memories of the ’80s – Chariots of Fire by Vangelis

The 1980s saw the creation of a unique new sound of classical and electronica, which became a radio favourite, especially thanks to the work of Evangelos Odysseas Papathannassiou or better known by his stage name: Vangelis.

A collaborator with bands since the 1960s, Vangelis’ style evolved from the psychadelic rock of the 1960s into scores for films and documentaries in the 1970s.

Vangelis created unique combinations, such as the album Make your dream last longer than the night, which combined electronic musical passages with news snippets and protest songs from student riots of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He also worked with Jon Anderson, frontman for Yes, and the two did several projects together as the duo Jon & Vangelis.

In 1979, Vangelis worked with French director Frederic Rossif, writing the score for his documentary, Opera sauvage. His notable work on this documentary led him to be hired to write the score for the film Chariots of Fire.

The film, based on the 1924 Summer Olympics, tells the story of two British track athletes competing at the games. Instead of a traditional classical score, Vangelis created a unique modern sound for the film  and it led to his winning the Academy Award for Best Original Musical Score for the film.

In 1982, the single, Chariots of Fire, was released in the United States, and within five months hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, among the pop, rock and dance songs of the era.

Continuing to work on film scores and unique collaborations, Vangelis established himself in a new category in music, which was a departure for the music populating the airwaves of the 1980s.

About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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