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APHRODITE'S CHILD

Symphonic Prog • Greece


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Aphrodite's Child biography
The short story of APHRODITE'S CHILD starts in 1968, when the Greek/Egyptian bassist and vocalist named Artemios Ventouris Roussos (Demis Roussos) and the powerful drummer Lucas Sideras were supposed to meet the multi instrumentalist Evengelio Odyssey Papathanassiou (VANGELIS) who had left his first group FORMINXS, but the first two were not admitted to the United Kingdom because they had no working permits and custom officers discovered photos and tapes in their luggage so they assumed the musicians intended to stay (Which was true).

A few months later the three musicians join in Paris with Anargyros Koulouris (Silver Koulouris) a very competent guitar player and they decide to form a new band which was supposed to mix traditional Greek music with Western Pop and Psychedelia, but they ended doing much more than was expected.

Due to their financial situation they had to sign a terrible contract with a record company. Soon after the birth of the band, Silver Kouloris has to leave the group because he was called for his Military Service and only joins again for the recording of their last album 666, during these years Demis Roussos has to play guitar and bass.

Their first two releases "End of the World" (which includes two hit singles, "Rain and Tears" and "I Want To Live", the last one reached N° 1 in most Europe) and "It's Five O'Clock", showed a commercial oriented band with a very peculiar sound. But it's not until 1970, when they start to record the brilliant and adventurous "666" that they get a place in progressive Rock history, even when the relation inside the band was at the lowest point mostly because VANGELIS wanted to do more serious music than Lucas Sideras and Roussos.

The paradox is that this masterpiece which combines 100% Symphonic structure, British Psychedelia, Greek Orthodox Religious music with a touch of pop was only released in 1972 (after the band had already split) due to several prejudices caused the controversial concept ("The Book of Revelations"), the confession made by the band that "666" was conceived under the influence of Sahlep (some people believed this word was referred to some kind of pagan divinity when in fact it's a common non alcoholic beverage from Turkey) and the track "Infinity" sung by the great actress Irene Papas which is really a five minutes orgasm.

After APHRODITE'S CHILD disbanded, the members took different paths, like Roussos who became a well known orchestral pop sin...
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666: Apocalypse of St John666: Apocalypse of St John
Import
Vertigo 1989
Audio CD$8.38
$6.42 (used)
HitsHits
Import
Imports 2009
Audio CD$5.88
$5.67 (used)
666666
Import
Imports 2014
Vinyl$24.06
$27.09 (used)
Babylon the Great: An Introduction to Aphrodite's ChildBabylon the Great: An Introduction to Aphrodite's Child
Import
Universal Import 2002
Audio CD$37.33
$21.00 (used)
Best ofBest of
Import
Universal Int'l 1994
Audio CD$4.71
$5.55 (used)
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APHRODITE'S CHILD
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CD it's five o'clock
APHRODITE'S CHILD
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APHRODITE'S CHILD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

APHRODITE'S CHILD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.44 | 64 ratings
End Of The World
1968
2.69 | 59 ratings
It's Five O'Clock
1969
3.88 | 316 ratings
666
1972

APHRODITE'S CHILD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

APHRODITE'S CHILD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

APHRODITE'S CHILD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.73 | 15 ratings
Best Of Aphrodite's Child
1975
3.32 | 7 ratings
The Art Of Démis Roussos And Aphrodite's Child
1993
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Best of Aphrodite's Child
1994
4.10 | 13 ratings
The Singles
1995
3.96 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits
1995
3.92 | 7 ratings
The Complete Collection
1996
2.56 | 7 ratings
Babylon the Great
2002
3.83 | 6 ratings
The Singles +
2003

APHRODITE'S CHILD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 5 ratings
Lontano dagli Occhi/ Quando L'amore Diventa Poesia (7")
1969
4.00 | 3 ratings
Spring Summer Winter and Fall
1970
5.00 | 2 ratings
Special Radio Cuts!
1972
4.50 | 2 ratings
Break
1972

APHRODITE'S CHILD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 666 by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 316 ratings

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666
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by Mista-Gordie

5 stars This highly controversial album has become, over the years, one of my very favorite progressive rock records of all time, although I didn't like it at all at first listen. In fact, the omnipresence of the Greek folklore influences that makes it so weirdly unique, added to the very short length of most of the tracks, made it very hard to grasp for someone who had just got into progressive rock .

