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Agnie

Δισκοβιογραφία

35 posts in this topic

23. ΜΑΡΙΝΕΛΛΑ ΝΤΑΛΑΡΑΣ

Μια συνεργασία που ξεκίνησε με αφορμή κάποιες εμφανίσεις στο Μέγαρο Μουσικής Αθηνών αλλά λόγω καλής ¨χημείας¨ αλλά και μεγάλης επιτυχίας επεκτάθηκε αρκετά με τη δισκογραφική έκδοση της ζωντανής ηχογράφησής της και μια μεγάλη σειρά συναυλιών στην Ελλάδα και στο εξωτερικό. 33 χρόνια μετά τις πρώτες κοινές τους εμφανίσεις η Μαρινέλλα ήταν η τραγουδίστρια που ¨εισήγαγε¨ τον νεαρό τότε Νταλάρα στην ¨επίσημη¨ διασκέδαση της εποχής οι δυο τραγουδιστές συναντώνται σ ένα ρεσιτάλ ανθολόγησης του ελληνικού τραγουδιού με ιδιαίτερη επίφαση στο ¨μαζί¨ της ερμηνείας.

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19. ΙΕΡΑ  ΟΔΟΣ

Ύστερα από πολλά χρόνια αποχής από καθημερινές [...]Το σχέδιο θα πραγματοποιηθεί με μεγάλη επιτυχία και από τις δυο πρώτες χρονιές (95-96 και 96-97) θα προκύψουν και δυο ζωντανά ηχογραφημένοι δίσκοι με χαρακτηριστικά αποσπάσματα από τα προγράμματα. [...]

Mpravo Agnie :-) Great job!

Edw tous ksefygan oligon oi imerominies...

Oi prwtes xronies tis Ieras Odou itan to 96-97 & to 97-98. Ap' opou kai ta 2 Live CD. :)

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Well, with many many more thanks to Agnie,

here is a first bit of translation - this is from the first post in this topic. I'll get onto the diskobiografy itself after I get some sleep...

From the supplement of the magazine "Tachydromos", november 1st, 2003.

Giorgos Dalaras

Remasters

First editions

The speech below was the preamble addressed by the president of Minos-Emi, Makis Matsas, to Giorgos Dalaras, in June 1997 at the big party organized to celebrate the thirty years' collaboration of the artist with the record company.

This text was intended to be part of the inlay of the commemorative edition "Giorgos Dalaras - The music box", which the company released for the anniversary. At the time, Makis Matsas did not get the text ready for print in time, and he had asked for the edition to go on without it. Today we publish it for the re-edition of the artists' works, believing to be as applicable as ever.

When, quite some years ago, the subject of automatic divorce had lit up some controversies [litt.: fires - G.], and was of immediate relevance, I had said, in friendly company, to the professor of Matrimonial Law [i'm not sure that this is the exact legal term, but too lazy to look it up - sorry! G.] Giorgos Koumatos, somewhere between joking and serious: "why don't you solve the divorce problem by abolishing it? And why don't you institute, for marriage, a contract system? Marriage, like our collaborations with the artists, would be a five-year contract to be cut off or renewed every time it expires". I was astonished to hear the professor tell me that the subject had been under serious scientific consideration. But one basic problem was the existence of children.

Why am I telling you all this? To come to the point that in the end, we - and when I say we I mean the company (a feminine entity) - and him, that is, Giorgos, have managed to defeat science, because with the method of three-year contracts we have managed for 29 years till today, and with numerous and very beautiful offspring.

Imagine, when I first met Giorgos, that I had offered him a 29 year contract! What would have happened? Those who know him well, they know. At the least, I would have fetched up on the ground, and he, in prison.

So, 29 years married and 48 children. Most of them born the natural way, a few by caesarian, but all beautiful and well-grown. And you must keep in mind that among the 48, I am not counting the children that Giorgos Dalaras has made out of wedlock. You know the kind: "With the collaboration of Giorgos Dalaras"... In the beginning, I remember, we'd have proper scenes of domestic jealousy. Later, though, getting fisolofical on the subject, I said: "Better leave him to it. After the infidelity, they say, that a man comes back home more in love with his legitimate wife, because he's found proof that there is no one like her".

