23 May 2007

It's All Greek To Me



















Following on from my Jarre post (inspired by Simon's 'Cosmic' article for the OMM), one of those funny incidents of synchronicity occurred recently when I came across a handful of Vangelis albums at my local branch of the PDSA (and call me an old fart, but I still get more of a visceral thrill from finding music this way than from mooching around on Soulseek). I love that shop - nine times out of ten it'll just be a bunch of old Des O'Conner or Bert Kaempfert records, but then the other time you'll find something interesting, and with all records sold for a mere 49p, it encourages one to take a few wild chances. I was fairly dismissive of Vangelis previously. The only thing of his I've listened to since my school days is the Bladerunner soundtrack (and in private correspondence, Simon admitted that this was the one that first inspired him to explore Vangelis' back catalogue - with negligible results!). I can't say I'm converted in the slightest either. It was almost pleasant to hear "Chung Kuo" (the opening track on 'China') again, and some of those collaborations with Jon Anderson are still quite listenable (although Donna Summer's version of "State Of Independence" is far superior), but mostly it's either too overwrought with grandiose arrangements or too damn cheesy, uncomfortably close to some of those dodgy Moog records I spoke of a while back. All told, I don't think the world's quite ready for a Vangelis revival. But wait - what's this? Crazy free-jazz intro, atonal splurts of ring modulated synth-mucus, spiky phrases like something from Pertwee-era Radiophonic Dr.Who scores, glacial waves of speculative ambiance...mmm, maybe there's something there if you really dig deep...

3 comments:

kek-w said...

"Heaven and Hell" (pictured bottom right) is, unfortunately, a record I can never listen to again - it seemed to get played at every mid-teen party I went to (along with "Dark Side of the Moon")...everyone in my year at school seemed to have a copy of it for some strange reason...that kinda burned out my need to ever hear it again...I also tend to mentally associate it with failing to cop off, and puking after drinking too much Martini...too many bad associations...

Aphrodites Child, though, I totally adore...

homo escapeons said...

Aphrodite's Child!

The leading horse is white
The second horse is red
The third one is a black,
The last one is a green..

da da da da da da-da-da-da
da da da da da da-da-da-da
and into that unbelievable guitar...one of the most perfect Rock songs of all time.
I put it up there with Layla and Stairway To Heaven. Brilliant.

droid said...

The Bounty OST is excellent - all dark minimal synths with the odd sea shanty. Bitter moon is OK as well, like the sickly extremes of Bladerunner multiplied and spread out over an entire LP.

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