However, give it a few listens and you won't fail to be impressed by such a unique masterpiece, however flawed it might be. A few standout songs constitute the heart of the album (Babylon, The Four Horsemen, The Lamb, Aegian Sea, Altamont, All the Seats were occupied) while some of it might be considered as filler by some, though I don't have a problem with it as they let the standout moments truly shine. The Four Horsemen, especially, deserves a special mention as it contains one of my absolute favorite vocal performances in all progressive rock, by the great Demis Roussos. Aegian Sea also contains great ambiences created mostly by the keyboard wizard Vangelis and by a stunning guitar solo, while the suite that takes almost all of the fourth side (All the Seats) is up there amongst the greatest in the genre with Echoes, Supper's Ready, Close to the Edge, Thick as a Brick Part One, The Gates of Delirium, Nine Feet underground, etc.

9.5/10

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 666 by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 316 ratings

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666
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It seems that 666 is universally hailed as the Grail of greek prog and who am I to disagree? I may well be so and I'm fine with that. The album is an achievement, no matter origin. If one is to ignore the Coronation of this king-like album and look at it simply as a progressive rock recording, how does it fair?

I am proud and delighted to have this album in my Collection. The mere glance at the cover fills me with joy and I stand in awe, somewhat, when listening to it. The music possesses everything prog ought to. It is pompous, dramatic, eclectic and furthermore based around a concept of biblical thematics. Wow! That seems to be just about enough and more required. Or isn't it?

There is no denying that the musicality and power of the concept is very impressive. The main problem, for me, lies in the overall material. I don't think that the album is as brilliant all the way through, as it is in some of it's parts. Obviously the record is intended to be sat through, that is listened to in one sitting. To me it is rather difficult to do that. I find myself wander off, both in mind and body.

There is no shortage of great songs on 666. The first seven tracks or so are great, "The four horseman" is one amazing track. Dramatic and exciting. The trembling vocals of Roussos is really fitting the musical context. The finest track of the first disc (I own the CD version) is "Aegian sea" which is an almost ambient track and to me forebodes the future of Vangelis. This is such an emotive track and really gets my blood flowing. Simply outstanding. "The battle of the locusts" is Another great track. Short but very powerful.

The second disc holds "Hic et nunc" and "All the seats were occupied". Together they form the epic center piece of the album. "All the seats..." is a 19 minute prgressive monster and manages to be both dramatic and engaging. I do not rate it all that high, since I feel it noodles on a bit, sometimes going nowhere. I does not manage to keep up my interest all the way through.

I guess that the conclusion of my ramblings must be that 666 really is an overbearing album, too heavy and meandering to keep up the interest and quality. It is an impressive album and I think one ought to have taken part in it by listening once or twice but I fear it is not the Classic it is supposed to be. The band bites off too large chunks of musical flesh to carry it off. It leaves an album of good and sometimes great songs. At times even pointless ones. To me it is an album worth three stars and no more.

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 666 by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 316 ratings

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666
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars Yes, this is my 666. review. How original! :)

I have heard only singles from APHRODITE'S CHILD besides this concept classic, but I bet it was a huge leap forward from the pop song oriented 60's output, despite the fact that this work was started and recorded quite soon after It's Five O'Clock (1969). As the record company demanded severe editing and Vangelis kept wisely his own head, the release was postponed by nearly two years. The concept based on the Bible's Revelation of John (13/18) - the original working title of the album was Apocalypse - came from another Greek living in Paris at the time, the film director Costas Ferris.

