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I have heard "Blade Runner", "Alexander" and "Oceanic" plus several single cues from his most popular works. I enjoy many of his cues, I love the first score. I appreciate the unique atmosphere and sound he can create with his synths, I also like the way he combines them with the real instruments. His work shouldn't be judged in the same terms like music from other composers, since it is unlike it. When I listen to "Memories of Green" from "B.R." I completely don't mind it is just couple of synth strings notes and the machine that makes "Bing", and not the late-romantic composition with several countermelodies.

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The music ruined Blade Runner for me. I know it's a widely beloved score, but it just sounded ridiculous and horribly outdated to me. Perhaps if I had watched it in context, during those wonderful 80's...

Ray Barnsbury

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I think he serves his respective movies very well and I quite like some of themes. But like Brad Fidel - apart from the odd cue, he's nearly impossible to listen to on headphones as standalone music.

You say that like it's fact!

The music ruined Blade Runner for me. I know it's a widely beloved score, but it just sounded ridiculous and horribly outdated to me. Perhaps if I had watched it in context, during those wonderful 80's...

I thought the score worked wonderfully with the film and I didn't see it until 2005 for cryin' out loud! I think sometimes people hear synths and think "DATED!" without really listening. Although something can be dated and still good (Fright Night, Hour of the Gun) I don't find the score to Blade Runner to be remotely as dated as other scores that are more widely accepted.

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I thought the score worked wonderfully with the film and I didn't see it until 2005 for cryin' out loud! I think sometimes people hear synths and think "DATED!" without really listening.

Oh, that's not me at all. You'll find that I'm more accepting in general of all things, film music included, than a lot of people here. It just sounded bad to me. I'm not even saying it's a bad score like most people would...just that it really distracted me and pulled me out of the film, and that I didn't enjoy it. At all.

Ray Barnsbury

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His music doesn't always work, but when it does, it works very well. Blade Runner is his best.

Absolutely! Blade Runner's multi-styled score is probably one of the best marriages between music and images. The two are so organically intertwined that they are inseperable. Vangelis was the perfect composer for Blade Runner because he let himself inspire solely by the visuals. For those who are interested, the latest issue of Empire magazine (UK) has a special of 20 pages named "25 years of blade Runner" which also includes words about the score and vangelis.

Alex

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I'm a big fan of Vangelis. I like most of his soundtrack work, but really like his non-soundtrack stuff as well. Albedo 0.39 is masterful as is Heaven and Hell.

What is his music like to the Japanese film Antarctica? (Eight Below was the remake)

I never saw the movie, but I do own teh soundtrack and it is one of my favorites by him. I also like the Bounty.

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I thought the score worked wonderfully with the film and I didn't see it until 2005 for cryin' out loud! I think sometimes people hear synths and think "DATED!" without really listening.

Oh, that's not me at all. You'll find that I'm more accepting in general of all things, film music included, than a lot of people here. It just sounded bad to me. I'm not even saying it's a bad score like most people would...just that it really distracted me and pulled me out of the film, and that I didn't enjoy it. At all.

Ray Barnsbury

Well, in that case, at least you gave it a try. Some pople read "Vangelis" or "Brad Fiedel" and the idea of liking the music becomes completely alien to them. :)

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Vangelis is somebody who's pretty bizarre in the world of movie music. All his work is often done in real-time, adding layer upon layer of synths. He doesn't write or knows how to read music.

Antarctica (bootleg and official)

Blade Runner (2CD bootleg and official)

1492

Chariots of Fire

L'Apocalypse des Animaux

All essential Vangelis. But note that he has SO many unreleased stuff, he doesn't like to release his works. Instead he releases compilations, like Portrait, Themes, Themes II and Odyssey.

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Vangelis is somewhat unique in film music, as he essentially records his scores live to the picture, yes. That is his way, and if you learn something about him, you will understand why, and how he is able to do this.

But, Vangelis does know how to read and write music. He is classically trained in piano.

And he has many millions of 'fans' all over the world, far more than even John Williams, for example.

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'Blade Runner' is both a classic movie and soundtrack in my opinion. 'The Bounty' is also a great movie and the Vangelis soundtrack is also very good,plus the two scenes in 'The Year of Living Dangerously' in which two diff versions of L'enfant are used are simply timeless.

