With Greece exiting the World Cup losing on a penalty shoot out, it brings to mind that in the late sixties there was the glorious Greek celebration that was Aphrodite’s Child. No one could have predicted their individual futures and unprecedented success as a psychedelic/progressive band from Greece, except that the lead singer had an amazing and original voice and the keyboard player would become a noted composer. Consisting of Demis Roussos on bass and vocal, Vangelis Papathanassiou on keyboards, Lucas Sideras on drums and Anargyros “Silver” Koulouris on guitar, there were issues from the start.
In 1967 when they formed, Greece was taken over by a military dictatorship, so they decided to go to London but had to leave their guitarist behind as he had to do military service. On the way they got caught up in the aftermath of the Parisian student demonstrations and strikes of 1968 and had trouble with work permits, but found themselves attracting a large audience in France.
They made their second album in London making three albums altogether – End of the World 1968, It’s Five O’Clock 1969, 666 1972 the latter recorded two years earlier and allegedly going on to sell 20 million copies – it sounds impossible when you hear the music. Having said that who could have predicted the mainstream success of Demis Roussos and Vangelis as an Academy Award winner for his music to Chariots Of Fire as well as memorable soundtracks such as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and many other major movie scores. Lucas Sideras also went on to have some success with various solo projects and productions. Silver seems to have disappeared into the past – perhaps that’s him on the album cover?
Listen and watch this most unlikely success story below, a kind of Greek Procol Harum evolving into something darker – a not so pastoral Pink Floyd, you can find their Best of albums reasonably easily and the amazing 666 concept album is also not that hard to pick up due to its success.
Rain And Tears
End Of The World (Live)
It’s 5 o’clock
Such A Funny Night
I Want To Live