To us progheads 666 is naturally the main reason we know Aphrodite's Child in the first place, but to anyone associating this band primarily with the raspy, sentimental tenor of Demis Roussos, singing the cheesy 'Rain & Tears' for example, will be deeply surprised. Roussos is effectively stealing the show on the best-known song 'The Four Horsemen', but on the whole 666 contains very little ordinary singing. Instead human voices are more used in spoken narrative parts. 'Loud Loud Loud' is almost like from a religious service, 'The Seventh Seal' (1:30) has odd, ethnically flavoured sound tapestry backing the melodramatic narration, and 'Aegian Sea', which is my favourite track, would work perfectly as a spellbinding instrumental also without the narrative in the latter half of it, which however makes it even stronger.

Musical ingredients are very varied, ranging from folklore to psychedelic or avant-gardisctic prog. The patchwork factor sometimes disturbs the coherence, and frankly there are quite many tracks (of 25) that I'm not fond of. And isn't it quite silly to announce: "That - was - The Wedding - of - the Lamb..... Now - comes - The Capture - of the Beast'? Irene Papas does her notoriously provocative wailing on 'Identity' which is followed by the rollicking "Here and Now!" ('Hic et nunc'). The nearly side-long 'All the Seats Were Occupied' is rather over-stretched, but I like the way 666 ends with the simple, emotional song 'Break'.

666 may be far from being a perfect and coherent masterpiece (indeed it has received a lot of low ratings too), but it is a very unique and powerful classic in its own clumsy way. Every proghead should listen it through with concentration at least once. 3½ stars, rounded up for uniqueness.

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 666 by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 316 ratings

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666
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by ebil0505

5 stars I swear I enjoy this album more each time I listen to it. I find it impossible to stop once I've started. While I am not fully refreshed on this band's history or its members, it's hard to ignore the variety they bring to this album. Besides, we're all here for the music anyways so here goes:

666 is an album, like many other great prog gems, not to be taken lightly. There is a lot happening, whether its catchy "pop" tunes (The Four Horsemen) or biblical-times-sounding rhythms (The Marching Beast) or apocalyptic prophecies (Seven Bowls) or famous Greek actresses orgasming for 5 minutes (that one scared me). I find the fluidity between songs and balance of these mentioned elements is what drives the album home. It stands out as the perfect example of what a concept album truly is: .

As far as content is concerned it is certainly a more serious and sometimes unnerving account for what is described in the book of Revelations (at least that's what I am led to believe and it certainly seems accurate at least). I rather enjoy the short songs that serve only to transition; they prepare the ears for the next stage in the album, the next part of the story if you will.

Musically I find it perfectly balanced between psychedelic sounds (Aegian Sea) and rocking riffs and soloing (The Battle of the Locusts). AC don't really leave you bored for a moment. They make sure not to overdo as well as drone on. After several listens I feel the whole album is just leading up to the grand finale (All the Seats Were Occupied) and then for one last goodbye (Break) which is the resolution to the climax of the previous song.

All in all, I am glad this album exists. It has helped shape my view on concept albums as well as prog music in general. For an album to be so weird and accessible at the same time is a keeper in my book.

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 It's Five O'Clock by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1969
2.69 | 59 ratings

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It's Five O'Clock
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars A melodic pop song. One of the most successfull of the end of the 60s. Based on the organ of Vangelis and the splendid high pitched voice of Demis Roussous whose bass playing justifies a comparison with Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade Of Pales.

The band is in a sort of exile. The "colonel's" regime is ruling Greece and even if Aphrodite's Child don't put too much politics in their songs, they are not much loved by the fascists as their "Rain and Tears", an arrangement from the Pachelbel's Canon in D major (another remind to Procol Harum) was become a sort of anthem of the "French May".

