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One-Hit Wonders: Vangelis’ “Chariots Of Fire”

We’ve all done it: run in faux slo-mo down the driveway to the sounds of “duh-da-da-da-dah-dah” in our minds. (That would be the theme to “Chariots of Fire”.)

chariots of fire 385 One Hit Wonders: Vangelis Chariots Of Fire

For a number of years, Evangelos “[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Vangelis[/lastfm]” Papathanassiou was a member of the popular Greek group Aphrodite’s Child. Though they sold millions of records around the world, the band never quite made the grade in two places that were most treasured by the trio: the US and their Greek homeland.

With their 1972 double-disc concept album, Aphrodite’s Child split up and Vangelis moved to London, where he built a state-of-the-art synth studio and began producing soundtracks.

Nearly 10 years later, he created the music for the Oscar-winning film, Chariots of Fire. So unassuming was he about his chances of winning an Oscar, Vangelis was actually asleep at the time his Best Original Score award was announced, awakened by telephone calls of congratulations by friends.

The title theme to the movie — “duh-da-da-da-dah-dah” — charted at #1 in May 1982.

Gone but not forgotten, find more tales of One-Hit Wonders here

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  • Frits

    One-hit wonder? In the US, perhaps? Internationally, Vangelis broke countless sales records with Conquest of Paradise and he reached the tops of the charts throughout his carreer. He produced legendary material like the Blade Runner score and wrote the music for big movies like Alexander. I saw him interviewed for half an hour on the prime English Aljazeera station just the other day. If he’s a one-hit wonder, then everyone is. Unless it’s all strictly locally speaking.

    • Kevin

      I agree with Fritz, whoever wrote this article is not too well-informed. Vangelis didn’t base a career spanning almost half a century based on Chariots of Fire alone…

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