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His music doesn't always work, but when it does, it works very well. Blade Runner is his best.

Absolutely! Blade Runner's multi-styled score is probably one of the best marriages between music and images. The two are so organically intertwined that they are inseperable. Vangelis was the perfect composer for Blade Runner because he let himself inspire solely by the visuals. For those who are interested, the latest issue of Empire magazine (UK) has a special of 20 pages named "25 years of blade Runner" which also includes words about the score and vangelis.

Alex

I definitely agree, Alexcremers. The score from Blade Runner, one of the weirdest ever conceived, is also one of the best. It illustrates perfectly the movie.

It's quite a pity that Vangelis doesn't make scores more often. Blade Runner, Chariots of Fire (the main theme and the gorgeously delicate "Abraham's theme" are fantastic), 1492, Alexander and a couple more... Quite a small production for so many years.

However, I must say I am FURIOUS that Chariots won the oscar over Raiders :happybday: !

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Blade Runner, Chariots of Fire (the main theme and the gorgeously delicate "Abraham's theme" are fantastic) ...

There's a weird cue on this album that I like. It sounds very "alone in space" and it's strangely followed by a hymn. The other cue that I like is when one of the runners makes a fall. We see it in slow motion together with some sad Blade Runneresque music. Is that by any chance Abraham's Theme?

Alex

Bladerunner is the only Vangelis score I really like. I find his non-soundtrack albums to be superior in general. Earth, Albedo 0.39, Soil Festivities, and China are masterpieces of synth-rock!

Me too, actually. But for me it goes downwards from Soil Festivities. China is a classic!

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For me Soil Festivities is his last great album. Since then he tends to either do overblown opera-style pieces which just sound like he's making it up as he goes along, and whic have way too much reverb making everything sound like a wishy washy mess ("Mythodea", "El Greco", etc), or he does digitized easy-listening pop albums like "Oceanic", "Direct", "The City" etc. Between 1970 and 1984, however, he seemed to take more risks, and make consistently fresh sounding and unpredictable good music. I'd even take his early jam session albums "The Dragon" and "Hypothesis" over his post-1984 music. They are so much more interesting.

Whatever happened to Stewdog? This is his kind of thread!

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There's a weird cue on this album that I like. It sounds very "alone in space" and it's strangely followed by a hymn. The other cue that I like is when one of the runners makes a fall. We see it in slow motion together with some sad Blade Runneresque music. Is that by any chance Abraham's Theme?

Abraham' s Theme is played, if I remember well, when Ben Cross' character, Abraham, remembers loosing against Eric ; the hymn could be Eric's theme (track 4 in the album).

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There's a weird cue on this album that I like. It sounds very "alone in space" and it's strangely followed by a hymn. The other cue that I like is when one of the runners makes a fall. We see it in slow motion together with some sad Blade Runneresque music. Is that by any chance Abraham's Theme?

Abraham' s Theme is played, if I remember well, when Ben Cross' character, Abraham, remembers loosing against Eric ; the hymn could be Eric's theme (track 4 in the album).

Actually the hymn is Hubert Parry's masterpiece "Jerusalem". The piece immediately preceding it is called "100 Metres".

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I'm not a big fan of his work, but I like the guy, listen to some of his CDs I own on a regular basis and admire some magnificent themes he composed, most of which have already been mentioned here. I also like his non-soundtrack work. In my opinion, he is good at what he does (synth work etc.).

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The main title to Chariots is phenomenal, but only in it's original synth and piano version. I think the orchestral version is extremely dull and tacky. The rest of the Chariots score is nice in places, but avoid the 20 minute final track, it's just Vangelis improvising at the piano for the most part, and not particularly well or interestingly. Chariots should by no means have beaten Raiders for best score Oscar, but it's a damn site better than Fame beating Empire Strikes Back the previous year!

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I do not concider Vangelis to be a serious film composer. His forays into the art-form have rarely been impressive, and, when they have, only in that he came up with a good melody, rarely in a truely impressive film score. Chariots of Fire and 1492 are terrific themes, but they're just that. Nothing else about the scores are impressive.

Anyone can write a melody. It's what you do with it that counts.

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Whatever happened to Stewdog? This is his kind of thread!