Our life during those 29 years has been changeable. We have been through, and are still going through, times of happiness, times filled with endeavour and creation, but also hard times, times of great troubles. Many times, we have reached the point of blowing up the whole household. But we've always thought of the children.

Living together with Giorgos Dalaras, you know, it's not easy. His talent, the truth of his interpretations, the power of his voice and his works, are absolutely beyond question. But he has this way of treating himself as if he were his own prosecutor, and naturally he does the same to everyone else. Many times that has made me angry and caused me problems. But on the other side, I would say: "But since Giorgos put his art above his life. Since he goes beyond measure attempting ever more difficult things. Since he abhors the "it will do". Since, if Pavel Hasek [he means Jaroslav Hasek I think: "die Abenteuer des braven Soldaten Schwejk" - G.] had known Dalaras, he would not have written about the good soldier Schwejk, but about the good citizen Dalaras... Possibly, he's right, possibly, it's us who should show more understanding?" And with such thoughts, I eased my mind.

But, there, after a bit, new clouds and new fog would close in, and make me think that the fault in Giorgos is that whatever went wrong, it was always someone else's fault. Either one of us, or Anna, his wife, that excellent girl, so highly talented girl. At least, he gave us that impression.

And I got angry because I thought that in that way, Giorgos was being unjust, most of all to himself. And that, I did not want, because I knew that his sense of justice is rooted very deeply inside him. But there comes love, again, wanting to forgive everything.

So I tried always to find an excuse to make peace and as a rule, in such adventures, religion offers the only consolation. So I resorted to the Bible words: "the woman shall fear the man", and thus the woman - the record company - would make peace and I would say to myself: "whatever Giorgos does today, Greece will be doing tomorrow", as Melina too said [Note for Barbarians: in Greece, "Melina", without any surname, like a queen, is always Melina Mercouri - G.]. "But Giorgos has had four powerful faces, ever since he was born" as Manos Chatzidakis said.

The first of his faces holds his tradition.

The next, his passion for the songs. Any kind of songs.

The third, his lover's relationship with the audience.

And the fourth, his perfection, and his reaching out towards the stars.

[http://www.dalaras.com/forum/index.php?act=ST&f=11&t=806&st=0 See the topic about "το ελληνικό πρόσωπο το Γιώργου Νταλάρα" - the quote is from the record sleeve, the full text is there with a translation - G.]

Giorgos, this moment, the 29th anniversary of our life together, moves me deeply, and I feel it. It brings back to my mind my entire professional life, and all my fights for you, the ones you know about and the one you never learned about. It brings me so many sweet memories. How I saw you for the first time, in Plaka, playing and singing with Zagoraios, and felt the first shiver. How I took you to the studio for the first time to try a recording. How I introduced you to Mitsakis. How we went to Kougioumtzis' little flat in Kypseli, so that he could put the first diamonds into your dowry. How, in the studio, I would bring in your mind the knowledge and the twists and turns of the laiko song, and how you, being the artist you are, with your magical throat, you turned them into models for the generations to come.

All this belongs to the past. And this past, we attempted to put into one musical box. That was very difficult. I don't know how well we achieved it. We did collect all we could that was most representative, and best, and we lovingly crammed it into this box.

All this venture reminds me of the attempts that parents make, at New Year, to gather all their kids close to them at home, to meet again, have drink, exchange hugs and look at the new year that's coming, the time of the new musical landscapes, of the internet, the cd-rom, the dvd and all those things of the future.

Giorgo, be well, always.

M.M.

June 1997.

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Well, I've done it again.......

I really, honestly believed I'd posted this thing ages ago, but (as far as I can find with the search engine) I hadn't.

So, here goes. This piece was published as a newspaper article first, and is now included - in greek only, at least untill now - with the older records of Dalaras in their new "remastered" edition.

A really complete discography would be a thick fat book, since he's made or collaborated to an (estimated! everybody's lost count...) 120 records at the time of writing this. This is reasonnably brief and quite a good guide to "what's what' and "who's who".

