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Aphrodite's Child - End Of The World CD (album) cover


Aphrodite's Child

Symphonic Prog

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3 stars It's good to be the first one to review an album! I don't really have it, but I have the complete collection, so it stands for this one and the next one, plus some singles...

Coming to review, it has only little signs of what is to come (666) and shows little of what is expected of a prog band (it's been exact to include it "folk prog", though 666 has nothing to with "folk" in the sense we understand), but still has its moments. I don't think Demis's guitar is as powerful as Silver's (no wonder, Sideras asked Vangelis to bring him in for 666), I'm not sure I can even hear it! But for long artists such as UK, Wakeman and Tangerine Dream proved to me that it was possible to make "rock" music without the guitar, and this might be one of them... (again, there might be guitar and I might have missed it!) It has a flavor of psychedelia (day of the fool, valley of sadness), some folk based songs (the shepherd...), even some straightforward rock songs (you always stand...), but has "foolish" poppy songs, too... Rain and tears is their first hit, as much as I know, but nothing more than a romantic sixties number. Well, at least half of the album features good songs, so you wouldn't be wasting your money... Besides, you will have the first album by an essential band in the scene... Worth buying (try to get it mid price, or in a bootleg as I did, so you wouldn't be sorry for your money!!!)

Report this review (#31532)
Posted Friday, October 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I liked this album very much, though there are few duller songs on it. That does not seem surprising, as the styles of the songs alter very drastically, reflecting perfectly the mash-up album cover's awesomeness. I believe there was much energy from new situations, as these musicians escaped their home country's troubles to France, and met new exiting sounds and lifestyles radiating from London. to their own interpretation. From the tracks, mentionable would be "The End of The World" opens the LP brilliantly with grandiose drama, fitting to 1960's Paris dance floors as slow piece and apocalyptic prayer for freaked out stoners. The sense of style and tone of Demis Roussos' vocals meet the massive style-array of Vangelis Papathanasiou's keyboard talents. "Don't Try to Catch A River" runs after harpsichord driven soft-rocker, reminding some funny keyboard-driven trios soon blossoming at Great Britain's scene. "Rain and Tears" is also a beautiful ballad, but shadowed by the album intro. "Valley of Sadness" is maybe another greates peak on this album from me, shimmering with spiritual belief and melancholic trust to turns of the fate. "The Grass is No Green" gives possibly hints of their forthcoming more adventurous "666" album, considering its form as aural landscape for Demis' reciting. The band has also opened an official youtube channel, and it is fun to see and hear that Demis was also quite good bass player. I would recommend this record to all who like 60's music, and also to those who are interested in the musical history of Vangelis and Demis Roussos, even though not liking the musical style of this album.
Report this review (#38757)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Interesting debut of AC is basically a typical product of its time. It is loaded with influences from British beat-psychedelia, cheesy 60s pop and some Greek folksy spices. Pop ballad "Rain and Tears" is the best known song, but more interesting moments for prog audience could be find in "The Grass Is No Green", "Shepherd and the Moon" and "Day of the Fool", where one can detect very early substance of what is to become more elaborated conceptual sounds of "666" or Vangelis' "Earth". Not many guitar is present here, but there is tons of Vangelis' keyboards, including Mellotrons, organ, harpsichord. Only, Roussos is sometimes irritating with his pitchy vocal and it is obvious that they were young, naive and full of ideas to experiment. Not a great album by any means, but a worthy early effort of folk-psychedelic "proto-prog".
Report this review (#66890)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Let me mention one thing with these Aphrodite's Child reviews : I tend to like their melodic and pop songs quite a lot. They have filled my ears when I was not even a teenager.

The title track sets the pace for this style. A great pop ballad tinted with some sweet psychedelai. But this album shows many facets of this band. Their fully psychedelic sound (but who didn't release psyche songs in 68?) with "Don't Try to Catch the River". Their folk orientation with The Shepherd and the Moon and "Mister Thomas" (which sounds pretty childish and not very interesting).

But even while they play their pop influenced songs like "Rain & Tears", they inject such a great melody and nice keys that I just can't help : I like it very much.

