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Aphrodite’s Child iTunes Tracks

Aphrodite’s Child

With the exception of bespectacled NANA MOUSKOURI, Greek tycoons rather than pop stars had made British tabloid space during the 60s, until, that is, the reverberating vocal chords of a “thin” young Egyptian-born singer by the name of Demis Roussos made his mark with bubblegum-psychedelic trio APHRODITE’S CHILD. Although relatively massive on their home-soil, the sad news was that only `Rain And Tears’ had penetrated the UK charts. Almost forgotten until the release of their classic-prog 1971-recorded double-set, `666’, the subsequent adventures of DEMIS ROUSSOS (with a giant voice that could go on “Forever And Ever”) and side-kick keyboard wizard VANGELIS was indeed meteoric – to say the least.
Formed in Athens, Greece in 1967, both Demis and Vangelis (Papathanassiou) had played their part in local acts, The Formyx and The Idols, respectively, while drummer Loukas Sideras and guitarist Anargyros “Silver Koulouris were necessary additions to the quartet. When their homeland was suffering under a right-wing dictatorship, the group (without conscripted Koulouris) vacated to a safer London, via Paris, although work permits and strikes curtailed a permanent move until the summer of ’68.
Mercury Records were first to see their potential; releasing the band’s debut European 45, the aforementioned `Rain And Tears’ (based upon Pachelbel’s “Canon In D Major”) in competition with a growing psych-to-prog movement that had witnessed the transition of The MOODY BLUES and PROCOL HARUM.
Scraping into the Top 30, the lack of further hits from APHRODITE’S CHILD was a disappointment to bosses at both Mercury and Polydor Records. Albums too (namely END OF THE WORLD (1968) {*6} and IT’S FIVE O’CLOCK (1969) {*6}) were given short-shrift by a fickle fanbase not yet ready for the crooning warbling of the mighty Roussos. An example of the man’s power-larynx was with the trio’s 1970 effort, `Spring, Summer, Winter And Fall’.
Jumping on the prog-rock bandwagon when inking a deal with the seminal collector’s imprint, Vertigo, the now fully-equipped – Koulouris re-introduced on his sublime guitar –
APHRODITE’S CHILD delivered the masterful and moving double-set, 666 (1972) {*9}. Augmented almost in its entirety by lyricist Costas Ferris (more at home as a film director than a wordsmith!), the four horsemen of the Acropolis played as if there was er… no tomorrow. In fact, the track `The Four Horsemen’ was one of the many highlights, highlights that showcased the excellent `Babylon’, `Loud, Loud, Loud’ (featuring the young voice of Daniel Koplowitz) and the cosmic instrumental `The Lamb’. Based as it was on St. John passages from the Bible, the posh and poetical `The Seventh Seal’ polished off side one. Flipped over, its grooves became less groovier and more dank and deep. With its “number of the beast” connotations, `The Marching Beast’, the jazzy `Do It’ and `The Beast’ (Lucas on lead vox) were funky rather than ungodly. A precursor to a Moorcock-infested HAWKWIND, John Lydon’s PIL and GODSPEED! YOU BLACK EMPEROR, the bombastic narration was profound; check out vignette `Seven Trumpets’ and its apocalyptic antidote, `Altamont’. Utilising the infinity symbol `oo’, fellow Greek singer/actress Irene Papas delivered her most memorable moment in sound and soft-porn imagination by having what seemed an eternal orgasm. And as beautiful as finale piece `Break’ was (sung by Lucas and a deserved hit all around the continent), the guitar-led, 19-minute reprisal marathon, by way of the exhaustive `All The Seats Were Occupied’, was indeed a league of oceans away from the ‘Child of the 6-6-6ixties.
Inevitably, as VANGELIS worked on movie scores (`L’Apocalypse Des Animaux’ was his debut in 1970), and sex-symbol DEMIS ROUSSOS succumbed to making a pop “killing” in a kaftan and becoming housewives’ choice as a solo star, APHRODITE’S CHILD said good-bye. Sadly, with years of hits behind him (and several quips about his bulging waist-line), Demis died on 25th January 2015.
© MCS Jan2015

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