1492: Conquest of Paradise (album)

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1492: Conquest of Paradise
1492 Conquest of Paradise.jpg
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedFebruary 14, 1992
GenreInstrumental, electronic
Vangelis chronology
The City
1492: Conquest of Paradise
Blade Runner
Singles from 1492: Conquest of Paradise
  1. "Conquest of Paradise"
    Released: 1992
Alternative cover
Alternate album cover
Alternate album cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Sputnikmusic4.5/5 stars[2]

1492: Conquest of Paradise is a 1992 music score to the film of the same name 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.[3]

Due to the soundtrack's success, Vangelis won an Echo Award as "International Artist Of The Year", and RTL Golden Lion Award for the "Best Title Theme for a TV Film or a Series" in 1996.[4] The album was nominated for "Best Original Score - Motion Picture" at the 50th Golden Globe Awards in 1993.[5]

Track listing[edit]

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


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 was done by Philippe Colonna and coordination 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.[6]

Revival and popular culture[edit]

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[edit]

The soundtrack album charted very well,[7] and went on to be certified gold and platinum in over 17 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K., culminating with over million copies in Germany.[4][8]

The single "Conquest of Paradise" also topped the charts in a number of countries, including 10 weeks at No. 1 in the Netherlands and Germany, where it sold 1.5 million copies,[8] 8 weeks at No. 1 in Belgium and Switzerland.


Chart (1995) Peak
Austria 1
Belgium 2
Canada 64
France 65
Germany 1
Netherlands 1
New Zealand 43
Norway 1
Spain 94
Sweden 40
Switzerland 1
UK 33

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1995) Position
German Albums Chart[9] 4


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[10] Platinum 60,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[11] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Belgium (BEA)[12] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[13] Gold 100,000*
France (SNEP)[14] 2× Platinum 600,000*
Germany (BVMI)[15] 5× Gold 1,250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[16] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[17] Platinum 50,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[18] Gold 50,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[19] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[20] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[21] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Joanna van Schaik (1 December 2008). "Vangelis - 1492: Conquest of Paradise". sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Elsewhere: Vangelis albums 1". Elsew.com. 15 July 2011. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Vangelis Papathanassiou by Gus Leous". Newsfinder.Org. 7 March 2003. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Vangelis Papathanassiou". www.goldenglobes.com. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Vangelis lyrics". Engelen.demon.nl. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Soundtrack / Vangelis – 1492 – Conquest of Paradise (album)". Austrian Charts. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Elsewhere: Earlier news update: 1996–1999 - El Greko press release". Elsew.com. 10 October 1998. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish). Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Vangelis – 1492 - Conquest Of Paradise" (in German). IFPI Austria.
  12. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1995". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  13. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Vangelis – 1492 - Conquest Of Paradise" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  14. ^ "French album certifications – Vangelis – 1492 CHRISTOPHE COLOMB / BOF" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  15. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Vangelis; 'Conquest Of Paradise')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  16. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Vangelis – Conquest Of Paradise" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Conquest Of Paradise in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  17. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  18. ^ "Polish album certifications – Vangelis – 1492" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry.
  19. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. p. 951. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  20. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Vangelis; 'Conquest Of Paradise')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  21. ^ "British album certifications – Vangelis – 1494 - CONQUEST OF PARADISE". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type 1494 - CONQUEST OF PARADISE in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.