1492: Conquest of Paradise (album)

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1492: Conquest of Paradise
1492 Conquest of Paradise.jpg
Soundtrack album by Vangelis
Released 1992
Recorded 1992
Genre Instrumental, Electronic
Length 54:44
Label Atlantic/WEA
Producer Vangelis
Vangelis chronology
The City
(1990)
1492: Conquest of Paradise
(1992)
Blade Runner
(1994)
Singles from 1492: Conquest of Paradise
  1. "Conquest of Paradise"
Alternative cover
Alternate album cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]

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.[3]

Due to the soundtrack's success, Vangelis won Echo Award as "International Artist Of The Year", and RTL Golden Lion Award for the "Best Title Theme for a TV Film or a Series" in 1996.[4] At the 50th Golden Globe Awards was nominated for the Best Original Score - Motion Picture.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Opening" – 1:21
  2. "Conquest of Paradise" – 4:47
  3. "Monastery of La Rábida" – 3:39
  4. "City of Isabel" – 2:16
  5. "Light and Shadow" – 3:46
  6. "Deliverance" – 3:28
  7. "West Across the Ocean Sea" – 2:53
  8. "Eternity" – 1:59
  9. "Hispañola" – 4:56
  10. "Moxica and the Horse" – 7:06
  11. "Twenty Eighth Parallel" – 5:14
  12. "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.

A Single disc was released with four tracks, two of which were not included in the album:

  1. "Conquest of Paradise"
  2. "Moxica and the Horse"
  3. "Line Open"
  4. "Landscape"

Instrumentation[edit]

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.

For the ethnic music, Vangelis consulted with French specialist Xavier Belanger, who has advised other artists on similar issues, including Jean Michel Jarre.

A video clip was shot in Paris with Vangelis in his Epsilon Studios (since dismantled), with the choir performing.

Lyrics[edit]

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.[5]

Revival and popular culture[edit]

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 Rugby team based in Christchurch, New Zealand, for English rugby league team the Wigan Warriors, for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and for the 2010 and 2014 cricket World Twenty20 championships.

Charts and sales[edit]

The soundtrack album charted very well,[6] and went on to be certified gold and platinum in over 17 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K., culminating with over million copies in Germany.[4][7]

The single "Conquest of Paradise" also topped the charts in a number of countries, including 10 weeks at No. 1 in the Netherlands and Germany, where it sold 1.5 million copies,[7] 8 weeks at No. 1 in Belgium and Switzerland. The cumulative worldwide sales of the album and single exceed over 4 million copies.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1995) Peak
position[6]
Austria 1
Belgium 2
France 65
Germany 1
Netherlands 1
New Zeland 43
Norway 1
Spain 94
Sweden 40
Switzerland 1
UK 33

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Austria (IFPI Austria)[8] 2× Platinum 100,000*
France (SNEP)[9] 2× Platinum 600,000*
Germany (BVMI)[10] 5× Gold 1,250,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[11] Gold 50,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[12] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Joanna van Schaik (December 1, 2008). "Vangelis - 1492: Conquest of Paradise". sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Elsewhere: Vangelis albums 1". Elsew.com. 15 July 2011. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Vangelis Papathanassiou by Gus Leous". Newsfinder.Org. March 7, 2003. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Vangelis lyrics". Engelen.demon.nl. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Soundtrack / Vangelis – 1492 – Conquest of Paradise (album)". Austrian Charts. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Elsewhere: Earlier news update: 1996–1999 - El Greko press release". Elsew.com. October 10, 1998. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Vangelis – 1492 - Conquest Of Paradise" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Vangelis in the field Interpret. Enter 1492 - Conquest Of Paradise in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  9. ^ "French album certifications – Vangelis – 1492 CHRISTOPHE COLOMB / BOF" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  10. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Vangelis; 'Conquest Of Paradise')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  11. ^ "Polish album certifications – Vangelis – 1492" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. 
  12. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Vangelis; 'Conquest Of Paradise')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  13. ^ "British album certifications – Vangelis – 1494 - CONQUEST OF PARADISE". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter 1494 - CONQUEST OF PARADISE in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search