Chariots Of Fire (OST)
3.37 | 76 ratings
Antarctica (OST)
3.42 | 70 ratings
Soil Festivities
3.59 | 65 ratings
2.30 | 51 ratings
Invisible Connections
2.86 | 31 ratings
Vangelis & Irene Papas: Rapsodies
3.57 | 75 ratings
3.25 | 70 ratings
The City
3.92 | 126 ratings
1492 - Conquest Of Paradise (OST)
4.06 | 188 ratings
Blade Runner (OST)
3.66 | 69 ratings
3.19 | 82 ratings
3.77 | 66 ratings
El Greco
2.66 | 57 ratings
2.65 | 45 ratings
Alexander (OST)
2.37 | 19 ratings
El Greco (OST)
3.44 | 19 ratings

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

3.64 | 11 ratings
Neuronium and Vangelis A Separate Affair

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

3.23 | 11 ratings
Mythodea-Music for the NASA mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey
3.56 | 5 ratings
Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka

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

2.85 | 19 ratings
Best of Vangelis
2.95 | 15 ratings
Greatest Hits
2.85 | 31 ratings
3.75 | 8 ratings
Best In Space
3.71 | 7 ratings
Space Themes
3.48 | 6 ratings
Gift: Greatest Hits
3.48 | 24 ratings
2.86 | 16 ratings
Reprise 1990-1999
3.75 | 4 ratings
2.52 | 4 ratings
The Best Of Vangelis
2.22 | 14 ratings
Odyssey - The Definitive Collection
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Music Of Vangelis
4.75 | 29 ratings
Blade Runner 25th Anniversary
0.00 | 0 ratings

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

2.50 | 2 ratings
Astral Abuse/Who Killed (as Alpha Beta)
2.00 | 2 ratings
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Vangelis Radio Special
5.00 | 4 ratings
Pulstar / Alpha
4.50 | 2 ratings
To The Unknown Man
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hymne / Irlande
3.10 | 2 ratings
Not a Bit - All Of It
3.75 | 4 ratings
Silent Portraits
3.09 | 3 ratings
The Will Of The Wind
4.00 | 5 ratings
0.00 | 0 ratings
Conquest Of Paradise
3.32 | 10 ratings
2002 FIFA World Cup Official Anthem
2.00 | 1 ratings
Świadectwo - Muzyka Filmowa (with Robert Janson)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rosetta by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.44 | 19 ratings

Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The first Vangelis album in fifteen years not affiliated with a movie soundtrack doesn't fully rekindle the same creative spark as his best work from the 1970s, but it likely won't disappoint fans. The origin of the album and its connection to the European Space Agency Rosetta mission, which in 2014 successfully landed the first probe on the surface of a comet, is detailed elsewhere in these Archives. But the music stands well enough on its own without the ESA endorsement, as an extension of its author's fascination with astronomy: always a reliable taproot for Progressive Electronic music.

The new album works best when exploring the ambiance of infinity, as heard in the opening tracks after with the robust "Origins" fanfare: quintessential Vangelis, grandiose and elegant. His vision of the cosmos is both awe-inspiring and yet totally benign, always able to locate a beautiful melody in the vacuum of outer space, unlike the intimidating voids conjured by early Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze.

But even on an interplanetary trajectory the album never achieves the escape velocity needed to outpace its earthbound neo-symphonic synth arrangements. The music of Vangelis is always less interesting when the composer indulges his middlebrow classical instincts (think "Chariots of Fire"), and with all his state-of-the-art digital equipment the results here are too often indistinguishable from a genuine orchestra in search of another movie to score. Listen to "Sunlight" for proof, as it approaches the romantic majesty and bombast of an Ennio Morricone soundtrack to an imaginary Sergio Leone sci-fi epic: "Once Upon a Time in the Asteroid Belt".

More compelling (if equally melodramatic) is the "Rubycon"-era Berlin School sequencing at the start of "Perihelion", which I like to think was an homage to the memory of Edgar Froese, sadly relocated to a new Cosmic Address while this album was being recorded. And the late Carl Sagan is likewise indirectly honored in the title ballad: an updated echo of the stately Vangelis classic "Alpha", famously used in the original PBS TV series "Cosmos". Note too the track named "Albedo 0.06", presumably identifying the reflective coefficient of comet 67P/C-G: less than one sixth of Earth's Albedo 0.39, for new music not quite diminished to an equal degree from the celebrated 1976 album of the same title.

"Rosetta" was nominated for Best New Age Album at the 59th Grammy Awards, a double insult to an artist of any integrity (the first affront being the nomination itself; the second was the lame-ass category). The album is in fact a respectable and at times even persuasive accomplishment, from an internationally-honored composer who at age 73 no longer needs to prove himself, and certainly not to the corporate bean-counters of the U.S. Recording Academy at their annual back-patting ritual.

