829 663-1 Y-1 Opera Sauvage
Produced by Vangelis
Released on 1979
US RE-CHART POSITION #42 (1987)
Find it at GEMM
829 663-1 Y-1 cover  

O pera Sauvage features music composed for the French TV series of the same name, but this is no collection of cookie-cutter synth music. Rather, Vangelis showcases some of his warmest, most accessible music to date - sentimental, melodic, soothing, just the sort of thing for listeners whose tastes lean toward the new age side of electronic music. The record leads off with “Hymne,” a stately two-plus minute piece that gained attention when it moonlighted as the theme to Gallo’s commercials (back in the day when the winemaker needed that kind of cultural boost). This song and “L’Enfant” may already be familiar to some folks, since once you hear them you’re not apt to forget them quickly. As sweet and succinct as these pieces are, however, it’s on the much longer “Reve” and “Flamants Roses” that Vangelis makes his musical case, employing Harold Budd-like keyboard notes that roll softly to fill a space like the best ambient music (the latter also features Jon Anderson on harp). A space lullabye (“Mouettes”) and the light ethnic tints of “Chromatique” and “Irlande” round out the album nicely. Initially, the music on Opera Sauvage might sound trite; on further inspection, however, Vangelis proves to be in control of these arrangements, generating the mood and movements he wants with an efficacy that belies his skill. Like the old television ad that went “don’t blame me for being beautiful,” Opera Sauvage admonishes us not to do the same. If you’ve been intrigued by Vangelis’ more commercial works - Chariots of Fire, the Jon & Vangelis collaborations - Opera Sauvage is a safe entrée into his music. Note the the original album was designed as something of a tromp d’oeil, revealing itself to be a human face only at a distance; this effect has been lost as the cover was shrunk down to fit smaller mediums.

829 663-1 Y-1 back cover
829 663-1 Y-1 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. HYMNE    2:44
  2. REVE    12:36
  3. L'ENFANT    5:00
  4. MOUETTES    2:31
  5. CHROMATIQUE    3:27
  6. IRLANDE    4:47
  7. FLAMANTS ROSES    11:57

    Composed and arranged by Vangelis

CREDITS

VANGELIS -- all instruments, sleeve design
Jon Anderson -- harp

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1979 Polydor LP 2490 161  
US 1979 Polydor LP/CS 829 663/VAN4 04  
ARG/CAN/GER 1979 Polydor LP 2480 551  
FRA/NET 1979 Polydor LP 2473 105 gatefold cover
JPN 1979 Polydor LP MPF 1302 picture sleeve, insert
UK November 1982 Polydor 3LP   repackaged w. CHINA + CHARIOTS OF FIRE
WW 1987 Polydor LP/CD/CS 829 663  

 

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