He was born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou. But we know him as Vangelis.
Vangelis is a Greek musician known for his electronic and orchestral music.
He has been instrumental in providing musical pieces (free of cost of course) to Indian music composers without his knowledge! One particular composer particularly seems obsessed with Vangelis – Rajesh Roshan.
Let’s start with his 1988 score for Khoon Bhari Maang. When Sonu Walia and Kabir Bedi are enjoying a nice afternoon in their private swimming pool, the last piece of music that would come to your mind is the highly inspirational and rousing theme music of a sports film. But that’s precisely what Rajesh Roshan does – he takes Vangelis’ Academy Award-winning theme song from the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, gets help from Indeevar to add Hindi ‘words’ to the tune, and produces ‘Main Teri Hoon Jaanam’! Pity Sonu Walia’s swimming wasn’t up to Olympic standards.
Listen to Main Teri Hoon Janam – Khoon Bhari Maang (1988)
Listen to Chariots of Fire theme (1981)
Next up… Koyla (1997).
Koyla truly belongs to Vangelis because his theme from the 1992 film, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, was all over the Hindi film!
Specifically, Rajesh Roshan used the theme as interludes in 2 songs – ‘Bada Juda’ and ‘Tanhai Tanhai’, though the theme was peppered all through the background music of the film liberally.
Listen to the 2nd interlude of ‘Tanhai Tanhai’ (Koyla, 1997):
Listen to the 1st interlude of ‘Badan Juda’ (Koyla, 1997):
Listen to the end part of ‘Badan Juda’ (Koyla, 1997):
Listen to Conquest of Paradise theme (1992):
There is an interesting side-story with ‘Tanhai Tanhai’, incidentally. The main melody of the song has been used by Rajesh Roshan back in 1978, for the song, ‘Frenny O Frenny’ in the film Khatta Meetha! No Vangelis connection there, however!
Listen to ‘Frenny O Frenny’ (Khatta Meetha, 1978):
And Rajesh Roshan is not alone in ‘using’ Vangelis’ Conquest of Paradise theme! Anu Malik goes one step above and creates a full song out of the theme in the 2000 film, Josh. The song was ‘Hum To Dil Se Haare’ Listen to Hum To Dil Se Haare (Josh, 2000)
Then there is ‘Humko Pyaar Hai’, from the 2001 film Moksha. If Rajesh Roshan’s previous instances of plagiarism of Vangelis’ music weren’t known, we could have completely given him the benefit of doubt. But, after knowing the previous transgressions, it is very difficult to not associate Vangelis’ ‘Messages’ from the 1995 album ‘Voices’ as the source of the Hindi song. The rhythm and overall ambiance is used almost as-is even though Rajesh Roshan concocts his own main tune.
Listen to ‘Humko Pyaar Hai’ (Moksha, 2001):
Listen to Messages (Voices, 1995):
And finally, the most well-known ‘adaptation’ of Vangelis, by Rajesh Roshan was in Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, in 2000.
Rajesh Roshan uses Vangelis’ song ‘Voices’ (from the 1995 album of the same name) very generously in his score, across 2 songs. It features as the Rohit Mehra’s (first Hrithik) vocal humming in the song ‘Chaand Sitare Phool Aur Khushboo’ first. And then, to continue with the plot, it features as Raj Chopra’s (the other Hrithik) song in Dil Ne Dil Ko Pukara! In fact, most Indians would start humming it very, very naturally when you complete ‘Taaza Taaza Kali Khili Hai Hum Uske Deewane Hai’!
Listen to ‘Chaand Sitare Phool Aur Khushboo’ (Kaho Na Pyar Hai, 2000)
Listen to Dil Ne Dil Ko Pukara (Kaho Na Pyar Hai, 2000)
Listen to Voices by Vangelis (1995)