In 1975 Vangelis worked with the Greek rock band Socrates on their third album
"Phos". The band consists of three members at the time, Antonis Tourkogiorgis, John Spathas and George Tradalidis. Their
cooperation with Vangelis lasts only for this one album, he is credited for producing the
album, playing keyboards and percussion and also for composing one of the songs.
Before and after this album Socrates made a number of other albums,
sometimes under the imaginative name 'Socrates drank the conium'...
2. Queen of the
3. Every dream comes to
4. The bride
6. A day in heaven
7. Time of pain
What do you mean, 'What's that scribble on the right lower corner ?'
Oh, that scribble... well, it's the signature of Keith Spencer Allen, who engineered the
album while working at Orange Studios at the time. Actually, that is where he met Vangelis
for the first time.
credits of the Greek cd
credits of the Korean cd
Although recorded in 1975, an LP was first issued in 1976 in Greece and the USA, the last
one which was later withdrawn. The USA print had a yellow cover with a statue-head picture
(see scan on the right), where as the Greek printed a different cover, with a collage of
pictures from the three band members (see scan on top) No singles were released. The first
cd was issued in Greece in 1993 by Vertigo, which was later re-issued in South Korea by
Si-Wan records. Both have the collage cover. In 1998 Vertigo re-released a remastered
edition of the album, with the statue head cover. Apparently also a single was released from the
album in Greece...
1976 Vertigo 6331 950 Greece
1976 Peters International PILPS 9013 USA
1993 Vertigo 518 738 2 Greece
1995 Si-Wan Records 518 527 2 South Korea
1998 Vertigo 518 738 2 Greece (Remastered)
As his own studio was still being built up, Vangelis booked recording time Orange Studios,
a small but centrally located studio. There he met Keith Spencer-Allen, sound engineer at
Orange Studios at the time, who would be his assistant at Nemo during the remaining part
of the seventies. Not only did Vangelis record this album at Orange Studios, but also an
album with Greek singer Mariangela. Actually the female backing vocal in
"A day in heaven" is Mariangela.
For all the lyrics go to : Vangelis and
Greek band Socrates (without Vangelis) sound like a standard seventies
rhythm'n'blues-outfit with a lead-vocalist/bass player, lead-guitarist and drummer,
somewhat akin to early Fleetwood Mac, Free and other bluesy bands like those. But they
also remind you of some of the livelier moments of Aphrodite's Child - in fact, Antonis
Tourkogiorgis' voice is not dissimilar to that of the younger Demis Roussos, and likewise
the guitar-work of John Spadas compared to that of Silver Koulouris. But they lack some of
the melancholy and weirdness of their illustrious predecessors, which is where Vangelis
comes in for this 1976 album "Phos".
Socrates, like Aphrodite's Child, recorded for Vertigo/Polygram which is probably how they
got in touch with Vangelis, who in turn might have relished the chance to work with some
fellow Greeks again, in a rather uncomplicated style far removed from his own at the time
(e.g. "Albedo 0.39", "Spiral").
Describing the album track by track, focusing on Vangelis' input:
|"Starvation" alternates between the vocal line (duplicated on guitar)
and a nice keyboard-riff played by Vangelis using his typical organ-sounds. A tough heavy
rock-song, plenty of guitars, well executed.|
|"Queen Of The Universe" is a hybrid cosmic blues-song, with Vangelis
simply marking the beat in the bluesy parts, but really taking over in the mysterious
"cosmic" interludes: three beautiful reminders of "Albedo 0.39" and
|The instrumental "Every Dream Comes To An End" is co-credited to
Vangelis but, as he gives the song its structure through his main piano-part, it's
probably his composition with the others figuring out their contributions on acoustic
guitar, bass and drums and a few dramatic electric guitar solos. Apart from the only
occurrence of the piano on this album, a flexible high CS-80-type sound is also heard
throughout. During the beautiful long coda, it's Vangelis completely on his own, and the
piece ends with a clock ticking, another theme from "Albedo 0.39".|
The highlight of this album, naturally, for Vangelis fans.
|"The Bride" is a ballad, Socrates-style, with a low and a high
(slightly out of tune) vocal singing the same melody-line as played by the acoustic &
electric guitar. Vangelis' input is slight, a high CS-80-type sound and a few bass-sounds
make up his contribution here.|
|"Killer" is a short, complicated blues-song with no discernible
contribution from Vangelis, or it must be percussion, for which he's also credited on this
|Vangelis reappears on "A Day In Heaven" however, along with a mystery
female vocal. Could this be Mariangela, who also recorded an album at Orange Studios in
London with Vangelis ? Who knows, anyway, it adds a nice touch to this slow rock-song.
Vangelis simply plays his organ-part, no pyrotechnics here, apart from a few thrills at
|The same description applies to "Time Of Pain" as did earlier to "Killer",
plenty of complicated intertwined guitar-parts, the only Vangelis input possibly being
some strange "painful" noises at 2.35.|
|Longest track "Mountains" at first repeats the Fleetwood Mac trick on
"Oh Well" of the lead-singer several times singing on his own followed by a
guitar-riff. Then it all stops, and Vangelis joins in to accompany a long difficult
acoustic guitar-part in the best seventies guitar-freakery tradition. This plus some weird
percussion creates a slightly "666" atmosphere to end this album.|
"Phos" is not a masterpiece of an album (but certainly the better for
Vangelis' contribution) and Socrates as a band would have remained highly obscure and of
interest to blues specialists only, were it not for their involvement with the much
better-known Vangelis. For him, it was probably just an opportunity to "let his hair
down", have some fun and help out a few fellow Greeks. The result is enjoyable enough
to listen to once in a while, as simply another oddity in the long Vangelis canon.
Review by Ivar de Vries