140. the four horsemen

Aphrodite’s Child being a Greek psyche-prog outfit who didn’t seem to recognize a boundary between sweetest syrup and the hottest fires of hell, musically speaking. It was all just part of the same grand feast. At least, that’s how it feels on 666, their third and biggest and most extreme album, and their most evil, some might argue – the four-sided concept being no less than a musical adaptation of the final chapter of the Holy Bible, the Book of Revelation. With the Four Horsemen being the closest any single track comes to pulling everything together into a single, cohesive (almost) radio friendly unit shifter, the Lamb having opened the first seal, the visions thus unleashed.

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596. we were all uprooted

First there was Aphrodite’s Child and its mad fusions of extreme psychedelia and extreme pop. Eventually, there was an Academy Award winning soundtrack so definitive it’s since become kind of a cliché. In the middle somewhere is Earth, Vangelis Papathanasiou‘s first solo album, where the two extremes fuse and find all kinds of room to move. Aeons of it as We Were All Uprooted attests, both ethereal and grounded, like history itself shrouded in mist, the clues buried in the earth.

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657. the end of the world

In which Aphrodite’s Child (featuring a young Vangelis among other Greek psyche-prog weirdos) deliver a nugget of pop drama that’s equal parts syrupy and creepy in all the right ways. Come, child, to the end of world which is not all fire and brimstone, plagues and pestilence — it’s just a quiet little place I know about, far, far away from your parents and your friends. Where nobody will hear our ecstatic screams.

AphroditesChild-baby

876. you always stand in my way

Aphrodite’s Child are a weird one from the 1960s, a sort of pop-psychedelic outfit that managed to be both sonically extreme and sentimentally cloying, sometimes in the same song. And oh yeah, they came from Greece. You Always Stand In My Way goes resolutely for the extreme edge of things, with singer Demis Roussos (who would eventually settle into a prosperous career as an easy listening fave) giving his wailing all, whilst keyboardist Vangelis (yes, that Vangelis) tears things up on lead mellotron. I actually found this one in a yard sale sometime in the early 90s, maybe paid a buck for it, the guy who sold it to me sort of scratching his head and mumbling, oh yeah, this bloody record.” (Philip Random)