1151-2 Portraits (So Long Ago, So Clear)
Produced by Gerry Bron
Released on April 1996
Find it at GEMM
1151-2 cover  

T his is a portrait of Vangelis the pioneer: early diviner of the new age goddess, Edison to the electronic tasters of the hip hop generation, shaper of ethereal melodies that stir the spirit of adventure in us all. Choosing only fifteen songs from such an important career must concede to be a snapshot of a greater portrait, a mugshot from an illustrious body of work. Yet Portraits is careful to give us a miniature that accurately reflects the master. Several choices are inspired: “Petite Fille de la Mer” from L’Apocalypse des Animaux, a new choral version of “Hymn” that transcends the original, “Antarctica.” Some are simply essential: “I’ll Find My Way Home,” “To The Unknown Man,” “Chariots of Fire.” On disc, the songs absolutely sparkle, revealing the care and skill that went into Vangelis’ music. Somehow, from the old analog equipment, he was able to create sounds that are still in favor thirty years on. It’s in this sense that Vangelis was a visionary, for his melodies have always had a timeless quality. Listen to “Sauvage et Beau” and you hear a song that has probably been uncovered by countless shepherds, balladeers and lovelorn dreamers through history only to be buried again without the benefit of posterity. To take Vangelis’ art for simplicity is a mistake, however. The way he shapes sounds, builds a palpable world around them, the way he makes the listener anticipate the expected, is the work of an artist. True, anyone might have discovered these melodies, but none could have wrung every drop of potential from them like Vangelis. On first sight, the number of Jon And Vangelis tracks might seem excessive relative to Vangelis’ catalog, but it ultimately provides Portraits with some much-needed balance. It’s hard to believe some of this music was made so long ago, delightful to hear the old wonders come across so clear. If you’re looking for the best of Vangelis on a single disc, Portraits is a sight better than anything else out there.


  1. TO THE UNKNOWN MAN    (Vangelis)    6:34
  2. ITALIAN SONG    (Vangelis/Jon Anderson)    2:50
  3. PULSTAR    (Vangelis)    5:38
  4. LA PETITE FILLE DE LA MER    (Vangelis)    5:49
  5. ALPHA    (Vangelis)    5:34
  6. I HEAR YOU NOW    (Vangelis/Jon Anderson)    5:06
  7. I'LL FIND MY WAY HOME    (Vangelis/Jon Anderson)    4:25
  8. STATE OF INDEPENDENCE    (Vangelis/Jon Anderson)    6:08
  9. HIMALAYA    (Vangelis)    6:53
  10. CONQUEST OF PARADISE    (Vangelis)    5:31
  11. HYMN    (Vangelis)    5:06
  12. ANTARCTICA    (Vangelis)    3:44
  13. SAUVAGE ET BEAU    (Vangelis)    3:18
  14. CHARIOTS OF FIRE    (Vangelis)    3:21
  15. SO LONG AGO, SO CLEAR    (Vangelis/Jon Anderson)    4:58


David Scheinmann -- photography
Stylorouge -- design and art direction

return to VANGELIS discography

EUR April 1996 Polydor CD/CS 531 151 picture sleeve
US April 1996 Polydor CD 1151 picture sleeve
JPN 1996 Polydor CD UICY-2595  


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