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Vangelis

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Vangelis - Heaven And Hell [RCA RCALP 3012] (1975)

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ITEM# SR-RCRCALP3012
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=VG+-

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Artist:

Vangelis

Title:

Heaven And Hell

Released: 1975
Label: RCA
Catalog: RCALP 3012
Genre: Electronic


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Heaven And Hell Part I
Including:
Bacchanale
Symphony To The Powers B
Movement 3
So Long Ago So Clear

02 Heaven And Hell Part II
Including:
Intestinal Bat
Needles And Bones
12 O'clock
Aries
A Way
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Album Review

Heaven and Hell is a studio album by Greek electronic composer Vangelis, released in December 1975 on RCA Records. It is the first album recorded at his Nemo Studios in London that he used until 1987. It is a concept album based on duality.

The album marks Vangelis' departure from the progressive rock sound on his previous album Earth (1973), with adoption of a more classical synthesized sound, as well his UK chart debut.

In 1975, Vangelis moved to London where he set up his own Nemo Studios. The album was his first record made at the studio. He recalls that ''I was trying to put together the studio while recording my first album, Heaven and Hell, at the same time. In fact, the studio was Hell because there was unmixed concrete everywhere, builders all over the place making a lot of noise, and next to all that, there I was, trying to finish my album. There was no limit as to how much time I could spend working on the album, but I felt I just had to do it, and in any case, the only way you can complete the construction of a studio quickly is to start working in it before it's actually finished''.

Vangelis recalls ''I don't like to prepare for a long, long, long time an album. It's more exciting for me to sit down and to play whatever comes. So this is the way that Heaven and Hell happens. I spent six weeks to make this album but I spent maybe two weeks to put down the first tracks''. Vangelis played all the instruments except the choir.

The album marked Vangelis' first collaboration with singer Jon Anderson, who sings on ''So Long Ago, So Clear'', the closing section of Part One. Vangelis recalls how they ''sat down one day and I start to play the melody and he felt so comfortable that immediately he started to write the words''.


Vangelis - Spiral  [RCA AFL1-2627] (1977)

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ITEM# SR-RCAFL12627
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Artist:

Vangelis

Title:

Spiral

Released: 1977
Label: RCA
Catalog: AFL1-2627
Genre: Electronic


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Spiral
02 Ballad
03 Dervish D
04 To The Unknown Man
05 3 + 3
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Album Review

Spiral is a studio album by the Greek electronic composer Vangelis, released in 1977. It was the third album produced by Vangelis in Nemo Studios, London, which was his creative base until the late 1980s. For the track ''To the Unknown Man'' Vangelis received the Midem International Instrumental award in 1978.

It is a concept album, thematically inspired by ancient Tao philosophy, exploring the nature of the universe moving in spirals. On the front cover is cited Tao Te Ching: ''Going on means going far - Going far means returning'', while the sleeve notes state that the track ''Dervish D'' is ''inspired by the Dervish dancer who by his whirling realises the spiralling of the universe''.

It was a less known and acclaimed album than the two which preceded in the 1970s, Heaven and Hell (1975) and Albedo 0.39 (1976). [wikipedia.org]


Vangelis - Beaubourg [RCA AYL1-4387] (1978)

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Artist:

Vangelis

Title:

Beaubourg

Released: 1978
Label: RCA
Catalog: AYL1-4387
Genre: Electronic
Note: Reissue of AFL1-3020


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Beaubourg, Part I
02 Beaubourg, Part II
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Album Review

Beaubourg is a studio album by the Greek electronic composer Vangelis, released in 1978. It was the fourth album produced by Vangelis in Nemo Studios, London, and his final album for RCA Records. It is an avant-garde-experimental album.

It is a concept album inspired by the architecture of the homonymous complex area, specifically Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. He visited the area in 1977, and recalls ''I was very impressed. I returned to London and I recorded my album Beaubourg quickly, spontaneously. So I 'felt' Beaubourg, but that does not mean that Beaubourg is only this: I can redo Beaubourg in 30 different ways''. The recording took him less than a month.

