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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2000
Greek keyboard wizard Vangelis was one of the pioneers of popular electronic music, before he became famous for film soundtracks such as 'Blade Runner' and 'Chariots of Fire', for which he won an Oscar. ALBEDO 0.39 was released at the height of his commercial success during the late 1970s, and remains one of his most focussed and appealing albums. Not only does it avoid the classical pretensions of his earlier works, but also the tiresome experimental dabblings of subsequent efforts. ALBEDO represents the composer at his most 'electronic'. The album can best be describes as 'Space Rock', with each of the eight tracks having an astronomical theme and a cosmic atmosphere. There is little in the way of the orchestral simulations that have typified most of Vangelis' work, and we are left with a series of very precise pieces full of lively fuzzy basses, jangly fills and synthetic solos. This does not undermine the composer's celebrated sense of melody, however, as ALBEDO is loaded with catchy tunes, and every piece shows lots of musical interest. The standout track must be 'Main Sequence', a blistering assault of stunning percussion work and dazzling keyboard virtuosity. This is electronic rock/fusion at its wildest, punctuated by sudden bursts of melody amidst a crashing cacophony. 'Sword of Orion' is one of Vangelis' most beautiful and soaring pieces of electronic music. 'Pulstar' is instantly recognisable owing to its frequent use on television programmes, while the album concludes with the title track. This features the man himself, reciting a series of cosmic facts about the earth as it travels through space. Not that musical, but a fascinating science lesson for those who are interested! For Vangelis fans, ALBEDO 0.39 is essential listening. Fans of electronic music with an astronomical theme should also check out Brian Eno's 'Apollo' Soundtrack.
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on 6 June 2007
Albedo 0.39 was released in 1976 and finds Vangelis using a mix of synthesizers, percussion and a variety of other instruments. Some of the more melodic tracks achieved quite wide exposure at the time, most notably "Alpha", which was used on the American television series "Cosmos".

The album sounds very much of its time, especially with regard to Vangelis's use of the Apollo astronauts' voices in "Mare Tranquilitatis" and the British Post Office 'speaking clock' at the end of "Pulstar". Some of the tracks have an experimental feel and don't really work, most notably "Main Sequence". However, the "Sword of Orion" has a poetic elegance and the two "Nucleogenesis" tracks, very much 1970s rock but with unusual use of the organ, still sound quite exciting.

The narrator of the atmospheric "Albedo 0.39" track is not credited and some people assume it must be Vangelis himself, but apparently it was the album's recording engineer.

In summary, an interesting album but not as good as Vangelis's "L'Apocalypse des Animeux" or "China".
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on 5 September 2002
It is astonishing that this record was released in 1976. 'Freefall' is comfortably 20 years ahead of its time and is reminiscent of Boards of Canada's quieter moments. Ignore the unhinged and unrepresentative 'Main Sequence'; the scary 'Intestinal Bat' and the title track are far superior.
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on 4 February 2015
Yet again another CD which I had as vinly in my youth and felt this was cutting edge of electronic music. Now I'm not so sure but still is a good CD if, like me, you are a fan of Vangelis. Like all artists some have better days than others!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 August 2011
Albedo 0.39 was the third LP I bought of Vangelis's. It never struck me as his best but certainly one the most interesting. The double-gated LP had an intriguing NASA launch-watching spectator rear cover photo(which appears on the CD insert).

This to me, whether then or on the replacement CD was more of an intergalactic journey. Some planets interesting, some boring, some ugly, others very beautiful. Certainly, back in the early '80's when I bought LPs like the end of the world was nigh, apart from Star Trek and the occasional TV series, this sort of thing was the only scifi escapism a lad like me had. Not that I'm a fan of scifi, generally, though!

'Alpha' always was my favourite, the theme to Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos' series. The 7" single had on its thin paper sleeve all those red blotchy faraway spots of cosmic light that fed my imagination and the music recreated that; the stereo separation of my "hi-fi" back then becoming even more impressive when this was played!

Today, technically at least, there are slicker and shinier examples of synth rock, or whatever you want to call it. Some tracks do crash about a bit and get a bit too involved but all in all, this is an album of variety and substance over continual perfection and has indeed, stood the test of time. And what schoolboy, however 'young' can fail to be coolly impressed by that final soothing mathematical countdown - to Albedo 0.39?
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 February 2014
Take you into the vastness of space with this mesmerising album, first released in 1976. It still amazes me that all instruments are played by the man himself, and it is easy in retrospect to see how he progressed into perhaps the foremost electronic musician ever. It still sounds fresh and vital, no wonder that it still features in TV shows just a few years old. If you are a fan, it deserves to be in your collection.
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on 22 June 2015
This was an album that a friend brought back in the 1970's, that I very much enjoyed. Haven't heard it for ages, so decided to buy it for my collection. Thoroughly enjoyable piece of music, especially the title track.
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When I first played this, I was staggered at the age of the recording. Although it has to some degree dated, it still sounds well ahead of its time, possibly due to the superiority of the synthesisers used at the time - remember, it was still early days for this type of instrument.

Albedo 0.39 is packed full of atmosphere and includes the fabulous 'Pulstar'. Many of the tracks sound out of this world and the complexity of the compositions and melodies is fabulous.

An absolute cracker of an album.
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When I first played this, I was staggered at the age of the recording. Although it has to some degree dated, it still sounds well ahead of its time, possibly due to the superiority of the synthesisers used at the time - remember, it was still early days for this type of instrument.

Albedo 0.39 is packed full of atmosphere and includes the fabulous 'Pulstar'. Many of the tracks sound out of this world and the complexity of the compositions and melodies is fabulous.

An absolute cracker of an album.
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on 26 October 2014
One of his very best studio albums, every track is a classic.

Still sounds modern and hasn't dated nearly 40 years later.

Very highly recommended, a must buy.
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