Skip to main content

Aphrodite’s Child: 666 (The Apocalypse Of John 13/8)

Demis Roussos and Vangelis turn Satanic majesties.

With concept albums all the rage in ’72, it was a beardy bunch from Greece who raised the bar impossibly high that year with four sides of far-out freakery, soundtracking a circus show in the midst of a religious apocalypse; a rock opera based on the Bible’s Revelation 13:18.

Finding star quality in Demis Roussos’s bleaty vibrato and keyboard ace Vangelis’s ambitious arrangements, it’s arguably Greece’s finest musical moment (apologies to Nana Mouskouri). Subversive, suggestive and just plain weird, its cult standing is well deserved.

Starting with a “fuck the system” intro, tape loops, grandiloquent narration and plenty of salep-fuelled jazz-rock à la Mahavishnu Orchestra saturate 666’s deep Vertigo groove mix. The pinnacle is the mystical psych-out The Four Horsemen, and as the battle between good and evil intensifies, a literal climax is reached via actress Irene Papas’s outrageously orgasmic performance on the track that got 666 banned, ∞.

Reissued as part of Universal’s latest Prog Rocks! campaign, handling the 180-gram disc is as satisfying as hearing the smooth, warm pressing. One teeny niggle though: those ubiquitous cheap inner sleeves. If the Devil’s getting the best tunes, give him the best packaging too./o:p

Jo Kendall
Jo Kendall

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.