Vangelis - Pulstar (Vinyl)
I'd agree with about half of it, but there's' a bunch of stuff here I'd drop in favor of better and better known cuts from Heaven And HellAlbedo 0. BobbyH likes this. Location: Perth Australia. The only Vangelis solo album I own is Antarctica, which I think is much better than the over-hyped blade Runner.
I used to have China on vinyl - that is also excellent. Mask is good too, though very different from the aforementioned two. Mostly I prefer Vangelis Vangelis - Pulstar (Vinyl) he is smooth and soulful, rather than bombastic. Was it not included on the album? If so, is there another album that has it? BobbyHDec 2, Location: The Cosmos. PlatterpusDec 2, PTgraphics and klockwerk like this. Carloxklockwerk and candyflip69 like this.
Anyway, back on topic. I was thinking about getting it but I already have most of those tracks on other albums. The real draw for me is the inclusion of the prologue from Blade Runner, which is the only official release of the prologue. I agree with sunspot42 that the track listing is pretty strange.
Location: Italy. Chariots of Fire - Themes release. Chariots of Fire - French release for Themes. Ignacio - two excerpts released on a single. Spiral - as released on single in Brazil. Hymne - the Dutch 7" single. Dervish D - rare single release. Blade Runner Endtitles - promorelease for Spanish "Best of" compilation. To the Unknown Man - a very different and rare cover. Pulstar - excentric Brazilian release Back. Pulstar - excentric Brazilian release Front. Pulstar - Italian single. Pulstar - Portuguese single.
Pulstar - Belgian single. Pulstar - French single. After an "orchestral interlude" the track is closed by the initial riff. Now the album closer: a voice reads the "astronomical numbers" of Planet Earth over a very spacey music. Highly athmospheric and evocative of space, it's closed by the voice repeating "Albedo 0.
Having given five stars to Heaven and Hell I can't rate this less. If you like watching to the night sky, this is your album. But years pass and my vision of Prog grew wider and included other genres as "Electronic Prog" and after re-listening the album, really impressed me. Even though it's very far from my beloved Symphonic, the album is simply delightful.
The opener "Pulstar" is a typical VANGELIS track which despite the radical changes, flows perfectly from start to end with an Vangelis - Pulstar (Vinyl) and pompous percussion that fit as a glove with the dramatic keyboard solos and sudden explosions, just brilliant. Usually an interlude is followed by a powerful and strong song, but the introduction of "Alpha" doesn't give that impression, at least until it's obvious that the track is going in crescendo, with variations over the same theme but adding new instruments in each round making the finale breathtaking.
Well it's true and proves the versatility of the Greek composer and multi-instrumentalist who is able to change moods and even genres in fraction of seconds but always with an elegant touch. Some people criticize the title track and catalogue it as a filler, but in my opinion is a necessary coda or epilogue where VANGELIS demonstrates the relation of this album with Space travels, the perfect closer for an excellent album. Maybe the different moods were intended as a calling card to Hollywood 'Soundtracks Made to Order!
Certainly anyone familiar with the old PBS show "Cosmos" won't be able to hear the album without recalling the beatific smile of Carl Sagan as he navigates his Spaceship of the Imagination through the outer solar system. Or perhaps all the variety was meant to fill an audition tape for the keyboard seat in YES, insecurely held by Patrick Moraz at the time. In either case, the quality of the music varies widely between four-star Progressive Electronic excellence and synthetic two-star tackiness.
Quintessential wide-screen workouts like "Pulstar" and "Alpha" flaunt a brash lack of subtlety and taste that sounded invigorating inbut have dated badly since then.
And finally there's the near-ambient title track, with its calm HAL recitation of astronomical data: a minor miracle of atmospheric understatement. The album cover helpfully defines the title for all you non-geeks in the audience a small minority among Vangelis fans, I'm sure. And the rear sleeve photo shows the viewing stand for a Cape Kennedy rocket launch, like the individual track names and like the music itself exploiting the somewhat trite association that existed in the s between synthesizers and space exploration.