Giorgos Dalaras - Disco-biography

by Giorgos Tsampas.

Viewing as a single whole all the choices made in matters of life, and of art, made one by one over a period of 35 years, entails dangers of arbitrary judgement and oversimplification. Those were different times, we were living a different age of our lives, hearing other things, in another way of life...

When making a choice, any choice, one is never completely sure as to "after", as to the future. And in the same way, judging a choice in hindsight, one can never have a perfectly clear picture of "before", of the past in which it was made. And so we come to singing: when someone writes a song, or chooses to sing a song, even if they have certain expectations, they can't be sure as to its future destiny. And in the same way, when someone listens to a song from the past, even trying hard to see it in the mirror of what it refers to, it is hard to get back into the environment in which that song was born.

It is possible that in times past, some of what are now "classics" may have come into being in a perfectly unconstrained way, without any sense pressure from history. And it is equally possible that some of what were then "great inspirations" - artistically or commercially great - may seem, nowadays, strange, far-off and without justification.

As singing is by nature an art of the moment, immediate, it is hard to view it as part of a history in constant evolution. And especially in our days, in the days of the absolute rule of the image's immediate urgency... Usually singing is treated as a "medium" conveying such an immediate, short-term impression. Now, if these short-term impressions are what get recorded and turned into history... so much the worse for history.

Always, the endeavours which, from the start, have in them the seeds of historical perspective and continuity, are the least numerous. And it is even rarer to see such values bear the main accent in the long term of a singer's career, when the time span is very long, and when that singer carries the fame of a star, without being himself, ultimately, the creator of his material - not officially, at least. It's always the lure of opportunistic success that wins, against the "difficult" values and principles of durability...

Giorgos Dalaras is always one of the nearest counter-examples at hand: it looks very much as if all his choices, always, depend on certain fundamental principles, as if they "serve" a certain aesthetic "policy" - and if you like, a social policy as well. Except that... It might be reasonably easy to recognize that kind of thing in a mature singer, one who has "made it", but surely it is extremely difficult to attribute that kind of "blame" to a young man 18 to 25 years old, who is making his start singing - and from very early on, personally choosing to sing - the songs that Dalaras was singing then.

The "process", then, is not so much on the outside, on the outer skin. Either the foundations laid in those years by the young Dalaras are such as to lead him to build upon them what everyone knows today, or that way, the way he follows, is there inside him from the beginning, like a guiding light... Quite possibly both...

Anyway, today, looking at the huge bulk of Dalaras' discography in the perspective of its re-issue, one can not view his choices as mere unconnected moves, dictated by the spirit of the times.

Taken all together, from his first "personal" record in 1968 to his latest new songs on "Η άσφαλτος που τρέχει" ("I asfaltos pou trechei"), plus the recent releases of his contemporary live performances of rembetico songs, they function like the pieces of a puzzle, a puzzle which has a definite aesthetic, social and artistic context. We are looking at 35 years' worth of recordings and collaborations - some of the latter isolated, but also a good many long-lasting ones. All together and above all, they bear witness to an artist's struggle to state the knowledge he has acquired for himself, and to transmit the memories entrusted to him.

This, then, may be the best way to look at the work of a life-time: without arbitrariness or simplification. For that reason, and more or less in that way, we wished to have look at the recordings of Giorgos Dalaras as a whole, at this time of their re-mastering and re-release.

Now, if these considerations generate, as by-product, a wider disco-biography of Dalaras' work... so much the better.

1. Σταύρος Κουγιουμτζής

Stavros Kougioumtzis

Να τανε το 21

(Na 'tane to 21 - Wish it were 1821)

Όταν ανθίζουν οι πασχαλιές

(Otan anthizoun oi paschalies - While the lilacs are flowering)

Ηλιοσκόπιο

(Ilioskopio - Sights set upon the sun)

Μικρές πολιτείες

(Mikres politeies - Small towns)

Στα ψηλά τα παραθύρια

(Sta psila ta parathyria - At the high windows)

Τρελοί και άγγελοι

(Treloi kai angeloi - Mad people and angels)

A life-long collaboration.

