The Friends of Mr Cairo

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The Friends of Mr Cairo
Cover of second release
Studio album by Jon and Vangelis
Released July 1981
Recorded Davout Studios, Paris, and Nemo Studios, London
Genre Electronic music
Length 45:42
Label Polydor
Producer Vangelis
Jon and Vangelis chronology
Short Stories
Friends of Mr Cairo
Private Collection
Alternative cover
Artwork on 1981 Polydor LP release
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

The Friends of Mr Cairo is the second album by Jon and Vangelis, released in 1981. There are two editions of this album, with different sleeves. Both versions were released in 1981 within a few weeks of each other. The title track, "The Friends of Mr Cairo", peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian singles chart in late 1981, though this track was not a hit elsewhere. The second edition of the album includes the single "I'll Find My Way Home", which stayed for 14 weeks in the Swiss charts and peaked at No. 1 on 7 March 1982. It also peaked at No. 6 in the UK.[2] "State of Independence" was later a hit single for Donna Summer, and a decade later for Moodswings with Chrissie Hynde on vocal. Anderson also later re-recorded that song on his solo album Change We Must, released in 1994.

The title track and its accompanying music video serve as an ode to classic Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s. Most notable references are to the classic film noir The Maltese Falcon. The track incorporates sound effects and voice impressions of the stars of the era, most notably Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Jimmy Stewart. At the beginning of the track, the screeching of tires and a car horn are heard, presumably as a car makes an attempted getaway, which then gives way to the sound of gunfire. This screeching sound/car horn is identical to that heard in the 1971 feature film Get Carter (at 1.1.52-1.1.56), and was probably sampled for use on the track. Joel Cairo (Mr Cairo) is the name of the character played by Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon.

Track listing[edit]

First edition[edit]

Side A[edit]

  1. "The Friends of Mr Cairo" – 12:04
  2. "Back to School" – 5:06
  3. "Outside of This (Inside of That)" – 5:00

Side B[edit]

  1. "State of Independence" – 7:53
  2. "Beside" – 4:08
  3. "The Mayflower" – 6:35

Second edition[edit]

Side A[edit]

  1. "I'll Find My Way Home" – 4:29
  2. "State of Independence" – 7:53
  3. "Beside" – 4:08
  4. "The Mayflower" – 6:35

Side B[edit]

  1. "The Friends of Mr Cairo" – 12:04
  2. "Back to School" – 5:06
  3. "Outside of This (Inside of That)" – 5:00


  1. "I'll Find My Way Home" – 4:29
  2. "State of Independence" – 7:53
  3. "Beside" – 4:08
  4. "The Mayflower" – 6:35
  5. "The Friends of Mr. Cairo" – 12:04
  6. "Back to School" – 5:06
  7. "Outside of This (Inside of That)" – 5:00


  • Composed by Jon Anderson and Vangelis.
  • Lyrics and vocals by Jon Anderson.
  • Produced, arranged and performed by Vangelis.
  • Dick Morrisey - saxophone, flute
  • David Coker - voices
  • Sally Grace - voices (5)
  • Claire Hamill - backing vocals (6)
  • Carol Kenyon - backing vocals
  • Roger Roche - engineer
  • Raine Shine - engineer
  • Alwyn Clayden - sleeve
  • Veronique Skawinska - photography


Year Chart Position
1981 Billboard Pop Albums 64
1981 UK Albums Chart 17
1982 UK Albums Chart 6


External links[edit]