"It's Five O'Clock" finished to be one of the most successful singles of the period, but it was an exception, not the standard. The rest of the album is quite different. Too psychedelic for the mainstream public who loved the single, and unfortunately for us, too "proto" respect to the postumous masterpiece (as published after they disbanded) "666".

What comes next is vey different.

"Wake Up" is a kind of flower/power song of a kind which reminds me to "Antoine", a French singer of the same period and his Dylan's cover about throwing stones...the only remarkable things are that it's an ascending canon in the first half of the song and acquires a Beatles influence in the second half.

"Take your time" is a country-rock song. Very 60s as well. The bad is that Demis doesn't use his falsetto and Vangelis doesn't play organ. The two bigger strength of the band are not used.

They are used on "Annabella" instead. This is the first song of the album with a progressive appeal (consider that we are more into the "proto" zone). The seashore in the back could have been limited to the beginning and the end of the song. There's too much of it, but it's not so relevant.

"Let Me Love, Let Me Live" is a psychedelic song with flower/power lyrics. Like the psychedelic period of Beatles. Personally, I like the genre. The "let me love"crescendo takes too much, anyway.

"Funky Mary" contains hints of what they'll experiment better on "666". it's a percussion based song with bluesy vocals and almost no chords. A very interesting song closed by a nice piano contribute by Vangelis.

"Good Time So Fine" sounds East-Coast with a Broadway like female choir and a trumpet which adds an easy-jazz touch. Demis singing appears mimic of Louis Armstrong. Nota song to skip but surely not a highlight.

"Marie Jolie" is at least a song which takes advantage of Demis' high pitches. It's a melodic song with folk elements. One on which the Greek roots are evident. Instead of a 12-string guitar they could have used a bouzuki. Too melodic for my tastes but not a bad song at all. A curiosity: For many years I have thought that the song title was "Sometimes", the word with which it starts.

Finally it's likely a bouzuki that opens "Such A Funny Thing". A folky song on which Demis uses his highest pitches alternated to flute and piano.

It's not properly a progressive album, but I can suggest to listen to it because it's very "dated". It means that you can have an idea of how the late 60s were. Apart of the obvious Beatles King Crimson and Pink Floyd in 1969 were already on a different level. This is how the more artistic pop was sounding.

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 666 by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 316 ratings

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666
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Actually 666 is a pretty controversial album looking at the reviews/ratings on here. In fact there are three categories of appreciation to be detected: the admirers giving the album 4 or 5 stars without reserve, the "loathers" hammering it down without hesitation and the critics who have their sincere doubts about the class of this historical piece of art but don't want to go that far to degrade it with a (very) low rating. Count me in with this third category I'd say.

I mean 666 is a progressive landmark in my opinion but on the other hand it contains many moments that are pretty hard to bear for many people like the long lasting copulation on second disc for instance. It has it's meaning and significance for the story of the album no doubt but I can imagine there are complete tribes on this earth who feel this shouldn't be on any serious recording. Okay, the late sixties and seventies was the era of sexual liberation but to utter this in such a flagrant way, hmmm...

It's only fair to say this feature on the album is just one of many aspects and there is much to digest on this doubler. Strange sounds of all kind, great music (Four Horsemen f.i.) and much more in fact making 666 at least an intriguing output. Not good enough by any means for the grade "excellent" in my opinion for therefore the positive impressive moments are a minority compared to the negative bizarre stuff. But at least 666 is original and important to the history of progressive rock. And for that reason all things considered it gets three stars from me (interesting and essential instead of good but non-essential in this case). By the way like several reviewers did before me I deliberately saved this album to become my review # 666 :)

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 It's Five O'Clock by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1969
2.69 | 59 ratings

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It's Five O'Clock
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by VOTOMS

1 stars Symphonic prog? Of course not. It's Five O'Clock is the second album by Aphrodite's Child, and it's a poor Country Folk spin-off work, with some psychedelic rock influences IMO. It's tiresome, boring melodies and the whole album have that "I have heard it before" feeling. Even the keyboards by Vangelis sounds annoying here. Almost every track here seems to be a pop ballad, but without innovation or even outstanding creativity. I don't know what drives anyone to buy such an album after listen to any song. Totally uninteresting. I don't have any track to highlight here. I'm sorry. That's my honest opinion.

