APHRODITE’S CHILD: 666 (RETRO REVIEW)

Reviewing the epic 1972 double album 666 by Greek rock supergroup Aphrodite’s Child is a daunting task, it is a complex, rambling mixture of jazz, psychedelic rock and religious iconography.

Based upon the biblical book of revelations and draped in the tattered regalia of the acid dazed 1960s’ hippie scene 666 is really hard to wrap one’s head around; in fact once the album was in the can the band split up before its release, the members being pulled in different directions by solo projects and greener pastures.

Demis Roussos, Vangelis Papathanassiou, Loukas Sideras and Silver Koulouris formed the core of Aphrodite’s Child in 1967 and over three years released two pop albums; in this incarnation, they were extremely successful across Europe selling millions of records.

Becoming household names in the 1970s and 80’s Demis Roussos and Vangelis went on to the heights of stardom in their solo careers even collaborating on the score for Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner.

666 ranges from short, aggressive bursts of power trio rock to a 19-minute blow out in the montage piece All The Seats Were Occupied; then there is the sublime Aegian Sea, an instrumental piece underscored by a narration of the breaking of the seals.

If I had to pick a favourite track it would be The Four Horsemen, an exquisite telling of the arrival of the riders of the apocalypse featuring Roussos’ ethereal vocals and a driving rock chorus; this is probably one of the more accessible tracks but the whole four sides are filled with gems, Loud, Loud, Loud and Altamont are of particular note.

All I can really say in conclusion is just listen to 666 all the way through in one sitting and you will see what I mean, it is of its era and easily the equal of anything Pink Floyd or King Crimson were putting out at the time.

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