A song as "The Grass Is No Green" is more elaborate and combines psyche and folk influences. Not a fave of mine because it sounds a bit hectic to my ears but some might like it for these reasons.

The Shepherd and the Moon and Day of the Fool have some similarities with Floyd which might surprise more than one proghead.

This album is not a brilliant one but still it is original. Just remember that it was released some forty years ago and that rock music in Greece was not a usual concept in those days (and still isn't). For these reasons, I will rate this work with three stars; but it holds average music like "You Always Stand In My Way" (even if it is one of the very songs that rocks) deserving more five out of ten.

Report this review (#158190)
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars A very interesting pop rock album that hints very few things that were to come (like their conceptual 666). Actually Aphordite´s Child showed quite some personality and uniqueness by uniting their obvious british pop rock/´psychodelic influences with greek folk music overtones here and there. The songwriting may be too straightforward for some progheads, but Vangelis keyboards and arrangements are far from common place. In fact, I found them to be quite bold for the time and being their first major efford as a group. Songs like The Grass Is No Green and Day Of The Fool are hardly what you call ´radio friendly´and were to be further developed on 666.

Not essential by any means, but a valid statement, specially if you are a Vangelis fan (keyboards dominate this album from beginning to end). And I like very much Demis Roussos voice.

Report this review (#169599)
Posted Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars A Forgotten Gem

Soon after APHRODITE'S CHILD was formed, the guitar player Anargyros "Silver Koulouris is called to the military Service and has to leave the bands (only to rejoin them for the recording of 666), so they turn into a trio with Artemios (Demis Roussos) taking both the bass and guitar.

With this emergency lineup they release "End of the World" in 1968, an album that lead them to fame due to the self titled single "End of the World" which reached N° 1 in most continental Europe, but the album is much more than a hit single, even when their Prog leanings are not yet so obvious, the adventurous and delicate blend of Psychedelia with Greek ethnic roots is simply delightful. Probably a bit naive in comparison with their masterpiece, but this kids were releasing very elaborate and interesting music when the 60's were dying.

The album starts with the title song in which the absolutely dramatic and clear voice of a young Demis Roussos creates a nostalgic moment only broken by his sentimental screams, but again, this is much more than just a ballad, the Greek Folk influence is more than evident while Vangelis adds outstanding organ sections with an evident Psyche/Prog orientation, I can't understand why people catalogue this outstanding song as soft POPO when it's one of the more advanced pieces of music you can listen in 1968, love the disheartening atmosphere and pure passion.

"Don't try to Catch a River" is much faster and snappy than "End of the World", but not less interesting, even when the funky entrance seems to announces a catchy POP track, the wonderful keyboards of Vangelis take us in a trip to an electronic Psychedelic universe, while that human metronome named "Lucas Sideras" adds dissonant backing vocals that prove how elaborate this track is.

People often criticize "Mister Thomas" and catalogues it as a childish song, but lets not forget this guys are Greek and want to include their ethnic roots into their music, yes, you can dance to it almost as you would do with a Tarantella, but they are shouting "We are Greeks and don't want to sound like a British band".

"Rain and Tears" is another track that obtained popularity for APHRODITE'S CHILD, and even when it's basically a ballad, the contrasting and dissonant choirs plus the subtle organ and violin, makes of it interesting from start to end.

Now it's time for "The Grass is no Green", an experimental song with an extremely strong ethnic component that gives us hints of what 666 will be, absolutely dramatic and disturbing, demonstrates that this guys are going for more than just a place in the Billboards combining their national essence with trippy Psyche.

"Valley of Sadness" sounds like a track taken from the 60's British Invasion, but again their Greek atmosphere make it unique and creates a contrasting mood with the heavy "You Stand in my Way" where Demis gives one of his best vocal performances.

As "Mister Thomas" before, "The Shepherd and the Moon" is a folksy song, but the distorted vocals and radical changes make it worth to be listened, the band tries to embrace Rock but never forgetting their essence, simply delightful and mysterious.

