Release Info: Aphrodites Child- 666
666 (The Apocalypse of John, 13/18) is a double album by psychedelic/progressive art rock group Aphrodite's Child. It is one of the early cult albums in rock history, and is still popular among fans today. It was released in 1972, and was the primary vehicle/effort for the Vangelis project. It had a minor Album Oriented Radio hit in "The Four Horsemen", and a nearly pop hit with "Break". The album was ostensibly an adaptation of Biblical passages from the book of the same name, but was also very experimental in lyrics and composition, including a curious piece of performance art in which Greek actress Irene Papas performs a struggle to chant a mantra while in the throes of hysteria and sexual climax.
Essentially, 666 was Vangelis' concept, created with an outside lyricist, Costas Ferris. The music that Vangelis was creating for 666 was much more psychedelic and progressive rock oriented than anything the band had done before. The music itself was an impressive display of Vangelis' abilities, combining psychedelic and progressive rock with ethnic instruments, choral chanting, recitations, and very advanced use of synthesizers and keyboards for the time. In time the album became recognized as one of the most important early progressive rock works, and a defining example of the concept album. 666 also made Vangelis an underground name to watch, and in 1974 earned him an offer from Jon Anderson to join Yes following the departure of Rick Wakeman.
The content of the album caused concern within Mercury (Philips) Records due to its controversial content.Mercury Records were most displeased with the track "Infinite" as they interpreted it as blasphemous.It resulted in the release intitially being shelved and then swapped to Vertigo, Mercury's sister company.
They asked Vangelis to cut out five minutes and he refused. The British record company said: "This is not good. It's pornographic, it's terrible and we're not going to release it.
Vangelis refused to take the track off, but edited the work through 1971 to reduce its length. Eventually, twelve month later (It was forbidden for one year) it was released in 1972, but was censored in some countries (such as Spain). "Infinity" got "666" banned from radio airplay when it was first released.
The cover of "666" also seemed to reinforce the claims of blasphemy due to the comment on the sleeve: "This work was recorded under the influence of "sahlep".
Fundamentalist Christians interpreted this as Evanghelos (the bringer of good news) being possessed by Satan and the possibility that "sahlep" was perhaps a black magic sect...