Home Early Years The NEMO Years  After NEMO A New Century Beyond 2010



Francois Wertheimer

Every once in a while Vangelis worked together with several musicians. In 1974 it was French singer and composer Francois Wertheimer. The record was made just before Vangelis moved to the UK to start a new, creative life.


The 1974 record of Wertheimer and Vangelis


Moving to London

In 1974, just some months before Vangelis went from Paris to London, Yes singer Jon Anderson met him. There is an uncorfirmed anecdote that Jon just rang Vangelis’ doorbell, someday in July. For BBC radio Vangelis said in 1981 about their meeting:

Reporter: "How did you first get together? Was it your idea, Van?
Vangelis: "It was not an idea, it was more like destiny or something like that. By chance, we met in Paris, few years ago, and we knew that one day we were going to do something together. Musically we met during the Heaven and Hell recording. And then, few months ago, we were enjoying ourselves by playing very spontaniously. This is the result of the Short Stories album."
Reporter: (…) "Vangelis uses the destiny as his reason for the way you got together. But there must have been some sort of logistic thing as well?
Jon: "The fact that Vangelis was here in London, working in his studio, and we got about a lot, he was talking about the Heaven and Hell album. I came around just to see how he was recording it and he suggested that we try a song and we recorded it that day, wasn’t it?
Vangelis:" Hmmm, that day."

It was going to be a longterm friendship. Jon and Vangelis made several albums together, starting with Short Stories back in 1979, the last to be Page of Life in 1991. Jon sang on Heaven and Hell (1975) and their works were released on several compilation albums like on Odyssey (2003) Next to that, together they made music which was never to be released. Their most famous songs are "I'll find my way home" and "I hear you now".

First thing Vangelis did in London was the recording of two albums. In the Orange Studios, near Piccadilly, he made the album "Phos" with Greek group Socrates. In the same studio, some days later, he recorded the self-titled album "Mariangela" with 17 year old singer Mariangela Celeste. In fact, when Vangelis recorded Phos, Mariangela provided the backing vocals on "A day in Heaven". In return, the men of Socrates provided music, uncredited, on Mariangela's album.

Mariangela (Celeste) is not to be confused with Mariangela, the Italian singer known from her song "Ninna Nanna" performed at the San Remo festival 2007.


The rare Mariangela album

 The more rare single from that album


NEMO Studio

Another thing Vangelis did when he was setteled in London was to sign a new contract, this time with recordcompany RCA, nowadays Universal. The next dream Vangelis wanted to realise, was to set up his own studio. His eyes felt upon the ex-BBC Command studios. But the owners didn't want the studio being used for recording music. So Vangelis bought some equipment and found a new place to work. This was the Hampden Gurney Studio, which was located near the Marble Arch.


The red circle shows Hampden Gurneystreet between Seymour Place and Edgware Road


Click here to see some pictures of Hampden Gurney street (2008)

The building where his studio was being built into, was a former Anglican girlsschool. After it was used as school, it was transformed into a filmstudio where commercials and short films were recorded. The American director A.G. Melkom was one of the last to use the building for recording films in 1974. At the first floor a balletschool was seated. The second floor was the place for Vangelis. When he had his studio there, he left some parts of the filmstudio intact like the raised platform and some light equipment. He named his studio NEMO. The first recording Vangelis made in the new NEMO studios was "Heaven and Hell". The album took six weeks to finish. It was a hard task to make the album: 

 "That was not an easy time for me. I was trying to put together the studio while recording my first album, Heaven and Hell, at the same time. In fact, the studio was hell, because there was unmixed concrete everywhere, builders all over the place making a lot of noise and next to all that, there was I, trying to finish my album. (...) If you try to wait before the building work is complete, you’ll end up waiting forever!"

The place was 430 square feet (39,9 m2), the separate control room was 23 x 44 ft. (7,0 m x 13,4 m). It was packed with all sorts of instruments, equipment, couches, large floorcusions, carpets, toys, statues, sculptures, plants and chairs. Keith Spencer-Allen, at the time Vangelis' engineer, said about the environment:

"We do spend so much time here together, that we cannot afford to have any tension between us. Here we can make music in a totally relaxed atmosphere taking as much time as necessary."