Dalaras and Kougioumtzis make each other's acquaintance at the instigation of mr. Makis Matsas of the Matsas record company, but their collaboration runs far deeper than the mere work of making a record. The singer finds his own sound, and what to say with it, in the composer's songs, and the composer finds in the singer the voice to express him. Also, the collaboration lasts for a very long time: it is most important in the early 1970's, but it goes on even to our own days...

And inside every part of this collaboration, songs stand out that leave their mark on the times, and on the destiny of both the composer and the singer.

When Dalaras sings "Ο ουρανός φεύγει βαρύς" (O ouranos fevgei varys) and "Που 'ναι τα χρόνια" (Pou 'nai ta chronia), he is just 20 years old... After that, six records follow in which he sings most of the songs and is essentially responsible for their interpretation. In effect, we are considering one of the most extensive collaborations of a composer with one singer. Many of those songs go on to write their own history - or to be acknowledged for the first time - in the singer's subsequent concerts and in the live recordings resulting from some of them. Who has not linked "΄Ενας κόμπος η χαρά μου" (Enas kompos i chara mou) - a song from the "Πασχαλιές" (Paschalies) record from 1971 - with the 1997 performances in Iera odo and the collaboration of Dalaras with Pyx Lax?

The last time that Kougioumtzis and Dalaras make a whole record together is in the summer of 1997, when they present, at the Athens Megaro Mousikis, the "Ύμνοι Αγγέλων σε ρυθμούς Ανθρώπων" (Ymnoi Angelon se rythmous antropon). These are hymns and psalms of the Greek Orthodox Church, which Kougioumtzis has set to music in his own personal way, and which Dalaras sings accompanied by the "Kamerata" orchestra. The live recording of the work is also released on record.

Even more recently, in 2000, Dalaras sings three new songs by Stavros Kougioumtzis, contributing to his latest released work, the record "Έβρεχε ο κόσμος" (Evrekse o kosmos).

2. Μάνος Λοΐζος

Manos Loizos

Σταθμός

(Stathmos - Station)

Θαλασσογραφίες

(Thalassografies - Seascapes)

Να 'χαμε τι να 'χαμε

(Na 'chame ti na 'chame - If we had, if only we had...)

Τα τραγούδια μας

(Ta tragoudia mas - Our songs)

They were destined to meet in the atmosphere of the "boites" of Plaka, and the first full-size record of Manos Loizos, "Ο Σταθμός" (O Stathmos - released in december 1968) was to be the first full-size record to which Dalaras contributed, singing one single song.

From there on, a close friendship was to develop...

In Loizos' next two records - both of them to lyrics by Lefteris Papadopoulos - Dalaras has a more "central" role, singing some of the most characteristic of the songs which Loizos and Papadopoulos are writing together at that particular time.

As a matter of fact, we are right in the middle of the dictatorship, and Dalaras seems to be taking on the interpretation of some of the highly "equivocal", highly "allegorical" songs that manage to take the hurdle of the censorship and to speak out about the conditions of that time, or others like it: "Ήλιε μου σε παρακαλώ" (Ilie mou se parakalo), "Λιόντας" (Liontas), "Δέκα παλικάρια" (Deka palikaria), "Αχ χελιδόνι μου" (Ach chelidoni mou)

For all that, the most direct clash between the two of them and the censors takes place... after the reinstatement of democracy, when, in 1976, they present "Τα τραγούδια μας" (Ta tragoudia mas), to lyrics by Fontas Ladis. This is a series of songs describing, in a particularly vivid way, the fighting spirit of that time. Nine out of the eleven songs of the record are cut out by the censors from the - then exclusively state-owned - media, but, in spite and even because of this, the songs go on to fulfil a crucial function at the protest concerts, the strikes, and in every kind of social struggle in those years.

