Beaubourg (album)

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Beaubourg
Beaubourg (album).jpg
Studio album by Vangelis
Released 1978
Recorded Nemo Studios, London, 1978
Genre Electronica, Experimental
Length 39:14
Label RCA (Original)
Esoteric Recordings (2013)
Producer Vangelis
Vangelis chronology
Spiral
(1977)
Beaubourg
(1978)
Hypothesis
(1978)

Beaubourg is a studio album by the Greek electronic composer Vangelis, released in 1978. It was the fourth album produced by Vangelis in Nemo Studios, London, and his final album for RCA Records. It is an avant-garde-experimental album.[1]

Overview[edit]

It is a concept album inspired by the architecture of the homonymous complex area, specifically Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.[2][3] He visited the area in 1977, and recalls "I was very impressed. I returned to London and I recorded my album Beaubourg quickly, spontaneously. So I 'felt' Beaubourg, but that does not mean that Beaubourg is only this: I can redo Beaubourg in 30 different ways". The recording took him less than a month.[4]

Vangelis noted that many people in the beginning had difficult listening to it, but later appreciated it. He said it can be played in the background, and approved the case that the people should identify with the track, to narrow down the beginning and end of the album due to brevity of the melodies.[4]

Vangelis expressed that "needed courage to release this record" as RCA "has not believed in any of my four albums", in his artistic activity, and was "accused of purposely recording a disc of very ‘different’ electronic music", nevertheless the album sold well. Thus he decided to leave RCA for Polydor Records.[4]

Its release was promoted with a live appearance by Vangelis at the Pavillon de Paris on the June 19, 1978.[3]

Release[edit]

In 2013 the album was released in remastered and reissued digipak edition by Esoteric Recordings.[1]

Instrumentation[edit]

The music on the album was primarily improvised on one or more Yamaha CS-80, and the ring modulator, which transforms simple tones into complex noises, was extensively used.[2][5]

Composition[edit]

It is entirely synthesizer-based and highly experimental and abstract; together with Hypothesis (recorded in 1971 and unofficially released in 1978) it is often considered to be one of Vangelis' least accessible works.[2] It's musically expressive, with dramatic transformations of tonality, with short melodies which suddenly drift into distorted noises.[5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[6]

Steve McDonald of Allmusic noted that the album is a "difficult listening" due to its style and "great dark synthesized tone poem". Henri Stirk from Background Magazine similarly rated the 2013 edition by Esoteric Recordings with 2/5 stars.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs composed and arranged by Vangelis.

  1. "Beaubourg, Part I" – 18:09
  2. "Beaubourg, Part II" – 21:05

Personnel[edit]

  • Vangelis – keyboards and other instruments

Production

  • Vangelis – producer, arranger, original LP design
  • Keith Spencer-Allen – recording engineer
  • Marlis Duncklau – assistant engineer
  • Louis East – graphics
  • John Dyer – art director
  • Veronique Skawinska – photography

Production (2013)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Beaubourg (Official Vangelis Supervised Remastered Edition)". Cherry Red Records. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Vangelis - Background Magazine Review". Background Magazine. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Mark Powell, Sleeve note from the 2013 album edition 
  4. ^ a b c Dali De Clair (June 1979). "An interview with Vangelis". Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Vangelis – Beaubourg". Synthtopia. December 7, 2003. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  6. ^ McDonald, Steven. "Beaubourg". Allmusic. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]