Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cowsills - The Prophecy Of Daniel And John The Divine (Six-Six-Six)

(MGM, 1970)

What was up with MGM in the early ’70s?! As if it wasn’t glorious enough that Coven and Osmonds records bore the distinctive blue and gold labels in those days, here comes “The Prophecy of Daniel and John the Divine,” which is surely the best of ’em all – lord a’mighty, this is an out-and-out CLASSIC from start to finish. We’re talking about the Book of Revelations set to pop music by the Cowsills and a fellow named Remo Capra, done so skillfully and without any obvious concession to the Top 40 marketplace that mouths MUST hang agape whenever this number is first experienced. The arrangement is admirably ambitious, with some Eastern instrumentation, intricate vocal parts, spoken passages, and more distinct musical sections – both dark/doomy and jarringly bouncy – than one normally finds in a 3:37 single. A laudable bit of work, but it’s nevertheless the lyrics that truly carry the song. And buddy, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard these sweet children sing about Babylon and the Mark of the Beast. The massed chants of “six-six-six” throughout the track are astonishing, and when wedded to that dense apocalyptic-psych backing, the total effect makes for perhaps the most chilling pop record I’ve ever heard. Seriously, it’s a masterpiece.


ithinkihatemy45s said...

Here's a good thread that both corrects a (since-edited) factual error that appeared in my review and gives some interesting info about the circumstances surrounding the song's release.

I should also mention that Job's Daughters released a GREAT cover of "Prophecy" in the early '90s; it is my Official Favorite Single That I Own.

Donald Brown said...

All I can think of is how that littlest Cowsill girl always looked like a zombie when she sang -- and I'm already creeped-out. But don't at least some of the aspects of the arrangement that you describe spell: "canned mystical music" of a certain era for which we might indeed be reasonably nostalgic, but still... Anyway, seems like the perfect song for a Manson family birthday bash...