Byte-Sized Reviews: Vangelis–Spiral (1977)

Vangelis Spiral.jpg
Retrieved from here.

Track List

  • “Spiral” – 6:55
  • “Ballad” – 8:27
  • “Dervish D” – 5:21
  • “To the Unknown Man” – 9:01
  • “3+3” – 9:43

Analysis

This album reminds me a lot of Tangerine Dream’s Force Majeure. That is absolutely a good thing to me, as I’m quite fond of Tangerine Dream’s output at the time. However, with occasional exceptions littered throughout the tracks (notably “Spiral”, moments of “Ballad”, and the first two parts of “To the Unknown Man”), it doesn’t particularly remind me of the rest of Vangelis’ work either. The rich soundscapes and uncommon time signatures he utilizes in much of the rest of his work appear to be gone, replaced by…whatever “Dervish D” is. Again, this is not a bad thing, but neither is it something I’d use to illustrate Vangelis’ classic sound.

To me, the B-Side of the album, made up of “To the Unknown Man” and “3+3” is the better side. As many other reviewers over the years have noted, the former is the most memorable piece from the track, with an elegantly simple melody. The latter, meanwhile, with its ever-ascending modulations, serves as an uplifting ending to a solid album.

Listeners can decide for themselves if the more experimental direction this went is a good thing or no. Personally, I like it, but would not use this album as an introduction to Vangelis’ work.

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  • Edit on 2020-05-15: Added track list
  • Edit on 2020-08-28: optimized for new site

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