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Pop - Released June 6, 1994 | EastWest U.K.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Arriving 12 years after the release of the film, Vangelis' soundtrack to the 1982 futuristic noir detective thriller Blade Runner is as bleak and electronically chilling as the film itself. By subtly interspersing clips of dialogue and sounds from the film, Vangelis creates haunting soundscapes with whispered subtexts and sweeping revelations, drawing inspiration from Middle Eastern textures and evoking neo-classical structures. Often cold and forlorn, the listener can almost hear the indifferent winds blowing through the neon and metal cityscapes of Los Angeles in 2019. The sultry, saxophone-driven "Love Theme" has since gone on as one of the composer's most recognized pieces and stands alone as one of the few warm refuges on an otherwise darkly cold (but beautiful) score. An unfortunate inclusion of the 1930s-inspired ballad "One More Kiss, Dear" interrupts the futuristic synthesized flow of the album with a muted trumpet and Rudy Vallée-style croon. However well done (and appropriate in the movie), a forlorn love song that sounds as if it is playing on a distant Philco radio in The Walton's living room jarringly breaks the mood of the album momentarily (although with CD technology, this distraction is easily bypassed). Fans of Ridley Scott's groundbreaking film (as well as those interested in the evolution of electronic music) will warmly take this recording into their plastic-carbide-alloy hearts. ~ Zac Johnson
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Progressive Rock - Released January 1, 1990 | Windham Hill Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 25, 2019 | Decca (UMO) (Classics)

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Pop - Released September 22, 1992 | Rhino

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Classical - Released September 23, 2016 | Decca (UMO) (Classics)

Rosetta is the first non-soundtrack effort since 2001’s Mythodea: Music for the NASA Mission 2001 Mars Odyssey, from esteemed Greek composer Vangelis. Combining lush electronics with resonant and ethereal string work, the record was inspired by the European Space Agency probe mission of the same name that reached its landing target in 2014. ~ Rob Wacey
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New Age - Released August 26, 2016 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Classical - Released January 25, 2019 | Decca (UMO) (Classics)

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Pop - Released January 1, 1989 | Polydor

Themes is one of the most entertaining and thorough of any of Vangelis' collections, with excerpts spanning such albums as Opera Sauvage, China, and the ever-popular Chariots of Fire release from 1981. Most of the selections from Themes speak for Vangelis' movie contributions, including the infamous "Chariots of Fire" track as well as the lonesome-sounding theme from Missing and the powerful openings from Mutiny on the Bounty. With this music, Vangelis has implemented some variations in rhythm and some noticeable fluctuation in his synthesizer work, making these tracks much more colorful and animated than his new age meanderings of the '70s. Also, his ability to cast visual imagery through his keyboard playing is represented by many of these excerpts, but proven best on tracks like "Antarctica," in which the white, barren wasteland is conjured up perfectly through his wispy synthesized textures, and then again on "End Titles From Bladerunner," which was previously unreleased, simulating the impersonal, android-like world in which the movie was based. Both of his cuts from China include oriental-flavored backdrops, while Bladerunner's love theme remains one of Vangelis' most beautiful pieces. Themes is a definitive purchase as far as compilations are concerned, since a majority of his best material lies in the 14 tracks. ~ Mike DeGagne
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Progressive Rock - Released September 10, 2007 | Polydor

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 29, 2000 | Sony Classical

Academy Award-winning composer Vangelis fills Oliver Stone's epic rendering of the story of Alexander with such victorious bombast, that it may as well be a Jerry Bruckheimer production. What begins as a Blade Runner-esque wash of atmospheric, keyboard-driven subtlety quickly deteriorates into a thick wall of stock heroic motifs, swelling brass, and thunderous percussion. Alexander's main theme is like a testosterone-charged update of Chariots of Fire; it's stirring in an over-the-top, destined-to-achieve-cult-status kind of way, but leaves the listener far too exhausted to warrant repeated listens. Vangelis goes the Hans Zimmer Gladiator route on the soundtrack's quieter moments, occasionally showing hints of the quiet grandeur he achieved on 1992's 1492: Conquest of Paradise, but Alexander is buried beneath far too many musical bodies to be heard as anything but future background music for Michael Bay trailers. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Lounge - Released July 12, 2013 | Rhino

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Pop - Released July 23, 2012 | Rhino

