Vangelis is best known for his catalogue of film scores. His soundtrack for Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi film, Blade Runner, is not only one of the most popular film soundtracks of all time, but the synth-heavy score is seen as a landmark release in the evolution of electronic music.
One year prior to Blade Runner, Vangelis composed the score for Hugh Hudson’s sports drama, Chariots Of Fire. Vangelis’ soundtrack won the Academy Award for Best Original Score, while Chariots Of Fire picked up the award for Best Picture.
Vangelis was born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou in the coastal Greek town of Agria, and grew up in Athens. He played organ in various pop bands in the 1960s. He began scoring Greek films in the early 1970s, while also launching a career as a solo artist. His solo repertoire ranged from ambient and avant-garde electronic compositions to jazz, blues, and classical influenced prog-rock.
Vangelis’ most recent album, Juno to Jupiter, came out in September 2021. Although his film soundtrack work was intermittent, he and Scott teamed up again on the 1992 film, 1492: Conquest of Paradise. He also composed music for documentaries by marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau and his son, Pierre-Yves Cousteau.