George Starostin's Reviews



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Mike DeFabio <> (18.12.2000)

Back when I was really into old electronic music, I heard Heaven and Hell a few times, along with a couple other Vangelis albums. I remember liking this one the most, except for the Jon Anderson song, which I might like now, because since then I've discovered Yes. There's this one part on side two that I remember liking a whole lot. It's this little rhythmic part that kinda sounds like a snake slithering around. I'll have to hear this one again some time.


Marco Hokke <> (02.06.2006)

La Fete Sauvage has been on my list for over six years before I stumbled upon it. It's a cinematic score accompaning the film by Fredrick Rossif--as are L' Acopalypse Des Animaux and Opera Sauvage.

La Fete Sauvage opens with a up-beat, happy dance that through its percussion sounds like a late-night party in Africa. It's melody in the 'chorus' is very uplifting and delirious! Perfect for a brawl. After this, an African tribe song takes over and leads in the rest of the album. Sadly, though, the cd is not fragmented into the different bits but instead only provides one 38.34 minutes long piece. The beauty of this is that you have to listen to it in one setting, offering you numerous different musical pieces blended in with animal noises (coming from the film?) that is never new-age but contemporary and myriad in their overal composition. There are very tender moments and up-beat moments interspersed La Fete Sauvage is not my favourite Vangelis album, but I like it more than any other in its sincerity and lack of compromise. It's a film-score, and not so much a studio-album. I would recommend this to anyone who's into Vangelis or who likes L' Acopalypse Des Animaux or Opera Sauvage.


Carl and Elizabeth <> (04.02.2001)

Dear Sir,

Respectfully I must inform you that you are nuttier than a fruitcake. I just read your Albedo 0.39 review, and I'm almost speechless. Almost. This is the ULTIMATE Vangelis album, and if you don't're not listening, simple as that. You don't hear any passion?! Track One...the cacophonous walls of sound that seem to eat the entire song up at the end; the climactic and victorious end of 'Nucleogenesis', with the most amazing reproduction of a brass orchestra I've ever heard. The fact that all this was done in 1975-76 is inhuman. I make electronic music and have been playing keyboards for me: there is no logical way to explain how this album was made.

You make reference to a lack of atmosperic texture on this album, and even make several comparisons to a "superior" Heaven and Hell album. Try listening to the title track, 'Albedo 0.39'. This is a track that is richer and more perfectly produced than probably anything he has EVER done. And he did it before MIDI, sampling, multi-track sequencing, etc, etc. It doesn't even make sense! Heaven and Hell is a great album, but it is NOWHERE near as well produced and thick as Albedo. To say Albedo is Minimalistic is preposterous; you're contention that it sounds like Vangelis just "dicking around with a bunch of synths" shows an astonishing lack of care in your listening skills!  Try again!


Elina Pongracz <> (18.11.2005)

What a surprise to read about the very obscure movie Do you hear the dogs barking. Never saw the movie, but this soundtrack was my first Vangelis album....promptly stolen from me...I absolutely loved some of the tracks on here, sadly, cannot remember what they were called. Would love to know what those pieces were. Never heard Ignacio. By the way, thanks for posting this, as for several years now I have been trying some info about this movie title. Vangelis used his full name on this album, Vangelis Papathanassiou.


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David Girard <> (01.09.2001)

I'm a bit agree with you that this album is almost unlistenable.

It's full of noise and the atmosphere is hard.

However, the intentions of Vangelis when he did this, was to represent the Centre Pompidour Which he succeeded well. It is what he represent. If you listen carefully, you can find many small parts of improvisation. It's a real work.

Beauty is not the only objective of the music.

Ken Willis <> (21.09.2001)

Normally-speaking, I would agree with your evaluation of Beaubourg. I, too, hate and abominate most of what passes as "electronic music" (one has to be careful, for many excellent groups have moved into the electronic field and beaten the electricians at their own game, but you know what I mean). By and large, random bleeps and burps turn me on about as much as sucking eggs through a straw. However ... (how did you know that was coming?!) ... Beaubourg, to me, is different. In an earlier review (Albedo 0.39), you wrote :

"But my criterion for rating all of these electronica, New Age, ambient, muzak, you-name-it records is rather simple: if a record is imagery-triggering, it's good".

And therein lies the difference. For me, Beaubourg triggers gorgeous images - absolutely nothin' to do with Pompidou or France : I had never heard the word outside of Vangelis until I read your review. For some reason, I have always thought Beaubourg was a kind of Frankenstein's Monster (maybe the front cover helped me in that direction) and, consequently, I could easily imagine him (it?) blundering about in some sub-terranean cavern. Anyway, have another listen. Drink / smoke your favourite imagination-enhancer and give it another go. Don't blame me if you never return !!!

Dominique Duroulle <> (20.08.2002)


I've just read your review of Vangelis' album : Beaubourg... and I completely disagree with you ;-) This album is my second favorite one's, just after "Soil festivities". I can't explain why, but I find this opus a wonderful one. When you listen to it, sounds are roaming in your room and your ears, going in any directions. Some noises suddenly appears, then collapses ; It's a "magma" (I don't know if the word is the same as in French...) of sounds... It may be difficult to get into this masterpiece if you are not interested in contemporary or concrete music (with composers such as Messiaen, Schönberg, Henry, Schaeffer,...), but I think you should give this album a new chance. There are no real "melodies", there are only sounds moving on and on...

In the same way, there is another concrete album by Vangelis, called Invisible connections, and published by Deutsch Grammophon (which usually publish "classical" music). And it is also a great album...

Adam Stockdale <> (31.03.2003)

This album is fantastic. Stop whinging. I was listning to this at the age of 11, and still find it great to listen too on a sunday watching the war......

M Markin <> (18.05.2004)

Vangelis once famously said that he functions "as a channel through which music emerges from the chaos of noise". Or something like that. Works like Beauborg, Invisible Connections, and some of the passages from Heaven and Hell or Ignacio are fascinating to listen to, in light of this statement by Vangelis. These pieces find Vangelis avoiding the indelible melodies and pulsating rhythms he's usually known for; the pieces are more concerned with raw tone-color, or texture, or the organization of sounds and textures within space. I would advise those who are turned off by his more experimental works to listen again. They are admittedly harder to get into, but well worth the effort. I will definitely take Beauborg over Mr. Papathanassiou's half-hearted recent themes like "Celtic Dawn" or the theme for the FIFA games.


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