Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Portraits So Long Ago So Clear
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop, Rock
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Sonoko F. from MONTCLAIR, NJ
Reviewed on 1/29/2007...
Selection of Vangelis' work, most interesting. CDnow.com review:
"I don't know what Vangelis could possibly say in words that he hasn't said in music in this album. For a reputed recluse, this compilitation is very revealing, it's his statement to us, "Here I am". I don't think it coincidental that he begins with 'To the unknown man' and after he has taken us on a musical exploration of his life, he sends us on our way with a casual 'So long ago, so clear'.
In 'Portraits' the recordings are not organised chronologically. It's more like a developmental process beginning with his early work in sythesizers and electronic orchestration (see 'Pulstar' and 'Alpha'). There are selections hinting at personal growth also such as the childlike sounds of 'Italian Song' and the innocence of 'La Petite Fille De La Mer'. Collaborative works with Jon Anderson, who could be called the voice of Vangelis come next, and then we are treated to the grand and epic orchestral pieces. Tracks such as 'I'll find my way home' and 'State of Independence' no longer hint at personal development, they speak directly to self discovery, spiritual quests and growth. These themes are also woven into 'Conquest of Paradise' and 'Chariots of Fire' and tell me that 'Hymn' and 'Antarctica' don't make you contemplative.
I agree with the other reviewers who say that it is awkward to play individual songs out of sequence because of the bridging technique, but I think it's deliberate. To me the real enjoyment of this collection comes from listening to it in one sitting. Let Vangelis tell the story of his life in music without interruption. It's a beatiful story. - michaeleve"
To The Unknown Man.
Jason Stein | San Diego, CA United States | 10/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Polydor compiles 15 select tracks from Vangelis's prolific career circa 1996. There are several best of discs out there now, but he is long overdue for a two or three disc, digitally remastered best of. If you do not own any Vangelis, then this compilation would be suitable. However, it misses great tracks that were featured on his 1989 compilation "Themes" (which also lacked key Vangelis tracks).
There were a few annoying features to "So Long Ago, So Clear", namely that all the tracks blend into one another making buring any particular track difficult because you would either get the ending of the last song or the beginning of the next one. Also, "Hymn" is a remixed version, which in my opinion, is not as good as the version on "Themes".
Otherwise, you have 15 decent tracks gathered together including some of his best work such as "Chariots Of Fire", "I'll Find My Way Home", "Conquest Of Paradise", "Antarctica" and "La Petite Fille De La Mer". I'd recommend getting "Themes" to round out your best of collection as it has some of his other best work. However, "Themes" is not digitally remastered, and I believe the only way to experience Vangelis's music is digitally remastered.
Certainly one of the greatest composers of modern times and a pioneer of new age/electronic music, even beginning before the godfathers of synthetic music, Kraftwerk. Someone needs to get permission from all the record labels and compile a smart two, three or four disc compilation, with no blending of tracks, all songs in their original album form, digitally remastered."
Felix Hayman | Australia | 08/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Forget the other clunky anthologies.This is the very best of Vangelis.It has everything you will ever want from 1969-1989. Just delete "Italian song" and you have it all. Much reccomended"