Friday, December 16, 2016

Loving the alien

The Space Age which started in 1957 with the launch of the first satellite (Sputnik 1) had an impact in almost every aspect of human life, from politics to science and art. After Armstrong’s “Moonwalk” (1969) imagination boosted to provide, in the following decade some of the best movies, music, novels, influenced by this new era.

Now, in the eve of Space Age v2 (space tourism, cities, agriculture, etc) let’s remember how Space Age left a – small yet interesting - footprint in the Greek rock scene of the 70s (and 80s).
4 representative space age songs with Greek lyrics coming from the 70s plus 1 from the 80s.

1. Sotiris Komatsioulis is a local legend and his career includes collaborations with Soft Machine, 10cc, Bob Marley, Third World among others.
In 1972 Komatsioulis released a single with the xian-rock “Epidromi apo ton Ari” (Invasion from Mars).
(cover from 2010 compilation featuring the song)




2. Kostas Tournas has many space references in his albums.
From his 1973 album, “Astronira” (Stardreams), we listen to “O diastimanthropos” (The spaceman).




3. Ilias Asvestopoulos 2002 released their – now classic – album “O siderenios anthropos” (The iron man) in 1975, including the song “Diastimoplio” (Spaceship).





4. O exogiinos” (The alien) is a song of Doros Georgiadis and Stavros Sideras. Coming from the xian-rock album “Perasan 2000 hronia” (It’s been 2000 years) of 1976, it’s a fine progressive, Christian themed song of “close encounters”.




5. A few years later, in 1983, Doros Georgiadis released the album Ego zografisa ti Gi (I painted Earth) featuring Pashalis (singer) and Sotia Tsotou (lyricist).
From this album we listen to “Ta diastimoplia” (The spaceships).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Greek Salad

This one is probably the greatest Greek folklore disco-funk album of the 70s.
Greek Salad with Gus Kamaras have created a super funky album with bouzouki. West (funk/disco) meets East in this one of a kind album with the promising title: Disco East (released 1979). 

The original copy came with a belly dance tutorial booklet! 

Standout tracks: the opening groovy “Do the belly disco” and the funky “Greek salad”. 

Greek Salad (1979)



The album where it appeared over the years (photos come from the Amazon sale entry): Discogs Popsike Amazon

Monday, October 24, 2016

PLAY mix

A Greek electronic mix with compositions dating from 1978 to today.


TRACK-LIST

1.   Nicotine 2 (1978) - George Theodorakis
2.   Tivi O (1996) - Stereo Nova
3.   Funny (2012) - Mechanimal
4.   Sisyphus (1994) - Raw
5.   Mia askisi fisikis aliti (1995) - Lena Platonos
6.   Warm Nights Driving On Wet Streets (1991) - In Trance 95
7.   Multi-Track Suggestion (1980) - Vangelis
8.   T 244 (1985) - Makis Prekkas
9.   Theros (1994) - Coti K
10. Outcry (2011) - May Roosevelt
11. And We Hear "I Love You" (Red Axes Remix) (2016) - Lena Platonos
12. With My Whole Being (2015) - Mikael Delta


Friday, July 8, 2016

The Night Before

In his new album Hthes to Vradi (The Night Before), Dimitris Kalantzis re-interprets some classic Greek songs of Yiannidis, Kapnisis, Souyioul, Spartakos, Mouzakis, Morakis, Yakovlev and Theofanidis.

Dimitris is leading a big band (27 musicians if I count correctly) with 3 lead female singers (Athina Routsi, Pinelopi Tzanetaki, Terry Vakirtzopoulou) plus 2 guests (Aleka Kanellidou, Elli Paspala). The music is a nice mix of smooth jazz, mambo, bossa-jazz, bolero, swing.

Pote Min Kles (Never Cry), a song of Takis Morakis (music) and Kostas Kofiniotis (lyrics) first recorded in 1955, here sang by Pinelopi Tzanetaki.

Let’s also remember that there is another recording of this song with Dimitris Kalantzis on the piano. It was back in 2013 when Dimitris was playing in Priamos Morakis album The Athenian Project (2013). Pinelopi Tzanetaki was singing this version too.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Disco Kid


Costa Anadiotis was born in Greece and moved to South Africa at the age of 18. During the 12 years he lived in South Africa he played with several local bands including Buffalo, Fantasy and Café Society.

