Vangelis, the Greek Composer of Chariots of Fire’s Famous Electronic Theme Tune, Dies Aged 79

Vangelis, the legendary Greece-born electronic composer and musician who was best known for his electronic theme song for Oscar-winning ‘Chariots of Fire’, has died at the age of 79

Greek media reported that Vangelis died in a French hospital while being treated for Covid-19.

According to the Athens News Agency, Vangelis, born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, died on Wednesday 18 May, his lawyers’ office said, but gave no cause of death.

The reclusive, mostly self-taught keyboard wizard was a lifelong experimenter, switching from psychedelic rock and synth to ethnic music and jazz.

In a career spanning over five decades, Vangelis drew on space exploration, wildlife, futuristic architecture, the New Testament and the 1968 French student riots for inspiration.

He played in several bands and solo, but his huge breakthrough came with the score for Chariots Of Fire, a 1981 film that told the story of two British runners in the 1920s.

Vangelis’s score received one of the four Academy Awards the film won – but he was fast asleep in London when the Oscars result was announced on March 29, 1982 – his 39th birthday.

‘I’d been out late celebrating,’ he later told People magazine.

His theme for ‘Chariots of Fire’ beat John Williams’ score for the first Indiana Jones film in 1982. It reached the top of the US billboard and was an enduring hit in Britain, where it was used during the London 2012 Olympics medal presentation ceremonies.

The signature piece is one of the hardest-to-forget film tunes worldwide – and has also served as the musical background to endless slow-motion parodies.

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Source: Daily Mail