I'm alive. I just have been away for a while. Life has taken over. But I feel dirty because I haven't been into movie scores much in the past year. Maybe it's time to change that.

The guard must have changed around here while I've been gone, cause the last couple of Vangelis threads had several spewing forth venom for the man. I'm surprised KM actually likes Alexander.

For me Soil Festivities is his last great album. Since then he tends to either do overblown opera-style pieces which just sound like he's making it up as he goes along, and whic have way too much reverb making everything sound like a wishy washy mess ("Mythodea", "El Greco", etc), or he does digitized easy-listening pop albums like "Oceanic", "Direct", "The City" etc. Between 1970 and 1984, however, he seemed to take more risks, and make consistently fresh sounding and unpredictable good music. I'd even take his early jam session albums "The Dragon" and "Hypothesis" over his post-1984 music. They are so much more interesting.

I pretty much agree with you here. Although Oceanic is just one of my favorites. Maybe it's because it was the first album of his that I purchased on a whim. It's probably the most New Agey of all his records.

However, the final two tracks in 1492 are some of my favorite pieces he has ever done.

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Indeed you are right. But it seems to me like it's a fluke if Vangelis's music work. The mood he creates will work for a very limited selection of movies. He is just such a limited composer, in my book.

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Indeed you are right. But it seems to me like it's a fluke if Vangelis's music work. The mood he creates will work for a very limited selection of movies. He is just such a limited composer, in my book.

As pixie_twinkle will agree, I think for the past 20 years he tends to limit himself. His evolutionary progress as a composer seems to be heading downwards instead of upwards. Maybe he bumped his head on a Yamaha CS-80 while adjusting the volume pedal.

Alex

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Maybe be bumbed his head to a Yamaha CS-80 while adjusting the volume pedal.

:lol:

In part I wonder if he has become too heavily influenced by the grandieur of many of today's film scores. His earlier albums (and scores) tended to have a smaller ense,ble feel to them and sounded rather more personal. His score for Opera Sauvage is especially good IMO. The final track is hauntingly beautiful (Flamants Roses). His more recent work lacks that emotional connection for me. From the outset Alexander feels like Vangelis is trying too hard to sound like Howard Shore, but substituting violins for synths. The end result feels grand but empty.

Welcome back Stewdog! Send me a PM if you're still interested in any of those early Vangelis CDs. (Dragon, Hypothesis, Sex Power, Fais Que Ton Reve etc).

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His more recent work lacks that emotional connection for me.

I think this is the main difference between then and now. During the 70s Vangelis revolutionized the world of electronic music because he proved that synths can sound "emotional". While synthesizers were considered cold and sterile, he could make a synth "sing" like a real instrument. I also liked the way he combined electronic instruments with real instruments. I don't know whether it's out of laziness or practical convenience but the acoustic percussion (timpani, bells, cymbals, gongs, drums, etc.) that once colorfully enhanced his recordings suddenly had to make way for dull sounding samples, something he started during Blade Runner (with the E-Mu Emulator sampler). I still prefer Vangelis' old synth sounds over today's "sophisticated" sampled sounds. I still remember how blown away I was the first time I heard the synthetic harmonica in Flamants Roses or the opening track on China (still his best album, IMO).

Alex

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Vangelis is why we have synths in film music. After Chariots of Fire....virtually every director in Hollywood sought a Vangelis sound. There had been synths even in 60's films, but limited only to science fiction or horror films. Vangelis made it possible for that sound to expand into a wider range of genres.

And for that my opinion of him is a good one.

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Anyone can write a melody. It's what you do with it that counts.

Hm, that's an interesting observation, although I couldn't agree with it completely. I'd rather say that there are many who can write a melody, but quite a few who can write a really good melody. :blink: Otherwise, it's certainly of great importance how, when, where etc. the melody is actually used, so good point, Morlock. :lol:

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By the way, how is "Vangelis" pronounced exactly ? I had always thought the g was pronounced as in "jerry" ; however, I was interested to hear Jack Black's character in The Holiday use a soft g, as in "great".

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Yes, it's pronounced with a hard G as in Great. However, his name is often mispronounced VanJelis. In fact there was a Reeves and Mortimer sketch on TV in the UK where someone dressed as Vangelis is seen on a beach playing Chariots of Fire, with "Vanjelis" printed on his piano.

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