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666: Apocalypse of St John Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, July 24, 1989
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Editorial Reviews

Out of print in the U.S.! Two CD release for this landmark 1971 album by the Greek act led by Vangelis. A concept album about the Bible's Book of Revelations, this edition contains all 24 tracks from the original release. Includes the near-hit 'Break'. Universal.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The System
  2. Babylon
  3. Loud, Loud, Loud
  4. The Four Horsemen
  5. The Lamb
  6. The Seventh Seal
  7. Aegian Sea
  8. Seven Bowls
  9. The Wakening Beast
  10. Lament
  11. The Marching Beast
  12. The Battle Of The Locusts
  13. Do It
  14. Tribulation
  15. The Beast
  16. Ofis

Disc: 2

  1. Seven Trumpets
  2. Altamont
  3. The Wedding Of The Lamb
  4. The Capture Of The Beast
  5. 00
  6. Hic And Nunc
  7. All The Seats Were Occupied
  8. Break


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24, 1989)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Vertigo
  • ASIN: B000007TVK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,866 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I don't know what they've got in the water up there in Pennsylvania (maybe it leached out of the stripmines), but the previous review is way off base--this album cannot be so easily pigeon-holed. If an American or British band tried to tackle these themes and suffuse them with an air of ominous Hellenic dread, it almost certainly wouldn't work. But take a pack of Greek expatriates living in Paris in 1970 (who had previously scored big continental hits with odd but ultimately lightweight singles) and something of the mysteries of their homeland, and you get a template into which some truly ancient musical, lyrical, and philosophical ideas flowed. It's clear when listening to this album that there is nothing contrived about it. It sounds as if, for a brief moment in time, a common subconscious urge drove the project leaders toward a common goal.

There are some familiar elements--excellent rock guitar by Silver Koulouris (where has he gone?), powerful drumming from Lucas Sideras, excellent production values that still make me wonder whether this was REALLY recorded in 1970, and some excellent synth work before there was supposed to be any functional ones around. All the Mediterranean percussion and various stringed instruments do not come off as an attempt to make the recording "exotic." Rather, it is those instruments and vocals that, as good as the rock playing is, seem most natural for the material. Without getting too far out there, it sounds like some troubadours from Athens jumped up 2500 years and plugged in.
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Format: Audio CD
INTRODUCTION
The story of "Aphrodite's Child" starts in Greece during the early sixties, in the time that the local music scene is quickly developing a new movement, usually referred to as beat or garage music. Many young musicians and groups emerge in search of a new sound, breaking away from tradional Greek bouzouki and taking inspiration from similar movements in Western pop-scenes.
All members of Aphrodite's Child had been playing in different local groups before moving to Paris. Most notably Vangelis Papathanassiou already formed a highly successful band during his high school years, "The Forminx" (1963 to 1966), while Demis Roussos has been part of bands such as "The Idols" and "We five".
During 1967 Vangelis and Demis form an ensemble together with Lucas Sideras (drums) and Argyris Koulouris (guitars), sometimes referred to as "The Papathanassiou Set". They record a demo with two songs, "Plastics nevermore" and "The other people". Impressed with the demo, Philips Records in Greece proposes to have the group try their luck in England...

1968
Early in 1968 Vangelis, Demis and Lucas travel from Greece to England in search for a better creative environment. Back in Greece a military regime has taken over the government, and just as many other Greek artists they decide to leave their country. Argyris Koulouris has to stay behind to fulfil his army duty. Although aiming to travel to England, Vangelis, Demis and Lucas first get in trouble as they are not allowed to enter the UK due to their work-permits, and then get stuck in Paris due to a transportation strike. By that time they decide to stay in Paris, and sign up with the Mercury record label as the band "Aphrodite's Child", with the help of Philips producer Pierre Sberro.
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Format: Audio CD
Initially, I didn't know what to make of this set. It's alternately deep, campy, portentious, clever, innovative, goofy, and enigmatic. Perhaps it's precisely because of all those reasons that it keeps finding its way back to my CD player! There are some very innovative sounds and colors here, courtesy of Evangelos Papathanesiou (a.k.a. Vangelis) and the rest of the superb Greek group Aphrodite's Child. This album was definitely ahead of its time, with all the elements of what later led to the 70's progressive rock movement being put to the test, most noteably the "concept album" and instrumental virtuosity on display in long jams as in "All The Seats Were Occupied", not to mention a few other unique elements such as clever and unusual combinations of Eastern/Western instruments and the occasional spoken interlude. "The Four Horsemen" and "Aegean Sea" are standout tracks to me: the first because it's a kind of ethereal rocker - I don't know how else to describe it! - and the second because of the wonderful atmosphere it creates. Another interesting one is the two-chord "Loud." It's basically a C major and D major chord played in alternating 4/4 measures. Over this simple, quiet backing a monotone female voice recites the verses, followed by the refrain of "Loud, loud loud loud" sung by multiple voices... in a near whisper! The controversial track "Infinity" features only Vangelis on simple percussion and Greek actress/singer Irene Papas reciting the line "I was, I am, I am to come" over and over, simulating both the ecstacy of orgasm and the pain of childbirth. It's quite a clever track, I must admit, though it can be a bit hard to listen to at times, and I doubt that mothers would appreciate hearing it !
Overall, a very mixed listening experience... but that's the very reason why you wouldn't go wrong to buy it. "666" is definitely not boring, and highly recommended.
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