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Spiral is a 1977 album by the Greek artist Vangelis.

Tracks

  • Spiral (6:55)
  • Ballad (8:27)
  • Dervish D (5:21)
  • To the Unknown Man (9:01)
  • 3+3 (9:43)

Instrumentation

The album is entirely instrumental, apart from Vangelis' processed vocals on "Ballad" (one of the few occasions where his voice can be heard on his albums). Vangelis plays synthesizer, sequencers, electric piano, drums and percussion.

Style

Spiral is a futuristic album, and Vangelis makes extensive use of the synthesizer technology of the day; this album is probably the most sequencer-based of his recording career. Each piece has an unique style, and deserves individual treatment.

"Spiral" builds on an arpeggio chord that is panned in stereo to give the listerner a spiralling sensation; the piece continues along a sequenced synthesizer pulse and develops into a slightly black, somewhat bluesy piece that builds on Vangelis' patent brass.

"Ballad" is a calm piece, building on electric organ, harmonica (probably a synthesizer patch) and Vangelis' voice run through filters and a reverb. It climaxes on brass and timpani, then losing steam and returning to harmonica calm.

"Dervish D" is, according to the sleeve notes, "inspired by the Dervish dancer who by his whirling realises the spiralling of the universe". Musically, there is little that reminds one of Turkish music: a sequencer arpeggio base, percussion and synthesizer melody. The melody has bluesy elements.

"To the Unknown Man" is a piece in three parts. It starts off minimalist with a slow pulse sequence and a simple guitar-like melody. Strings come in, and the piece progresses to the march-like second part. In the third part, the melody disappears, and is replaced with a rock beat and organ chords.

"3+3" is, true to its name, built entirely in threes. It consists of three parts, and although the measure changes several times, all parts are either 3/4 or 6/8 (although some appears to be 9/8). An elaborate 12/8 pulse sequence runs along the whole piece. The brass chords in the course of the piece resemble a true big band, no small feat with 1970s synthesizers. Of the album's tracks, this piece arguably has the most blues overtones

Spiral
Album by Vangelis
Released 1977
Recorded 1977
Genre Electronica
Length 39 min 25 s
RCA
Professional reviews
Allmusic.com review 2.5 stars out of 5
Vangelis Chronology
The Vangelis Radio Special
(1976)
Spiral
(1977)
Beaubourg
(1978)
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