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Music / Aphrodite's Child

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Aphrodite's Child, early 1970s. (Clockwise from left: Vangelis, Loukas Sideras, Demis Roussos, Anargyros "Silver" Koulouris.)

You should come with me to the end of the world,
Without telling your parents and your friends.
You know that you only need to say the word,
So end my play with the end of the world.
But I know that I'll go away by myself,
I feel you don't want to come.
— "End of the World"

Aphrodite's Child was a Greek rock band based in Paris, France. The band consisted of a bunch of musicians (most notably Demis Roussos and Vangelis Papathanassiou) who were already successful in Greece, but they decided to flee to London after the junta of 1967. Since they couldn't get a visa to enter Britain, they decided to work in France instead.

While they started as a Psychedelic Rock influenced pop band à là Procol Harum or The Moody Blues, their last album 666 (1972), which was a seminal Progressive Rock album is the one which is best remembered (albeit as a Cult Classic, and only among prog circles). The scope and ambition of this double album was what caused the demise of the band. While Vangelis wanted to make more music like it, Roussos and Sideras wanted to keep the band's sound mainstream. There was also the problem of their record company not wanting to release the album because it was too avant-garde for commercial radio.

After they disbanded, Vangelis found success making film scores and Demis Roussos became a successful pop singer, who was very popular in Europe and Middle East during The '80s. Roussos' music is largely forgotten nowadays, but he had many hit singles back in the day.

While they remained a cult group, they were influential on bands such as The Verve, Beck and Enigma. Their music was noticed by Yes frontman Jon Andersonnote , and he loved 666 so much, he offered Vangelis to become their keyboardist after Rick Wakeman left the band. He couldn't join Yes because of visa problems and Patrick Moraz joined Yes instead.

Studio discography

  • End of the World (1968)
  • It's Five O'Clock (1969)
  • 666 (1972)


  • Vangelis - keyboards, flutes, production
  • Demis Roussos - bass, acoustic and electric guitar, vocals
  • Loukas Sideras - drums and vocals
  • Silver Koulouris - guitar

We've got The System, to trope The System:

  • Apocalypse How: A very common theme in their music
    • Their first album (and its eponymous single) is named "End of the World"
    • Their last album, 666 is a concept album about a theatre troupe performing a play about the apocalypse, while the real apocalypse happens. The whole album is based on the Book of Revelation
  • Arc Words: So many examples in 666.
    • The lyrics "We've got the system to fuck the system" starts off the album.
    • "Do it!"
    • "I was, I am, I am to come"
  • Artistic Stimulation: Subverted. The Mind Screw album 666 contains the disclaimer "This work was recorded under the influence of "SAHLEP"note .
  • As the Good Book Says...: The concept of 666 is based on the Book of Revelation
  • Avant-Garde Music: A large amount of 666 qualifies as this, especially "∞".
  • The Bus Came Back: Argyris "Silver" Koulouris joined the army when the rest of the band left Greece. He rejoined them in time to participate in 666.
  • Canis Latinicus: "Hic and Nunc"note 
  • Careful with That Axe: "∞" consists of Irene Pappas shouting the words "I was, I am, I am to come" again and again, louder every time
  • Cherubic Choir: "Loud", "Hic and Nunc".
  • Concept Album: 666 is a concept album about a theatre troupe performing a play about the apocalypse, while the real apocalypse happens. It is also one of the earliest rock concept albums.
  • Darker and Edgier: They moved on from being a psychedelic pop band to 666.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Their earliest stuff was fairly lightweight psychedelic pop, which was very different from their last album (which is already weird by itself).
    • The band itself is one for two of its former musicians:
      • Demis Roussos makes soft pop music, which is very very different from anything Aphrodite's Child has ever done.
      • Vangelis became much better known as a film score composer.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • "All the Seats Were Occupied" is 19 minutes 19 seconds long.
    • "∞" was originally 39 minutes long before Vangelis shortened it to five minutes.
  • Fading into the Next Song: All the songs in 666.
  • Genre Roulette: From straight prog to hard rock, psychedelia, funk, soul, jazz, electronica, musique concrète and different traditions of Greek folk musicnote , 666 is a real genre roulette.
  • Gratuitous Greek: A rare instance of a band using their native Modern Greek amongst mostly English songs.
    • "The Beast" includes the exclamations "Pame"note  and "Teliounome edho pera, etsi?"note 
    • "Ofis"note  is a hammy spoken word piece in Modern Greek.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: "Rain and Tears" from their first album, The End of the World
  • In the Style of:
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: "The Four Horsemen"
  • Instrumentals: "The Lamb", "Aegian Sea", "The Seventh Seal", "The Wakening Beast", "Do It", "The Marching of the Beast", "Tribulations", "The Battle of Locusts", "The Wedding of the Lamb", "The Capture of the Beast"
  • Large Ham:
    • "Seven Trumpets" consists of a very hammy anouncement.
    • The Greek spoken word section in "Ofis" is pure ham.
    • Irene Pappas, shouting in "∞".
  • Lead Bassist: Demis Roussos is a Type B version.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: The only lyrics in "Do It" are the title, which is spoken.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: The second type in 666, since "All the Seats Were Occupied" (19:19) is followed by "Break" (2:59).
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "The Beast" is a catchy, funky song about the Beast of the Apocalypse.
  • Mind Screw: Most of 666. There are many catchy tunes about the Apocalypse, and there are some pieces which are so experimental, they could hardly even be considered music.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The outer gatefold of 666. The inner gatefold, which features an illustration of a car crash, is a little more elaborate.
  • Miniscule Rocking: Many tracks in 666 are shorter than 2 minutes. Most of those are spoken word pieces, instrumentals or experimental tracks which are barely even music.
  • New Sound Album: 666 is a Progressive Rock Concept Album of the experimental kind, which is very different from their earlier soft psychedelic pop music.
  • Number of the Beast: Their last album is named 666 after all.
  • Progressive Rock: Their last album, 666.
  • Reprise Medley: "All the Seats Were Occupied" is basically all the songs in the whole album reprised.
  • Scatting: "Break" includes scatting by Vangelis at the end,which was intended to make fun of the dramatic feel of the song.
  • Sampling: The Title Drop at the end of "All The Seats Were Occupied" comes from a recording of a BBC English Teaching lesson.
  • Shout-Out: The lines "We've got the System, to fuck the System!" and "Do it!" are references to the books "Fuck The System" by Abbie Hoffman and "Do It! Scenarios Of The Revolution" by Jerry Rubin, respectively.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Songs like "Loud, Loud, Loud", "Seven Bowls", "The Seventh Seal", "Seven Trumpets", "Ofis", "Altamont" are made solely of these.
  • Title Drop: That was "the Wedding of the Lamb"/Now comes "the Capture of the Beast"
  • Uncommon Time: Appears often, which is not surprising for a Greeknote  prog band.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Demis Roussos and Loukas Sideras split lead vocal duties on 666. Roussos sings lead on "The Four Horsemen", "Babylon" and "Hic Et Nunc", while Sideras sings lead on "The Beast", "Altamont" and "Break".
Do it!