3. Απόστολος Καλδάρας

Apostolos Kaldaras

Ο Γιώργος Νταλάρας τραγουδά Απόστολο Καλδάρα

(Giorgos Dalaras tragouda Apostolo Kaldara - Giorgos Dalaras sings Apostolos Kaldaras)

Μικρά Ασία

(Mikra Asia - Asia Minor)

Βυζαντινός Εσπερινός

(Vyzantinos esperinos - A Byzantine evensong)

In the late 1960's, Kaldaras is a composer and song-writer who has already actively contributed to two periods of Greek singing (the "rembetiko" and the "laika of the 60's"). Dalaras is introduced to him as "the rising young singer". According to witnesses, Kaldaras values, among other things, the fact that Dalaras is not... just a singer, but a musician, and as such always searching and experimenting with the songs.

First they record together some scattered new songs, on 45 rpm records - the first of these is "Τρομαγμένο περιστέρι" (Tromagmeno peristeri), immediately followed by "Η φαντασία" (I fantasia) and later by "Ο θάνατος του ποιητή" (O thanatos tou poiiti) and "Αχ ο μπαγλαμάς" (Ach o baglamas). Then Kaldaras entrusts Dalaras with a summary of his "rembetico" history; thus, he passes on the torch of the genre to this young singer of twenty, who gets to interpret such songs as "Νύχτωσε χωρίς φεγγάρι" (Nychtose choris fengari); he also contributes, by way of Dalaras' voice, to one more period of Greek singing - his third.

"Μικρά Ασία" (Mikra Asia) is a cycle of songs focussing on the theme of the life and tribulations of the Asia Minor refugees, to lyrics by Pythagoras. It will turn out to be a crucial junction for the trajectory of Greek record-making in the 1970's, because of its powerful expressivity, but also because it is destined to become so widely known, both the whole (it was the first to be awarded the Golden Record status) and each of the songs separately.

"Βυζαντινός Εσπερινός" (Vyzantinos esperinos) is next, in which the composer explores melodies and orchestrations from the Byzantine musical tradition. This record, to lyrics by Lefteris Papadopoulos, is the crown on their collaboration.

Dalaras always and constantly speaks out for Kaldaras' qualities as a teacher: "He would always tell me: learn it well in every existing way, and then sing it your own way". And in later years, there are quite a few cases where he covers older Kaldaras songs and makes them very famous ("Τώρα κλαις" - Tora klais, "Καλή τύχη" - Kali tychi).

4. Μίκης Θεοδωράκης

Mikis Theodorakis

18 λιανοτράγουδα της πικρής πατρίδας

(18 lianotragouda tis pikris patridas - 18 short songs of the bitter homeland)

Ραντάρ

(Radar)

’ξιον Εστί

(Aksion Esti)

Αφιέρωμα στον Μ Θεοδωράκη - Metropole Orchestra &Γιώργος Νταλάρας

(Afieroma ston M. Theodoraki - Tribute to M. Theodorakis, Metropole orchestra & Giorgos Dalaras)

The singer's opinion of the composer is explicit and absolute: "He is the greatest hero of my musical mythology... Listening to "Γωνιά, γωνιά" (Gonia, gonia) and to "Μάνα μου και Παναγιά" (Mana mou kai panagia), I would feel myself grow ten centimetres taller. I believe that if Theodorakis had not existed, I might not have had the courage to go on with this job."

Their crucial meeting takes place in 1972, in Paris. Dalaras, during this last phase of the dictatorship, secretly record the "18 λιανοτράγουδα της πικρής πατρίδας" (18 lianotragouda tis pikris patridas), to poetry by Giannis Ritsos. In effect, this is the first new work by Theodorakis to be released after the political changeover.

Besides this, Dalaras also contributes to the composer's great concerts following the end of the junta. In 1980, he holds the part of the "singer of the people" in the second staging of Theodorakis' "popular opera", "Το τραγούδι του νεκρού αδελφού" (To tragoudi tou nekrou adelfou). The next time they work together on a record is in 1981 and results in "Ραντάρ" (Radar), a cycle of songs dealing with the course of things in contemporary Greek life in the sharp-edged and penetrating words of Kostas Tripolitis. During the same period, they also undertake together a concert tour in America.

Dalaras goes on to sing Theodorakis' work, and stand up for it, at times when it is not necessarily widely accepted, the way it is in recent years.

In 1988, with Theodorakis directing and Dalaras as "singer of the people", the "’ξιον Εστί" ( Aksion Esti) is staged at the Irodeio - its premiere in that particular theatre. The live recording of the concert is released on record.

