Aphrodite’s Child: Greek Chartsters

‘RAIN AND TEARS’ is one of those songs with a prickle at the nape of the neck moving to a shiver down the spine, and after months on release, justice is finally seen to be done. Thank you, Stuart Henry. Thank you, Rosko. The record comes into the NME Chart this week at No 27 on Mercury.

Aphrodite’s Child is the first Greek group to make the NME list (singing an old German melody in English, yet), and it does so only after persistent and dedicated plays by both Stuart Henry and Rosko and several others who know a beautiful record when they hear it.

‘Rain and Tears’ has already topped the French chart, and was stopped from No. 1 on the Radio 1 “European Pop Jury” recently by only no less than ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Those Were The Days’.

Members of the group are Vangelis Papathanassiou, born in Volos, Greece, on March 29, 1943; Demis Roussos, born on June 15, 1947, in Egypt of Greek parents; and Lucas Sideras, born in Athens on December 5, 1941.

Vangelis plays organ, drums, vibes, flute and several Greek instruments; his father is a painter arid his mother a singer; he studied art and classical music at college, and is said to speak fluent English and French.

Demis speaks English, French, Arabic and Greek, first studied music in Egypt from the age of eight, then continued in music college in Athens. He plays trumpet, double bass and organ, and — would you believe — bouzouki.

Finally, Lucas — whose mother is a classical pianist, who is the drummer with the group, and who says he has devoted himself to pop music as a reaction against his classical background.

Strangely, Aphrodite’s Child originally decided to base themselves in England, and not France, after leaving Greece a year or two ago.

But a Paris transport strike held up the group and Vangelis, Demis and Lucas met a Philips Records producer Pierre Sberre, who signed them immediately.

© Alan SmithNew Musical Express, 23 November 1968

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