Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Heaven and Hell – Vangelis [#575]

Vangelis_Heaven_and_HellBeardy greek mashes his keyboards once more to produce an enigmatic work with a guest appearance from Jon “Yes” Anderson.

Years ago Carl Sagan did a TV show called Cosmos (the soundtrack to which has already been covered here). It told us all what we knew about the solar system and featured stunning imagery which inspired many young people to get interested in astronomy. Thirty-odd years later, the astronomy factory’s failed to surface and the teacher saying “Astronomy is full of maths” was the right thing to say to impressionable lazy young people embarking on their first tentative steps into the real world. While I was saved a failed career in astronomy thanks to that warning, I carried a little piece of Sagan’s masterwork in my memory, that of the theme tune.  A tune that brought to mind black and white portable television sets and eager cassette recorders waiting to catch the music from the final minutes of the TV show.

Years later, while searching for the music, I learned that the tune was actually from Vangelis’ work Heaven and Hell. While tempting to skip through to the actual bit from Cosmos the album is actually worth listening to in its entirety. Especially as near the end of the first side, our favourite high pitched male singer, Anderson, pops up with an outer space lyrical coda to the side. Indeed, I believe this is the album upon which Vangelis and Anderson worked before forming their own double act, the imaginatively named Jon & Vangelis.

Of course, if you have been following this project for the several years it has been running you might also recall that Vangelis was a member of Aphrodities Child which also dabbled in Biblical musical imagary, with their album 666.

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Cosmos – Vangelis [#312]

Cosmos - VangelisLook hard and long at Vangelis’ catalogue and you’ll struggle to find this album. Probably because it is an unofficial compilation.

If you were about in the 1980s you’ll probably recall a ground breaking documentary series called Cosmos presented by Carl Sagan. You’ll also probably remember the futuristic music that accompanied the series, most of which was extracted from albums by Vangelis. Indeed, if you are British, you might remember Johnny Ball’s informative television programmes covering numbers, science and the like. You know, from the time when television programmes weren’t vacuous? Well there are a few tracks on this album that will bring memories of those times rushing back.

This album is a collection of Vangelis’ most overused tunes from various science programmes throughout the eighties nicely tied under the title, Cosmos. 

Great stuff.

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