1492: Conquest of Paradise (album)
|1492: Conquest of Paradise|
|Soundtrack album by Vangelis|
|Genre||New Age, Instrumental, Electronic|
Alternate album cover
1492: Conquest of Paradise is a 1992 music score by Greek electronic composer and artist Vangelis. The film, a recount of the voyage to America in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, was directed by Ridley Scott, for whom Vangelis had previously composed the music score for Blade Runner, in 1982. The album and the single "Conquest of Paradise" enjoyed a revival in 1995 for various reasons and broke many sales records.
- "Opening" – 1:21
- "Conquest of Paradise" – 4:47
- "Monastery of La Rábida" – 3:39
- "City of Isabel" – 2:16
- "Light and Shadow" – 3:46
- "Deliverance" – 3:28
- "West Across the Ocean Sea" – 2:53
- "Eternity" – 1:59
- "Hispañola" – 4:56
- "Moxica and the Horse" – 7:06
- "Twenty Eighth Parallel" – 5:14
- "Pinta, Niña, Santa María (Into Eternity)" – 13:19
A number of pieces can be identified in the film, but it is clear that Scott preferred "Hispañola" (track 9) to set the tone of the film, rather than "Conquest of Paradise" (track 2).
The CD was released in each market with one of two different covers.
An EP disc was released with four tracks, two of which were not included in the album:
- "Conquest of Paradise"
- "Moxica and the Horse"
- "Line Open"
On this soundtrack, Vangelis plays together with a number of performers, including two Flamenco guitarists and vocalists, violin, mandolin and flutes. As on a number of previous albums by Vangelis, the English Chamber Choir, directed by Guy Protheroe, performs the choral parts.
The sound engineering and coordination was done by French musician Frederick Rousseau (also known for his collaborations with Jean Michel Jarre), who has been Vangelis's studio partner since the 1980s till the recording of the Alexander soundtrack.
Vangelis plays all synthesizers, using mainly string patches but also several ethnic ones, to reflect the character of the film, and electric piano and harp patches. Some calmer, atmospheric pieces (tracks 3, 7, 11 and 12) are entirely performed by Vangelis, using pianos, strings and harp.
A video clip was shot in Paris with Vangelis in his Epsilon Studios (since dismantled), with the choir performing.
Three tracks of this album contain lyrics. In "Monastery of La Rabida" and "Deliverance", the choir sings Latin hymns ("De Profundis" and "Dies Irae, respectively"). In "Conquest of Paradise" Vangelis used a pseudo-Latin invented language.
Revival and popular culture
Both the album and the EP had poor sales upon their release in 1992, but success came three years later, in 1995, for disparate reasons: In Germany, local boxer Henry Maske used the album-track "Conquest of Paradise" as his introduction theme during boxing bouts. When he became the IBF world title holder in the light heavyweight category, the piece received wide coverage and a single was hastily released. In Portugal, the local Socialist Party also used "Conquest of Paradise" as its theme for the general election campaign (it won). The song has also been used as a theme for the Crusaders, a Super 14 Rugby team based in Christchurch, New Zealand. The song is also used as English rugby league team Wigan Warriors enter the field as well as during both the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup.
Charts and sales
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2013)|
The album went on to climb to #1 on the sales charts of several countries, including Austria, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. It was certified gold or platinum in over 20 countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the UK and Canada. The album became the biggest selling record in Germany's chart history, remaining in the charts for over a year, with Vangelis winning that country's Echo Award for International Artist of the Year 1995. In France the album was certified double platinum in 2001 for sales over 600,000 copies.
The single "Conquest of Paradise" also reached #1 position in a number of countries, including 10 weeks at #1 in the Netherlands and Germany, where it sold 1.5 million copies, 8 weeks at #1 in Belgium and Switzerland. Worldwide sales of the single exceed over 4 million copies.
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