But Vangelis was setting the bar for the mainstream popularization of synth rock, with both ears keenly tuned to the sound of commercial success. The track builds on a synthesizer pulse sequence, a main line and various other synthesizer brass lines. It ends with a recording of the speaking clock.
This is unusual of any Vangelis album where usually the space style is quite dominating, this time he blends it with jazz and a bit of blues. The "Nucleogenesis" suite is a music with a dark mood combining the sounds of church organ, organ synthesizer pulse, various synthesizer brass, acoustic drums and basses. It has some elements of prog and jazz. The title track, "Albedo 0. It's a highly recommended album especially for those who like the work of Vangelis.
Keep on proggin'?! Now, talking about Vangelis, pretty much everyone knows him, born in Greece, he was a member of Aphrodite's Child and in early 70's he was engulfed with 'keyboard music'. Like many albums of that period in music mid 70's the theme of 'Albedo 0.
Albedo, or reflection coefficient, is the diffuse reflectivity or reflection power of a surface, and in this specific case, Albedo is the power of light reflection of the Earth which in was 0. The floating sounds and the whole 'we're in Space' thing were made for the listener to lay down in a comfortable bed or sofa and imagine a movie inside its head.
Let your imagination run with the music. On these days we live in this is more than a challenge, isn't it?! Will you face it? A melody is introduced and the music builds upon that with other synthesized sounds. The melody is catchy and easy to remember, and drives the song all the way through.
The clearness of the chimes is very nice as it builds, giving things a nice sparkly sound, and the hard synthesizer hits throughout create tension and the short counter melodies keep things interesting. Layers ebb and flow creating some very cool sounds.
This Vangelis - Pulstar (Vinyl) ends abruptly and goes into the next track 'Freefall' with a recording of a speaking clock. A Gamelan creates the main Vangelis - Pulstar (Vinyl) here along with a synth that accompanies the melody note for note. Other counter melodies are created with other synths. This track is much more pensive and quiet than the previous one with subdued percussive sounds, and has an oriental sound to it.
It is a short track with spacey sounds and moon landing transmissions. This one is probably the most progressive track on the album. What sounds like improvisation comes from one synth while jazz chord progressions go on with another. This all finally ends about 2 minutes before the track is over and the remaining time is rather ambient, but eventually ends with a major chord progression. It's a nice melody over the top of a broken chord, but it kind of meanders around.
This will later become Vangelis' trademark sound, and is probably one of the styles he is best at. It is the same style that you hear in his most popular music including 'Chariots of Fire'. Very nice track, and a nice break from the dischord and dissonance that have appeared in other tracks on this album, and well placed in the track order.
I like the fact that Vangelis used both synthesizer and standard instruments on this album, it really gives this electronic music a lot of depth. This is very apparent in the two parts of 'Nucleogenesis' as he utilizes an organ to start things off, then adds in synths, drums and other instruments throughout.
This suite is also very progressive and dramatic, with tricky rhythms and interesting melodies. Very well orchestrated throughout both parts, but Part 2 is a more structured sound, more predictable, and more repetitive, so I find Part 1 to be the better of the two because it is more progressive.
However, Part 2 does take a strange turn Vangelis - Pulstar (Vinyl) the last part of the track and then returns to form before the end. Synths ebb and swirl around the narration. Then 'Albedo 0. It might be interesting, but not so much in a musical sense. Kind of a flat way to end what is otherwise a good album. Kudos to Vangelis for exploring different musical avenues and ideas and not resting on his successful 'Heaven and Hell' classical style.
He would continue to explore new ideas, and also expanding on the sound that made him popular. He would also author many soundtracks, some of them being 5 star recordings.
This album is not his best, but it is still excellent, even with a few weak moments. The good points definitely outweigh the bad on this one. I would describe it as half electronic-jazz-classical fusion, half straightforward electronica. Pulstar is a classic Vangelis track. As the title suggests, it uses a pulsing sequencer pattern.
Vangelis uses his trade Vangelis created some of the most incredible electronic music, especially in the 's, and he was years ahead of the time. This is an interesting effort, but for the most part, it is far too bombastic and self-indulgent for my liking.
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