The album ends with "Day of the Fool", one of the proggiest and more challenging songs in the album, they go from Rock to some sort of melodic Prog, Avant Garde to an outstanding and extremely long organ solo by Vangelis, the perfect closer for an excellent album.

Before rating "End of the World" I must say that before last week I only heard this album once back in the 80's and didn't impressed me, so I udsed to believe tha APHRODITE'S CHILD was a mainstream band that released one Prog album (666) by luck.

But before placing it in a box with the albums I never listen decided to give "End of the World" a new chance, and my opinion has changed in 180° degrees, it's fantastic release in which the seeds of 666 are starting to blossom, so I can't rate it with less than 4 solid stars.

Report this review (#287916)
Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars this album is the first j got in1968 when j was 12 years old and it just turned me on pop music . pop singles like rain and tears and end of the world are pure jewels.contrary to what some people think, there is no melotron used through this recording,only hammond and clavinet with a lot of effects as i 've been told by vangelis himself (i met him in 1981) no other band sounded that way in1968 .prog stuff as day of the fool and the grass is no green is just great but turned the record company realy angry and vangelis had to fight to impose it .other tracks like you always stand in my way or don't try to catch a river are amazing for all those considaring aphrodite as a pop single band.a piece like the shepherd and the moon is very innovative at that time with oriental roots and weird atmosphere .just try the new esoteric releases you might be very surprised by music and the demis roussos singing as well as vangelis sound i give it five stars, no doubt
Report this review (#292091)
Posted Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars As already pointed out on this site, the main attraction of this record is the wizardry of Vangelis' keyboards. He really is a marvel on here. I didn't notice his piano and organ work so much at first but on a second listen I realised that he proved to be an apt user of all kinds of sonic gimmicks with echoey production, compensating for the lack of guitars perfectly. There are some guitars here, but I can hardly hear them, just bass and drums.

It's difficult to compare Aphrodite's Child with other groups. Sometimes there are hints of the Moody Blues, but this album is still unique in its own way. The opener 'End Of The World' is a really well-written song and one of my favourites, with a few well-placed hooks, a few adrenaline-raising piano chords and a few chillin' 'AIIIEEEYAH' by singer Roussos.

Just like another reviewer, I'd like to defend 'Mister Thomas', which some describe as silly. The main singing style on this song may have had a slight influence by the Kinks (which isn't a bad thing of course!) but the carnivalesque chorus part sounds something like traditional Greek music, adding some different variety and flavour to the album. The European mega hit 'Rain And Tears' is very pretty and graced with gentle harpsichord playing. In my opinion, Roussos' trembling Greek vocals are strangely beautiful too and a distinguishing part of the music.

'Valley Of Sadness' is another personal favourite. The melody and singing always melts me whenever I hear it. The most raving track is 'You Always Stand In My Way". The arrangements are excellent and the vocals more aggressive, sounding like the singer is almost throwing a fit in the studio. 'The Grass Is No Green' is the most psychedelic song and Roussos' Eastern influenced chanting is quite authentic. The band also captured the world of paranoia on 'Day Of The Fool', the album-closing number where Roussos impersonates a poor romantic madman (quite a thrilling story, too).

Like I mentioned earlier, the magnificent keyboard sound is the most powerful part of the entire record. In 1968, few people would have dared to bring keyboard experimentation to such complex levels. It was recorded in Paris and would have sounded very different in continental Europe at the time. There certainly wouldn't have been anything like it in the trio's native Greece. A very cool, forgotten classic. The songs may be quite fun, catchy, more commercial and less progressive than on the album "666" that came later, but this has a lot of character and is equally as eccentric. Although an oldie, it's a great goodie and highly recommended. 4 Stars

Report this review (#395687)
Posted Sunday, February 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Big (men) in Paris

Famously known for bringing together keyboards maestro Vangelis and easy listening singer Demis Roussos, Aphrodite's Child were formed in Greece in 1968. The band was completed by Loukas Sideras on drums and Anargyros "Silver" Koulouris on guitar, with Roussos also playing bass. Intending to relocate to London, UK, the band got as far as Paris, France, where various factors combined to impede their progress. Rather than sit on their hands waiting, they signed a record contract in Paris, and released the single "Rain and tears" a few months later. The single found chart success in a number of European countries, so an album was quickly put together to capitalise on the success.