Vangelis noted that many people in the beginning had difficulty listening to it, but later appreciated it. He said it can be played in the background, and approved the case that the people should identify with the track, to narrow down the beginning and end of the album due to brevity of the melodies.

Vangelis expressed that he ''needed courage to release this record'' as RCA ''has not believed in any of my four albums'', or in his artistic activity, and he was ''accused of purposely recording a disc of very 'different' electronic music''; nevertheless the album sold well. Thus he decided to leave RCA for Polydor Records.

Its release was promoted with a live appearance by Vangelis at the Pavillon de Paris on the June 19, 1978. [wikipedia.org]


Vangelis - Opera Savauge [Polydor VAN 04] (1979)

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ITEM# SR-POVAN04
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=VG+

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Artist:

Vangelis

Title:

Opera Savauge

Released: 1979
Label: Polydor
Catalog: VAN 04
Genre: Electronic, Modern Classical, Soundtrack


T R A C K L I S T:
01 Hymne
02 Reve
03 L'Enfant
04 Mouettes
05 Chromatique
06 Irlande
07 Flamants Roses
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Album Review

This warm, lyrical album was derived from Vangelis's music for a French television series. Rich, electronic orchestrations range from grandly symphonic to simple and serene. Curiously enough, this title has experienced a major revival since the opening cut, ''Hymne'' was used for a Gallo Wine commercial. This 1979 release is an excellent introduction to his music. [allmusic.com]


Jon & Vangelis - The Friends Of Mr. Cairo [Polydor PD-1-6326] (July 1981)

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ITEM# Sr-POPD16326
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Artist:

Jon & Vangelis

Title:

The Friends Of Mr. Cairo

Released: July 1981
Label: Polydor
Catalog: PD-1-6326
Genre: Electronic, Synth-Pop


T R A C K L I S T:
01 The Friends Of Mr. Cairo
02 Back To School
03 Outside Of This (Inside Of That)
04 State Of Independence
05 Beside
06 The Mayflower
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Album Review

The Friends of Mr Cairo is the second album by Jon and Vangelis, released in 1981. There are two editions of this album, with different sleeves. Both versions were released in 1981 within a few weeks of each other. The title track, ''The Friends of Mr Cairo'', peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian singles chart in late 1981, though this track was not a hit elsewhere. The second edition of the album includes the single ''I'll Find My Way Home'', which stayed for 14 weeks in the Swiss charts and peaked at No. 1 on 7 March 1982. It also peaked at No. 6 in the UK. ''State of Independence'' was later a hit single for Donna Summer, and a decade later for Moodswings with Chrissie Hynde on vocal. Anderson also later re-recorded that song on his solo album Change We Must, released in 1994.

The title track and its accompanying music video serve as an ode to classic Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s. Most notable references are to the classic film noir The Maltese Falcon. The track incorporates sound effects and voice impressions of the stars of the era, most notably Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Jimmy Stewart. At the beginning of the track, the screeching of tires and a car horn are heard, presumably as a car makes an attempted getaway, which then gives way to the sound of gunfire. This screeching sound/car horn is identical to that heard in the 1971 feature film Get Carter (at 1.1.52-1.1.56), and was probably sampled for use on the track.

