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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 /TiVo

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

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

New Age - Released August 26, 2016 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

"[A]s a broad survey of a musician sometimes dismissed by his proximity to the new age movement, this broad collection should be a necessary corrective." © TiVo

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

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


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

Chariots of Fire: Music from the Stage Show features the Vangelis score set to Mike Bartlett's stage adaption of the film. Not only is the original Chariots of Fire, first released in 1981, utilized but this adaptation also includes new music composed by Vangelis specifically for this event. © Al Campbell /TiVo

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

Film Soundtracks - Released March 14, 1981 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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. © TiVo

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

Pop - Released February 19, 1996 | Rhino


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


Classical - Released January 1, 1983 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Antarctica is the soundtrack to Koreyoshi Kurahara's film of the same name. Vangelis composed and performed all of the music. It is a very dynamic and dramatic set, but does not convey the iciness that listeners would expect. Conveying feelings of angst, isolation, and even desolation, it is actually very good music. It just does not feel like, well, the Antarctic. © Jim Brenholts /TiVo

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

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

Classical - Released October 31, 1988 | Arista

The CD release of Direct includes bonus material -- which fits the flow of this intense and dramatic offering -- not included on the cassette or vinyl releases. Like most Vangelis, this defies categorization. It has strong elements of rock & roll, symphonic synth ambience, and new age instrumental aspects. At the same time, the bold synthesizer strokes and washes fit the Berlin school of electronica. Given Vangelis' proclivity for soundtrack work, it is no surprise that this disc sounds like great film music. It is a great CD that will appeal to many different audiences. Fans of Kitaro, Deuter, and Constance Demby will like this disc. © Jim Brenholts /TiVo

Classical - Released January 1, 1979 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Vangelis uses ringing synthesizer textures and stately rhythms to evoke the majesty of China, in a similar fashion to another of his "geography" works, Antarctica. While a few tracks use acoustic piano and other organic instruments, the centerpieces "Chung Kuo," "The Dragon" and "Himalaya" use bracing percussion and synthesizer effects to emphasize the subjects (each reflected by its title). © John Bush /TiVo

Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1979 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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. © Backroads Music/Heartbeats /TiVo

Pop - Released January 1, 1990 | Rhino


Pop - Released May 1, 2007 | Cobalt Music-Helladisc

Odes features the most inspired collaboration imaginable. It is a collection of compositions by Vangelis with vocals by the great operatic singer Irene Papas. The vocals, in Greek, become an important instrument of Vangelis' sound design. He has a knack for knowing when to push the instrumental and when to allow Papas' vocals to dominate -- even to the point of some a cappella renderings. Papas is as sharp as ever; Vangelis is always right there. The atmospheres are strong and the soundscapes are dramatic and dynamic. This hard-to-get classic is essential. It is worth every effort to procure it. The only logical comparisons are Vas, Sheila Chandra, Lisa Gerrard, Natacha Atlas, and Yungchen Lhamo. © Jim Brenholts /TiVo