Vangelis (Greek composer of electronic, new age and classical)
Born Evanghelos Odyssey Papathanassiou in Vòlos, Greece.
In 1974, Vangelis was considered as a replacement keyboardist for Rick Wakeman in Yes. According to Atlantic Records’ president Phil Carsons, “Jon and I went to Paris to try and get him to join the group. He was an amazing character. As I recall, he has a Daimler limousine with a female chauffeur. We had a great meeting with him in this bizarre apartment where he was surrounded by young women. He also had an archery target set up in the living room of this huge room. During the conversation he kept loosing off arrows which flew across the crowded room and always hit the centre of the target! Anyway we talked him into giving it a try. He came over to London and tried out with Yes but it didn’t really gel. One of the problems was Vangelis wouldn’t get on a plane and wouldn’t fly anywhere and Yes were about go on tour”.
Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (Greek: Ευάγγελος Οδυσσέας Παπαθανασίου [evˈaɲɟelos oðiˈseas papaθanaˈsiu]; born 29 March 1943), professionally known as Vangelis (/væŋˈɡɛlɨs/), is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Antarctica, Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander, and the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.
Vangelis began his professional musical career working with several popular bands of the 1960s such as The Forminx and Aphrodite's Child, with the latter's album 666 going on to be recognized as a psychedelic "classic". Throughout the 1970s, Vangelis composed music scores for several animal documentaries, including L'Apocalypse Des Animaux, La Fête sauvage and Opéra sauvage; the success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream. In the early 1980s, Vangelis formed a musical partnership with Jon Anderson, the lead singer of progressive rock band Yes, and the duo went on to release several albums together as Jon & Vangelis.
In 1981, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, which won him the Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. The soundtrack's single, "Titles", also reached the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and was used as the background music at the London 2012 Olympics winners' medal presentation ceremonies.
Having had a career in music spanning over 50 years and having composed and performed more than 52 albums, Vangelis is one of the most important exponents of electronic music.
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