The self-taught musician enjoyed a long career in European pop music before the magical colors and textures of his 1970s solo albums brought him to the attention of film and TV producers. The use of a track from his 1975 album “Heaven and Hell” as the theme for Carl Sagan’s PBS series “Cosmos” brought his name and music into prominence in America.
But it was his music for the 1981 film “Chariots of Fire” that brought him worldwide fame. Producer David Puttnam made the unorthodox choice for his period sports drama after hearing Vangelis’s music for the French nature documentary “Opera Sauvage” and the studio album “China.”
As he often did, Vangelis performed all of the instruments, including synthesizer,