Click here to see Vangelis with his favorite synth Yamaha CS-80

February 1977 Vangelis gave his permission to Tony Oxley and his band to record the album "February Papers" at NEMO. Around this time, Vangelis and the Greek singer and actress Irene Papas recorded the LP Odes. They have known eachother for a long time. Back in the late sixties they worked together on 666, Papas shouting, whispering and gasping "I am to become a wolf". They were good acquaintances. The LP Odes was released poorly in some European territories, and in Argentina there it was named Odas. The next co-operation between Papas and Vangelis would be eight years later in 1986.

Pressphoto of Irene Papas

1978 gave Dutch audience a pleasant surprise. Filmmaker Adriaan Ditvoorst released his film "Mantel der Liefde". The film was shot in May and June 1977, costing half a milion Dutch guilders at the time. The Dutch filmfund refused three times to fund this movie, so the producer had to find other ways to get the needed amount of money. The music which is used by Vangelis is Heaven and Hell, other musician's work is also used. There is a special record sleeve made for the Dutch market, named Mantel der Liefde. In fact it is Heaven and Hell.



The Dutch LP sleeve The Dutch filmposter

Meanwhile, Vangelis signed to another recordlabel, being Polydor. In the eighties Vangelis gave several concerts throughout Europe. In the UK and Belgium he performed with an orchestra. In Brussels, Belgium, he gave a big gig at the Cirque Royale, May 17th 1979.


Vangelis between the instruments at the Cirque Royale 


China is an album Vangelis recorded in 1979. This is considered as one of Vangelis' mainstream albums of the seventies. Still easy to buy at the shops, China is one of Vangelis' most popular albums. On it's sleeve you can see a distorted image of Vangelis in a swimming pool, a picture made by Veronica Skawinska.

There is one single made out of this album. The Long March is backed by The Long March II, which is never released elsewehre than on 7-inches, so no regular CD or LP contains this piece of music. The Long March II has lyrics sung by children of the Twickenham Childschool.

Click here to see a picture of the China recording with the childeren

Click here for a fragment of The Long March II

The LP sleeve of China (1979)


Mater Amatisima 

In 1980 the J.A. Salgot movie "Mater Amatisima" came out. This overlooked movie is now very hard to find. It came out in Spain on VHS.

Click here to go to the Mater Amatisima gallery


Fiat Strada

Also in 1980, Italian carbrand Fiat made a special televisioncommercial for it's new Strada. Vangelis rearranged Rossini's Figaro for it. Hugh Hudson, the director of "Chariots of Fire", made this advertisment which is also known as "Handbuilt by Robots". In some countries this car is named "Ritmo".



See You Later

In 1980 the famous LP "See You Later" came out. Initially, this release was made with more than six tracks, but four of them were not included on the final LP. "My Love" and "Domestic Logic 1" were released exclusively on 7". "Neighbours above" and "Fertilisation" were not on the final LP as well. Since it is known that there are those outtakes, this song is known as Neighbours. In 2003 an Irish first pressing of the LP was found, the song was called on it's tracklist as "Neighbours above". Unfortunately the song was not pressed on the LP, just stated on the label. My Love was released on 7" single in the UK, Holland, South Africa, Australia, Belgium, France, Ireland and Norway. It was released in many countries but unfortunately it is pretty hard to find nowadays. On the B-side there is Domestic Logic 1. "Suffacation" was about an accident at an Italic plant, which occured in 1976.

Vangelis and Peter March made their single "Don't be foolish / Doesn't matter" in the same year as See You Later came out. The 7" has been released in France, Holland, UK, Germany and Australia. Peter helped Vangelis out with some lyrics on his album "See you later".

