Heaven And Hell

a look at the music of Vangelis Papathanassiou

"And it was...",  these prolific words were scribbled into the record master of Vangelis' first album ever recorded in his first own studio. Perhaps it refers to the times when the album was recorded in Nemo Studios, which was still being built at the time. Whatever it was, Heaven or Hell, the finished album marks an era of newly found freedom for Vangelis, who had just signed to the RCA label. For the first time using just his first name, Heaven and Hell is Vangelis at his very best, with unprecedented grandeur, a mix of electronic instruments and percussion, accompanied by the voices of the English Chamber Choir and the angelic voices of Jon Anderson and Vana Veroutis. A true Vangelis classic!

The tracklist of Heaven and Hell is quite a mess. First of all the CD only refers to both sides of the original LP as part 1 and part 2 (where part 1 includes "So long ago, so clear"). Some LP's however contain a more detailed tracklist:

Side 1:

  1. Bacchanale
  2. Symphony to the powers B
  3. 2nd Movement
  4. 3rd Movement
  5. So long ago, so clear

Side 2:

  1. Intestinal Bat
  2. Needles & Bones
  3. 12 O'Clock
  4. Aries
  5. A Way

Curiously, the Italian LP has the following, deviating tracklist:

Side 1:

  1. Riff thing
  2. Heaven and Hell
  3. So long ago, so clear

Side 2:

  1. Falcons
  2. Needles
  3. Friday Night
  4. J.F.
  5. Heavy - Aries - Heaven

Confused? So am I :-)

All music composed by VANGELIS. All kinds of keyboards,percussion and sundry instruments played by VANGELIS. Album produced and arranged by VANGELIS. Special thanks to Jon Anderson for his lyrics for 'So long ago so clear' and lead vocals. With the participation of the English Chamber Choir conducted by Guy Protheroe. Lead female vocal: Vana Veroutis. Sound Engineer: Alan Lucas. Piano supplied by BÖSENDORFER. Many thanks to: Veronique, Tony McGrogan, Keith Goodwin, Roger Paton and Elizabeth.


RCA ND71148 Germany/South-Korea/Taiwan/Argentina
also released in the USA, Japan and South Africa. The last issue in Japan is a 20-bit remastered version.

1975 RCA LPL-5110 West-Germany/Holland/Italy/Spain/Portugal/USA/Canada/Australia
also released in Argentina, Brazil, France, Greece, Holland, Japan, South-Korea, South Africa and UK.

Special issues

1976 The Vangelis Radio Special RCA DJL1-1849 USA (an interview with Vangelis)
promotional sheet page 1 / page 2 / label

1978 De mantel der liefde RCA LPL-5110 Holland
(Heaven and hell re-used as a soundtrack for a Dutch film)

1975 So long ago, so clear / Heaven and Hell theme RCA USA/Spain (promotional)

The American interview LP is nowadays impossible to find. The Dutch soundtrack LP has become a rarity too, although it may be found at Dutch record fairs at times.

Recording Studio
This album is the first one ever to be recorded at Nemo Studios in London - England. It was recorded in September 1975.

For the lyrics of "So long ago, so clear', go to Vangelis lyrics: Heaven and hell

For a complete transcript of the interview with Vangelis on The Vangelis Radio Special, go to Elsewhere: Interviews, Heaven and Hell Radio Special