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Re: RIP Vangelis

RIP Vangelis
May 19, 2022 03:04PM
RIP Vangelis. To most Americans, he's best remembered for his scores to CHARIOTS OF FIRE - it's astonishing that the movie's instrumental theme was a #1 single - and BLADE RUNNER. But he has a large, varied body of work stretching from the '60s, when he was a member of the prog-rock band Aphrodite's Child, to last year, when his final studio album came out. Although he was Greek, rather than German, his '70s soundtracks, especially for nature documentaries, are cousins of the heady Krautrock of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schultze, with inspiration from jazz and Indian music alongside an electronic pulse. L'APOCALYPSE DES ANIMAUX & LA FETE SAUVAGE are particularly strong.

Re: RIP Vangelis
May 19, 2022 03:26PM
Sad news. I had various Vangelis records at one point in the late 70s, but the one I cared enough to re-buy on CD was the first Jon + Vangelis album. Primarily for the utterly massive "Curious Electric" that had immense synth riffage that built up layer by layer until a cataclysmic climax full of pulsating synth waves and rolling tympani. All instruments played by Vangelis, of course. He was the Prince/Rundgren of the "Berlin school." Drums, synths, piano, bass. It's so great I can overlook Jon Anderson!

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Re: RIP Vangelis
May 19, 2022 04:57PM
Hey, he had the good taste to turn down Yes' offer to become their keyboardist!
Re: RIP Vangelis
May 19, 2022 05:39PM
That Jon + Vangelis album was a huge hit in Canada. Was that a peculiar thing up North or did it also go massive in the U.S. ?
Re: RIP Vangelis
May 20, 2022 09:08AM
More of a cult item down here, from what I recall.
Re: RIP Vangelis
May 20, 2022 10:21AM
Presumably, you're referring to The Friends of Mr. Cairo -- actually the second of four albums Vangelis recorded with Jon Anderson. Yeah, I remember the title track getting a fair amount of radio time, and its video clip (an homage to 1930s/1940s gangster movies) getting some air time on MTV. But neither the single nor the album became a big hit in the U.S., although it was apparently a Top Ten hit around the globe.
Re: RIP Vangelis
May 20, 2022 10:55AM
Yes, the Friends of Mister Cairo is the one I remember being huge up here. In those days, there was some lag between musical tastes in Canada and the U.S., a lot more than today. For example, around the same time, Men At Work became big in Canada a good six months before they started receiving airplay in the U.S.

Obviously many of the Canadian content bands who were big here did not crack the U.S. market - that's to be expected - but the differences also affected a lot of acts from Europe and Australia who sometimes got picked up by Canadian radio and sold a lot of units here without making much of a dent on the bigger market down south. This was just before MTV became a major player. Jon + Vangelis were part of that trend.
Re: RIP Vangelis
May 20, 2022 09:06AM
A fantastic composer. R.I.P.
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