See You Later CD and LP (1980)



Chariots of Fire

In 1981 Vangelis recorded the music for the Hugh Hudson movie Chariots of Fire, about two runners training for the 1924 Olympic Games. When he was asked to make the music, Vangelis was immediately caught. His father was a passionate runner as well. Chariots of Fire was dedicated to his father, Ullyses. He made several themes for the movie, but only the first was used. Millions of copies of the album were sold worldwide. He composed the theme of Chariots of Fire just in one afternoon. Being fond of his privacy, Vangelis didn’t like the attention at all after he won his Oscar. He had the feeling the winning of the Academy Award would promise the world a new 'higher standard'. In 1982 he said about it:

"Oh, it is a tremendous problem. Sometimes I’m completely panicked. Like now, for example. I’m living in constant fear that I have too many social values, which creation doesn’t have. Creative values are completely different from social values. Creation comes first, then analysis and evaluation come later. By putting the evaluation before, you kill the creation. Creation is completely unpredictable and free. (...) I go through all the usual everyday problems that everybody else has, so my problem is to keep the balance between this side which is success and fame and all that, and the creative side, which is pure and has nothing to do with fame."

Chariots of Fire became an international hit. It was broadcasted and shown almost worldwide.

Click here to go to the Chariots of Fire gallery


Sleeve without Oscar statue Sleeve with Oscar statue Black and White picture of Chariots of Fire, provides by A.M.P.A.S.

Just some days after he won the Award, he ended the theme for Blade Runner. After Vangelis won his Oscar for Chariots of Fire, he made more soundtracks like the famous Blade Runner soundtrack. Released twelve years later, in 1982 he recorded its music.


Blade Runner

Click here to go to the Blade Runner Gallery

There are many stories why the soundtrack was released over ten years later, in 1994. The most common story is that Vangelis was annoyed. While he was making the music, the film was edited constantly. Because of the lack of a soundtrack, many bootlegs were produced by several companies and fans. Here you can find some of those recordings. The New American Orchestra released a 1982 LP with some of the music, and is still cheaply obtainable.  Ridley Scott, the director of Blade Runner and Vangelis worked together in 1992. Blade Runner was a nominee for the Golden Globes Award of 1982 in the Best Original Score catagory, but "E.T.: the extra terrestial" won the award. Vangelis was nominated for two prices, the 1983 BAFTA award for best music and the Golden Globes of Best Original Score. Unfortunately, he won none. The music was released in 1994 for the first time, it came out on CD. But in Brazil, it was pressed on vinyl, making it the last official LP by Vangelis. It is highly sought by fans worldwide, making extraordinary prices on internet or marketplaces.  After 25 years, Blade Runner hit again the musicstores. A specteculair 3 CD set came out with unreleased music as well as new music witch fit the mood of the story and the old official album of 1994.  

In Los Angeles, November 2019, retired police officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is detained by officer Gaff (Edward James Olmos) and brought to meet with his former supervisor, Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh). Deckard, whose job as a "Blade Runner" was to track down bio-engineered beings known as replicants and "retire" them  (the official term for the killing of replicants), is told by Bryant that several have escaped and come to Earth illegally. As Tyrell Corporation Nexus-6 models, they have only a four-year lifespan, and may have come to Earth to try to extend their lives.



New American Orchestra (1983)            

Original score on CD (1994)                   

25 Anniversary 3-cd set (2007)



Yet, another movie Vangelis had made music for was nominated for the Golden Globe. Missing, by Costa-Gravas won several prizes on filmfestivals. On the Academy Awards, Coasta-Gravas won his Oscar for Best Writing, on the BAFTA Awards Missing won the prize for Best Editing and Best Screenplay. On several filmfestivals Missing was a good nominee. Unfortunately, Vangelis didn't win. Its soundtrack has never been released officially, but can be heard on illegal bootlegs cd's. Based on the real-life experiences of Ed Horman, (Jack Lemmon) Missing tells the story of an American father who comes to a South American country (in the film which country isn't specified) to search for his missing son, a journalist. His son's wife Beth joins Ed, they are in battle through the bureaucracy and dangerous political atmosphere in search of their son and husband. Little by little, Ed comes to realize that this government is not telling him the truth. The viewer can fill in in what country this story takes place, for it can be anywhere.


the movietrailer of "Missing" 1982 

View some pictures and posters here at the Missing gallery



Another film Vangelis had scored, Antarctica, directed by Koreyoshi Kurehara. Released worldwide on VHS, but on DVD in Japan exclusively. The Antarctica parts of the movie were filmed between December 1981 and February 1982 in the North of Alaska and Canada. It was released on 23 July 1983. Soon, the film recieved many good responses, as it was nominated for a Golden Bear at the Berlin Filmfestival, nominated at the Award of Japanese Academy and it won two prices at the Mainich Film Concours in Japan. Director Kurahara is also known for his film "Hiroshima". The American Humane Association which mission is to prevent animals cruelty rated the film 'unaccaptable' for supposed violence against dogs. At his studio Vangelis said in 1982:

"The main reason to accept is I very much like the film and by the end... if the connection between the director Kurahara and myself works as expect I belief and I hope we will have a very very good film and after all, the most important thing is to do things that you like and I like it. And I hope that the people are going to like it as well."

