‘Soil Festivities’: Vangelis Records Life On Earth

Vangelis went right back to the soil for the album with which he entered the UK chart on October 13, 1984.

Published on

Vangelis ‘Soil Festivities’ artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Vangelis ‘Soil Festivities’ artwork - Courtesy: UMG

Always a musician with an appetite for the wonders of the earth, Vangelis went right back to the soil for the album with which he entered the UK chart on October 13, 1984. Soil Festivities was inspired by the processes of nature literally taking place beneath our feet, as a celebration of the springtime cycle of new life.

By the time of the album’s release, the Greek multi-instrumentalist had built on the audience for his 1970s albums such as Heaven and Hell and Albedo 0.39. After the huge success of his 1981 soundtrack to the Oscar-winning Chariots Of Fire, Vangelis was hot property, but decided that his next project would be much more low-key.

In 1983, he created the soundtrack for a Japanese film called Antarctica (the original Japanese title was Nankyoku Monogatari), which was only released locally at the time, with wider distribution not until 1988.

Soil Festivities: Movement 2 (Remastered)

Click to load video

Soil Festivities, recorded as usual at Nemo Studios in London and produced by the artist himself, was Vangelis’ return to more mainstream releases, and was the first in a loose trilogy of albums that continued the following year with both Mask and Invisible Connections.

An avowed fan favorite

The 1984 album, which reached No.55 in a four-week UK chart run, consisted of five movements, the first lasting fully 18 minutes. It’s warmly regarded by Vangelis devotees as one of their favorites among his catalog.

Listen to uDiscover Music’s Vangelis Best Of playlist.

The site describes the record as a “jewel” in his oeuvre, noting: “Vangelis manages to get across this feeling of ‘the miracle of nature’ really well and presents a very direct close-up view of the (microscopic) natural world. Accordingly, it’s almost completely devoid of the human factor, his usual nostalgia isn’t really apparent here and no voices are used.”

A review on adds: “It would have been difficult to release a single from this album. It really needs to be heard in its entirety to be appreciated.”

Buy or stream Soil Festivities.



  1. Stephanie

    October 13, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Superb, as always.

  2. Anders

    October 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Movement 1, Epic!

  3. Sergio

    October 14, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Maravillosos sonidos, sólo creados por genios

  4. David

    October 16, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Movement 1 is one of my all-time favourite of Vangelis; it’s beautiful and so relaxing.

  5. Jeter

    October 16, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Blade Runner

  6. Harry

    November 6, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Antarctica and soil festivities are really great scenic album!

  7. mesijani

    August 31, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Vangelis műveit hallgatni számomra nagy öröm . közel 200 albuma van meg . Nagyon vájt fülű vagyok , némely elaltat ,megríkat felébreszt PL Heaven and Hell – The City a mostani kedvencem ostatni mohikanin (az utolsó mohikán). vissza térve eme albumához .nekem a mozgások úszás , tekergés , cikázás , és a lassú lomha mozdulatok . a viharról az ereje jön be a leki szemeim elött . jó zene halgatást . üdv mesijani

  8. Randal

    October 14, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Great album but I still wish he would release all of the soundtrack for The Bounty.

    • Blake Miller

      June 20, 2020 at 12:56 am

      Isn’t that the truth. I get chills every time I listen to the opening OR closing credits to The Bounty. That is some truly outstanding music. I got Soil Festivities when it first came out back in 1984 (it was my first CD ever) and rarely a month or less goes by I have not played it all the way through. I like the haunting melody of Movement 2 the best.

  9. Reinaldo Kramer

    February 20, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Excelente álbum.
    Um dos meus preferidos é o MASK, uma Obra Prima.

  10. Erik

    April 22, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Epic it is ☺

  11. Reinaldo

    October 14, 2016 at 4:34 am

    Excelente obra. Assim como Mask, Blade runner e China, que estão em minha cabeceira.

  12. Paul

    October 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Truly awesome album! I hope it will be available on 180 grams hq vinyl!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Christmas 2022 Hub
Christmas 2022

Check out gift guides, playlists, videos, features and more!
uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top