Nemo Era I (1974-1982)

VANGELISHISTORY.COM

The NEMO-era began in 1974, when Vangelis left Paris to settle himself in London. This webpage provides many pictures and backgroundinformation abpout that period.

 

Click here to see some pictures, taken in 2008, of the new building on the spot were the former school was built. One of the instruments Vangelis was very keen of, was the CS-80 synth of Yamaha. Here you can see some pictures of Vangelis with his favorite instrument. Vangelis signed to recordcompany RCA.

 

 

Map of London showing Hampden Gurneystreet in the red circle

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.

 

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.

Fragment of "Mantel der Liefde"

Mantel der Liefde, which is in fact Heaven and Hell

LP sleeve of the film, in fact the music is "Heaven and Hell"

Meanwhile, Vangelis signed to another recordlabel, being Polydor, after releasing Albedo 0.39 on RCA. 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 just before the concerts in Brussels

Vangelis just before the concert at Cirque Royale, Brussels

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 elsewhere 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 listen to a snippet of the music.

China LP and CD sleeve

Sleeve of "China"

Vangelis with some children of the Twickenham Childschool

Vangelis between the children singing with the music of "The Long March"

In 1980 "Mater Amatisima" came out. This movie directed by José Antonio Salgot premiered 19 May 1980 and is now overlooked. It came out in Spain on VHS and hit the cinemas in Spain, France and USA. The film, also known as "Mother Dearly Beloved", never came out on DVD or Blu Ray, nor it was legally obtainable through downloading. So it is hard to find a copy nowadays. It is a sad story about a mother and her little boy, who is autistic. To cope with his disabilities, she tries to find solutions, but instead of success she got herself on drugs. The boy lives in his own shell, she is going to. The film uses some known and released music of Vangelis, the eerie parts of Ignacio that is.

In the same year, 1980, Vangelis'music was used for the Fiat Strada television commercial. For occasion Vangelis made his version of Rossini's Figaro. This ad was directed by Hugh Hudson, the same man who would later direct "Chariots of Fire'. This commercial had the title "Handmade by Robots". In some countries this car was named "Fiat Ritmo".

 

Around the same time, in Holland Spiral was used for a Corega tabs televisioncommercial. These are two of the numerous televisionads that used Vangelis music.

 

 

In 1980 the famous LP "See You Later" came out. Initially, this release was made with eigth tracks, but four of them were not included on the final LP. "My Love" and "Domestic Logic 1" were released exclusively on 7" and two other tracks, known as "Neighbours above" and "Fertilisation", never made it on vinyl. 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. There is just one LP, a testpressing, which contains all the tracks.

 

"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. The second single for "See You Later"was exclusively released in Spain, and had "Not A Bit - All Of It" and "Mutli-Track Suggestion" on the vinyl. Both 7" and the regular LP are pretty rare nowadays, no matter the origin. The song "Suffocation", which you can find on the LP, was about an accident at an Italian plant of La Roche, 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".

 

In the same year See You Later came out, also Short Stories saw daylight. It was recorded in 1979, together with Jon Anderson who also provided some background vocals on See You Later. Short Stories consists of spontaniously recorded tracks, and has one smashing worldhit: "I Hear You Now", which hit the charts all over Europe.

 

On French television Vangelis gave an interview , which was called L'Arbre de Vie.

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 on television and shown in cinemas almost worldwide. Right after Vangelis won the Oscar for Best Musicscore, the LP-sleeves were adjusted. First the sleeve was just darkblue, later a little Oscar was printed on the cardboard.

Race To The End - vocal adaptation of the main theme of Chariots of Fire by Demis Roussos, music rerecorded by Vangelis

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