The official Japanese name of the movie is "Nankyoku Monogatari" or "South Pole Story" but released in the U.S. as Antarctica. A Japanesescientific expedition in 1958 to the South Pole is the base of the movie.  A dramatic rescue from mpossible weather conditions on the return journey and the relationship between the scientists and their loyal and hard-working dogs make this movie quite heavy.

Click here to go to the Antarctica Gallery

Japanese LP (with blue obi strip) 1983


Mercedes 250

In 1982 the Mercedes Benz 250 television commercial used music by Vangelis. This advert was broadcasted in various countries. 


Jon and Vangelis

Back to the friendship between Jon Anderson and Vangelis. Again they work together. Jon & Vangelis had a huge success with their song "State of Independence", which was covered by several artists worldwide. A very well known cover of the song was brought to life by Donna Summer. (December 31st 1948 as LaDonna Andrea Gaines, died May 17th 2012) The song or snippets from State of Independence by Donna was or were used again and again by other several artists like Art of Noise. Their track called "Donna" was built up from a snippet for the real State of Independence and some sounds from synths played by Art of Noise. You can find the track of the albums "Draft" and "Into the Battle with The Art of Noise".

Donna Summer's cover 7" (1982)

A movie which used Vangelis music covers, was made in 1982, called A Year Of Living Dangerously. Directed by Peter Wire and the music was made by The New American Orchestra.

Click here to see the Year of Living Dangerously gallery 


Private Collection

In 1983 the LP "Private Collection" came out, with some 7" in the shops but very little promotion. Beware: some of those 7" has the track "Song Is" which never made it on LP or CD! The last track, called "Horizon" lasts for a stunning 22:53. About the song "Polonaise" on the Private Collection album, Jon Anderson said in 1994 for Polish radio:

"This was the time of Solidarity. (anti-communist social movement in the harbourtown Gdansk, Poland) Solidarity created the breakdown of Russia. I was living in Paris, working with Vangelis, and at that moment, it was 1981, this incredible thing in Gdansk, meant that the people of the world are stronger than the governments. Coming into the 21st century we have to have a change of energy. And then, slowly we had the breakdown of the wall in Berlin, the breakdown of communism, and I think, my honest feeling is that it all started in Gdansk - the place where they had the shipbuilding place. So, that wonderful moment, I wanted to write a song. I wrote this song with Vangelis, and I said: "please play that beautiful music in the middle of Polonaise, Chopin". This was a great moment in the history of Europe. (…) The danger ofcourse was the fear, of being persecuted. But they didn't do that, they stood by it, became a world-wide theme. And naturally, it has a lot to do with the becoming of the new world. I know it sounds very big, but it's very true. You can't get away from that."


Private Collection LP and CD

Soil Festivities

In 1984, Vangelis recorded his album "Soil Festivities". It was inspired on memories of his own childhood and 'the things you see under a microscope'. The album contains six tracks, or movements as how they are called, which are longer than standard musictracks. The album sold worldwide. A year later, in 1985, another LP came out on the Polydor label. It was Mask, again a LP with movement 1 - 6 as tracknames. It took two weeks to finish this album and it was released on March 29th 1985 (Yes, indeed, his birthday!) Again, this album sold worldwide, in Argentina named as " la Mascara".


Soil Festivities CD and LP (1984) Mask CD and LP (1984)

Frédéric Rossif and Vangelis worked together again on a video release, called "Sauvage et Beau". There were some rumours then, this music would be pressed on LP for the public. But no proof whatsoever has been found yet this really happened.

