I’m very sad to see that Vangelis has passed away at the age of 79. What a legend, and what a loss. Whether it was his work with Aphrodite’s Child or his work on movie scores such as Chariots of Fire or Blade Runner, he made an unforgettable mark on the music world.
What could be described as an under appreciated psychedelic rock band from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Aphrodite’s Child, created several phenomenal songs worth hearing. They were a band comprised of three, main members: Evangelos Papathanassiou (Vangelis), Demis Roussos, and Loukas Sideras. With the combination of Vangelis’s extraordinary composing, Demis’s unique voice, and Loukas’s skillful drum work, this is a solid band worth coming back to.
The first song I heard by the group was “End of the World”. It was actually recommended to me by fellow Progarchist Connor Mullin. However, it was not until I heard the song “It’s Five O’Clock” that my eyes opened to how special the band was. The ending of that song dazzled me with its auditory brilliance. When the ending piano instrumentals gently floated into my ears, I was so shocked. The last 30 seconds consist of pure, psychedelic ecstasy. You can expect to be shocked by this band’s work throughout the course of their 3 albums. The short but oh so sweet musical endeavors of Aphrodite’s Child deserve to be discussed again and again. I’ve put together some of what I believe to be their best songs—enjoy!
“End of the World”—is one of my personal favorites because I find it so unique. It is the perfect teenage love song: full of doom and gloom (hence the name) and a feeling of being unwanted. It captures the romanticism of running away with someone you love and forgetting about everything else. But, it also deals with the unfaceable truth of rejection. Vangelis does such a wonderful job at setting the tone of when love feels apocalyptic, thanks to not only his awesome piano skills, but all of the other ominous sounds in the song. There is a great live version of this song on Youtube worth checking out. Every time I watch it I wish I could jump through the screen and be there; everyone’s outfits are superb. In addition, Demis’ opening vocals on the track are haunting in the best way possible. After hearing them, I was ready to drop everything and go to the end of the world with him! No questions asked.
“Good Time So Fine”—is my absolute favorite! This song made me fall in love with Demis Roussos. I have such a respect for his voice and musicianship. I adore this song’s playful tune. The pitch changes of Demis’ voice makes this song so much fun! It’s amazing that he is singing both parts of the song—I would have never known. The lyrics are sweet and feel like a breath of fresh air; it’s a song you’d happily be singing along to in the sunshine. The chorus makes you feel the freedom and joy that is love. This song feels like it belongs in a musical, which makes it easy to dance and sing along to. I watched a live recording of Aphrodite’s Child performing this song and it was so impressive to see Demis sing, play bass, and play the trumpet, all in the span of a three minute song. This song was made for Demis Roussos.
“Rain and Tears”—this song is an adaptation of Pachelbel’s Canon and is the band’s most commercially successful song. The most notable part of the song is its bridge. It transitions from a mediocre love song to a heart wrenching melody. The song could have remained in somewhat basic state, but it goes a step further. This is thanks to the masterful vocals of Demis Roussos. The song goes to such an ethereal level when Demis croons those beginning lyrics of the bridge. It’s no wonder this was such a hit.
“Marie Jolie”—can be described as one of the best love songs I’ve ever heard. Again, Roussos vocals transport the listener to a celestial level. It seems like his heart and soul were put into every word he sings, which makes the lyrics so intense. Roussos’s vocals add a profundity to the otherwise simple lyrics. My favorite lyric from the song is ‘Love is everywhere you are’ because Demis presents it so powerfully. Every time I hear this song it gives me chills and I find myself swaying to the soft combination of Demis’ voice and the graceful percussion provided by Lucas Sideras.
“The Four Horsemen”—is the perfect song to get in the Halloween spirit. With an electrifying guitar solo and haunting vocals and lyrics, this is one cool and timeless song. The song —and the entire album—refers to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death—referenced in the Book of Revelation. The lyrics are quoting from the scripture itself, adding to the eeriness of the song. You’ll feel like your in the end times listening to this song, but in the grooviest way possible.