All the songs on "End of the world" were written by Vangelis (Papathanassiou) with non- band member Boris Bergman. Classical composer Johann Pachelbel also receives a credit for the use of his "Canon" melody on "Rain and tears". The album has in recent years become a sought after rarity, although it has now finally been released on CD and download.

This is very much a proto-prog album, full of sounds which are now of their time but which in 1968 were novel and exciting. It may seem hard to believe, but Demous Rousos singing is actually invigorated and inventive. The fact that he was and is a fine singer must have been a major factor in the success of the the band. Vangelis keyboard work is confined to more traditional instruments such as piano and organ, his dalliances with synthesiser still being a few years off.

At times, such as on "The grass is not green", we venture into more spacy, psychedelic territories, but generally the songs are well arranged pop based affairs. "You always Stand in My Way" features some unusually aggressive mellotron sounds, that instrument being more associated with pastoral orchestral effects.

One thing which noticeable is the lack of any significant lead guitar work, perhaps reflecting Anargyros Koulouris partial absence from the recordings (he was called up for military service around that time).

In all, an album which, to those hearing in the 2000's for the first time, will sound rather naïve and dated. We must however recognise the vast amount of music which this album pre-dates. Seen for what it is and when it was recorded, this is a highly inventive and satisfying début.

Recent releases include both sides of the band's first single"Plastics Nevermore/The other people" as bonus tracks. Both are interesting is an historical context, but not really worth seeking out.

Report this review (#416196)
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Aphrodite's Child. The greek god Vangelis wasn't so strong yet. More psychedelic than prog (as you can judge by the cover art). End of The World is their debut, and in my point of view, far better than the legendary conceptual, but poor, "666". Nothing so special at this album, but it's a cool listening. I like the instrumentation, the drums and keyboards are funny. You Always Stand in My Way is the highlight of the album, without any doubt. The weakest songs are Rain and Tears, The Grass Is No Green, and the over the top ending track, Day of The Fool. It's good, but it lacks the special sauce.
Report this review (#975324)
Posted Monday, June 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Although APHRODITE'S CHILD is destined to go down in history for their classic double album "666" which chronicled passages of the Bible's Book Of Revelations in progressive and psychedelic rock musical form, their fascination with the apocalypse actually took root on their 1968 debut album END OF THE WORLD. While their first two albums are eclipsed by their third and their psychedelic pop years of the 60s have become mere faint backdrops in the midst of the stunning overpowering success of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and other powerhouses of the day, this Greek quartet turned trio that consisted of Vangelis Papathanassiou (keyboards), Demis Roussos (bass guitar and vocals), Loukas Sideras (drums and vocals), and Silver Koulouris (guitar) were quite successful in Europe right from the start with this debut selling quite well and scoring the hit single "Rain And Tears" which hit #1 in Italy and #2 in the Netherlands which sold over a million copies, however history has tended to forget about the earliest stages of Vangelis and company.

The story of APRODITE'S CHILD started in 1967 with Vangelis and Roussos having met after playing in their own respective bands that achieved some local success. Vangelis in Formynx and Roussos in Idols. Shortly thereafter they met guitarist Silver Koularis and drummer / keyboardist Loukas Sideras. Unfortunately just as the band had formed, Greece was rocked by the upset of a right-wing dictatorship commonly known as the Regime Of The Colonels which lasted from 1967-74 which is why Greece did not participate in the burgeoning prog scene as did most of the European continent. Vangelis, the de facto leader from the beginning, decided to relocate his newly formed band in London where they could carry on without the burdens of political turmoil but en route found themselves stuck in Paris during the 1968 strikes and student uprisings which delayed their musical ambitions for a short time. Another hurdle resulted when Koularis was forced to remain in Greece to complete his military service leaving the newly formed APHRODITE'S CHILD a mere trio. Koularis would not take part in the band until 1972's "666."