Buffalothe band of Peter Vee, was a group mainly doing classic rock covers, blending rock and disco.
Anadiotis played the keyboards in their first 3 albums (Born To Be Wild – 1978, Magic Carpet Ride – 1979 and We’re So Glad You Made It – 1980).

Buffalo - Magic Carpet Ride (from Magic Carpet Ride LP, 1979)



Fantasy was a disco band playing mostly originals mainly written by Anadiotis, Angelopulo and Chelakis.
They released one LP (Fantasy) in 1979.
Anadiotis played keyboards and contributed vocals.
According to YouTube uploader keurspel (Leon Rossouw) they supported The Temptations in 1979 while in 1980 they toured in Greece for several months.

Fantasy - Baby I'm In Love (from Fantasy LP, 1979)



Café Society was the personal vehicle of Costa Anadiotis who played almost all instruments and produced the one album they released in 1985, Relight My Fire and the various singles.
The band was formed in Johannesburg in 1984 and was a quite successful italo-disco act of the 80s.


Café Society - Night Rider (from Relight my fire LP, 1985)



In 1986 we find Costa playing keyboards and producing the Cineromantza album of Giannis Palamidas.
From the 90s and on Costa lives in Greece, writing, playing and producing for several Greek artists.

International discography @ Discogs
Buffalo
Greek discography @ Discogs

Monday, March 14, 2016

3 X Calypso

Andrews Sisters, daughters of Greek immigrant Peter Andreos, became the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century.
In 1945 their recording of Lord Invader’s Rum and Coca Cola was the most popular song in US.

The Andrews Sisters - Rum and Coca Cola



Demis Roussos covers the Jamaican folk song – made popular by Harry Belafonte version – Day O (The Banana Boat Song) in his album Magic (1977) which was produced by Vangelis.

Demis Roussos - Day O



De Traces were formed in 1987 and released their only album up, Estrella Del Caribe, in 1999. The recording of Lord Creator’s song, Big Bamboo, is only available on an earlier compilation of Elfish records (Random Relations, Part 1 – 1992).

De Traces - Big Bamboo

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Greek AOR

Taxi and Coo both left but one album.
Yet both albums are the best Greek ones of what we call AOR or melodic rock.


Taxi released their album Take it or Leave it in 1980.
Members of the band where Yiannis Saroglou, Richard Whitman, Nikos Politis and Nikos Karvelas who has written all music and lyrics.

Take it or leave it

 Breakin' in


Coo released their album Rock Eyes in 1982.
The band members where Manos Neofitos, Babis Persidis, John Calabokas, Bill Ghinos, Cosmas Amiralis, while the album was produced by Makis Milatos.








Coo full album Rock Eyes

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

David Bowie’s Son

Although David Bowie was a great influence for the Greek pop/rock scene (from Kostas Tournas to South of No North to His Majesty’s the King of Spain and many others), not much of his songs have found their way to discography (as opposed to live performances).

Throughout the Greek discography there is one song that stands out because a) it’s a good song and b) it describes an imaginary (personal) relationship with David Bowie:

it’s David Bowie’s Son by His Majesty the King of Spain (Hyena - Inner Ear, 2012).



As mentioned many artists were influenced by his music and transformations.
Kostas Tournas was among the first to introduce a similar approach to music (music + mythology + pop art innovation) in his Aperanta Horafia (1972) and mostly Astronira (1973).



More recently 2 of the few Bowie covers found their way to an album: both are covers to Gene Genie! The first one dates back to 1986 from a Dimitris Poulikakos live recording which was published in 2004.



The second one (Gene Genie again) comes from a live (again) of Stavros Logaridis (2004) release on a double cd shared with Poulikakos in 2009.



Apart from his connection to Cyprus (through his wife Angie) and to the island of Patmos where he was a regular visitor, it is worth mentioning his one and only live appearance in Greece back in 1996. It was the next year of his great come-back album Outside and Bowie was performing after Elvis Costello and Lou Reed!
The sound, band and orchestration were great and matched the Outside sound, making his older songs sound contemporary (Scary Monsters).

Here’s a David Bowie portrait made of test tubes installed in the front lobby of the hotel King George in Athens. A nice pick!



Here’s Duran Duran playing Starman 40 years after its release in front of Greek audience.



And here’s Dimitri Vassilakis, the sax player, performing The Man Who Sold The World live in a Greek club (2014). The band covers several Bowie songs that night. Unfortunately the sound is …very bad.



And finally here's a mashup I did combining How easy is to fly by Mikael Delta and Let's Dance by David Bowie.

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