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Aphrodite's Child - 666 CD (album) cover

666

Aphrodite's Child

 

Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 258 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Je t'aime.. moi non plus

Two years after the release of "It's five o'clock", Aphrodites's Child released their final album "666". By the time the album hit the shelves, the band had already split up, torn apart by the ubiquitous musical differences. It took some two years from inception for the album to be released, although it was completed about a year earlier. The delay in the release was reportedly due to misgivings on the the part of the record company, particularly with the decidedly naughty track "Infinity" (actually called "∞"), but also with the double album format. Remember though that this is a double LP, it could fit comfortably on a single CD.

By this time, guitarist Anargyros "Silver" Koulouris had completed his Greek national service, restoring the band to a quartet. A number of guest musicians also appear, including Irene Papas who provides the steamy vocals on the aforementioned "Infinity". During recordings, relations within the band became increasingly strained. The album is essentially a Vangelis creation, the concept being based on the Book of Revelations in the Bible. Vangelis collaborated with Costas Ferris, a Greek Actor and film director who wrote the lyrics to accompany Vangelis music. It is fair to say that the rest of the band were uncomfortable with the change of direction the album signalled, as it was clear that singles chart success would not be maintained by the style of music Vangelis had chosen.

Right from the start, we are aware that this album is radically different to its predecessors. Do not let the short track lengths mislead you, this is an album of great imagination and innovation. Whether it is the spoken pre-puberty vocal on "Loud loud loud", the complex melodic arrangement on "The four horsemen", the slightly unnerving chant of "The system", or the pre-Donna Summer sexuality of "Infinity", the overall effect is that of a coherent concept piece.

While Vangelis is the main instigator throughout, it is noticeable that this is also the first album by the band to feature Koulouris' lead guitar work to any extent. Tracks such as the brief but effective "Do it" offer him the space to display is dexterity. The feature track is of course the 19 minute "All the seats were occupied", which occupies most of the last side of the double LP. This chaotic monster is essentially Vangelis first major instrumental composition, although phrases from the tracks which have gone before are permitted to drift in and out along the way.

In all, an album which single handedly established the posthumous Aphrodite's Child as a major contributor to early prog. For me, the album has not aged well and now sounds rather messy. We must however put it in context, and recognise the influence "666" had on our genre of choice.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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