In 1995, in the context of Dalaras' collaboration with the Metropole Orchestra, and again at the Irodeio, a tribute to the music and songs that Theodorakis has written for the cinema is presented. And, immediately afterwards, this too is added to the discography...

5. Ρεμπέτικα

Rembetika

50 χρόνια ρεμπέτικο τραγούδι

(50 chronia rempetiko tragoudi - 50 years of rembetiko song)

Τα ρεμπέτικα της κατοχής

(Ta rembetika tis katochis - Rempetika of the Occupation)

Από τη Σύρα στον Πειραιά - Αφιέρωμα στον Μάρκο Βαμβακάρη

(Apo tin Syra ston Peiraia - From Syros to Pireas, tribute to Markos Vamvakaris)

Ό,τι κι αν πω δεν σε ξεχνώ - Ο Γιώργος Νταλάρας τραγουδάει Βασίλη Τσιτσάνη

(O,ti ki an po den se ksechno - Say what I may, I am not forgetting you, Giorgos Dalaras sings Vassilis Tsitsanis)

Here is another durable relationship, a constant preoccupation all through the 35 years of Dalaras' career: the urban popular songs which had originated in Smyrne and Constantinople at the beginning of the twentieth century, arrived in Athens via Piraeus and there been "naturalized", though with some pejorative connotation, under the name "rembetika".

As son and grandson of popular musicians, the genre is familiar to him from childhood. Besides, it early becomes apparent, witness his covers of Bithikotsis songs, that he understands the part a singer plays in passing on a body of musical material to the future.

As noted above, at twenty Dalaras is chosen by Apostolos Kaldaras to give a new life to "Νύχτωσε χωρίς φεγγάρι" (Nychtose choris fengari) and other rembetiko songs of the post-war period. How successful this undertaking is becomes apparent when one considers that many of those songs, for the younger people, are linked exclusively to Dalaras' voice...

The same thing exactly happens when, a few years later, in 1975, on a double vinyl record such as were made then, Dalaras sings a selection of "rembetika" dating from the 1920's (when the scattered elements of the genre come together in Athens) until the 1960's. As, since then, there have been at least two more "explosions of rembetiko", both in terms of re-editions of old versions and in terms of new interpretations, it may be difficult for younger people to realize how very virginal all this material was in the 1970's, and what role this particular record played: a record on which a contemporary singer, shouldering the burden of memory, was bringing it to life with great respect, and at the same time in his own personal way.

Dalaras' next "rembetika" record has a theme both "special" and "delicate" in terms of the political situation, even at that time. This is Τα ρεμπέτικα της κατοχής (Ta rembetika tis katochis), which makes known a part of popular creation which had been silenced, when not actually forbidden by law.

The genre is then raised to a "fashion", and is widely exploited commercially, which prompts Dalaras to very great restraint during the 1980's. Then, in 1983, on stage at the Orfeas theatre, he announces "τα Χασικλίδικα" (ta chasiklidika - the hashish songs); but this idea will be pre-empted by other, less careful people. Still, the material will always be with him. It will always play a part in some of his performances: in 1990 at the Attikon, the Smyrna song "Μανώλης" (Manolis) acquires a contemporary sound; in 1997 with the Israel Philarmonic, Tsitsanis' "Αραπιά" (Arapia) is viewed like a classical work. And he will sing it sometimes when contributing to compilation records, such as the "Εμείς οι Έλληνες" (Emeis oi Ellines) of Kostas Chatzoulis, or the "Ασεβή τροπάρια" (Asevi troparia). But it is not until our day that Dalaras records two complete albums of his own in this genre, and then they are devoted to its two greatest masters: Vamvakaris and Tsitsanis.

At a time when no tradition of listening can be considered self-evident, and when, in the high-speed and fast-production world of the media everything comes and nothing stays, it is certainly a good idea to stop and give the place it deserves to this material, which was not born in such circumstances, and does not deserve them.