 Rosetta by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.44 | 19 ratings

Vangelis Prog Related

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars It's incredible! 15 years after his last proper release if we dont' consider Alexander's soundtrack, Vangelis is back with an amazing space-rock opera. As well as Mythodea released 15 years before, the idea is about making a soundtrack to a space mission, but while the previous didn't work very well, as it was a bit too pretentious and effectively closer to neo-classical music than to prog, this time he is back with a surprising album.

Rosetta is a probe launched by the Euroepean Space Agency which landed on a comet, the "67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko". It takes its name from the famous "Rosetta stone" which permitted the translation of the ancient Egyptian scripts into Greek.

Now, if you can imagine travelling in the outer space, in apparent absence of motion, with the light of the stars constantly breaking the darkness, the silence of a solitary starship. How do you think a soundtrack should be like?

Exactly like this, I say. Vangelis alternates low volume melodies, orchestral grandiosity, sadness, electronics in a mixture able to evoke all the sensations possibly related to the space travel. Only the title track is an exception. The same sounds used for his famous "Alpha" in a canon made of minor chords, like he did unite the mentioned "Alpha" with "Hymn" from Opera Sauvage. Honestly it sounds a bit "recycled material", but I'm a Vangelis fan and I think I know his tracks enough to notice the similarities. Not a bad track, but I put it on a lower level respect to the rest of the album.

Said so, everything else is excellent. "Philae's Descent" which follows the title track, restores the level. It's undoubtely Vangelis' stuff of the best category. Since now, the tracks fade one into the other following the concept like it was really a soundtrack to the mission.

The square waves of "Perihelion", reminding of the Virgin period of Tangerine Dream, the classical mood of "Elegy" that Gustav Mahler would have liked, lead to the excellent closure which has some similarities with Hans Zimmer's sountrack of "Interstellar" (not strange, of course).

An unexpected masterpiece of Progressive Electronic with a little flaw in the title track preventing me from rating it with 5 stars.

For who likes being lost in space for about 1 hour

 Invisible Connections by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.30 | 51 ratings

Invisible Connections
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The other unlistenable Vangelis album. That's the usual knee-jerk gloss on this 1985 oddity: one of only a few truly challenging efforts by the otherwise easy-on-the-ears Greek keyboard artist. Comparisons are typically made to his amorphous "Beaubourg" album (1978), but this equally enigmatic lab-test is miles ahead of the random tonalities of that earlier journey, and light-years removed from the middlebrow classical-synth soundtracks that made his fortune.

The difference between the two albums is obvious in the wider diversity of instruments: acoustic piano, percussive allsorts, and a variety of atmospheric synthesizers. You can likewise hear it in the more generous production, given incredible spatial depth by a heavy application of studio reverb. The end result is an unsettling 40-minute evocation of the empty space between distant stars, at times recalling the minimalism of Brian Eno, minus the soothing pre-natal calm of Eno's better ambient doodles.

But the album can also be occasionally playful, in a deadpan art-installation sort of way. After the awesome space-drift of the 18-plus minute title track, the balance of the album (Side Two of the original LP) descends to the extraterrestrial landscapes of "Atom Blaster" and "Thermo Vision", without actually touching solid ground. Both tracks call to mind the efforts of a nerdy alien repairman testing old TV vacuum tubes: bleep......blorp......bloink......etc, with the silences between each random note even more compelling than the notes themselves. The famed Vangelis soundtrack for the movie "Blade Runner" might have sounded a lot like this, if the film had been a Jacques Tati comedy set on a space station slowly orbiting the planet Neptune.

In retrospect it makes sense that the LP first appeared under the bright yellow logo of the Deutsche Grammophon classical music label. The album should rightfully be segregated from the main sequence of other Vangelis recordings, sharing more common ground with the cosmic-Teutonic soundscapes of early Klaus Schulze and Edgar Froese, or the primitive electronics of Karlheinz Stockhausen: a DG label-mate, briefly. But even lacking the usual melodic crutches the sound is still pure Vangelis, worth a listen when in a receptive (i.e. patient) frame of mind.

 Beaubourg by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.51 | 74 ratings

Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It's still the most controversial entry in the greater Vangelis catalogue: a notoriously free-form electronic interpretation of the unsightly Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The album "created a scandal" when first released in 1978 (quoting an interview with the composer, transcribed shortly afterward), at least among disappointed fans expecting another "Spiral" or "Albedo 0.39".

It's nice in retrospect to hear what such a famously romantic keyboard artist does in his spare time, when no one is looking. But he might have thought twice before trying to market the results to unwary audiences under the spell of his otherwise lush but undemanding synth-rock soundtracks. I confess to finding it a fascinating experience, but only up to a point, and that point usually arrives long before the album's full thirty-nine minutes expire.

Heck, thirty-nine seconds might be enough for most people, and with good reason. There aren't any accessible crutches here to steady the uneasy listener, and whenever the music approaches something resembling an actual melodic phrase it invariably beats a hasty retreat toward the relative freedom of uncharted atonal territory.

