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What's your take on Vangelis?


Do you like his music?  

3 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you like his music?

    • Usually
    • Hardly ever.

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Recently, I saw the movie Alexander, and one of the worst film scores in world history came from that movie. It was perhaps the most boring, most monotonous piece of crap I've ever heard. And it's not just the synthesizers, but the general concept. The battle scenes brought me to near tears with their boringness, and the music didn't help much by plodding along. Nor did any of the romantic scenes.

Then it occured to me. I have to say the same thing for the much overrated Chariots of Fire and Conquest of Paradise.

Why? Because they were all done by one man, Vangelis.

To call vangelis a serious composer is questionable. Yes, he is good at New Age Music, but for his profession, which is the art of accompanying movies, I must say that he falls flat. I'm sure he's a great guy in person, but I just felt no connection with his music. I mean, I remember watching an interview with him as he was making the music for alexander. Basically he uses the same technique that any musically inclined four-year-old would do. "I rarely ever plan on what I write, I just play with my keyboard and wait to see what sounds good."

Sure, that sounds questionably deep.

I mean, he doesn't even PLAY the keyboard. Basically he uses one hand to play a couple riffs, has that recorded, repeated, and such, and then he plays another riff. If you can call them riffs. He has no sense of harmonies. He has no sense of working out chords or harmonies. I probably run the risk of sounding like a snob, but there is a reason why his music is so mundane and boring. Sure, he's talented, but raw talent is cheap. One must learn from others to better oneself. Apparently Vangelis can't read notes. Wow, most folk musicians can't, but they have their nisch.

Any self-respecting composer in Hollywood, I believe, should at least have SOME basic idea on Western harmonies. Ask Vangelis what a D minor chord is, and he'll probably shake his head. He has no real sense on having music move the audience, nor manipulate the scene, as many of the other film composer greats do. All that Vangelis can "write" is slow, boring, moody music, and I feel he couldn't create truly enticing music if his life depended on it.

Any thoughts?

I hope I'm not the only guy who can't stand the sound of Vangelis.

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Hmm. If Vangelis' knowledge of music really is that thin on the ground, I am surprised that his stuff sounds so good.

Yup, you heard me: good. I like Vangelis' work. Chariots of Fire may not be Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, but it's still a very solid piece with an excellent melody. Have you heard his score for Blade Runner? I'd go as far as to describe some of the music in that film as arty (e.g. Blade Runner Blues, a sublime example of brilliantly haunting ambience). My only problem was hearing the soundtrack before I saw the film, and having visualised various things for each piece, being disappointed to find that what was happening on screen during each track didn't resemble what I was imagining at all.

Ah well. Maybe Vangelis' music is indeed "slow, boring, moody music" for some. But I for one can certainly appreciate it.

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  • 13 years later...

Vangelis is to electronic music what Pink Floyd is to psychedelic rock.  He has secured his place in the Valhalla of 20th century of legendary composers with his deeply influential body of musical work. That he received only one Academy Award is such a shame for his talent and his contributions. For those who cite his most popular works, please listen to his earlier compositions in 666 (with Aphrodite's Child, hailed as avante-garde), Heaven & Hell, Spiral, 12'oclock, Antarctica to name a few. His works are not easily assimilated by some of us - those who are bred with western classical. His instrumentals need to be listened and cherished with a open and experimental musical leaning. Even for those who value tune and harmony over the actual sound (like me), he has a huge stock of mesmerizing pieces. Listen to Antarctica theme carefully, strip off the instrumentals and for an expert, it can be easily recycled to a modern day soft-rock hit.  

Sometimes, I feel he has not been bestowed with the popularity and stardom that he deserves. This is partly due to his own public reticence - the stark contrast of Hans Zimmerman.

That being said, he music is soothing, elevated and in some cases soul-stirring. Very few of amongst his contemporaries can claim to achieve that

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