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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC SEVENTIES PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC
Produced at a time when Greek keyboard wizard Vangelis was at the height of his success during the late 1970s, SPIRAL leaves behind the overtly classical pomp of 'Heaven and Hell', whilst also avoiding the obscure sonic experimentation of later albums. The result is not only one of Vangelis' most accessible recordings, it remains essential listening for fans of...
Published on 25 Nov 2000

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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not sufficiently communicative
Vangelis's music for "Spiral" is both melodic and rhythmic, involving as it does the clever and imaginative use of sequencers. There are five tracks on the album, all of which are equally interesting. Unlike some of Vangelis's other albums, however, I don't find that "Spiral" communicates much depth of feeling - it seems to me more of a technical achievement rather than...
Published on 18 Jun 2007 by Mr. Christian Hoskins


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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC SEVENTIES PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC, 25 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Spiral (Audio CD)
Produced at a time when Greek keyboard wizard Vangelis was at the height of his success during the late 1970s, SPIRAL leaves behind the overtly classical pomp of 'Heaven and Hell', whilst also avoiding the obscure sonic experimentation of later albums. The result is not only one of Vangelis' most accessible recordings, it remains essential listening for fans of electronic music in general. Vangelis is one of the pioneers of instrumental rock, and the title track of SPIRAL highlights the keyboard sequencing technology which was then just being developed. The breathtaking flurries of notes twist and turn with mechanical precision, while the spiralling arpeggios are brought together by a series of percussive impacts. Vangelis is generally associated with dazzling keyboard virtuosity, but this album also emphasises his stunning talent as a percussionist. The most celebrated track on the album is 'To The Unknown Man', a title which now lends itself to the recently published Vangelis biography also available from Amazon. For many, this piece personifies the majestic, romantic sound which typified the composer's work during this period, and its popularity as a soundtrack to television programmes helped to send him into the soundtrack stratosphere of 'Blade Runner' and his Oscar-winning score for 'Chariots Of Fire'. Elsewhere, SPIRAL offers a commercial mix of electronic rock, jazz and fusion elements. This combination is especially effective on the track 'Ballad', with its strange vocal overlay making it one of Vangelis' most appealing musical experiments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece, 30 Jan 2014
By 
Dr. Ivan B. Gerov (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spiral (Remastered) (Audio CD)
A masterpiece, remastered and made it remasterpiece. I love the sound, the quality and the beauty of the music. Hope to get more chances to listen to this man's music, remastered and digitally enchansed.Love the sound on my BOSSE surround.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sequencers!, 19 July 2013
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spiral (MP3 Download)
There is one word that matters most to this offering from Vangelis in 1977: sequencers!

It was around this point in time that the smaller size of micro-computers started to allow the manufacture of feasible digital sequencers (and drum machines) on a large scale, and the results can be found not only in the sound of Vangelis but also with Tangerine Dream and the likes of Jean Michel Jarre. These instruments made it easier to, for example, play a sequence of notes repeatedly at a speed that would be impossible to perform by a single human player. As Mark Griffin writes in his biography of Vangelis, it is apt that `Spiral' is the title of the album.

So the five tracks on the `Spiral' album all rely heavily on the new technology, although the simpler `Ballad' of track two edges more towards the romantic soundworld of its title with its accompanying Stevie Wonder-esque harmonica. He does, however, toy with a synthesised vocal on this track.

All five tracks are worthy of repeated listenings, but the best has to be `To the Unknown Man', a noble composition possibly celebrating the civilian casualties of war that possesses an ingenious coda where the slow march collapses into a more relaxed - and relieving - rhythm.

This is one of Vangelis's best albums.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 26 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Spiral (Remastered) (Audio CD)
Great early studio album that formed a sort of trilogy of mid 70's albums along with the earlier Heaven And Hell and Albedo 0.39.

Very, very good synth and keyboard playing of the highest calibre, this contains several fantastic tracks.

Very, very highly recommended.

A must buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EPIC ALBUM FROM THE SEVENTIES, 25 Jun 2014
By 
HAYLING BOOK & MUSIC VENUE (HBMV) "Hayling Is... (26 Rails Lane Hayling Island) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spiral (Audio CD)
Vangelis has produced a masterpiece here. Keeping in mind the limitations in synthesiser technology in 1978, this was really very much ahead of its time.

Some of the reviews for this album are patchy, but I adore it for its broad sound, depth of composition and sheer creativity. So much of this album is uplifting and much of its sounds as fresh now as it did when it was first released.

