When Vangelis Papathanasiou won Oscar for the music of the film “The streets of fire”

He was one of the greatest Greek composers with an international career and was awarded an award. The “Roads of Fire” are perhaps the most recognizable music of Evangelis, as Vangelis Papathanasiou was known abroad, for which he was awarded an Oscar in 1982, but which he did not receive. Self-taught Vangelis Papathanasiou started in Greece and Aphodite’s Child, along with Demi Russo and won the world and international respect. Pioneer of electronic music, at a time when the related technology was just being developed, he had also invested musically many other films such as: Blade Runner, 1492: Christopher Columbus, Alexander, El Greco etc. He has worked with Demi Russo, Peace Pappa and Jon Anderson. Vangelis Papathanasiou, during his great career received dozens of distinctions and important awards. However, the greatest distinction was undoubtedly the Oscar of Best Original Music for the 1981 film “The Roads of Fire” (Chariots of Fire) awarded to him on March 31, 1982. In April 1982 he had talked about his award in “News” and George Lianis: “I feel that Oscar is of Greece. It’s not a personal prize. But the joy of Greece is. It’s not just a personal pleasure.” Vangelis Papathanasiou wrote and recorded the music of Hugh Hudson’s film, in his new studio in London, even doing something particularly bold especially for the time. The composer from Volos was known with both factors of the film. With Hudson he had worked on commercials and documentary, while Putnam had used parts of him in Alan Parker’s film “The Midnight Express” in which he was a producer. For the “Streets of Fire” he used electronic sounds daring to compose a contemporary music compatible with the film’s era. The film recounts the effort of three British runners at the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Particularly the music of the opening titles is considered by the top and most popular moments in the history of film music and has been used heavily in films and television shows. The “Chariots of Fire” touched the first place of the American charts where it remained for a week. It is the only work by a Greek artist who climbed to the top of the US charts. “At one time Vangelis said that the music track, which gave him an Oscar and was on top of the charts for weeks, was partly a tribute to his father, who was a late amateur runner,” says Reuters, on the day of Vangelis Papathanasiou’s death. “It’s just another music track,” he said in an interview, he continues the agency. At the Oscar Award ceremony, the film was nominated for seven awards Oscar, of which he obtained four, including that of Best Music for the composition of Papathanasios. The announcement on the Oscar evening was made by Kathleen Turner and William Hart who received the award as the music composer was not on site. As he had said in an interview he was sleeping at the time of the award and learned the news the following day. Candidates along with the Greek musician were John Williams, Randy Newman, Dave Grusin and the leading Alex North. Nevertheless Vangelis Papathanasiou confirmed the predictions of the time and won the gold statuette. It is noted that for the music of the streets of Fire, Vangelis Papathanasiou was sued by Stavros Logaridis who has left life. Logaridis claimed that the international famed composer stole the music from the composition he had made for the film “Menexedean State”. In February 1987, a London court had cleared Papathanasiou of the charge. Vangelis Papathanasiou left life at the age of 79 on 17 May 2022. Vangelis was treated with coronavirus in a hospital in France. Guardian also broadcast the news of the loss of the great composer, speaking of “the musician whose synthetic work brought huge drama art to soundtrack films”. Much of Papathanasios’ compositions were created to frame film productions as soundtracks, such as fiction films, documentary and television productions. One of the most famous are: Missing (1982) by Greek director Costas Gavras, Blade Runner (Blade Runner: Extermination Teams, 1982) Ridley Scott’s science fiction film, The Bounty mutiny (1984) by Roger Donaldson. Francesco (1989) by Liliana Cavani, 1492: Christopher Columbus (1492 – Conquest of Paradise, 1992) for which he won the Echo Awards award, as well as the Golden Lion award. The black moons of love (Bitter Moon, 1992) by Roman Polanski, Cavafy (1996) by John Smaragdis, Alexander (Alexander, 2004) by Oliver Stone, El Greco (2007) by John Smaragdis. Finally, it is worth saying that the familiar sound of ERT news from the 1980 ’ s also bears the seal of Vangelis Papathanasios.