Vangelis, the Dragon, and the Bullshit of Religious Fundamentalism Revisited

If you haven’t done so, read these two blog entries:

Religious fundamentalism is blasphemy!

The Bible CANNOT be the Word of God

Those are indeed among my earliest works, but until now I did not have a real life example to show an artist being misrepresented, much like I think God is misrepresented by those who claim the Bible is the infallible Word of God. My rejection of that dogma stems from my assumption that if God really gave his word to us, it would be vastly superior to the Bible. No historical or scientific errors, no contradictions and no excuses for ancient atrocities or injustices.

Anyhow……..in the late 1970s, the pioneering new age composer Vangelis was a rising star. He had already come to fame with albums like Heaven and Hell.

Indeed, some of the music from this album, and some of his other early works, would be used in the COSMOS series by Carl Sagan. And in 1981, he would win an Oscar for the Chariots of Fire movie soundtrack, which I to this day consider to be the greatest soundtrack of all time! The music is remembered and loved even by those who never saw the movie!

But in 1978, something happened to tarnish his reputation. Back in 1971, Vangelis teamed up with a group of musicians and they made two albums worth of material that were merely jam sessions and were soon forgotten. Vangelis did not compose music for these albums, nor were any plans that year made to release them. Fast forward to 1978, when an unscrupulous record company somehow got those recordings. Hoping to capitalize on Vangelis’ fame, the record label released the albums as “Hypothesis” and “The Dragon” without his permission. I tried to listen to those albums, but they were so bad I always stopped after a few minutes.

Vangelis then sued the record label to have these two albums removed from the market and won the case. Just as I wish God could sue to have the Bible, the Quran, or the Book of Mormon somehow eliminated from all human cultures in the world. Of course, someone did buy copies of these albums, and decades later uploaded them to YouTube. Sorry, Vangelis!

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