Also in 1984 Demis Roussos came to London to record their new project: "Reflection". They recorded the album together with Argyris Koulouris (Aphrodite's Child) and Dick Morrisey (Apocalypse des Animaux) This album isn't very popular, for some people find the tracks cheesy. You can find this album secondhand if you're looking good enough, the 1999 Korean pressing on CD is a real rare find. Easier to find is the 1995 Korean CD on the BR Music label called "Attitudes", it even has six songs from Reflection as bonus tracks.


The Bounty   

The next score he made was for Roger Donaldson's "The Bounty". This music was never released, just the (remade) 'End'- and 'Openingtitles' of the film. In the nineties a bootleg album was made and came out under the OWM label.

Click here to be taken to the Bounty gallery


F.l.t.r.: Roger Donaldson, Dino de Laurentiis, Anthony Hopkins,

Tevaite Ternette 37th Cannes Film festival (March 1984)

The Bounty bootleg 2-cd on OWM


Great River Journeys

The British Broadcasting Company, BBC, used a new composition for the main theme of their " Great River Journeys" televisionseries. Broadcasted in the UK only existed of six episodes made by six directors. Every episode had one river as subject: the Congo, Sepik & Waghi, the Sao Francesco, the Murray, the Nile, and the BAFTA award winning episode the Mekong, directed by William Shawcross. Other directors were Michael Wood, Russell Braddon, Germaine Greer, Brian Thompson and Christina Dodwell. Every episode had it's own music made by Terry Oldfield, Brian Eno (The Nile) and others.


Some Trivia

In 1984 Vangelis rebuilt his NEMO studios and updated his equipment. David Bailey made two anti-fur ads for Greenpeace in 1985.

Vangelis was now worldwide known for his music for his solo work, television and films. But he made music for ballet again, now it was the Beauty and the Beast ballet, choreographed by Wayne Eagling. It was premiered December 2nd, 1986 by the Royal Ballet, at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Invisible Connection

Meanwhile Vangelis released a peculiar album on the Deutsche Grammophon label. This work, Invisible Connection, is now seen as rather controversial. Instead of what people might expect, this record consists of several 'booming' sounds, without any rythm or musical structure. The LP is quite easy to find. The CD is much harder to obtain, but it is nearly impossible  to find the Japanese pressing.

Invisible Connections (1985) CD & LP


Jon and Vangelis part III

In 1986 Jon and Vangelis made their new album, but it never saw daylight. Now, it is only illegaly obtainable on bootlegs. Songs like "All Through The Night", "Say What You Will" and "The Arms of Love" are not so easy to find. They are recorded on the bootlegs "Another Page of Life" and "Jon and Vangelis Demos" Click here to read and compare three Jon and Vangelis bootlegs.


Race Against Time

In this year, 1986, a worldwide televisionevent took place. All around globe people start running to collect money to help support famine relief in African countries. Famous musicians, such as The Cars, Tears for Fears, U2 and The Police made their music available to make this event, called "Sport Aid, The Race Against Time" possible. All around the world the event was broadcasted. Vangelis made it's main theme, while Spiral got a fresh new edit, especially cut for this event. For about 20 milion participants were running in 274 cities all around the world.


Vangelis and the Greek actress Irene Papas made their second album together, the first one being Odes (1979). In 2007 both albums were rereleased. Irene helped the boys of Aphrodite's Child with some vocals on 666. Another co-operation has seen daylight in 1986. This second record has only been released in Greece. Papas' and Vangelis' name and the records' title are printed in Greek.

The LP and CD cover of Rapsodies (1986)

With famous cellist Andrew Lloyd Webber, Vangelis recorded Un Après-Midi in 1986. The first release of this track was on Webber's LP Encore! Travels with my cello volume 2 wich came out on CD as well. It has been rereleased in 1992 on the CD "Harmonie", 1993 on the CD "Encore! Travels with my cello volume 2" and in 1994 on the CD "The Julian Lloyd Webber Collection". The last time a CD hit the stores of Andrew with Un Après Midi was "Gentle Dreams" and "Made in England" (2004).

Home Early Years The NEMO Years After NEMO A New Century Beyond 2010

VangelisHistory.Com © 2012 • Introduction  • ThanksLinksMenu •  Mail •