a look at the music of Vangelis Papathanassiou


Is it a man? Is it a woman? No, this is Ronny, a French singer who briefly worked with Vangelis, another one of those peculiar one-off collaborations Vangelis has from time to time. She experienced her proverbial “15 minutes of fame” during 1981/1982, when she released three solo-singles, did some concerts and worked with a number of other New Wave acts. For example, she also did vocals on a Zaine Griff track on the “What, Me Worry?” album by Yukihiro Takahashi, of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame.

The second of those singles, Compare me with the rest, was composed and produced by Vangelis. How this brief partnership originated is unknown, maybe it was because she too recorded for Polydor. Her being French would have helped as well – interestingly, she gave the same reason as Vangelis did some years earlier for leaving France to try her luck in England: the unresponsive atmosphere of the French music-world at the time. That and her striking “woman in men’s clothes” image will have something to do with the lyrics to “Compare Me With The Rest”.


Side 1: Compare me with the rest (Part one)

Side 2: Compare me with the rest (Part two)



Vangelis is credited for producing and composing the songs, while Ronny writes the lyrics herself. The sleeve is by Polydor sleeve designer Alwyn Clayden, who did many of Vangelis' sleeves while signed with the label.



Maxi single
1981 Compare me with the rest (Part one/Part two) Polydor POSPX 289 UK

1981 Compare me with the rest (Part one/Part two) Polydor POSP 289 France
1981 Compare me with the rest (Part one/Part two) Polydor 2059378 Portugal/Australia

Unfortunately this music has never been released on CD.

Recording Studio
No credit on the sleeve, but this single is undoubtedly recorded in Vangelis' own Nemo Studios in London.

For all the lyrics of 'Compare me with the rest (part one and two)', go to: Vangelis lyrics: Ronny - Compare me with the rest

The first part has a simple effective melody and a nice, gentle beat to it. From the sounds Vangelis plays it becomes very obvious this single was recorded somewhere during or after the “Friends Of Mr. Cairo” sessions. The organ sound from “Back to School” is heard throughout and the whole arrangement is slightly reminiscent of “State Of Independence”. Especially so at the end, in the chant-like section, where Dick Morrisey joins on multiple saxophones to bring the song to its festive end.
The second song is one of those typically fluid, dreamy pieces by Vangelis, heavy on piano and atmosphere. Here he uses that special organ sound as also featured on “Outside Of This” from “Mr. Cairo”. Ronny takes the opportunity to do her Marlene Dietrich impression, with the low voice and improvisatory air. All of which makes this into quite a beautiful little B-side of this single by the nowadays completely forgotten chanteuse.

Review by Ivar de Vries