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Aphrodite's Child - 666 CD (album) cover

666

Aphrodite's Child

 

Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 279 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Proghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars If the name VANGELIS makes you run like hell, the thought of sickeningly sweet New Age, "Chariots of Fire" (a song I hated from my childhood), you might be surprised to find out he wasn't always like that! Take for example, APHRODITE'S CHILD, a rock band he was in from the late '60s to early '70s. The band resided in France, often the reason for being unable to return to Greece was the Paris student riots, but what was often forgotten was Greece was under a military dictatorship at the time, meaning rock music was likely frowned upon by the government. Another famous figure in this band was Demis ROUSSOS, another guy who'll probably have you running fast in the other directions. In the late '60s, these guys released two psychedelic pop albums, "Rain and Tears" and "It's Five O'Clock". It's not too far off comparing them to GENESIS' "From Genesis to Revelation".

The band knew right away that they were heading towards a dead-end playing that kind of music, so they made their followup, "666" a drastic improvement over their previous albums. And succeed they did! No more overly-sentimental ballads (the title track to "It's Five O'Clock"), no more stupid songs like "Such a Funny Night". This album was recorded in 1970, but the folks at Mercury seems to not like the content of the album (the label felt that because of some of the content, it wouldn't sell). But since Mercury did have a more progressive label subdivision called Vertigo, it ended up being released there, but not until 1972. If you want to talk about a drastic improvement, think of the drastic difference between "From Genesis to Revelation" and "Foxtrot", and that's what you get with "It's Five O'Clock" and "666".

Yes, the lyrics are based on the bible, especially the New Testament and the end of the world, but never are the lyrics preachy, or even quoted from the bible itself. What you get is top quality prog rock with some Greek ethnic influences. "Loud, Loud, Loud", is basically a piano-oriented piece, with narration from a 12 year old son of a Greek diplomat (hence his peculiar accent). "Seven Bowls" and "The Lamb" might sound a bit familiar to those who have heard ENIGMA's "MCMXC a.D." mainly because Michael Cretu sampled those songs for "The Voice & the Snake" and "The Rivers of Belief". The album also contains a bunch of experimental pieces that hardly qualify as music, in between actual songs like "The Beast".

The second disc, I though was more interesting, where the Greek influences are even more obvious. The one "song" that really upsetted Mercury Records and made them reluctant to release it was this piece I can't type, mainly because it uses an "Infinity symbol", which you can't type on the keyboard. Here's the piece where Greek actress Irene Papas (who was quite a bit older than the rest of the band) under a psychedelic orgasm. This is definately a really disturbing piece that obviously caused the record company discomfort (same for the average record listener). Perhaps the best of the bunch is the lengthy "All the Seats Were Occupied". A lengthy jam with excerpts from the rest of the album. After all the noise and racket, the album closes with the peaceful "Break", it's like a really welcoming piece after all that you had to hear. Incredible album, despite the musicians involved.

Proghead | 5/5 |

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