Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Vangelis - China CD (album) cover




Prog Related

3.88 | 175 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Vangelis took 3 years and 4 albums before releasing another big one after Albedo 0.39.

Effectively "Chung Kuo" (it means China, the ideograms who compose it are "House" and "Man", so China means "the House of Man") starts very similar to Albedo 0.39 before losing the percussions. Even if inspired to China this is not the kind of music that can be found as background in a Chinese Restaurant. "Chung Kuo" is very melodic and evocative. It gives the idea of Chinese Heights without being folky. A great start for a very good album. The theme is reprised by the piano solo in "The Long March". There's continuity. We can't speak of a concept album but all the tracks are inspired to the same idea and the music is evocative so it's not too far frome being a concept album even if instrumental. A good short piano piece.

"The Dragon" is back to electronic. Nothing to do with the omonimous album and the omonimous title track. A fantastic electronic track even though it's the less "chinese".

"The Plum Blossom" and its violin are more Greek. The piano which accompanies the violin has some of "sirtaki". By the way, the violin is played by Michel Ripochewho did the same on "The Dragon" and "Hypothesys".

Fully in China with "The Tao Of Love". Peaceful and solar, it's probably the most famous track of the album. Short and sweet.

"The Little Fete" is opened by a pan flute that reprises the last notes of "The Tao", then a gong and a harp. It's like being in a temple until a voice with a chinese accent tells the story of a bottle of wine. "When I go home, the moon moves with me...." this is one of the sentences that I can catch. A Tao story, maybe

Speaking of Tao, "Ying & Yang" is very appropriate. Here the music is very chinese. Of course it's almost all electronic, but what matters are the sounds. The track is dualistic. The first half is different from the second, but they are the same track. Two faces of the same song. "Ying and Yang are the opposites, but they are not "black and white".

"Himalaya" is the longest track. It's the most complex. Like many track of this kind is based on repetitions and little variations. Peaceful also this, even when the orchestral accents give it a dramatic touch.

"Summit" is a good closer of an album which is not an absolute masterpiece but deserves to be hosted in any discography. After Heaven and Hell and Albedo 0.39, it's at the third place in my heart in the huge discography of Vangelis.

4 totally deserved stars

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this VANGELIS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.