…. AND TO THE GUY WHO SAID THAT THIS BLOG WAS GOING DOWN FAST...
This album has been in my all-time-best list since I was 17, and that was many, many, many years ago. The thing is that I have never tired of listening to it. I believe that this album is perfect. I know it might be bit too much to call something perfect, but this musical object is as close to perfection as any rock album can be. (Although…If this is a rock album is something that belongs to the realm of controversy).
If you know Vangelis only from his electronic compositions or only because of the awarded soundtrack to Chariots of Fire be prepared for a major surprise. This one is different. This is not solo Vangelis with a paraphernalia of Synthesizers. There’re keyboards here, of course but there’s also a rocking band and a good lot of uncredited Mediterranean and Asia Minor sublime instruments. That blend gives Earth an exotic and otherworldly quality that very few albums have achieved in the last four decades.
Earth was the logical consequence of Vangelis previous epic work with Aphrodite’s Child, the band that catapulted him as a keyboardist. That work was the extraordinary and extremely essential “666” one of the best conceptual albums of all times, based on the biblical Apocalypse. It is obvious that Earth was made of some 666 ashes. One feels that some Earth songs would have fit perfectly there, but as this album wasn’t made to tell a story it doesn’t classify as conceptual and thus, it flows as a free form sonic experience, showing the influences that Vangelis had gathered during the psychedelic years and drawing for us a precious draft of what was going to be his majestic solo career after this jewel.
That flow of thing starts with the energetic track “Come On” a repetitive scream that has something deeply shamanic and cathartic. Then it blends (in the middle of the best recorded thunderstorm ever) with the song-poem “We’re all uprooted”, a metaphysical and cosmic lament that could well be a parable of the human condition. (yes, it is that deep). It follows then a sublime, inner and meditative past aided by middle eastern and greek influences and goes back to psych and pop in incredibly beautiful songs as “My Face in the Rain”, or enigmatic musical vignettes as He-O. You will not miss Demis Roussous angelic voice because Robert Fittousi’s vocal works are so good that one might thing he could have replaced Roussous or Jon Anderson in any band. The rest of the journey is as trippy as the parts described. There’s not even a fraction of a second wasted in this listening experience.
This is a sideways approach to the mind of a genius. After this one, Vangelis decided to go solo and started a career that lies in the middle ground between classical, electronic and prog. Nonetheless, Earth still stands as a great album and one that has value of his own.
As I said at the beginning it is in my favorite’s list. Actually it is in my 10 Albums For A Desert Island List. (Don’t panic! I don’t plan to get marooned in any desert island any soon. I’ll keep blogging).
In his excellent Clivage post, our friend Algarnas makes a list of great ProtoWorld Music albums. This is my answer to him.
Listen to it.
I say that perfection is possible.
You tell me if I am wrong.
You’ll find the links if you look inside you.
Or where they used to be.
Vangelis – He-o…