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Esoteric to Release Six Vangelis Remasters

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Vangelis Heaven and HellCelebrated Greek electronic composer Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou – or, as he’s known to music lovers the world over, Vangelis – is partnering with the Cherry Red label Esoteric to remaster and reissue six of his albums originally released on the RCA and Arista labels.

By the time Vangelis signed to RCA and released Heaven and Hell in 1975, he’d already traveled quite extensively in the European music scene. From a turn in Greek pop band The Forminx, he’d formed a prog band, Aphrodite’s Child, enjoying success across the continent. He’d also taken on a lot of session and soundtrack work, and was even a candidate to step in to the lineup of Yes after Rick Wakeman’s departure. Ultimately, he forged on as a solo artist, opening his own Nemo Studios in London and recording many of his greatest works from there.

Vangelis’ RCA albums are diverse and experimental, drawing from classical traditions (Heaven and Hell, a two-sided suite that features his first of many collaborations with Yes frontman Jon Anderson on “So Long Ago, So Clear”), pulsing jazz and blues (Albedo 0.39), intricate sequencer-driven melodies (Spirit, the first LP on which Vangelis used the Yamaha CS-80, a cornerstone of his later work) and experimental improvisations (Beaubourg, based on a Parisian district in which Vangelis lived in the earlier part of the 1970s).

After a decade in which Vangelis’ star was driven largely by soundtrack work (namely the iconic crossover hit Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner) and three official collaborations with Jon Anderson, 1988 saw the release of Direct, a more pop-influenced, less eclectic album on Arista Records. Three years later, Page of Life was the final album credited to Jon & Vangelis, also released on Arista.

These six albums have been supervised for Esoteric, with approved remastering and redesigned artwork by the composer himself. (These redesigned digipaks greatly resemble the artwork for Universal’s 2007 remasters of two albums by Vangelis with vocals by Irene Papas: Odes (1979) and Rapsodies (1986).) Additionally, two of the discs are expanded: Spiral includes a non-LP B-side, “To the Unknown Man (Part II),” as does Page of Life, which features a CD single-only track called “Sing with Your Eyes.”

All of these titles will hit U.K. shops on November 25. The full track-by-track breakdowns and Amazon U.K. links are after the jump!

Heaven and Hell (Official Vangelis Supervised Remastered Edition) (originally released as RCA RS-1025 (U.K.)/LPL1-5110 (U.S.), 1975 – reissued Esoteric ECLEC2421 (U.K.), 2013)

  1. Heaven and Hell, Part I (Bacchanale/Symphony to the Powers B (Movements One and Two)/Movement Three (from “Symphony to the Powers B”)/So Long Ago, So Clear)
  2. Heaven and Hell, Part II (Intestinal Bat/Needles and Bones/12 O’Clock/Aries/A Way)

Albedo 0.39 (Official Vangelis Supervised Remastered Edition) (originally released as RCA RS-1080 (U.K.)/LPL1-5136 (U.S.), 1976 – reissued Esoteric ECLEC2422 (U.K.), 2013)

  1. Pulstar
  2. Freefall
  3. Mare Tranquillitatis
  4. Main Sequence
  5. Sword of Orion
  6. Alpha
  7. Nucleogenesis (Part One)
  8. Nucleogenesis (Part Two)
  9. Albedo 0.39

Spiral (Official Vangelis Supervised Remastered Edition) (originally released as RCA PL-25166 (U.K.)/AFL1-2627 (U.S.), 1977 – reissued Esoteric ECLEC2423 (U.K.), 2013)

  1. Spiral
  2. Ballad
  3. Dervish D
  4. To the Unknown Man
  5. 3 + 3
  6. To the Unknown Man (Part II) (single B-side – RCA Victor PB-5064 (U.K.), 1977)

Beaubourg (Official Vangelis Supervised Remastered Edition) (originally released as RCA PL-25155 (U.K.)/AFL1-7020 (U.S.), 1978 – reissued Esoteric ECLEC2424 (U.K.), 2013)

  1. Beaubourg, Part I
  2. Beaubourg, Part II

Direct (Official Vangelis Supervised Remastered Edition) (originally released as Arista 209 149 (U.K.)/AL-8545 (U.S.), 1988 – reissued Esoteric ECLEC2424 (U.K.), 2013)

  1. The Motion of Stars
  2. The Will of the Wind
  3. Metallic Rain
  4. Elsewhere
  5. Dial Out *
  6. Glorianna (Hymn a la Femme)
  7. Rotation’s Logic
  8. The Oracle of Apollo
  9. Message
  10. Ave
  11. First Approach
  12. Intergalactic Radio Station *

* CD bonus tracks – Arista 259 149 (U.K.)/ARCD-8545 (U.S.), 1988

Jon & Vangelis, Page of Life (Official Vangelis Supervised Remastered Edition) (originally released as Arista 211 373 (U.K.), 1991 – reissued Esoteric ECLEC2426 (U.K.), 2013)

  1. Wisdom Chain
  2. Page of Life
  3. Money
  4. Jazzy Box
  5. Garden of Senses
  6. Is It Love
  7. Anyone Can Light a Candle
  8. Be a Good Friend of Mine
  9. Shine for Me
  10. Genevieve
  11. Journey to Ixtlan
  12. Little Guitar
  13. Sing with Your Eyes (B-side to “Wisdom Chain” CD single – Arista 664 063 (U.K.), 1991)

Written by Mike Duquette

October 9, 2013 at 14:10

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