Vangelis - Chariots Of Fire
The film's title was inspired by the line "Bring me my Chariot of fire!" from the William Blake poem adapted into the British hymn and unofficial English anthem "Jerusalem"; the hymn is heard at the end of the film. The original phrase "chariot(s) of fire" is from 2 Kings 2:11 and 6:17 in the Bible.
Vangelis - Chariots Of Fire
Chariots of Fire became a recurring theme in promotions for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The film's theme was featured at the opening of the 2012 London New Year's fireworks celebrating the Olympics. The runners who first tested the new Olympic Park were spurred on by the Chariots of Fire theme, and the music was also used to fanfare the carriers of the Olympic flame on parts of its route through the UK. The beach-running sequence was also recreated at St. Andrews and filmed as part of the Olympic torch relay.
"Chariots of fire" was of course a phenomenally successful film which won many awards and plaudits. Vangelis' film score undeniably played a significant part in the film's success. I deny anyone who has seen the film to hear the main theme without instantly picturing a group of runners on a beach, filmed in slow motion. Apart from that defining moment, the soundtrack complemented the film superbly, Vangelis toying with the watcher's emotions though the various moods he created.This however is not a film review, and here we must assess the music on a purely audio basis. Unfortunately, as with the majority of soundtracks, when heard out of context the results do not hold up nearly so well. The title theme enjoyed major success on the back of the film, and is a fine piece of music in its own right. Confusingly, the piece we all know as "Chariots of fire" is in fact called "Titles" here. It is however only a brief part of the album, the remainder of which is largely washes of atmospheric synthesisers, such as can be found on any number of Tangerine Dream albums. Side one of the album closes with a rendition of the hymn "Jerusalem", also covered by Emerson Lake and Palmer on "Brain salad surgery". This is quite different to the rest of the album, as it features the Ambrosian singers performing the piece in a straight church choir manner with Vangelis providing church organ.The piece which actually bears the title "Chariots of fire" occupies the whole of the second side of the album. This 20 minute suite is not taken directly from the film, but sees Vangelis improvising upon and developing themes from side one. While there is a relaxed quality to the music, it retains the feel of being film music. At times, it seems we have drifted into a classical piano concerto, with only the occasional dramatics of a synthesiser burst or clumsy attack on the timpani to keep things from wandering too far.Seen for what it is, the music from a film, "Chariots of fire" is a reasonably strong piece of work. Assessed solely as an album in its own right, it is a pleasant diversion, but largely lacking in anything of substance. social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Friday, May 11, 2007 Review this album Report (Review #121608)
I have never been a big fan of Vangelis nor of electronic music in general, nor have I seen the filmfor which the present album is the soundtrack. But who can possibly have missed the famous titlesong? Even if this album was released in the same year as I was born, I have certainly heard thetitle song many times (even if I don't remember where and when, but I think it was used as a themetune to some nature program on TV). The album as a whole ranks somewhere in the middle betweenVangelis' best and worst works. While Electronic Prog lies far outside of my area of expertise, I cannot say with some confidencewhether this will be appreciated by fans of that genre, but it certainly doesn't have anything atall to do with Prog if we by that term understand progressive Rock. There is nothing herethat might be called Rock in any sense. Rather, it lies somewhere in the middle of New-Age andClassical. As such it is soothing, relaxing and occasionally a bit dull even if pleasant at times. To my ears, there is little that distinguishes the different tracks from the others. Two tracksstand out, however, the aforementioned Titles and Vangelis' own version of the hymn Jerusalem (thatcontains the words 'Chariots of fire'). This version is considerably less dramatic and bombasticthan Emerson Lake & Palmer's version of the same that opens their excellent Brian Salad Surgery album.The last piece is a 20 minute "epic" that revisits some themes from earlier songs of the album.Again, I find this pleasant, but not very exciting in the end.I recommend this album to people with a special interest in the man and his music. social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Friday, July 23, 2010 Review this album Report (Review #291628)
The lyrics of "Race To the End (chariots of fire)", a vocal version based on the Chariots of Fire main theme with lyrics by Jon Anderson is available in this Demis roussos version:Race to the end; and a French version: La cource infinieCover versions of Chariots of fire (with vocals): 041b061a72