6. Οι Μάηδες οι ήλιοι μου

Oi maides oi ilioi moy - My days of May, my suns

This, in essence, is Dalaras' first really "personal" record, since his first compilation, with his name as the title, and in 1971 "ο Μέτοικος" (o Metoikos), are based largely on his contributions to records of the composers of that time. Here, by his own criteria, emotional, musical, but also social ones, Dalaras gathers new songs, belonging to that time, mostly written its by young composers and writers.

From that point of view, the record is highly characteristic of the view Dalaras takes of his role as a singer, at the point where he completes the first decade of his career, not even thirty years old...

The record has a marked laiko element, from the "rembetiko" tradition (Stelios Vamvakaris), but the main bulk of the songs belongs to the atmosphere of the post-Theodorakis era, with a parallel concentration on poetic lyrics and social relevance.

"Κόκκινο τριαντάφυλλο" (Kokkino triantafyllo) by Theodorakis, and "Στην αλάνα" (Stin alana) and "Πρώτη του Δεκέμβρη" (Proti tou dekemvri) by Spanos are the two best-known and longest-lasting of a collection of songs which, apart from them, give free rein to - then - young composers (Vardis, Gartzos...).

As for the lyrics, Lefteris Papadopoulos carries most of them; a verse by Eftychia Papagiannopoulou gives the album its title; and there are smaller contributions by Manos Eleftheriou, Sotia Tsotou and a number of younger writers.

7. Σεργιάνι στον κόσμο

Sergiani ston kosmo - A walk in the world

This record was made - or at least half of it was - in the way of thinking of a performance of that era... And in fact, before it was recorded, it was performed live on stage during the winter of 1978-79, in the context of Dalaras' collaboration with Giannis Markopoulos, at the boite Diagonios, where he had been singing steadily for some years by then.

The first part, "Κύκλος της Μακεδονίας" (Kyklos tis Makedonias) is based on a series of "histories" by Panos Theodoridis, which, mainly, "show the behaviour of the foreigners towards us".

Still, the section of the album, and the song, that carried the record to the present day, is the "Παραπονεμένα Λόγια" (Paraponemena logia), to lyrics by Manos Eleftheriou. This is a cycle of five songs, chief among them the section's title song: this will remain, for years to come, the hallmark of the relationship of the singer with his audience.

8. Θέλω να τα πω

Thelo na ta po - I want to say

The contemporary evolution of the laiko song certainly is a recurring theme in Dalaras' interests and choices, during all those years.

Akis Panou was possibly the only laiko composer and song-writer of his generation who, by way of his songs, transmitted such very direct and very profound social criticism.

On this 1982 album, Dalaras sings newly-written songs by Panou. Some of them, such as "Θέλω να τα πω" (Thelo na ta po) and "Εφτά νομά" (Efta noma), will create their own myth among a wide audience. But the most important thing is that this collection of songs, which constitutes a "section" through the "sociological tissues" of that period, is sung by a voice which aims at communicating, and not at... defending their "marginal" character, as is more usual in such cases.

9. Δημήτρης Λάγιος

Dimitris Lagios

Ο ήλιος ο ηλιάτορας

(O ilios o iliatoras - The sun, the great shining sun)

Ερωτική πρόβα

(Erotiki proba - Rehearsal of love)

Των αθανάτων

(Ton athanatov - Of the immortals)

Ινα τι

(Ina ti)

Lagios, as a composer, was linked to Dalaras' voice from his debut. They were friends, they shared the suffering of the love they both had for Cyprus - which in some cases they turned into song. In the end, Dalaras was destined, after Lagios had gone forever, to sing his swan's song, a shattering work, deeply human as well as artistically significant.

In 1982, Dalaras contributes to Lagios' first record, singing five of the poems of Odysseas Elytis which Lagios has set to music, among them "Όμορφη και παράξενη πατρίδα" (Omorfi kai parakseni patrida).

The album "Ερωτική πρόβα" (Erotiki prova) comes out in 1991, after Lagios' death... Most people will get to know "Τι πάθος!" (Ti pathos). As whole, the work is the irresistible statement of a human being who loves life, and feels it slipping from him.

