Last night's Oscar win by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the score of The Social Network made me think back 30 years to another Oscar-winning score. In 1981, Greek electronic music composer Vangelis won the Academy Award for his score for the British film Chariots of Fire.
At the time, music created using synthesizers was not as common in film scores as it is today. The fact that Chariots of Fire is a period piece set in the 1920s made the use of electronic music even more unusual. The slow motion opening segment of the film, combined with the theme composed by Vangelis made the film a sensation. The opening segment became iconic and then the subject of countless parodies. The opening theme was released as a single in 1982 and topped the Billboard chart for one week. Vangelis went on to compose the scores for the films Blade Runner and 1492: Conquest of Paradise.
After the Oscar win, the artwork for the Chariots of Fire soundtrack was revised to include an Oscar statue (which is quite uncommon) and the copy "Academy Award, Best Original Score, 1981" (below). I am somewhat surprised that a special 30th anniversary deluxe edition of the album was not released.