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It's Five O'Clock

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Album Review

Aphrodite's Child's second LP was in some ways both a continuation of and departure from their debut album, End of the World. There were some grandiose keyboard-based sub-British psychedelic tracks that could have fit in well on the previous record. The title song's celestial organ, for instance, is much like that on heard on U.K. psychedelic records of the period such as Rupert's People's "Reflections of Charlie Brown," though it's more sentimentally romantic than virtually anything a British band would have released, especially in its vocal delivery. Yet on other cuts, the group took on a markedly different character, whether it was mildly rousing social consciousness ("Wake Up"), pretty fair stomping power pop-psych ("Let Me Love, Let Me Live"), and, least successfully, good-time country-rock ("Take Your Time") and gravelly vaudevillian soul ("Good Time So Fine"). "Funky Mary," on the other hand, is a really cool departure into almost experimental soul-rock, its phased vocals backed by an almost musique concrète wash of bashing drums, Latin-African-flavored bongos, and jazzy vibraphone. If it's guiltier pleasures you're looking for, the unreservedly heart-tuggingly sad "Marie Jolie" is their best (if most saccharine) pop ballad with Mediterranean gondola balladeer overtones complete with accordion solo, though it's End of the World's "Rain and Tears" that the group's most remembered for in that department. "Such a Funny Night," which follows right after that, steers the boat back to pop-psychedelia in the twee British mold. Like their first album, then, it's a very uneven record, but one whose best half or so is pretty enjoyable psych-turning-into-prog with Greek accents to both the vocals and melodies, even if it's never going to be classified as especially hip.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

A Greek band of the late '60s and early '70s, Aphrodite's Child scored only one European hit, "Rain and Tears." Though it was a big one, the group became little more than a trivia answer after keyboardist Vangelis Papathanassiou dropped his surname and hit number one with the theme to Chariots of Fire in 1981. Aphrodite's Child also included drummer Lucas Sideras and vocalist Demis Roussos, who enjoyed some solo success himself as a pop vocalist. The band formed in Greece in the mid-'60s, and the...
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It's Five O'Clock, Aphrodite's Child
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