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 End Of The World by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.44 | 64 ratings

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End Of The World
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by VOTOMS

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.

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 666 by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 316 ratings

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666
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by VOTOMS

1 stars I am so sorry, Mr Vangelis, but I am very, very disappointed with this greek psychedelic / prog album. Outstanding, 666 is an experimental concept work about the biblical book Revelations (Apocalypse). And it's booring. Full of recitations, choral chanting and including some performance art, the album doesn't reach a state of enjoyment and coherence for me. From both discs, only a few songs, from the first disc, includes some good passages: the keyboards at The Lamb and The Marching Beast. I can say that short tracks like Battle of The Locusts, Do It and Tribulation are better than the main songs.

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 666 by APHRODITE'S CHILD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.88 | 316 ratings

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666
Aphrodite's Child Symphonic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Progressive Rock has always been drawn to fantasy themes, so it's no surprise that it would sooner or later steal a few pages from the Holy Bible. I write that, be assured, with tongue lightly in cheek, which is the only way to approach both the overblown extravagance of this 1972 album and the wacky apocalyptic fever dreams that inspired it.

The New Testament Book of Revelation was tailor-made for a Prog Rock concept album, especially in the spiritually adventurous and drug-addled early 1970s. GENESIS would later cover the same thematic ground in their epic song "Supper's Ready", with better poise and in a quarter of the time. But their more refined symphonic interpretation lacked the untethered psychedelic overkill of this album, not to mention the orgasmic shrieking of guest star Irene Papas.

Goodness knows how closely the '72 version follows Scripture, but was that really its aim? In retrospect, the adaptation here by multi-instrumentalist Evangelos Papathanassiou (aka Vangelis) pandered more to counter-culture conceits, with the same calculated efficiency he would later bring to his solo albums and soundtracks. "We are the people / the tambourine people / the alternative people" is a more or less typical lyric. And the album's opening chant ("We got the System / to f*ck the System") can be heard as a quintessential anti-establishment mantra.

The album, originally two LPs, covers a lot of territory in 78-minutes, earning high marks for diversity and chutzpah. Side One of the first record re-imagines the fall of Babylon as an Arena Rock event, then moves to the haunting poetry and solo piano of "Loud, Loud, Loud", then kicks into the full-throttle cosmic rock of "The Four Horsemen", followed by some electro-vibe Aegean folk music, followed in turn by even more portentous narration...

...And on it continues, throughout four sides of vinyl: into the Battle of Locusts, the Wedding of the Lamb, the Capture of the Beast (complete with rattling chain effects), plus the Seven Bowls, Seven Seals, Seven Angels, Seven Trumpets, so forth and so on. All of it incredibly ambitious, suitably pompous, and wildly creative in an undisciplined sort of way. Much like the car depicted in the sleeve art it's an album careening headlong into a masonry wall: a messy but impressive experience, musically compelling but often even more incoherent than its source text.

But that same stylistic inconsistency is possibly a saving grace, because if one episode doesn't grab your attention (hard to believe) the next won't be too far behind it. Disregarding the hodge-podge insanity of the climactic twenty-minute medley "All the Seats Were Occupied", the album packs 23-separate tracks into 58-total minutes: you do the math.

Don't blame Vangelis for trying to stuff all his eggs into one colorful basket. This was the sound of a young musical prodigy with aspirations beyond his native Greece, and as yet (thankfully) unaware of his own limitations. Under the circumstances a few cracked shells ought to be expected, but who cares? We can only hope the actual End of Days will sound this entertaining.

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