«Conquest of Paradise» is a 1992 song recorded by Greek composer Vangelis. It was the soundtrack from Ridley Scott‘s 1992 film1492: Conquest of Paradise and the lead single from the album of the same name. The song achieved huge success in many countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland where it topped the singles chart, but was a relative failure in UK where it only peaked at #33. The song’s popularity had been boosted in Germany by boxer Henry Maske using it as his theme song.
«Conquest of Paradise» is played at home games for the New Zealand Super Rugby team Crusaders and Super League teamsWidnes Vikings and Wigan Warriors. These days it is the unofficial theme tune for the city of Christchurch where the Crusaders rugby team is based. English football club Sheffield Wednesday also play Conquest of Paradise prior to their theme tune before kick off. «Conquest of Paradise» was also played at the Cricket World Cup (2011) and (2015) just before the national anthems of the two contesting national teams were played at the start of every match. It was also played during the 2010 and 2014 cricket World Twenty20 championships to uphold International Cricket Council’s «spirit – of – cricket» concept just before the national anthems of the two playing teams. At the 2011 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, «Conquest of Paradise» was played when competitors finished the 150 km long race. It is also used by the Engadin Skimarathon to introduce the start of the competitors waves. At least in the years 2010-2013. Usually every minute it is interrupted to announce the time until «go!».
The song has been covered by many artists, including Blake, Klaus Schulze, Free the Spirit, the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra Project, John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra (1996), Daylight (1997), Dana Winner (2002), The Ten Tenors (2004) andRhydian (2009).
It was used for many years in the Jeux Sans Frontières, using it during the credits. The single «Conquest of Paradise» has also been inserted in the 2007 Chinese television drama series Soldiers Sortie, and is used as the theme song in the Hindi film, Koyla (1997) and a Tamil film, Sundara Purushan (1996).
Its chord progression is based on the old European theme La Follia.