Vangelis On The Double-Edged Sword Of Success

In this short interview except, Vangelis shares his take on the double-edged sword of success in the music business.

From Vangelis, achieving mainstream success was necessary to be able to have the tools of his trade – a recording studio of his own, stocked with state of the art gear.

But achieving mainstream success also meant that he had to work 100% at being successful, and he was never interested in doing that. And having a hit meant that he was under pressure to repeat his success, when he was always interested in doing something new.

9 thoughts on “Vangelis On The Double-Edged Sword Of Success

  1. There’s nothing wrong with achieving mainstream success to pay off your bank loans, wish more people could understand this concept. Even Vangelis understood this but didn’t want to come off as being prentious in the interview and humility is a very hard thing to express truthfully in this world we’re living in especially when your ship finally come’s in. I feel very sad that a man of his gentle genius & stature had to experience this pressure, well my old friend heaven’s gates are wide open now, where peace & bliss infinitely abound, You will be missed but now you’ve achieved the ultimate blessing more than deservably RIP Vangelis

  2. If it wasn’t for record companies how else would millions of us hear Vangelis’ music.

    It’s through record companies that Vangelis became known for his music.
    Even his documentary and film scores were released by record companies

    Obviously there were no bandcamp, souncloud, youtube in those days.

    I get what Vangelis is saying.

    Yet after Chariots of Fire success,
    Vangelis surely had enough money to retire from public, cancel record companies.
    Then Vangelis could have done any music he wanted in peace.

  3. He made the mainstream perhaps because he only knew how to do the mainstream … similarly Stockhausen for example, he did not make the mainstream because he knew how to do something else, his aim was not money. Make him Holy now, the name lends itself to this.

    1. Now how’s that supposed to be deciphered, crypticlly?!. What is the aim of anything? Without gettin’ too philosophical here (but it looks as though it’s not gonna be avoidable in this case) Is the goal not to be able to eat, sleep or love or to be destitute, hungry & souless just for the sake of makin’ art!? What is the name supposed ‘lend” itself to?! This idea that a name will link u to success is a selfish one. I can pretty much guarantee this man was selfless so that had nothing to do with it. U can’t make really good art without work & the love of it makes us do whatever’s necessary to try & facilitate this, nefarious or not including starving, sleeplessness & theivery to think otherwise is a flawed concept. To quote a certain English rock band some of whom are not with us anymore either who none of this applies to presently (might of in the past) but anyway ‘You can’t always get what ya want but you find sometimes you get what you need’ This is the major problem with society as whole and in general. People want what they want when they want it where waiting is not an option & paitence is moot.I assure anybody that doesn’t believe this is a fool. Vangelis was no fool & infinitely far from it at any level, to think or suggest otherwise is completely ludicrous & naive folks. Rest in peace Vangelis RIP my old friend.

  4. Well, Vangelis came from a very wealthy family and he never struggled to survive, like other artists that died in poverty while making their art. Also, Vangelis reached stardom with The Forminx so he started in a quite privileged position, both personal and professionally, that paved his way to his solo music. At this, stage, Vangelis keep developing his sound, exploring his own boundaries until El Greco…and then…he became a commercially successful artist, that was the worst for him because Vangelis stopped challenging himself and being true to his own music, and started doing crap that was commercially successful just because it had the brand “”Vangelis” and every fanatic of Vangelis should say that anything he Vangelis does should be “a masterpiece” (which is not true). At this point, Vangelis became what he criticized in his early years. His music became repetitive and boring, with a nice Juno to Jupiter album that was not his best, but was much better than Rosetta, Alexander, and “Defectus”, to mention some. Now that he´s gone, there is a great expectation of what is going to happen with all the music that Vangelis has stored on his vault. Is it going to be released commercially or all the hidden diamonds there will be stored forever in the dark. Time will tell…

    1. Sheesh, MaOz take a few deep breaths! Vangelis is hardly the only artist who balanced doing sucessful commercial music with more personal music. He’s also not the first artist to dissapoint fans of his less commercial music. So don’t buy it. I love the music of Frank Zappa in general, but there’s a lot of his records I never bought and have no interest in but that doesn’t make me hit under the collar.

  5. Vangelis may never have struggled to where he was a impoverished street urchin he gained his privilege from creating his art through work & perseverance a quality that was cultivated by the education & training he received as a result of coming from wealth. This gave him the tools to become a legend, which subsequently led to certain people being drawn to him, who admired what he did, by providing financial considerations, bank loans, assistance for him in acquiring one’s to secure he had best gear that could be had as such (not one CS-80 but two!?) As benefactors to an extent but at times he was saved from default to some of those banks that helped him porcure, in his name, the means to buy gear and to build his first studio etc…by reputation. So there were instance’s where finances caused him to live close to the vest and to play whatever gear he could gain access tooo he was ingenious enough & knew how to improvise to a point where he could get the most out of the instruments he had, to coax & squeeze stuff out of’em, that wasn’t meant to be done on the somewhat primitive machines of the day. He knew how to utilize whatever he could his hands on to make his music his way free from restriction that was cause for people to be impressed enough without prejudice$. This is what really true talent evokes from our nature as human beings to recognize greatness and strive to further the inspiration it garners us folks

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