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  • Writer's pictureMatt Cundill

Today's Almost Forgotten Track

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

[Note: Greg Simpson is the owner of Mindbenders Music and is busy at Canadian Music Week. He asked me to pen his trademark writing piece, "The Almost Forgotten Track". I was happy to make this contribution. Greg is a champion of all things music and radio. If you are an artist ready to take your work to masses - Greg can help.]

Today is May 8.

On this day in 1982, Vangelis (Born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou) scored a #1 with the theme to the movie Chariots of Fire, and Six weeks earlier an Oscar for Best Original Score.

Six months earlier, Vangelis' collaboration with Jon Anderson of Yes spawned today's Almost Forgotten Track, "The Friends of Mr. Cairo".

Cundill Polygram Article

The roots of the collaboration started in 1974 when Yes was looking to replace departed keyboardist Rick Wakeman. After a few rehearsals, Vangelis decided not join, and the Yes keyboardist job went to Patrick Moraz. Anderson and Vangelis remained friends and collaborated on three albums between 1980 and 1983. The second album was entitled "Friends of Mr. Cairo" and was #1 throughout Quebec with the title track becoming a cult hit in Canada.

The title track was huge hit especially in Montreal where it received more than just the forgone CHOM airplay. Top 40 stations like CKGM and CKOI played the 4:10 second edit while FM stations prided themselves in playing all 12:10 seconds. Outside Quebec, album sales decisively outpaced radio airplay.

Many Canadians have pondered the reasons for Quebecers attachment to long progressive keyboard pieces from Genesis, Yes and Supertramp. The short answer can be traced back to Sundays spent in church where 10 minute organ pieces or regular occurrences.


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