Aphrodite's Child - The Four Horsemen

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The Four Horsemen from Aphrodite's Child's 666 LP. 666 was recorded during 1970 / 71, and released in 1972.

Video footage of Demis Roussos, lead singer and bass guitarist with Aphrodite's Child, taken in 1971


Aphrodite's Child was a Greek progressive rock band formed in 1967, by Vangelis Papathanassiou (keyboards), Demis Roussos (bass guitar and vocals), Loukas Sideras (drums and vocals), and Silver Koulouris (guitar).

666 (The Apocalypse of John, 13/18) is a double album by psychedelic/progressive rock group Aphrodite's Child, released in 1972. Ostensibly an adaptation of Biblical passages from the Book of Revelation, the album is the most critically acclaimed Aphrodite's Child album. It was also the group's last album, due to internal tensions during the recording process and a conflict with the record company. By the time it was released, the band had already disbanded and its members begun working on solo projects.

The concept for 666 was created by Vangelis and film director Costas Ferris, who served as the project's lyricist. Ferris cited as influences the nonlinear narrative style of films Intolerance, Rashomon, Citizen Kane and The Killing, as well as The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Who's Tommy. The central concept is a countercultural interpretation of the Book of Revelation, in which a circus show based on the apocalypse performs for an audience at the same time that the real apocalypse takes place outside the circus tent, and at the end the two merge into one. Ferris described the result as a "concept book", and stated that he intended for the narration to be looser than Tommy, but more rigid than Sgt. Pepper.

"The Four Horsemen" deals with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, its lyrics mostly paraphrasing the text of Revelation 6. The song's structure is marked by a dynamic contrast, with Roussos singing over an echoed keyboard drone and wind chimes in the verses, and the chorus containing traditional rock instrumentation highlighted by Sideras' drumming.] The song culminates in a two-minute wah guitar solo by Koulouris over heavy drumming by Sideras and a repeated "fa fa fa" background chant by Roussos. One of the best known songs of 666, "The Four Horsemen" influenced Beck's "Chemtrails", which has a similar structure, and The Verve's "The Rolling People", which quoted the "fa fa fa" chant. The chorus was also sampled, in a slowed-down fashion, on Daniel Lopatin's "A7", from Chuck Person's Eccojams Vol. 1.

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