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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$6.38
$5.28 (used)
Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary [3 CD]Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary [3 CD]
Polydor 2008
Audio CD$20.83
$20.82 (used)
Warner Bros UK 2012
Audio CD$17.95
Music of Cosmos: Selections from the Score of the Television Series Music of Cosmos: Selections from the Score of the Television Series "Cosmos" by Carl Sagan
RCA Records 1994
Audio CD$79.96 (used)
Polydor 1989
Audio CD$4.92
$1.45 (used)
Chariots of FireChariots of Fire
Import · Remastered · Soundtrack
Audio CD$3.98
$2.75 (used)
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Vangelis Yes Jon Anderson UK Interview 1980 USD $13.06 Buy It Now 3h 26m
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Chariots Of Fire VANGELIS Polydor POLS 1026 UK Vinyl LP Album USD $15.52 Buy It Now 4h 21m
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The Friends of Mr. Cairo by Jon & Vangelis (CD, Apr-2017, Polydor) USD $6.24 Buy It Now 9h 6m
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9h 31m
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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)

2.83 | 32 ratings
Sex Power (OST)
2.36 | 28 ratings
Fais Que Ton Rêve Soit Plus Long Que La Nuit
3.65 | 85 ratings
3.73 | 111 ratings
L' Apocalypse Des Animaux (OST)
3.45 | 54 ratings
Can You Hear The Dogs Barking? [Aka: Ignacio] (OST)
3.83 | 194 ratings
Heaven And Hell
3.69 | 152 ratings
Albedo 0.39
3.17 | 44 ratings
La Fête Sauvage
3.72 | 141 ratings
2.52 | 76 ratings
3.70 | 78 ratings
The Dragon
3.25 | 69 ratings
Hypothesis [Aka: Visions Of The Future]
3.77 | 121 ratings
3.63 | 49 ratings
Vangelis & Irene Papas: Odes
3.45 | 83 ratings
Opéra Sauvage (OST)
2.47 | 61 ratings
See You Later
3.00 | 121 ratings
Chariots Of Fire (OST)
3.37 | 78 ratings
Antarctica (OST)
3.42 | 72 ratings
Soil Festivities
3.60 | 69 ratings
2.30 | 54 ratings
Invisible Connections
2.88 | 32 ratings
Vangelis & Irene Papas: Rapsodies
3.57 | 76 ratings
3.26 | 72 ratings
The City
3.93 | 130 ratings
1492 - Conquest Of Paradise (OST)
4.06 | 194 ratings
Blade Runner (OST)
3.66 | 71 ratings
3.20 | 83 ratings
3.77 | 69 ratings
El Greco
2.67 | 58 ratings
2.66 | 46 ratings
Alexander (OST)
2.57 | 21 ratings
El Greco (OST)
3.59 | 23 ratings

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

3.58 | 12 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)

2.86 | 20 ratings
Best of Vangelis
2.95 | 16 ratings
Greatest Hits
2.89 | 33 ratings
3.67 | 9 ratings
Best In Space
3.75 | 8 ratings
Space Themes
3.48 | 6 ratings
Gift: Greatest Hits
3.47 | 27 ratings
2.86 | 16 ratings
Reprise 1990-1999
3.75 | 4 ratings
2.52 | 4 ratings
The Best Of Vangelis
2.27 | 16 ratings
Odyssey - The Definitive Collection
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Music Of Vangelis
4.76 | 31 ratings
Blade Runner 25th Anniversary
4.67 | 3 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 | 5 ratings
Pulstar / Alpha
4.67 | 3 ratings
To The Unknown Man
4.00 | 1 ratings
Hymne / Irlande
3.09 | 3 ratings
Not a Bit - All Of It
3.80 | 5 ratings
Silent Portraits
3.13 | 4 ratings
The Will Of The Wind
4.17 | 6 ratings
5.00 | 1 ratings
Conquest Of Paradise
3.31 | 11 ratings
2002 FIFA World Cup Official Anthem
1.50 | 2 ratings
Świadectwo - Muzyka Filmowa (with Robert Janson)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rosetta by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.59 | 23 ratings