Well, not exactly uncharted: Musique Concète had been around a long time by 1978. Maybe Vangelis was simply trying to emulate the innovations of pioneers like Pierre Schaeffer et al. On the other hand, he might have just unwrapped another new studio toy (a Yamaha CS-80) and decided to record his self-tutorial, while blindly twisting knobs and punching buttons.

I'm usually a loud defender of the two-star rating in these Archives, as a mark of hidden quality: the fans-only treasure unfit for general consumption. But in this case the judgment is more subjective, reflecting a conspicuous lack of genuine experimentation. In the same interview quoted above Vangelis claimed he made the album "very quickly, spontaneously", but then added: "it took me a little less than a month." A month-long session...for this? That's hardly a measure of impulsive creativity.

Maybe the solitary (and now dated) keyboard sounds are the primary culprit. If Frank Zappa had arranged the same music for a small orchestra (see "The Yellow Shark", 1993) the album might be hailed today as a post-modern masterpiece. "I needed courage to release this record", said its author at the time. And you might need a little nerve yourself (or at least a wide open pair of forgiving ears) to properly hear it. Two stars...for true fans of inscrutable abstract noodling.

 Opéra Sauvage (OST) by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.45 | 81 ratings

Opéra Sauvage (OST)
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Sachis

4 stars I'm a little bit dissapointed to see that Opera Sauvage is such an underrated Vangelis album. Even if it is a documentary movie soundtrack ( another one from F. Rossif series) , the music from the album is unique in beauty and silence. Famous songs such as L'enfant and Hymne used to be openings for TV broadcastings for the last 35 years and will be in the future, for sure, making Vangelis music almost immortal. This album is, like many others, made to be played from the beginning till the last second without any stop or pause. Speaking about other songs, Reve is purely melancholic and floating, also Irlande and Muettes(the most ambiental one). The last song-Flamants roses- is a little complex because of the contribution of Jon Anderson from Yes on harp and because the use of percussion, as well.

Highly recommended for old and young prog music lovers anytime, especially after a hard working day!

 Albedo 0.39 by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.68 | 148 ratings

Albedo 0.39
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Replayer

4 stars Albedo 0.39 is an instrumental concept album whose theme is space exploration. I would describe it as half electronic-jazz-classical fusion, half straightforward electronica.

Pulstar is a classic Vangelis track. As the title suggests, it uses a pulsing sequencer pattern. Vangelis uses his trademark synth brass for playing the main riff. The title seems to be a play on the word 'pulsar'.

Freefall is a peaceful track that uses a Indonesian gamelan tune as its base and a flute-like lead instrument. Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility), named after the Apollo 11 landing site, is a short ambient track that includes excerpts from several Apollo missions.

Main Sequence is probably best described as lively jazz fusion played on synths (especially brass synths) and drums. It's a chaotic piece and uses a lot of staccato. It's named after main sequence stars, also known as dwarf stars.

Sword of Orion is another short track, with a dreamy and wistful mood. I wish it would have been longer. The instrumentation is sparse, but effective: synth pads, a synth brass melody line and some accompanying piano and chimes. It makes me think of the famous Pale Blue Dot picture, taken by the Voyager probe in 1990 and showing the Earth suspended in the blackness of space.

Alpha is the album's highlight. Similarly to Oldfield, Vangelis builds on a simple melody, layering more and more instruments and culminating in a bombastic climax.

Nucleogenesis (Part One) starts with an unaccompanied church organ, then transitions to a sequencer section with occasional drums and percussion.

Nucleogenesis (Part Two) is more jazzy and features drums as well. For some reason it reminds me of the second half of Pink Floyd's One of These Days. The end of the track is mellow and symphonic.

The term nucleogenesis, also known as nucleosynthesis, refers to the fusion of protons and neutrons into atomic nuclei.

The title track closes the album. It is an ambient track and recording engineer Keith Spencer-Allen recites a variety of the Earth's astronomic measurements. For some reason he uses miles rather than kilometers, which are generally used in scientific measurements. I suppose it was because metrification started only a few years earlier in the United Kingdom, where the album was recorded.

I recommend this album to those who dismiss Vangelis as a new age musician, as it is one of his most progressive ones. Indeed, he even rehearsed with Yes for a few weeks after Wakeman's departure. The band found him too experimental and he also insisted on playing drums (this album shows he was a competent drummer). My favorite tracks are Alpha and Pulstar, to which I sometimes listen as standalone songs or mixes. These two are the Albedo 0.39 tracks mostly frequently included on Vangelis compilation albums.

 Not a Bit - All Of It by VANGELIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
3.10 | 2 ratings

Not a Bit - All Of It
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Chariots Of Fire (OST) by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.00 | 119 ratings

Chariots Of Fire (OST)
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.

 Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka by VANGELIS album cover DVD/Video, 2013
3.56 | 5 ratings

Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka
Vangelis Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

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.

 The City by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.25 | 70 ratings

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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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