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Pop - Released February 19, 1996 | Rhino

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2012 | Decca (UMO)

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Miscellaneous - Released December 20, 2007 | Cobalt Music-Helladisc

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1973 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Classical - Released February 12, 1991 | Windham Hill Records

As far as Vangelis' early work is concerned (pertaining to the five years of his solo career), Spiral stands up quite well, although it's almost always regarded as an inessential effort. Although the structures and the overall dynamics of the pieces are less complicated and less sophisticated, Spiral's keyboard utilization is still extremely effectual, even if it does take awhile to get off the ground. The five tracks that make up the album aren't as atmospheric or as elaborately shifting as 1975's Heaven and Hell or 1976's Albedo 0.39, but his musical movement does seem to transgress toward full, complete soundscapes, especially in "To the Unknown Man," the album's best example of Vangelis' artistry. The album is based on a dancer's appreciation of the universe and how it spirals into infinity, a concept which came to him through his own pirouettes. Both "Spiral" and "Ballad" touch ever so lightly on melody, appropriately relating to the album's theme, while the lengthy "3+3" begins to unveil Vangelis' creativity and sense of electronic exploration. After Spiral, Vangelis' style changed somewhat, with more of a smoother, more melodic approach to the synthesizer, implemented to create a closer relationship between classical and electronic music. Albums such as Beauborg and China lay claim to this, also employing stronger ties between the theme and the music, while 1981's Chariots of Fire has him merging the two styles completely. ~ Mike DeGagne
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Pop - Released January 1, 1979 | Polydor Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1990 | Rhino

This is a day in the life of a city, its denizens shaking off sleep and moving through the busy streets and promenades only to return home and (presumably) start the process all over again. Vangelis' city is cosmopolitan, tastefully blending exotic sounds and disembodied voices, at once futuristic yet reassuringly familiar. Where Direct was remote, The City is almost sensual; swiftly coursing rhythms and bursts of sensation create a tactile quality. As program music, it succeeds at connecting events seamlessly for the first half of the disc. You can actually see the weak morning light dissipate the darkness on "Dawn" and watch the characters shuffle through their morning ministrations on "Morning Papers." The day starts in earnest on "Nerve Centre," an internal clock implied in the music's mechanized movement, but listeners are soon granted a midday reprieve with a pleasant stroll along "Side Streets." The City does sag slightly in the middle, lapsing into new age amenity on "Good to See You" and "Twilight," but the composer quickly recaptures his muse on the contagious carnival atmosphere of "Red Lights." "Procession" sums things up with a typically poignant melody from Vangelis, where the events of the day wash over listeners in reflection. True, there are some gaps in The City where key events seem to be missing, but Vangelis clearly had the beginning and the end of a good idea here. The rich, full sound of The City makes it easy for listeners to immerse themselves in the music. This is the work of a master sound painter, one whose wide musical travelogue reappears in a composite creation that challenges the composer to create new pictures from past experiences. Moreso, it's a disc that listeners will want to revisit often. ~ Dave Connolly
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Pop/Rock - Released April 29, 1997 | Windham Hill Records

Albedo 0.39 represents some of Vangelis' most fascinating material from the early portion of his career. Using transforming tonal washes and lengthy runs of calm but effective synthesizer passages, Vangelis tackles the wonder and allure of the galaxy and its planetary bodies, making for an entertaining display of his keyboard expertise. Likened to Heaven and Hell (but with shorter passages) and to Spiral, the album that followed Albedo 0.39, the tracks are mesmerizing trips of assorted rhythms that include elements of jazz and mild rock, adding some welcomed differentiation to the nine pieces. The title track includes narrated statistics about planetary distances and such behind a forwarding voyage of tempered notes, making for one of Vangelis' most novel compositions. Along with "Albedo 0.39," the two parts of "Nucleogenesis" are among the strongest cuts that keep his cosmic theme from deviating, while the livelier "Pulstar" involves some impressive instrumental range and electronic buoyancy. Even in shortened form, his distinct pastiches are quite compelling, and the stretches of notes and rhythms don't become weary or monotonous at any point of the album. Vangelis' intention of conjuring up the vastness and immensity of space is soundly accomplished, and for the remainder of his career he employed the same type of atmospheric sketching (taking advantage of technological advancements in the area of synthesized music, of course) for numerous soundtracks and other conceptual works. ~ Mike DeGagne