The Friends Of Mr. Cairo

a look at the music of Vangelis Papathanassiou

Introduction
Around the time that the second Jon and Vangelis album is released, Vangelis also composed the score for "Chariots of Fire" which would make his music known on a global scale. The album with Jon has less impact, although the both the title song and "I'll find my way home" do very well in the European charts. Curiously, the song "State of Independence" is first released as a single by Donna Summer in 1982, and only much later by Jon and Vangelis....

Tracklist and Credits

  1. I'll find my way home
  2. State of Independence
  3. Beside
  4. The Mayflower
  5. The friends of Mr. Cairo
  6. Back to school
  7. Outside of this (Inside of that)

Composed by Jon Anderson and Vangelis.
Lyrics and vocals by Jon Anderson.
Produced, arranged and performed by Vangelis.

Note that the first, white-sleeved edition of the album does not contain "I'll find my way home".

Discography

LP (6 track edition)
1981 Polydor 2383 609
West-Germany/Holland/Italy/Greece/Israel/Brazil
1981 Polydor 2442 188 France/Spain
1981 Polydor PD-1-6326 United States/Canada
1981 Polydor POLD 5039 United Kingdom/Ireland
1981 Polydor Japan/Argentina/Mexico/South Africa

LP (7 track edition)
1981 Polydor 2302 127
West-Germany/Holland/France/Portugal/Israel/Hong Kong/Singapore/Malaysia/South Korea
1981 Polydor PD-1-6326 United States
1981 Polydor POLD 5053 United Kingdom
1981 Polydor Japan/Poland/Czechoslovakia

Single
1981 Outside of this (inside of that) / Beside Polydor 2002 093 Holland
1981 Beside / Outside of this (inside of that) / Beside Polydor 2002 175 Australia

1981 The friends of Mr.Cairo / Beside Polydor 2059 354 West-Germany/Holland/Belgium/France/Spain/Austria/Australia/Argentina/Norway
1981 The friends of Mr.Cairo / Beside Polydor POSP 258 United Kingdom/Ireland
1981 The friends of Mr.Cairo / The Road Polydor PDS 2176 Canada
1981 I'll find my way home / Beside Polydor PD 2181 United States
1981 I'll find my way home / Beside Polydor 7DM 0022 Japan

1981 I'll find my way home / The Road Polydor PDS 2176 Canada
1981 Back to school / Thunder Polydor ODS2192 Canada
1981 State of Independence / State of Independence part 2 PS 8012 South Africa
1981 State of Independence / Beside Polydor POSP 323 United Kingdom
1981 State of Independence / Beside Polydor PRO 3665 Philippines

1981 I'll find my way home / Back to school Polydor 2002 109  West-Germany/France/Italy/Spain/Portugal/Australia/New Zealand
1981 I'll find my way home / Back to school Polydor JV1 United Kingdom/Ireland
1981 I'll find my way home / Back to school Polydor 2229 248 Holland
1981 I'll find my way home / Back to school Polydor PD 2205 United States
1981 I'll find my way home / Back to school Polydor PS 1248 Zimbabwe/South Africa
1981 I'll find my way home / Beside Polydor PDS 2205 Canada

Maxi single
1981 The friends of Mr.Cairo / Back to school Polydor PROS 163 Canada (promotional)
1981 The friends of Mr.Cairo / Beside Polydor United Kingdom (promotional, in film can)
1981 The friends of Mr.Cairo / State of Independence Polydor PRO 163 United States (promotional)

1981 I'll find my way home / Back to school Polydor 2141 229 499 West-Germany
1981 I'll find my way home / The friends of Mr.Cairo Polydor 2812 108 France (promotional)
1981 I'll find my way home / I hear you now Polydor PDS-1-6308 Canada (promotional)
1981 I'll find my way home / I'll find my way home Polydor PRO 181 United States (promotional)

CD
Polydor POCP 2112 Japan (6 track edition)
Polydor 800 021-2 West-Germany / United States / Canada (7 track edition)

 

Recording Studio
Recorded at Davout Studios, Paris, and Nemo Studios, London.

Miscellania

bulletIn 1979 Jon Anderson also appears on Vangelis' album Opera Sauvage, being credited for playing the harp on the final track "Flamants roses",
bulletOne year later in 1980 Jon contributes to Vangelis' album "See you later", and
bulletIn 1980 Jon and Vangelis release their first album "Short Stories".
bulletIn 1983 Jon and Vangelis release their third album "Private Collection".
bulletIn 1991 Jon and Vangelis release their fourth album "Page of Life". 

 

Lyrics
For all the lyrics of this album, go to Jon and Vangelis lyrics: The friends of Mr. Cairo

 

Review
This second Jon & Vangelis collaboration is certainly more conventional in nature than its predecessor 'Short Stories' because the songs on it are more self-contained and structured. At the same time the album is more diverse as it presents a wider array of forms, ranging from world-music (in 'State Of Independence', sort of anticipating Paul Simon and later covered by Donna Summer) to classical (in 'The Mayflower') to straight boogie-woogie (in the strange but funny 'Back To School') and more.
The hit-single 'I'll Find My Way Home', not included on the first LP-pressings of the album, has that Vangelis touch of genius to it: a simple tune set to a repeated high-pitched 4-chord figure alongside multiple Jon Anderson vocals all to very striking effect. Here and on most other tracks Vangelis makes use of his typical sweet electronic piano sounds. Even Jon Anderson's lyrics sometimes make sense here, being mostly about "belonging" somewhere, sometime or with someone after times of hardship, as with the pilgrims landing in America in 'The Mayflower'. The one sort of deviation from this theme is the nostalgic title-track which relates a fascination with Hollywood movies and its stars of the thirties and forties.
In all, a fine album with Jon Anderson in top form vocally. He even cajoled Vangelis into once again doing a few bits and pieces of good old-fashioned pop-promotion, with an appearance on the old BBC war-horse "Top of the Pops" with 'I'll Find My Way Home', and a gangster-style video for 'Mr. Cairo'.

Review by Ivar de Vries

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