Jul 16, 2012

Nikos Deja Vu - Aphrodite's Child - My tribute

Aphrodite's Child - The band!
The super group Aphrodite's Child was a Greek progressive rock band formed in 1967, by Vangelis Papathanassiou (keyboards); Demis Roussos (bass guitar and vocals), Loukas Sideras (drums and vocals), and Anargyros "Silver" Koulouris (guitar). Papathanassiou and Roussos had already been successful in Greece (playing in the bands Formynx and Idols respectively) while they got together with Sideras and Koulouris to form a new band. Their first recording as a band was for George Romanos album In concert and in Studio where they were played on four songs and credited as "Vangelis and his orchestra". In the same year they recorded a two song demo and submitted it to Philips Records.

It was probably Vangelis' idea that the still-anonymous band should be relocated in London which would be a more suitable environment. This decision, however, was not problem-free. Koulouris had to stay in Greece to fulfill his military service while the band, on their way to London, got stuck in Paris partially because they did not have the correct work permits and partially because of the strikes associated with the May 1968 events.

In Paris they signed to Mercury Records, christened "Aphrodite's Child" and released their first single "Rain and Tears", a reworking of Pachelbel's Canon in D major. With this song the band became an overnight sensation in France and several other European countries in which the single charted well, despite the song being sung in English and not French. In October of the same year, the band released their first album End of the World. The album contained an equal amount of psychedelic pop songs and ballads in the vein of Procol Harum or The Moody Blues.

The band began touring around Europe, and in January 1969 they recorded a single in Italian for the San Remo Festival in which they did not participate, however. Their next hit single was "I want to live", an arrangement of the song "Plaisir' d'amour". For their second album, the band travelled to London to record at the famous Trident Studios. The first single from the new album, the rootsier "Let me love, let me live" came out in October, while the album It's five o'clock came out in December 1969 featuring more successful ballads (like the title song) but also songs that crossed many musical genres including country rock.

After their second album, the band begun touring again, this time without Vangelis who preferred to stay in Paris and record the music for Henry Chapier's film "Sex Power". Vangelis was replaced on stage with Harris Chalkitis. 1970 went by with the band promoting their latest album and Vangelis working on his first film project. To keep the steady flow of hits, the band released another single in August, "Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall".

The band began to record their crowning achievement late in 1970: a musical adaptation of the biblical Book of Revelation, entitled 666. Silver Koulouris, having finished his Greek army duty rejoined the band. However, relations between all the band members were not good at the time, and continued to worsen during the album's creation.

Essentially, 666 was Vangelis' concept, created with an outside lyricist, Costas Ferris. The music that Vangelis was creating for 666 was much more psychedelic and progressive rock oriented than anything the band had done before. This did not sit well with the other band members, who wished to continue in the pop direction that had brought them success. Furthermore, Roussos was being groomed for a solo career, and recorded his first solo single "We shall dance" (with Sideras on drums), and his first solo album On the Greek side of my mind, whereas Vangelis recorded the score for L'apocalypse des Animaux and worked on a single with his girlfriend Vilma Ladopoulou, performing with Koulouris using the pseudonym "Alpha Beta".

By the time the double LP 666 finally came out in late 1971, and having sold over 20 million albums, the band had already split. Both Vangelis and Demis Roussos pursued successful solo careers, Roussos as a pop singer and Vangelis as one of the pioneers in New Age music. Koulouris worked with both on occasion. Loukas Sideras pursued a less successful solo career, releasing an album and the single "Rising Sun" after the break-up...


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.
You should come with me to the end of the world,
we could lay all day on the quiet sands.
I would introduce you to my friend the bird
who sings and flies along the fairy [trend]
But I know that I'll go away by myself
I feel you don't want to come.
If you come with me to the end of the world,
I'll give you anything that lives on earth.
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.

I want to live! Where they'll change what they have done Yeah
I must die cold and shunned by the sun Yeah
Why should I stay, Where there are people that hate
The things I need and making me wait yeah
They will teach you the hows instead of the whys
They will turn your truth into lies
I feel like crying when I'm groping for a way to stop it from going
cause I want it, want it to stay Yeah
They will teach you the hows instead of the whys
They will turn your truth into lies
I want to live try, look and understand
I needed you to take hold of my hand and pull me up, yeah
I feel but I can't, yeah (Yes I do)
I want to, I want to live Yes, I want to live yeah, yeah
To feel and... I'm gonna lose it, yeah

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