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Vangelis: Heaven and Hell (remastered)

Heaven and Hell was originally released in 1975 and marked the fifth studio album from the influential Greek composer and keyboard virtuoso Vangelis. Prior to recording this album Vangelis had flirted with the idea of joining Yes as the replacement for Rick Wakeman, albeit he opted against this decision and the band instead went with Patrick Moraz. Nevertheless Heaven and Hell does mark his first collaboration with Jon Anderson which would blossom into a more fruitful partnership during the 1980's. Heaven and Hell really only contains two titular pieces that were split for the original vinyl release although each is broken down into various movements, Anderson lending his voice to the sweet natured, heavenly, 'So Long ago, So Clear' that closes the first part.

With all of the pomp and circumstance of a full orchestral composition the first half (or 'Heaven') moves through the grandiose opening of 'Bacchanale' and 'Symphony to the Powers B' complete with choir before the mood changes altogether with the soothing piano piece 'Movement 3' (later used by Carl Sagan for his TV show Cosmos). The second half ('Hell') is, not surprisingly, haunting and much darker in feel with tolling bells and creepy sound effects making up the introduction ('Intestinal Bat') followed by a jaunty medieval like keyboard passage ('Needles and Bones'). The mid-section ('12 o clock') is the main theme of the piece with mystical choir and explosions of sound as the journey to the underworld is complete with the themes succeeding in conjuring up grotesque images. Two shorter pieces close the album in more reflective mood. Rich, colourful and symphonic Heaven and Hell stands as one of Vangelis finest works and this newly re-mastered edition with enhanced packaging comes highly recommended.

Track List:-
1. Heaven and Hell, Part One (21:58)
a) Bacchanale - 4:40
b) Symphony to the Powers B - 8:18
c) Movement 3 - 4:03
d) So Long Ago, So Clear - 5:00
2. Heaven and Hell, Part Two (21:16)
a) Intestinal Bat - 3:18
b) Needles and Bones - 3:22
c) 12 O'Clock - 8:48
d) Aries - 2:05
e) A Way - 3:45

Added: November 20th 2013
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Score:
Related Link: Cherry Red Records
Hits: 3006
Language: english

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