A highly enjoyable listening experience.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not sufficiently communicative, 18 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. Christian Hoskins (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spiral (Audio CD)
Vangelis's music for "Spiral" is both melodic and rhythmic, involving as it does the clever and imaginative use of sequencers. There are five tracks on the album, all of which are equally interesting. Unlike some of Vangelis's other albums, however, I don't find that "Spiral" communicates much depth of feeling - it seems to me more of a technical achievement rather than an artistic one. As a result it's not an album I tend to play very often.

The running time is 39 minutes and 1977 sound is of high quality.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 20 April 2014
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This review is from: Spiral (Remastered) (Audio CD)
replaced my worn out vinyl with this CD, best compilation. Takes me back to when music was great & musicians played from their soul
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vangelis Spiral, 1 July 2013
By 
Neil Frost (Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spiral (Audio CD)
During the World Professional Snooker Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 1979, I had been rivetted by the introductory music that opened the BBC coverage of the event. It fitted so well with the slow motion scenes of black spheres rolling towards the camera and into netted pockets and reds clustered together to be dispersed by the white, like an animated model to illustrate the splitting of the atom in a chemistry lesson.

The composer of the piece turned out to be Vangelis, an artist with whom I was not too familiar, only that he was kind of a Greek answer to Mike Oldfield or Jean Michel Jarre. But I also found out that he had once attended (and subsequently failed) an audition for Yes. This would partly be redressed later through his collaboration with Yes singer Jon Anderson.

Fast forward to early 1981 and on the spur of the moment I purchased for c. £3 a Vangelis album: Spiral. I liked the cover, I was intrigued by the title and I couldn't wait to hear what it sounded like. Sure enough, more than 30 years later, Spiral has a place in my music collection, now as a CD.

Released in 1977, Spiral was Vangelis' ninth album as a solo artist, but the first to be dominated by synthesisers. The spiral motif threads its way through most of the album, from the title track, through Dervish D to 3 + 3. There is a noticeable jazz feel running through the whole album: this is hardly surprising considering Vangelis' previous work with the group Aphrodite's Child.

The frenzied title track opens the album, grabbing the listener's attention before spinning into the background and a tubular bell tolls out an ominent chime. Keyboards swell up before some funky percussion takes over and the cathedralesque sythesisers play out a rhapsodic melody. The piece becomes tense before the final crash. Excellent stuff.

Dreamy keyboards relax the listener to introduce Ballad, which builds into a melody that crashes like waves on the the sand. The piece features what sound like vocals by the artist himself and then becomes quite melodic before relapsing into a mouth-organ style keyboard climax. The vocals sneak back in, as if all has not been said, before duetting with the mouth-organ style keyboards and laying the piece gracefully to rest.

Dervish D almost picks up from where the title track left off. Here Vangelis lets it all hang out: the track is frenzied and funky. What sounds like a waffle-board spins into and the out of the track, before the mouth organ style synthesiser provides a bridge with a cat call.

On vinyl one had to turn the record over to side 2. On CD, of course, the album continues and following the final crash of Dervish D, the opening chords of THAT piece which introduced the BBC coverage of the World Snooker Championships pulsate their way into earshot. Entitled To the Unknown Man, it loses nothing in conjuring up images once again of the green baize sport. It has a yearning for me that has lost nothing over the thirty plus years since I first heard it. However, 4 minutes into the track, a military drum tattoo breaks the hypnotic spell created so far and continues with a positive beat and easy going atmosphere, dispelling any threat that the listener may have felt at the beginning.

The album concludes with the walz-style 3 + 3. The first 3 minutes have always reminded me of people dancing in a mediaeval market square, the latter 3 minutes have a locomotive-style beat and a reprise of the mouth organ sounding synthsiser, before returning to the inital walz and fading out.

In summary, Spiral is an excellent album. I cannot comment on how it compares with Vangelis' past or future works, but for me the music here is just as that which he composed for the films Chariots of Fire and Bladerunner.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Spiral (Remastered) (Audio CD)
Vangelis is the master of music which touches places most other music cannot reach. That is not an indictment of music in general. Just the way in which I feel when listening to material such as this. 'To The Unknown Man' remains an opus...
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful stuff, 3 Dec 2011
This review is from: Spiral (Audio CD)
As a boy in the 70's I thought that this album was purely wonderful. Although dated now it was cutting edge then and I loved it. If you don't like it then create something yourself or go listen to something else.

Mike Oldfield, Vangelis, Jean Michelle-Jarre
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