Aphrodite’s Child released three studio albums and then the band’s members went separate ways… Vangelis and Demis Roussos of course, made a great musical career but I think that those albums they released under the name of Aphrodite’s Child will always hide a mysterious, avant-garde, crucial musical magic in them. Firstly, take a look at the cover artwork… honestly, I can’t recall any band of their time to have the balls, the courage and the provision to make such a breakthrough by putting the “evil”, “satanic” & “blasphemous” number of the beast on their cover artwork. Can we actually say that this was the first time the number “666” appeared in such a straightforward way in a cover artwork? Hmmm… most likely yeap… that’s the deal here.
The album concept was also bizarre as it was dealing with the Apocalypse of John. Well quite a dark, obscure and evil background for a band of that age and style do ya think? After all, their label, Mercury, caused them several problems due to the album’s title, concept & the song “∞” with the ecstatic/orgasmic almost envisaging performance of Irene Papas. The words: “I was, I am, I am to come” are, in a way, the inversion of “Who was, is, is to come” of the Revelation, attributed to the God. Vangelis didn’t follow the label’s restrictions and that’s why the official release was pushed several months back. The album cost about $80,000! Can you imagine how big the specific amount of money was for the early 70s?! The final outcome fulfilled everyone’s expectations and not only… in any case, “666” will always be considered as a dim, esoteric, wicked, concealed, folk, psychedelic, art-progressive rock album of all time… who can resist it’s hidden allure in the end?!
The album was composed, arranged & produced by Vangelis Papathanasiou. Wanna know how it sounds? Play it anytime… and just compare it with various albums of our time… or of any era… Vangelis is a master of sound. Hasn’t he proved it so many times since then?! This is what I call flawless and crystal clear production! The album was mastered by Hans Brethouwer. The lyrics were written by Costas Ferris… the album’s concept is about Saint John’s “Revelation”. There are several guest appearances from well-respected artists on “666” such as: Irene Papas (vocals on “∞”), Harris Halkitis (bass, tenor sax, congra drums, backing vocals), Michel Ripoche (trombone, tenor-sax on “Babylon” & “Hic et Nunc”), John Forst (narration) & Yannis Tsarouchis (Greek text).
If anyone believed they had heard them all from Aphrodite’s Child… or knew what to expect from Vangelis, Demis, Lucas and Silver… was tragically humiliated. There was no sign at all of what there was going to be with the third and the last album of Aphrodite’s Child. Vangelis made an excessive breakthrough and then went on to explore different and new musical horizons. “666” was ahead of its age… it shocked the 70s music community and will always be among the oddest, artful & occult music works of all time. This is not an album that you can lightly listen to and have a good time while dealing with other activities. If you wanna dive into this album… if you’ve got the guts to do so… then you will go for a small plunge into the Abyss… if you can take it then try it… or else just go on with your life… such unique music works are not meant to be discovered by just anyone… and especially by those who do not respect the Muses…
PS: You can also check “End of the World” & “It’s Five O’Clock”...
Vangelis Papathanassiou - Organ, piano, flute, percussion, backing vocals
Demis Roussos - Lead Vocals, bass, backing vocals
Lucas Sideras - Drums, backing vocals, lead vocals on "The Beast" & "Break"
Silver Koulouris - Guitars & percussion.
1. The System (0:25)
2. Babylon (2:47)
3. Loud Loud Loud (2:42)
4. The Four Horsemen (5:54)
5. The Lamb (instrumental) (4:33)
6. The Seventh Seal (1:30)
7. Aegian Sea (5:22)
8. Seven Bowls (1:29)
9. The Wakening Beast (instrumental) (1:11)
10. Lament (2:45)
11. The Marching Beast (instrumental) (2:00)
12. The Battle of the Locusts (instrumental) (0:56)
13. Do It (1:44)
14. Tribulation (instrumental) (0:32)
15. The Beast (2:26)
16. Ofis (0:14)
1. Seven Trumpets (0:35)
2. Altamont (4:33)
3. The Wedding of the Lamb (instrumental) (3:38)
4. The Capture of the Beast (instrumental) (2:17)
5. ∞ (5:15)
6. Hic et Nunc (2:55)
7. All the Seats were Occupied (19:19)
8. Break (2:58)