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Remembering Vangelis

Home > Everywhere > Performing Arts | Music | Lists | Classical Music
by Steven G (subscribe)
Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published May 19th 2022
We have lost a musical great
It's getting to a point where I don't like clicking on the newsfeed when a famous person's name appears.

Vangelis (Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou) – 29 March 1943 to 17 May 2022
vangelis, death
By NikolasforWiki - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Vangelis is a renowned composer, best known for his film scores. He won an Oscar for Chariots Of Fire and some of his soundtracks have rightfully gone down as classics.

I think, when it comes to Vangelis, the best way to remember the man is not to look at individual songs or tracks, but to look at albums. I own more than 30 albums featuring Vangelis, and so I thought I would list my favourite ten.

Vangelis had a way with a tune. He could watch a scene and it seemed he had a deep instinct to construct music that suited it perfectly. When it came to working with singers, he could write music that would match the lyrics they gave him and suited the voice perfectly. He had such an ear for music that he rarely misfired. As such, this list is going to appear incomplete to many.

It's Five O'Clock by Aphrodite's Child (1969)

Aphrodite's Child was a Greek pop act of the late sixties that featured not only Vangelis but a man with a powerful voice, Demis Roussos. This is the only album of theirs I own, psychedelia as was common at the time, and with some really good music.

Heaven And Hell by Vangelis (1975)

This is a mix of prog rock and classical and it works so well as an album. It is like a Mike Oldfield album, with one track split over two parts and two sides of the album; on his Vevo page you have each of them so I've included side one here.

Chariots Of Fire by Vangelis (1981)

The Oscar winning soundtrack, and one that has become iconic. You play that theme music and every person of my generation and older knows the film instantly. So many wonderful parodies exist (Paul Hogan's is my favourite), and this music is wonderful.

The Friends Of Mr. Cairo by Jon & Vangelis (1981)

Jon Anderson was the lead singer for Yes, and his merging with Vangelis for a series of albums worked really well. I have this, the second album they did together, on cassette and wore out the first track – 'I'll Find My Way Home '. It is such an amazing song. But the whole album is really strong.

Blade Runner OST by Vangelis (1982)

In my opinion, an argument could be made for this being the greatest written-for-the-film soundtrack album ever. The music suits each scene perfectly, and does not jar the viewer out of the film. This is, in fact, one of my favourite movies (especially The Final Cut version), and the music is definitely a part of that.

Private Collection by Jon & Vangelis (1983)

The third album from Jon & Vangelis, one I bought because I like the second one so much. Though not as strong as the previous one, I was not disappointed at all. It is a little more atmospheric and they still meld together so well.

Antarctica by Vangelis (1983)

The soundtrack to a Japanese documentary I have not seen, this album was one I picked up second hand a few years ago now. The music is so very good, soothing and calming, and I would guess it would suit the scenery.

1492: Conquest Of Paradise OST by Vangelis (1992)

I have not seen the film, and bought the CD on the back of the main theme being released as a single. It is yet another wonderful piece of music, and as a soundtrack, I think it was overlooked at the time. This should have at least been nominated for an Oscar. Again, great music, and many will recognise the themes throughout.

Mythodea: Music For The 2001 Mars Odyssey Mission by Vangelis (2001)

This is basically a classical symphony. It is split into movements on the album, but it plays like a classical symphony and I feel it will come to be regarded as a fine example of twenty-first century classical music. I do not know the story behind it, just that it is a great album and something I would love to hear live.

Alexander OST by Vangelis (2004)

The film was okay, if not a little disappointing. But the soundtrack was magnificent and often lifted scenes above what they otherwise would have been. The soundtrack album, though, is not one where it is easy to pick a single track, because it works best listened to as a whole. It is like one long song with multiple parts – another classical symphony piece.

With the recent death of Vangelis, I did not go through and listen to everything I have – there was not the time, honestly – but instead relied on my instincts and memory as to what I liked. It wasn't hard to find ten great albums by the man.

The world has lost a magnificent composer, one who I am sure will go down with the best of them as the years go by. His work is too mesmerising to be forgotten.
Vale, Vangelis.


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Why? Vangelis was a great musician
Where: Everywhere
Your Comment
He was indeed a master musician and has left a great legacy of work.
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|4838) 38 days ago
I have vinyl and CD albums.

RIP Maestro Vangelis.
by Gloria (score: 2|533) 38 days ago
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