Vangelis Prog Related

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

4 stars `Rosetta' is a very unexpected but welcome return album from legendary Greek composer Vangelis, his first non-soundtrack work in over fifteen years, and an intelligent, exquisite and atmospheric work it proves to be. Space travel has been a recurring motif in some of the keyboardist's earlier back-catalogue, including 1976's experimental space physics-themed electronic work `Albedo 0.39' and the divisive neo-classical `Mythodea' in 2001, and the artist here offers a fully instrumental collection of elegant ambient/electronic compositions dedicated to the Rosetta space probe mission and its team.

Opener ` Origins (Arrival)' is a widescreen cinematic-flavoured synth overture with trickles of electronic loops dancing majestically in the classic Vangelis manner, regal organ piercing the black space canvass, drifting seamlessly into the sprinkling of chimes and low-key ebbing hum that infuses `Starstuff's gentle ambient caress and its lightest of rising/falling oscillations. Mystery permeates `Infinitude's classical sweep of synth choirs and emulated orchestration, tasteful romantic themes suddenly rising up between the glorious twinkling piano and ringing crystalline slivers of `Exo Genesis' that could have easily appeared on many of the artist's Seventies works, and the brief `Celestial Whispers' is a cooing synth lullaby. Gurgling break-neck sequencer patterns bounce over brooding darker soundtrack-like veils and tense rumbling drums throughout `Albedo 0.06', and the contemplative synth rumination of `Sunlight' rises with joyful grandeur in its uplifting second half.

The title track `Rosetta' is a strange's a welcome change from what's been presented on the first half of the disc, but it implements guitars, trumpet and orchestration (hard to tell if they're all emulated on the keyboard or the real deal here, as no firm instrument list is provided in the CD booklet) to present a slightly syrupy romantic theme that would call to mind the pristine fragility of `La Petite Fille de la mer' off his wondrous early 1970 soundtrack `L'Apocalypse des Animaux' if it was much more restrained. `Philae's Descent' is another of those frantic and busy electronic- symphonic scores fraught with tension that popped up on his `Albedo 0.39' and `Heaven and Hell' LP's, while `Mission Accomplie (Rosetta's Waltz)' is a victorious synth fanfare that may remind some of his `Chariots of Fire' soundtrack.

`Perihelion' is far more intriguing, an electronic nightmare of bombastic orchestral-like blasts and wild distortion, but it oddly mines slight elements of well-known Pink Floyd pieces, mostly the darker synths of `Welcome to the Machine' and pulsing breathless beats of `On the Run', but there's also lovely light fizzing washes and electric piano tiptoes in the softly gliding outro. `Elegy' is one last sumptuous classical piece, and closer `Return To The Void' is a final spacey soundscape of liquid trickles and deep-space immersion teeming with life in the manner of early Tangerine Dream just as they were switching to more electronic dominated pieces. It's a beautifully surreal and trippy finish, and it's just a little bit of a shame that this set hold more of these sparse and dreamy pieces.

Although `Rosetta' doesn't quite recapture that schizophrenic, anything goes from album to album creativity and freedom of his first two decades (and nor should it have been expected to!), there's so many nods and instantly identifiable qualities to a wealth of past Vangelis works throughout it that fans of this master composer will lap up. Tasteful and sophisticated, yet certainly not commercial or anything close to something that could be dismissed merely as `New Age' music, `Rosetta' is a dignified and eloquent work from a master composter of intelligent music that progressive-electronic and eclectic keyboard works fans should highly appreciate.

Four stars.

 Rosetta by VANGELIS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.59 | 23 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
3.59 | 23 ratings

Vangelis Prog Related

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

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 | 54 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
2.52 | 76 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 | 83 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
3.69 | 152 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
3.09 | 3 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 | 121 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.

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

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