Aphrodite’s Child has so much to offer and I am so happy to have been shown their music. A huge thank you to all the talented people that worked on any of their albums. Aphrodite’s Child’ will live on forever and ever.
A special thank you to Vangelismovements.com for providing such detailed information about the band.
Front Page Review is the type of hidden gem that perfectly illustrates the vibrancy of ‘60s rock. They were a psychedelic, indie rock band that was part of the “Bosstown Sound.” The “Bosstown Sound” was a term used for New England bands that emerged from the San Francisco music scene. These bands were not taken seriously because they were perceived as only concerned with money and fame. The band never really gained popularity and their only album ever recorded, Mystic Soldiers, was not released until 30 years later. Steve Cataldo is the man behind this excellent album; he is the lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Each song is an audible display of Cataldo’s talent and hard work. He seemed to perfectly capture his own psychedelic and dreamy sound of the time. Every song off the album takes you on a musical quest, which makes the album so special.
Despite their lack of recognition and discography, Front Page Review’s Mystic Soldiers is worth hearing. This exquisite album is a must listen for all fans of ‘60s psychedelic rock. It will get you dancing and feeling groovy.
I first came across Front Page Review randomly. My Apple Music subscription offers a radio station that caters to the type of music I frequently listen to. My love for all types of ‘60s rock made it only sensible for Front Page Review to be recommended to me. The song titled Prophecies/Morning Blue was the first song I ever heard by the band. It was love at first listen. I knew that through the rough mix of the distorted sounds added to that first song off the album, I had found something worth listening to. Prophecies/Morning Blue opens up with some manipulated sounds of children playing in the background and ends with a swooping and loud swirl of pure, psychedelic goodness. Not to mention the smooth and clever change of rhythm in the middle of the song, which leads up to the peak: an illustrious organ playing done by Joseph Santangelo. Listening to that brief organ solo is a moment I could stay in forever— it gives me chills every time!
As I went through the album, I noticed how every song made me want to stop everything I was doing and just start dancing! The overall catchiness of the instrumentals in all of the songs took me by surprise—I was not used to hearing that consistently in one album.
I will briefly note three other songs off the album. The first song is titled Silver Children. This song is truly a ‘60s dream through Santangelo’s organ playing. It creates a sort of dazed and peaceful atmosphere, allowing the listener to get lost in it. This song feels like the warmth of the sun beaming down on your face on a spring day; all it can do is make you smile.
The next song is called Valley of Eyes. There is so much intensity in this song that it leaves you thinking about what exactly Steve is writing about. The obvious political undertones of this song are conjoined with powerful guitar playing and simple lyrics. When I hear this song it feels as though I am on a journey and I have reached an important part of it that can not be ignored. Valley of Eyes is an epically told quest to find answers because there is far too much violence in the world. The narrater is losing hope, but hopefully someone will listen.
I have saved my absolute favorite song for last. For the Best Offer is personally one of my favorite songs of all time. Cataldo’ s vocals on this song are beautiful! Not to mention the instrumental portion of the chorus. All of the instruments coming together in this song work together wonderfully to create this mysterious and, for lack of a better word, groovy tune. It hits the listener out of nowhere, a sudden burst of energy driven by a frenetic guitar. This song may first seem playful and trivial, but as it goes on, it puts its foot down and demands respect. This song has the best offer for your ears.
The short lived music endeavors from the Front Page Review will continue to live on for ‘60s music lovers. This album is such a treat that can not be resisted. I’d like to give a huge thank you to all the musicians involved in the making of it. It’s truly a lost treasure from the past.
Steve Cataldo: Singer/Songwriter, Guitar
Richard Bartlett: Guitar
David Weber: Drums
David Christiansen: Guitar
Thomas Belliveau: Bass
Joseph Santangelo: Organ, PianoContinue reading “A Review On The Front Page Review”