1492: Conquest of Paradise (album)

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1492: Conquest of Paradise
File:1492 Conquest of Paradise.jpg
Soundtrack album by Vangelis
Released 1992
Recorded 1992
Genre New-age, Instrumental, Electronic
Length 54:44
Label Atlantic/WEA
Producer Vangelis
Vangelis chronology
The City
(1990)The City1990
1492: Conquest of Paradise
Blade Runner
(1994)Blade Runner1994
Alternative cover
Alternate album cover
Alternate album cover

1492: Conquest of Paradise is a 1992 music score by Greek electronic composer and artist Vangelis. The film, a recount of the voyage to America in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, was directed by Ridley Scott, for whom Vangelis had previously composed the music score for Blade Runner, in 1982. The album and the single "Conquest of Paradise" enjoyed a revival in 1995 for various reasons and broke many sales records.[1]

Track listing

  1. "Opening" – 1:21
  2. "Conquest of Paradise" – 4:47
  3. "Monastery of La Rábida" – 3:39
  4. "City of Isabel" – 2:16
  5. "Light and Shadow" – 3:46
  6. "Deliverance" – 3:28
  7. "West Across the Ocean Sea" – 2:53
  8. "Eternity" – 1:59
  9. "Hispañola" – 4:56
  10. "Moxica and the Horse" – 7:06
  11. "Twenty Eighth Parallel" – 5:14
  12. "Pinta, Niña, Santa María (Into Eternity)" – 13:19

A number of pieces can be identified in the film, but it is clear that Scott preferred "Hispañola" (track 9) to set the tone of the film, rather than "Conquest of Paradise" (track 2).

The CD was released in each market with one of two different covers.

A Single disc was released with four tracks, two of which were not included in the album:

  1. "Conquest of Paradise"
  2. "Moxica and the Horse"
  3. "Line Open"
  4. "Landscape"


On this soundtrack, Vangelis plays together with a number of performers, including two Flamenco guitarists and vocalists, violin, mandolin and flutes. As on a number of previous albums by Vangelis, the English Chamber Choir, directed by Guy Protheroe, performs the choral parts.

The sound engineering and coordination was done by French musician Frederick Rousseau (also known for his collaborations with Jean Michel Jarre), who has been Vangelis's studio partner since the 1980s till the recording of the Alexander soundtrack.

Vangelis plays all synthesizers, using mainly string patches but also several ethnic ones, to reflect the character of the film, and electric piano and harp patches. Some calmer, atmospheric pieces (tracks 3, 7, 11 and 12) are entirely performed by Vangelis, using pianos, strings and harp.

For the ethnic music, Vangelis consulted with French specialist Xavier Belanger, who has advised other artists on similar issues, including Jean Michel Jarre.

A video clip was shot in Paris with Vangelis in his Epsilon Studios (since dismantled), with the choir performing.


Three tracks of this album contain lyrics. In "Monastery of La Rabida" and "Deliverance", the choir sings Latin hymns ("De Profundis" and "Dies Irae, respectively"). In "Conquest of Paradise" Vangelis used a pseudo-Latin invented language.[2]

Revival and popular culture

Both the album and the EP had poor sales upon their release in 1992, but success came three years later, in 1995, for disparate reasons: In Germany, local boxer Henry Maske used the album-track "Conquest of Paradise" as his introduction theme during boxing bouts. When he became the IBF world title holder in the light heavyweight category, the piece received wide coverage and a single was hastily released.

In Portugal, the local Socialist Party also used "Conquest of Paradise" as its theme for the general election campaign (it won). The song has also been used as a theme for the Crusaders, a Super Rugby team based in Christchurch, New Zealand, for English rugby league team the Wigan Warriors, for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and for the 2010 and 2014 cricket World Twenty20 championships.

Charts and sales

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[3]

The album went on to climb to No. 1 on the sales charts of several countries, including Austria, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland.[4] It was certified gold or platinum in over 20 countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the UK and Canada.[citation needed] The album became the biggest selling record in Germany's chart history,[citation needed] remaining in the charts for over a year, with Vangelis winning that country's Echo Award for International Artist of the Year 1995. In France the album was certified double platinum in 2001 for sales over 600,000 copies.[5]

The single "Conquest of Paradise" also reached No. 1 position in a number of countries, including 10 weeks at No. 1 in the Netherlands and Germany, where it sold 1.5 million copies,[6] 8 weeks at No. 1 in Belgium and Switzerland. Worldwide sales of the single exceed over 4 million copies.


Territory Certifier Certification Sales
Austria IFPI[7] 2× Platinum 40,000
Argentina CAPIF Platinum 40,000
Belgium IFPI Gold 10,000
Brazil ABPD[8] Gold 100,000
France SNEP 2× Platinum 645,000
Germany BVMI[9] 5× Gold 1,250,000
Netherlands NVPI 2× Platinum 140,000
Norway IFPI Platinum 40,000
Poland ZPAV Gold 50,000
Spain PROMUSICAE 2× Platinum 160,000
Switzerland IFPI[10] 2× Platinum 100,000
United Kingdom BPI Gold 100,000

[citation needed]


See also


  1. "Elsewhere: Vangelis albums 1". Elsew.com. 15 July 2011. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  2. "Vangelis lyrics". Engelen.demon.nl. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  3. Rovi. "Review: 1492: Conquest of Paradise". Allmusic. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  4. "Soundtrack / Vangelis – 1492 – Conquest of Paradise (album)". Austrian Charts. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  5. [1][dead link]
  6. "Elsewhere: Earlier news update: 1996–1999". Elsew.com. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  7. "Austria: sold copies". IFPI. 5 October 2001. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  8. "Associaчуo Brasileira de Produtores de Disco". ABPD. 18 February 2005. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  9. "Germany: sold copies". musikindustrie. 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  10. "switzerland: sold copies". swisscharts. 1995. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  11. "Europe and Australia: charts". ultrarop.be. Retrieved 23 October 2013.