Saturday, September 5, 2015

Aphrodite's Child - 1971 "666"

666 (The Apocalypse of John, 13/18) is a double album by psychedelic/progressive rock group Aphrodite's Child. It was released in 1972, and was the primary vehicle/effort for the Vangelis project. It had a minor Album Oriented Radio hit in "The Four Horsemen", and the song "Break" was also released. The album was ostensibly an adaptation of Biblical passages from the book of the same name, but was also very experimental in lyrics and composition.

666 was created with an outside lyricist, Costas Ferris. The music combines psychedelic and progressive rock with ethnic instruments, choral chanting, recitations, and use of keyboards. The record company, Mercury Records, objected to the double-album length of 666 and the musical experimentation, as well as the track "∞" (infinity), on which a female orgasm is simulated by the Greek actress Irene Papas, who repeated the words "I was, I am, I am to come" over a sparse percussion track.
The liner notes state "This album was recorded under the influence of Sahlep."

After Roussos and Sideras had already released their first solo albums, Mercury agreed to release 666, one year after completion and two years after the band had finished their parts in it, on its progressive rock subsidiary Vertigo Records. The single "Break" also came out in 1972, as did a single vinyl edition of the album in Brazil, also titled Break. An extended vinyl edition of 666 was released in Greece in 1974, containing alternative mixes of songs with music cut from other versions of the album. Some of these versions had appeared on the Brazilian release.
Allmusic gives it 4½ stars, but notes that "the entire set eventually becomes too overwhelming to sit through". IGN rated the album #3 on their top 25 list of Prog Rock Albums. In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition ‘’Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock’’, the album came #40 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".

Disc one: (36:45)
1. The system (0:23)
2. Babylon (2:51)
3. Loud, loud, loud (2:37)
4. The four horsemen (5:57)
5. The lamb (4:34)
6. The seventh seal (1:30)
7. Aegian sea (5:25)
8. Seven bowls (1:25)
9. The wakening beast (1:07)
10. Lament (2:55)
11. The marching beast (2:00)
12. The battle of the locusts (0:56)
13. Do it (1:45)
14. Tribulation (0:32)
15. The beast (2:33)
16. Ofis (0:17)

Disc two: (41:43)
1. Seven trumpets (0:30)
2. Altamont (4:45)
3. The wedding of the lamb (3:35)
4. The capture of the beast (2:15)
5. "∞" (Infinity) (5:16)
6. Hic et nunc (3:00)
7. All the seats were occupied (19:27)
8. Break (2:55)

Total Time: 78:28

Band musicians

    Vangelis Papathanassiou (Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou) - keyboards, organ, piano, vibraphone, bass, flute, percussions, backing vocals ("Lament", "The Beast", "Break")
    Demis Roussos (Artemios Ventouris Roussos) - lead vocals ("Babylon", "The Four Horsemen", "Lament", "Hic et Nunc"), bass, guitar, backing vocals
    Lucas Sideras - drums, lead vocals ("The Beast", "Break"), backing vocals
    Silver Koulouris (Anargyros Koulouris) - guitar, percussion

Guest musicians

    Harris Halkitis - bass, tenor saxophone, congas, percussion, backing vocals
    Michel Ripoche - trombone, tenor saxophone ("Babylon", "Hic et Nunc")
    Irene Papas - vocals ("∞")
    John Forst - English narration
    Yannis Tsarouchis - Greek narration ("Ofis")
    Daniel Koplowitz - voice ("Loud Loud Loud")
    Costas Ferris - lyricist


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  2. Chiquilicuatre y ZappaOctober 3, 2015 at 1:59 AM

    I have the album, is wonderful