Private Collection

a look at the music of Vangelis Papathanassiou

The third album by Jon and Vangelis "Private Collection" is definately my absolute favourite! Almost every song on the album made it to a single release one way or another, except for "Italian Song" and the long and epic "Horizon". Many singles contain the otherwise unavailable "Song is", a six-minute track which might as well have been included on the album. Not to be missed! 

Tracklist and Credits

  1. Italian Song
  2. And when the night comes
  3. Deborah
  4. Polonaise
  5. He is sailing
  6. Horizon

Music composed by Vangelis.
Lyrics by Jon Anderson.

Arranged, produced and performed by Vangelis.


1983 Polydor 813 174-1 West-Germany/France/Holland/Spain/Portugal/Greece/New Zealand/Israel/South-Korea/United States/Brazil
1983 Polydor Japan/United Kingdom/Ireland/Argentina/Mexico/Canada/Venezuela/South Africa/Yugoslavia

1983 And when the night comes / Song is Polydor 813106-7 West-Germany/Holland/Italy/Portugal
1983 And when the night comes / Song is Polydor France
1983 And when the night comes / Song is Polydor JV3 United Kingdom
1983 And when the night comes / Polonaise Polydor PDS 2230 Canada
1983 Deborah / And when the night comes Polydor 81552427 Brazil
1983 Deborah / Song is Polydor 813 837-7 Spain 
1983 He is sailing / Song is Polydor West-Germany/Holland/Spain/United Kingdom 
1983 Polonaise / Song is Polydor 813 884-7 France

Maxi single
1983 He is sailing / Song is Polydor JVX4 United Kingdom

Polydor 813 174-2 West-Germany/France/Canada/South Korea/United States/Argentina
Polydor Japan/South Africa


Recording Studio
Recorded in Paris and at Nemo Studios, London, England.


bulletIn 1980 Jon and Vangelis release their first album "Short Stories".
bulletIn 1981 Jon and Vangelis release their second album "The Friends of Mr. Cairo".
bulletTo re-package the success of Jon and Vangelis, Polydor releases a Best Of-album in 1984, of which also a single is released, "State of Independence".
bulletVangelis contributes to Jon Anderson's 1985 album "3 Ships", composing the song "Easier said than done".
bulletIn 1986 Jon and Vangelis recorded a few try-outs which never evolved into a new album. The songs have appeared however on several Jon or Vangelis-related bootlegs. Curiously, some of these songs have later been 'covered' by Jon's group Yes ! In the same year on Anderson performs live with Vangelis in Los Angeles at the UCLA University
bulletIn 1991 Jon and Vangelis release their fourth album "Page of Life".


For all the lyrics of this album, go to Jon and Vangelis lyrics: Private collection

'Private Collection' is the third in a series of, at present, four Jon & Vangelis albums. At the time of making, Jon Anderson had just previously rejoined prog-rockers Yes for their 1983 album '90125' and it shows here, because his voice appears a bit strained at times and needed a bit of post-production here and there, most notably on 'Horizon'. Mind you, it was still very good, and nowhere more so than on the beautifully romantic opening piece 'Italian Song' which he also "performed" at the 1991 Rotterdam concert with Vangelis (apparently, it was a play-back). Next follow a couple of sweet love-songs set to nourishing melodies, both of whom were also released as singles, but not doing much chart-wise. The lyrics to 'Polonaise' refer to the political events in Poland going at the time, "common people" against the communist rule.
The last two pieces on the album are the most ambitious musically, with more elaborate orchestration and multiple vocal parts as well as various percussion-effects. 'He Is Sailing' has the same sort of free-going spirit as 'State Of Independence' on their previous album. The very pretentious long closing track 'Horizon', when taken as a whole, must be considered a failure. The long form is not one of Vangelis' strengths, except in rare cases like the 'Chariots Of Fire' piano-concerto. It starts off impressively enough with a dramatic section which however fails to really develop, Jon Anderson going on far too long trying to get his "message" across. But, after some 10 minutes, Vangelis redeems the situation with a really inspired piano-piece, in fact, one of his all-time best. It deserves a better place than smack in the middle of this track. Its spirit remains in the rest of the piece where Jon returns with a few more vocal sections and Vangelis finally elaborates a bit more on the music that started off the piece, the pair of them managing to bring it all to a satisfactory conclusion, but only just about.
Having a sound-picture of its own (more strings along with the familiar piano), 'Private Collection' certainly stands equally tall next to the other Jon & Vangelis albums, but it took another eight years before their next one would be released, which was probably just as well.

Review by Ivar de Vries