Undeterred the band found no problem attracting attention with their strong catchy compositions that took the pop hook sensibilities of The Beatles and married them with the trippy psychedelic organ ambience of The Moody Blues and Procol Harum with a Middle Eastern percussive backing that resulted from Roussos' earlier years having been spent in Egypt before his Greek family immigrated to the homeland. The result of this debut END OF THE WORLD is an interesting mix of UK inspired pop rock married with traditional Greek ballads, Middle Eastern bellydance and English psychedelia making the music of APHRODITE'S CHILD sound like no one else of the era. The title track opens which sets the overall vibe of the entire album with an almost James Bond 007 theme song type of feel with over the top pop vocals dressed up with a somewhat cheesy symphonic backdrop but the track morphs into powerhouse of classical piano prowess, percussive outbursts and dramatic dynamics shifting. It also is irresistibly catchy as Vangelis proved to be one of the great song writers of all of Europe.

"Don't Try To Catch A River" sounds more like a rock opera with Roussos delivering an almost Jesus Christ Superstar vocal performance with a catchy heavy rock beat flavored with a 60s psychedelic pop haze and nice backing vocals that are just as strong all the while utilizing the tribal percussive beats of Roussos' Middle Eastern roots. "Mister Thomas" was clearly inspired by the Beatles "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" with its circus like quirkiness and lyrical similarities. The big hit was "Rain And Tears" which was a major success in Europe and is a baroque pop tune that is a reworking of the German composer Johann Pachelbel's "Pachelbel's Canon." "The Grass Is Green" and "Day Of The Fool" are probably the most interesting tracks as they step out of the 60s mindset and display a much grander vision that is unfolding in their musical development that wouldn't come to fruition until "666" five years later. These tracks fit into the overall psychedelic pop scheme of things but have more sounds effects and progressive developments.

Personally i was quite surprised how much i liked this debut album as i was only expecting some generic 60s pop album that was a carbon clone of the British scene but that couldn't be farther from the reality. Even at these nascent stages of their career, Vangelis and Roussos were quite accomplished musicians and songwriters as END OF THE WORLD exhibits all the reasons why both artists would carry on to have immensely successful solo careers. While not as progressively accomplished as "666," END OF THE WORLD nevertheless exhibits the birth pangs of what would be expanded to become that album. This is a brilliant example of 60s psychedelic pop and for anyone interested in that scene should by no means miss out on this one. Roussos has a unique vocal style that gives a flair of exoticness as his Greek accent and Mediterranean influences clearly separate the band from the British scene all the while encompassing the best aspects of it. While the slower tracks may prove a little cheesy for the casual listener, the orchestrations of the compositions are fairly sophisticated for the average pop band drawing the obvious comparisons to The Moody Blues and Procol Harum. On the contrary to the title of the album, this was really just the beginning of APHRODITE'S CHILD and an excellent debut at that.

Report this review (#1937231)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars The debug album unusually by a Greek group based in France. The style is progressive pop, not so much of rock. Songs are accessible and some of them catchy. It is the instrumentation that closely resembles a progressive rock ensemble: flutes, organs, piano, harpsichord and other keyboards.

The album starts strongly with "End of the world" and introduces Roussos unusual nose voice and fantastic range. Vangelis provides nice piano and organ arrangements. It sounds warm and Greek to me.

"Don't try to catch a river" is a more British world 70's inspired upbeat song that has organ lines similar to Penny Lane trumpet. "Mister Thomas" is more a "merry-go-round" type of song but still has a memorable harpsichord/cello section. The most famous song by AC, "Rain and tears", is a simple classically influence number with a dominant voice.

"The grass is no green" points to the art rock ambitions of Vangelis and also shows signs of psychedelia, if you isten to the colour of Roussos' voice. Finally, also the bass and drums get into foreground. "Valley of Sadness" is a fine and typical psychedelic song with equal focus on melody and instrumental rhythm section. Vangelis provides organ chords in the right channel and harpsichord in the left. Bouzouki is also heard thanks to Roussos.

"The shepherd and the moon" displays Arabic influence and is a good fire to the already warm music. Notable is muscular bass by Roussos in the outro of the song.

Report this review (#2242901)
Posted Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Review Permalink

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