Leaving Greece wasn’t easy. First of all, Anarchyros received his military call-up papers and he was forced to go back to Greece to undertake military service. The target of their journey was London via France. But at the port of Dover, Loukas and Demis were refused entrance to the UK due to problems with their work permits. They were forced to go back to France where a nationwide transport strike was going on, the first signs of the French unrest of 1968. The album Fais Que Ton Rêve Soit Plus Long Que La Nuit tells the story of this unrest.
Demis heard that Vangelis had arrived in Paris, March 26th. For him, it was a big surprise Vangelis would meet his friends here, as he assumed that they were in London. So, the boys were struck in Paris. Without money, without work, sleeping in cheap hotels. There was nothing else to do but to try to earn some money. Because they were not able to speak French properly and because of the political unrest, it was impossible to arrange concerts. Loukas and Vangelis spent hours and hours at the postoffice trying to get a telephoneconnection with their parents in Athens. Maybe they could help the boys out with wired money. When he left his homecountry, Vangelis had a contract with Phonogram Greece. They came across a meeting of international Phonogram officials. Pierre Seberro, an executive of Philips Records France, signed them to Philips’ label Mercury. This contract was worth nothing. The band would receive very little money, but finally there was a chance to record music. The company introduced Boris Bergman to the band, who wrote the lyrics for the first big international success: "Rain and Tears". Lou Reinser came up with a new name of the band which they are still known to this day: Aphrodite's Child. In 1999 Demis Roussos said about Rain and Tears:
"The idea of Rain and Tears came from the gasbombs the police used at the studentupheavals. The bombs produced some 'rain', which made your eyes wet. The tears".
Aphrodite’s Child was a big success. Throughout Europe many singles were released. Next to that, the band released LP’s and 7” in Brazil and Chile, USA, Lebanon, Singapore, Israël, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Canada, Venezuela, Angola, Iran, Argentina and Peru. This list is possibly not even complete! No lists of discography are complete as it comes to Vangelis, by the way. In 1969 the second LP “It’s five o’clock” came out. By this time it was possible to come to London and they recorded their LP in Soho, at the Trident Studios. That is the same studio where e.g. “Hey Jude” of the Beatles (1968) was recorded. Anarchyros returned to the boys and joined the band for the recordings of it. Here and here you can see two rare pictures of all the four boys.
In 1969 some irritation about the musical direction of the group showed up. Vangelis wanted to go 'deeper' with his own style and his wish to make more sophisticated music met with resistance. The recordlabel didn't want to take the risk of releasing the next album, 666, for it was too experimental in their eyes and could probably be seen as blasphemy. Moreover, Vangelis wanted to stop touring to take more time and realize this new style of music. Demis couldn't afford stop touring, for it was the only income he had. Lucas Sideras started his own career in music and he released his own singles. Vangelis recieved more money because he was the owner of the musical copyright as composer. While Vangelis finished 666, Demis and Anarchyris toured on. Just before 666 came out, the band was disbanded. The double album 666 was the last LP and became another big hit. This album has been pressed in several countries like USA, Japan, Germany and Greece.
There are some trivia to tell regarding the famous 666 LP. All over the world all the pressings are the same, exept for the Greek ones. They have some dfferent cuts in the music. In Japan, there is an extraordinary pressing with a different sleeve, a drawing of a Citroën 2CV crashing into a brickwall. A very rare pressing. A proof that Aphrodite's Child was such a succes, is the numerous covers band made worldwide of A.C.'s hits. Listen here to a fragment of Rain and Tears, performed by Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra.
Vangelis: “Right from the start I was only interested in playing my own music, not other peoples. When I moved to Paris I worked my way up through the music industry to make enough money to build up a studio of my own. We had a milion-seller and then another. I hate it when a project I’m involved in, but don’t particularly like, becomes succesful. I found myself doing things that I couldn’t bear at the time, but I don’t have any regrets as they were the means to an end.”
In 1975 Vangelis looked back:
"I like the whole spectrum of music. Jazz, pop, rock, the classics. I have no taboos, any kind of music is great, so long as it is honest. So I'm glad to help any artist whom I like. You see, I don't regard myself primarily as a producer. It's just that I have so many ideas, I can't put them all on my own records. Production allows me more flexability, more outlets. I was a prisoner of Aprodite's Child for three years, in the end I was desperate. I was forced in to the position of turning out music that didn't interest me because of our own success. When I first went to Paris, I had lots of ideas that I wanted the group to be. But I realised that, as a new and foreign act, we had to create confidence in ourselves from the record company. And that confidence comes only from proving that you can earn money for them. What I didn't realised is, that having created a precedent, it's very difficult to diverge from it. It takes years to change your product. I have no regrets about that period, but it did waste a lot of time."
The time of Aphrodite’s Child was a period he had to work through. To make music that would sell, in order to make money to fulfill his dreams of his “own” music and studio. When the riots in Paris and later the whole of France were going on, the first steps were taken to make “Fais Que Ton Rêve Soit Plus Long Que La Nuit” (May your dreams last longer than the night) On this album a newsreporter is talking about the clearance of Sorbonne University by the police. This news is recorded off radio in 1968 by Luc Perini. The rest of the album is made in 1972. In this year, Vilma Ladopoulous and Vangelis their relationship came to an end. She now lives in Athens (2007).
Demis Roussos looked back to the first years of Aphrodite's Child in 2008 for Dutch television. In "Top 2000", broadcasted at the end of the year 2008, he was interviewed. Demis Roussos Interview Part I About the history of Rain and Tears, Demis said: Demis Roussos Interview Part II
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