Their 1968 debut, End of the World, is a splendid piece of often eerie psychedelia, which hints at the progressive road down which they’d soon be travelling.
The title track immediately lets you know what they’re all about. Expect lightly accented (though completely English) vocals, delivered in a near-operatic warble by Roussos. Expect psychedelic effects to be heavily interwoven throughout, giving it an altogether eerier edge. And expect a very faint, but slightly disconcerting, feel of 1970?s Eurovision.
‘Mister Thomas’ is the Aphrodite’s Child take on the very English sub-genre of baroque Toytown-psych, and a fine one at that. If it wasn’t for the Eurovision accent it could easily pass for a lost recording from the likes of the Idle Race or Tomorrow.
‘Rain and Tears’, the band’s biggest success, becoming a hit in a host of countries across Europe, is a bit of a sappy ballad, but one that’s lifted by the Vangelis sonic arrangement, which excuses the insipid lyrics and hoists what could’ve been a painful listen out of the murky trough of mundanity.
And so it goes on. Some great, some good. There’s a certain darkness entwined along the seam of End of the World, as demonstrated on songs such as the aforementioned title-track, ‘The Grass is no Green’ and the histrionically enhanced, near-terrifying ‘Day of the Fool’, which, incidentally, features the bizarre couplet “… she knows what’s up in my mind, she smells like a tree …”
Very much so. It’s more common than you think. But enough of that. From top to tail End of the World is good stuff. Slightly off-kilter, creepy psychedelic rock, with a hint of the continental thrown in for good measure.This reissue of End of the World offers two bonus tracks, the single ‘Plastics Nevermore’ and its B-side ‘The Other People’.
1. End of the World - 3:14
2. Don't Try to Catch a River - 3:39
3. Mister Thomas - 2:50
4. Rain and Tears - 3:12
5. The Grass Is No Green - 6:05
6. Valley of Sadness - 3:13
7. You Always Stand in My Way - 3:55
8. The Shepherd and the Moon - 3:03
9. Day of the Fool - 5:56
10.Plastics Nevermore (Bonus Track) - 2:30
11.The Other People (Bonus Track ) - 3:08
Music by Vangelis Papathanassiou, lyrics by Boris Bergman except track 4, lyrics co-written by Johann Pachelbel.
*Demis Roussos - Vocals, Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Bass, Bouzouki
*Vangelis - Keyboards, Percussion, Vibes, Flute, Vocals
*Loukas Sideras - Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Vocals.
*Claude Chauvet - Additional Vocals on "End Of The World" & "Rain And Tears"