Joel Cairo (Mr Cairo) is the name of the character played by Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon. [wikipedia.org]


Vangelis - Chariots Of Fire [Polydor PD-1-6335] (1981)

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ITEM# SR-POPD16335
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Artist:

Vangelis

Title:

Chariots Of Fire

Released: 1981
Label: Polydor
Catalog: PD-1-6335
Genre: Soundtrack
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Titles
02 Five Circles
03 Abraham's Theme
04 Eric's Theme
05 100 Metres
06 Jerusalem
07 Chariots Of Fire
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Album Review

Ted Mills [allmusic.com]

Vangelis' electronic score for a film set in 1930s Britain seemed an odd match at first, but the title theme, with its echoing, manipulated rhythm box and melodic hook, became one of the most popular theme songs of the early '80s. Just hearing the opening 30 seconds conjures up -- for those who have seen the film -- shots of men running on the beach in slow motion, and has been borrowed, adapted, and ripped-off ever since. Suffice it to say that the other six tracks here can't quite match the punch (if that's the word for something so fey) of the title theme. Much of the rest is very sappy, if often melodic, proto-smooth jazz with a burnish of electronic screeches, washes, and fuzzy fake strings. If it works for the insular "Five Circles," it doesn't for "100 Metres," which so desperately wants to be Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" but can't quite get there with its watery synths -- suddenly you realize what a full orchestral arrangement could have added. Side two is a side-long "suite" of the themes on side one, created, one feels, to fill up space. Vangelis went on to snag more soundtrack work, notably Blade Runner.

Vangelis's Biography

Jason Ankeny [allmusic.com]

Best known for his lush, Oscar-winning score to the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, Vangelis was among the most successful and admired electronic composers of his era. Born Evangelos Odyssey Papathanassiou in Volos, Greece, on March 29, 1943, his nascent musical talent was recognized at an early age, but he refused to take piano lessons, instead teaching himself. After high school he formed the early-'60s pop group Formynx, soon the most popular act in Greece. After achieving superstardom at home, Vangelis relocated to Paris in 1968, and was in France at the time of the student riots; unable to go back home, he formed the progressive rock band Aphrodite's Child with fellow Greek expatriates Demis Roussos and Lucas Sideras, soon scoring a major European hit with the single "Rain and Tears."

After Aphrodite's Child disbanded in 1972, Vangelis joined French filmmaker Frederic Rossif to compose the scores for the features L'Apocalypse des Animaux and La Fete Sauvage; his proper solo debut, Earth, followed in 1974, around the time he was rumored to be joining Yes. Although Vangelis did rehearse with Yes for a few weeks, he never officially joined their ranks; still, he became close friends with group vocalist Jon Anderson, a frequent collaborator in the years to follow. Relocating to London, Vangelis established his own state-of-the-art recording studio, producing a steady flow of recordings including 1975's Heaven and Hell, 1976's Albedo 0.39, 1977's Spiral, and 1978's Beaubourg. Teaming with Anderson under the name Jon & Vangelis, he also scored a series of U.K. hits, including 1980's "I Hear You Now" and the following year's "I'll Find My Way Home."

Vangelis' international commercial breakthrough followed in 1982, when his score to Chariots of Fire earned the film one of its many Academy Awards; its theme song even cracked the Top Ten on the U.S. pop charts. That same year, he also created the powerful score to the cult classic Blade Runner, the beginning of a partnership with director Ridley Scott, which also yielded soundtracks to films including 1492: Conquest of Paradise. Vangelis also composed the music for a number of Jacques Cousteau documentaries in addition to maintaining his flourishing solo career, issuing acclaimed LPs including 1985's The Mask, 1988's Antarctica, and 1990's The City. In 1992, he was awarded the Chevalier Order of Arts and Letters, one of France's most prestigious honors. El Greco followed in 1998. In 2001 he re-recorded an orchestral version of his 1993 composition Mythodea, it used by NASA for their Mars Odyssey mission that same year. Vangelis teamed with director Oliver Stone and composed the score to Stone's 2004 film Alexander. 2007 saw releases of two soundtracks in the form of a 25th Anniversary edition of Blade Runner - entitled Blade Runner Trilogy and a score for Greek film El Greco. In time for the London 2012 Olympics, he re-tooled and recorded new pieces for the enduring and iconic Chariots of Fire, further endearing the musical legacy of the track to a new generation.
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