a look at the music of Vangelis Papathanassiou
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". It is during this time that the group plays with local artists as Ricardo Credi and Vilma Ladopoulou. Trying to make a name for themselves, 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...
Their first single "Rain and tears", based on a Canon by Pachelbel and released in May 1968, immediately strikes gold and becomes a huge hit. The song plays in France during the student riots, and is an instant success in France and other countries in Europe. Due to the success of the single it is time to record their first album "End of the world". The title song of the album, released in October 1968, becomes their second single. A third single "Valley of sadness" is also shortly issued in France, but that is quickly withdrawn.
Back in Paris Vangelis prepares the release of another single, "I want to live", an arrangement of the song "Plaisir' d'amour". The release of the single in June is another big success in Europe, especially in France and Holland.
The success of the album "End of the world" calls for the release of another, so Vangelis, Demis and Lucas go back into the studio. What did not seem possible a year before now finally happens, the three Greeks, still astonished with their sudden success travel to London to record their next album "It's five o'clock" in the Trident Studios.
The first single from this album "Let me love, let me live", released in October 1969 rises to a number one position in the French charts, but it is the B-side "Marie Jolie" that is most popular in the rest of Europe. The title track "It's five o'clock" quickly follows the same path, released in December 1969 it does well in the charts of many European countries.
Shortly after the release of the album the band starts touring in Spain and Italy, but this time without Vangelis who prefers to stay in the studio. To replace Vangelis on keyboards fellow Greek Harris Chalkitis enforces the band on stage. In the meantime Vangelis works on his very first solo project, the score to the Henry Chapier film "Sex Power"....
Before the group would go back into the studio to record their third album, the record company insists on another single release, which becomes "Spring, summer, winter and fall". Released in August the epic song quickly becomes another big hit in Europe. Then the recording of the final Aphrodite's Child album can finally begin....
Demis records his first solo single "We shall dance" (with Lucas on drums), and releases his first solo album "On the Greek side of my mind". Lucas also started working on his first solo album, which he released the next year titled "One day".
Vangelis in the meantime records the score for "L'apocalypse des animaux", his first collaborative work with the French director Frédéric Rossif. He also releases a single with his girlfriend Vilma Ladopoulou, performing with Arghyris Koulouris using the pseudonym "Alpha Beta".
Production problems for "666" are numerous, as the band members were not on very good terms during the recording sessions. Then Mercury, the band's record label starts objecting to the specific content of the album, and although Vangelis refuses to remove offending tracks (such as 'oo' Infinity) the album is brought back to the released issue of 80 minutes.