Vangelis – See You Later

This album is one of the strangest in Vangelis’ discography. The pieces on this 1980 work are a concept album, like many of his early works, but it’s not immediately clear what the concept is.

The six tracks are songs that seem to about a dystopian future. “I can’t take it any more” basically repeats the title over and over, with a chorus of “Too loud, too loud!”.

“Not a bit, all of it” is one of the strangest songs ever put to record. It anticipates Vangelis collaboration with Ridley Scott in Blade Runner, because the lyrics sound like the babbling of one of the characters in Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, the story that Blade Runner was (loosely) based on:

“Hysteria and insomnia
stress, neurosis

please give a better impression with clever use of cosmetics

amang others at this very happy wedding
Were Mr. and Mrs [peep]
the bride looked very pretty
wearing a dress of old lace, designed by [peep]

Last week I had been to this beautiful memorial service held at [peep]
for the late [peep]

laaaa, la da dia haoo …

This man is a professional singer

we think his voice will develop

la, lala lala lalala

Here is the bride
la la la la la la la la
Holy bright
tra la la la la la la la
Not a bit
la la la la la la la la
all of it
Here is the bride
la la la la la la la la
Holy bright
tra la la la la
Not a bit
all of it

I made myself interesting again today

Obviously”

The song “Suffocation” has an equally disturbing theme. Voices repeat, in Italian “Attention! Attention!
All persons with children immediately go to shelter B37!” The main vocal asks a series of questions:

“Where in my place?
Where is my home?
Where is my place?
Where is my friend?”

The music doesn’t provide any answer to the questions it raises.

The most memorable cut on the album is probably “Memories of Green”. This was featured in Scott’s Blade Runner, but is presented here in a slightly longer version. On this track, Vangelis plays a sad melody on piano that has been treated to sound slightly distant, while sirens and strange synthesizer effects provide a disturbing background. The result is that the song conveys a sense of loss of natural beauty, a sense of alienation from what is natural.

See You Later is a very interesting work, but not the best introduction to Vangelis. It’s most similar to his work on Earth, or on 666. If you like his music for Blade Runner, you’ll find a lot to like here. Blade Runner fans may even feel a little deja vu, because both his synthesizer and vocoder work are similar the Blade Runner soundtrack.

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