Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
Similarly Requested CDs
Simple and beautiful, like stars in the night sky
deephymn | Fort Collins, CO USA | 01/23/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the soundtrack to an obscure French/Mexican film from the 1970s, and one of the more beautiful works of the renowned Greek composer Vangelis. Employing voices, piano, strings, synthesizer, organ, and percussion, this piece explores delicate melodic themes in wondrous ways. Gentle but undergirded by passion, the music is like a grand ethereal lullaby.The songs are not individually indexed on the CD. They all share a single 39-minute track. This would not be so inconvenient were it not for an unwelcome interruption of flow 21 minutes into the CD, corresponding to the beginning of the second side of the original LP. This is a two-part detour lasting almost ten minutes. First there is a cheesy synth song that sounds like bad car chase music. This is followed by a span of semi-structured bangings on percussion instruments.Finally, after passing through some eerie musical fog, the listener is treated to a most exquisite ending. The last song is a lovely, romantic reprise of the main theme, done in triple meter. This gem alone nearly justifies the price of the CD. Without the blemishes noted in the second paragraph, I would have readily given this CD five stars."
Let the Buyer Beware
Snow Leopard | Urbana, IL | 03/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The reviews of this disc are largely misleading. My guess is that they are written by people remembering the original vinyl pressing and are commenting on only side 1.The first twenty minutes of the disk are indeed classic Vangelis symph-synth music--lush swells, simple chord progressions, the kind of thing one expects from Vangelis. Opening with a very lovely bit, it sounds like it could easily accompany yet another episode of Cosmos. Another section, with "male vocals", tubular bells and an eerie keyboard portamento is also effective, in spite of some dubious keyboard flourishes. The flourishes multiply, however, along with timpanis and "orchestra hits" (before the day of orchestra hits) ... I wouldn't call the mood of this section "relaxing" or "the voice of angels" at all, though it's hardly frantic. Afterward this, the rest of the original side 1 is effectively more Cosmos-type Vangelis.Vangelis also has another side (which he has explored spectacularly on Beaubourg--a Vangelis disc not too popular with most of his fans). This other side is much more experimental and/or in some vein other than his typical New Age mode.In the present case, however, side 2 is just plain god-awful at the outset. It sounds like Vangelis attempted a full rock band on moog alone, and only half completed the job. It is literally wretched dreck that is annoying to listen to, not because it is "new music" but because it is just plain poorly performed, poorly composed, and vapid into the bargain--like a demo for an abandoned B-side. The spot where Vangelis reaches for that "soaring" note that we all know from a keyboard solo is literally embarrassing to listen to. But enough of this. (Note, the CD is not tracked to let you skip over this. You have to fast forward.)The section following is a Klangfest of percussion--clappers, mallets on piano strings, metallic keyboard clonks. Personally, I find this section interesting--it reminds me of a milder version of Vangelis' countryman's (Xenakis') percussive excesses. However, for fans of side 1, or fans expecting "Chariots of Fire" or "Blade Runner" this is definitely not that. The fact that it goes on for about 6 minutes might grate on some as well. To many ears, this will sound like random noise. For fans of "Beaubourg", there's a similarity, although completely without Beaubourg's intensity.After this comes my favorite section of the disc--an icy, vaguely dissonant section with chimes and a return of the eerie portamento from side one. The mood it creates is similar to having a vague feeling of disquiet while looking at the mercilessly clear nightsky filled with an infinite number of stars.Lastly, there is the generally very acclaimed closer. To my ear, this sounds like a bad Nino Rota knockoff, with Vangelis trying to recreate a mandolin effect manually on his keyboard. I could stand this more if the pseudo-mandolin were dropped, but it keeps intruding. The early cheap drum machine doesn't help matters either and only contributes to the kitsch of the piece. A tragically short (40 second) final theme finishes off the disc, but it's a lot to wade through to get there.Notwithstanding that this is a soundtrack, this is a very erratic disc. Just about everything it offers can be found on other Vangelis albums (or Jean-Michel Jarre) in better accomplished form. Like the bulk of the reviewers here, I'd probably most often find myself stopping the disc after "side 1", if not reaching for Jarre's "Oxygene" about six minutes into it."
A wonderful early Vangelis soundtrack
DAC Crowell | 05/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yep, this is a soundtrack...a suite-like work for the French film "Can You Hear the Dogs Barking", from the mid-1970s. I actually think this 35-40 minute work is a better soundtrack album than "Chariots of Fire", in fact, as it's a much better example of a cohesive, listenable work that has a tranquil, symphonic scope. I'd rank this just a shade below Vangelis's amazing "Heaven and Hell", in fact, and also just below his "Bladerunner" soundtrack. The packaging sucks, though, as it gives you really no clues as to what the music is about, and one would think that in the years since this work's original release on the French Egg label around 1977-78 some clarity might have been added to this. Still, this is fine vintage Vangelis, and a must-have work for those into 70s synth music, as well as the 'New Age' crowd. Obscure, but recommended."