On a day where I am seriously considering shaving my hair into a mohican because fuck it I can, of course I needed to listen to a Greek progrock concept album generally heralded to be one of the seminal psychodelic rock creations. It’s that or the soundtrack to Thoroughly Modern Millie.
I’ve never been a big listener of prog-rock, as much as I like the first couple Queen albums (and they’re so very prog it can be painful), but 666 really sold it for me. I can see why this production has garnered so much praise and following over the years. Over the near 80 minute run time it feels like late Beatles, The Who, some Rolling Stones and Blue Oyster Cult, but somehow without ever sounding like they were copying.
The first song, Babylon, is a raucous driving thumper of an intro song. The riffs were catchy and the use of silence was good too, keeping the whole song light and nimble. I really liked the use of the trumpets and acoustic guitar under everything to keep it sounding fun. I wasn’t particularly keen on the slightly shonky stereo mixing which seemed to fade out from one ear to the other for no rhyme or reason and it was distracting from the music itself, but I was still tapping along and enjoying the tune.
The track that everyone will recognise from the first half will be The Four Horseman, Aphrodite’s Child’s magnum opus. With samples used by everyone from Beck, The Verve and Scooter, it’s instantly recognisable, just that most people will have no idea where from. At 6 minutes long it’s pushing into Bohemian Rhapsody levels of ego and it earns it – this is an absolutely brilliant track and it’s worked hard to get deserved respect.
This album isn’t all good though. For a start, being a double album it is a slog to get through, especially the self-indulgence of all The Seats Were Occupied, which at over 19 minutes long is testing the patience of any prog-rock fan. Also, a lot of the elements in the album sound like they were ripped off from Jean-Michel Jarre’s Oxygene which … which wasn’t out yet and wouldn’t be for another 5 years. Huh. That’s… I refuse to believe that’s coincidental. Vangelis should sue.
Holy shit this was by Vangelis. The dude who did the music for Bladerunner and chariots of fire?
Yeah I like this. It’s a bit too prog at times but the solve that don’t listen to side 4.
Tomorrow we’re heading to a genre we’ve not touched yet and I am completely alien to…