AL 8545 Direct
Produced by Vangelis
Released on October 18, 1988
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
AL 8545 cover
[high resolution photo]

K ing Day (Dia Rei) is in love with creation and far better suited to speak to you Direct-ly than me. I thought the first side was new age space music, the second side all lullabies. “Nonsense,” says the King. “Vangelis is a conduit to deep, great things. The Gods speak to him. Where else but in a lovely Elsewhere will you find flowers blooming on the moon? Direct is a gentle journey into space, into time and into the arms of an eternal mother where there’s womb for everyone.” I disagree. I think the distance between creation and completion should be lengthened, not shortened. The King and I always take opposite sides on this. “It’s a gift,” he says, “from the Muses. Unwrap it immediately and show the world! If you leave it in the box, does it change into something better?” No, of course not. But in the flurry of fancy wrapping paper we’re apt to miss the fact that we’re being re-gifted. Also, I was better able to indulge the illusion that Great Things were traipsing about the stage on semi-classical opi like Heaven and Hell. This is classical music cut into clever little shapes with digital equipment, ready-consumables for a new age of lyriphobic listeners. Turn off the lights and you’re floating among the stars. Turn them on again and you’re faced with dozens of tacky little plastic stars on the ceiling. If you like Vangelis in little bite-size pieces, then make a bee-line for Direct and Opera Sauvage. They’re two of the most accessible Vangelis albums you’ll find. I prefer to go digging among the dark matter myself (concept albums, classical works), but on occasion even I play king for a day.

And then there was this earlier review (I hate to throw anything out)... Ten musical vignettes on vinyl, a dozen on disc, Direct is one of Vangelis’ most accessible (read “commercial”) works. Like Tangerine Dream’s music around this time, the artist isn’t afraid to anchor his moods and melodies with rock/disco rhythms, which makes his sometimes amorphous style seem remarkably self contained. According to the liner notes, which are often a surprisingly specious source of information, Vangelis was able to compose, arrange and record these works simultaneously in an effort to capture “maximum spontaneity.” Of course, spontaneity isn’t always the most generous muse, and a lot of Direct sounds like earlier Vangelis compositions, especially those on the similarly compact Opera Sauvage. The same themes of space and quasi-religious inspiration arise, the composer’s ears still attuned to lovely little musical themes, and somehow Direct manages to add nothing to Vangelis’ oeuvre while at the same time delivering his best features in short, pretty packets. Some will scoff at Direct as unnourishing new age music, others will see in its compact form a further state of evolution, but both will agree it is remarkably consistent. All in all, a lovely box of candies.

AL 8545 back cover AL 8545 picture sleeve
AL 8545 back cover AL 8545 picture sleeve


  1. THE MOTION OF STARS    4:17
  2. THE WILL OF THE WIND    4:41
  3. METALLIC RAIN    6:10
  4. ELSEWHERE    5:39
  5. (CD bonus track:) DIAL OUT
  7. ROTATION'S LOGIC    3:27
  9. AVE    7:07
  10. FIRST APPROACH    5:02
  11. MESSAGE    4:58

    All tracks composed and arranged by Vangelis


VANGELIS -- all instruments
Nicos Despotidis -- engineer
Shoot That Tiger -- art direction & design
Michael Rochipp -- cover image

UK/GER 1988 Arista LP/CD/CS 209/259/409 149 picture sleeve
US October 18, 1988 Arista LP/CD/CS AL/AC/ARCD 8545 picture sleeve
AUS'L/NZ 1988 Arista LP VPL1-7590 booklet


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