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

Vangelis is one of the most celebrated electronic musicians ever. He is certainly the most popular and most widely heard. His albums feature symphony orchestras to augment his electronics. His older discs are classics in the symphonic synthesizer style. L'Apocalypse Des Animaux is one of his earliest albums. It is the soundtrack to the Frederic Rossi film of the same name. The LP is short (35 minutes), as it was originally recorded in the analog domain. Vangelis has always had the innate ability to paint pictures with his music. The atmospheres are lush and full, and deep listeners will see the music. This will appeal to fans of Constance Demby, Yanni, Suzanne Ciani, and Jon Jenkins. © Jim Brenholts /TiVo
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Pop - Released September 22, 1992 | Rhino

Suitably grand in scale and far-reaching in its scope, this soundtrack is the first new music from Vangelis since 1990's The City. 1492 stands up well next to Vangelis's classic Chariots of Fire, due to his innate ability to get right inside the material and provide an integral part of the film itself. Vangelis succeeds in capturing the 15th-century mood, mixing rich choral portions with modern elements, and portraying the larger than life character of Columbus, complete with full-range, dynamic sound. © Backroads Music/Heartbeats /TiVo
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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 /TiVo
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Progressive Rock - Released January 1, 1990 | Windham Hill Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Those used to Vangelis' later and lighter synthesized outings may not be quite ready for this dark, thundering album. While it did provide us with the theme music for the TV series Cosmos and bring Jon Anderson into partnership with Vangelis (following an abortive approach to Vangelis joining Yes) on "So Long Ago, So Clear," it also served up massed Gothic choirs and a musical depiction of all the tortures of the damned, with an impressive amount of string-driven shrieking. Even so, it's a brilliant piece of work that should not be absent from any Vangelis collection. © Steven McDonald /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 28, 1996 | Rhino

In the tradition of John Tesh, Kitaro, Yanni, and others in the field of lush, synthesizer-driven mood music, Vangelis cranks out another collection of tunes heavy on hooks and light on substance. A few too many sweeps up and down the harp litter this recording with continual fading into environmental ocean sounds. Chords are simple, progressions are simple, melodies are simple (if they exist). Things get more upbeat toward the last half of the disc, which features a fat bass sound and a classic 4/4 rock backbeat. There is little to sustain the music here beyond your basic background music. The cover featuring out-of-focus smiling synchronized swimmers does not help. © Mark W.B. Allender /TiVo
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Classical - Released April 1, 1984 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Soil Festivities dates from 1984, before Vangelis was working with orchestras. Some would say that it was before he "sold out" or when he was a "real musician," but those opinions are totally subjective. It is certain that this is a different kind of work. The album features five movements, each a self-contained soundscape. Vangelis surrounds a subtle drone with heavy sequences and dense atmospheres. He uses a symphonic synth to create pastoral textures. This is a very accessible album. It will appeal to fans of Constance Demby, Wendy Carlos, Victor Cerullo, and Yanni. © Jim Brenholts /TiVo
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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 /TiVo
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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 /TiVo
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Classical - Released October 31, 1988 | Arista

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Soundtracks - Released June 5, 2012 | BSX Records

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Pop - Released October 26, 1998 | Rhino

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Classical - Released January 1, 1985 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Mask is an e-music symphony in six movements. Vangelis is near his best on this album. He takes the best from his many different e-music personas and creates huge walls of dramatic and hypnotic sound. Vangelis combines symphonic synths, atmospheres, Berlin school sequences, choral chants, and sweet melodies in this soundscape. The mood shifts from bombastic to triumphant to mysterious to challenging and back and forth and in and out. The atmospheres weave through and around the soundscape, never losing the drama. Deep listeners will be on the edges of their seats. This great CD is like a soundtrack with no film. © Jim Brenholts /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 25, 2019 | Decca (UMO) (Classics)

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Pop - Released January 1, 1999 | Rhino

One of the most interesting facets of Vangelis' music is the way in which it has re-formed and remodeled itself throughout each decade without losing its resilience or overall charm. Whether considering his rudimentary keyboard work from the '70s, his numerous motion picture scores of the '80s, or his stylish theme-based material of the '90s, Vangelis managed to keep his atmospheric pastiches from sounding redundant by giving each of his albums a unique persona that never imitated or borrowed from other pieces. Best Of covers some of his most appealing work from the years 1990 to 1999, making for one of the most accommodating routes in which to explore this era of his music. For the most part, Vangelis focused closely on classically oriented textures and softer, gentler keyboard applications in this period, but his skills at creating accurate moods and imagery to accompany the albums' concepts were still as faultless as ever. Some of the most moving tracks stem from 1990's The City, 1992's 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and 1996's Oceanic albums. Although these tracks are removed from their conceptual domain, the beauty and climate of their themes can still be appreciated. Songs like "Bon Voyage," "Dreams of Surf," and "Fields of Coral" from Oceanic paint a vivid picture of the water through some light but rather telling keyboard extensions, while the material from 1492 is a little more stirring and dynamic since it represents the spirit and perseverance of the newcomers setting sail across the sea. The albums themselves should be heard in their entirety in order to fully grasp the effectiveness of Vangelis' musical intentions, but the tracks on Best Of are still worth owning, especially for those who want to start off with just a taste of his '90s material. © Mike DeGagne /TiVo
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Progressive Rock - Released April 29, 1997 | Windham Hill Records

Perhaps this Camden collection of Vangelis tracks should have been retitled The Best of Vangelis 1972-1985. It might have made more sense, but that's a small complaint because what is here is terrific. There are cuts from Spiral and Beauborg, from the Jon & Vangelis recordings, and even from the Cosmos TV series narrated by Carl Sagan. The sound is good, as is the presentation, and it's a nice little introduction -- with the word "little" being the main word in the sentence. Vangelis so often works conceptually -- and has from the very beginning -- that it's tough to size him up in a single-disc retrospective or even really introduce him. But this set tries and, for what it is, does a decent job. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Electronic - Released March 1, 1985 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Invisible Connections is a very interesting CD from Vangelis. He shreds his symphonic biases to create a totally electronic album with lots of quirky experimental sounds and sci-fi timbres. The atmospheres are quite stark and playful. Vangelis seems to have been trying to reach a broader audience. This is pure space music with icy tones and metallic textures. It borders on sheer minimalism and is an extreme departure for him. This rare gem will appeal to fans of Michael Stearns, Constance Demby, and Maitreya. © Jim Brenholts /TiVo
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Pop - Released December 17, 1990 | RCA Records Label

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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. © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released September 8, 1982 | Full Moon Records

A somewhat unsatisfying orchestral rerecording of Vangelis's original electronic score. Unfortunately this was the only recording available until the 1994 release of the official Blade Runner soundtrack. © Bruce Eder /TiVo