In the years that follow, on Dalaras' initiative and with his help, two more of Lagios' works are released on record. One is Lagios' setting of the psalms of David, "΄Ινα τι" (Ina ti). The other is his setting of some lyrics by the Cypriot activist Evagoras Pallikaridis, "Των αθανάτων" (Ton athanaton).

10. Τα τραγούδια μου - Ορφέας

Ta tragoudia mou - My songs, Orfeas

This is Dalaras' first live recording, but also the record whose success turned the attention of the market in this direction, with a variety of consequences which we are still living with today.

In 1983, when, for the first time, Dalaras records his interaction with the public during the performances at the Orfeas, it is not certain that he has any idea of what will follow... As far as he is concerned, definitely, this recording will bring both universal recognition of the album itself, and confirmation of the choices made during the fifteen years of his career so far. The album constitutes, in fact, a recording of the greatest moments of those fifteen years.

Immediately afterwards, there will be the record attendance of 160 thousand spectators at his two concerts at the Olympic Stadium. And the record, ever since, has been among the top five of commercially most successful Greek records.

11. Χρήστος Νικολόπουλος

Christos Nikolopoulos

Ο τραγουδιστής

(O tragoudistis - The singer)

Μη μιλάς κινδυνεύει η Ελλάς

(Min milas kindynevei i Ellas - Don't speak, Greece is in danger)

Μεθυσμένα τραγούδια

(Methysmena tragoudia - Drunken songs)

One might well be very surprised that Dalaras makes his first record with Nikolopoulos' songs as late at the 1980's.

Their acquaintance, their friendship, and their collaboration start some 15 years earlier, when both of them, very young, are taking their first steps. Nikolopoulos plays the bouzouki in much of Dalaras' recorded work, from the very beginning. And as far as live appearances are concerned, their courses also lie together from the start. Nikolopoulos plays the bouzouki and is one of the most basic and permanent members of Dalaras' band, both during the first years on the waterfront and later, during all the years in the boites of Plaka... And all those years, while Nikolopoulos also pursues a successful career as a composer of laiko songs, with some big successes, all those years, they do not work together on songs of his own.

The three complete records they will make together will come later, and, in effect, they constitute three different "statements" of the image of the laiko song, which is being reshaped year by year.

"Ο Τραγουδιστής" (O tragoudistis) is a record built as much upon the renewal of the language in the early 1980's, as on the highly motion-oriented, dancing aspect of the laiko of that time.

"Μη μιλάς κινδυνεύει η Ελλάς" (Mi milas kindinevei i Ellas), or at least the part of it that is widely known, is the result of an experiment in crossing "latino" rhythms with the "mythology" of love, almost of passion, of the lyrics by Lefteris Papadopoulos. This is a record will meet with tremendous success about 1990.

"Μεθυσμένα Τραγούδια" (Methysmena tragoudia), to lyrics by Manos Eleftheriou and Antonis Andrikakis, is part of the difficulties, and possibly also of the dead-ends, which confront laiko song in that decade, the 1990's.

12. Ζωντανές Ηχογραφήσεις

Zontanes ichografiseis - Live recordings

Ζωντανή ηχογράφηση από το "Περοκέ"

(Live at "Peroke")

Ζωντανές ηχογραφήσεις - Olympia, Περοκέ, Στάδιο Ειρήνης και Φιλίας

(Live at Olympia, Peroke, Stadio Eirinis kai filias)

Live Recordings

Το ελληνικό πρόσωπο του Γιώργου Νταλάρα

(To elliniko prosopo tou Giorgou Dalara - The Greek personality of Giorgos Dalaras)

Συναυλία Σταύρου Ξαρχάκου στο "Παλλάς"

(Stavros Ksarchakos, concert at the Pallas)

"Υπάρχει λόγος" Γιώργος Νταλάρας - Χάρης και Πάνος Κατσιμίχας

(Yparchei logos - There is a reason, Giorgos Dalaras, Charis and Panos Katsimichas)

The most important thing about Dalaras' "live recordings" is that each one of them has motive, a reason for existing, which usually goes well beyond the recording of the "interaction" or of the "myth" of a certain theatre.

It is no coincidence that, in some case, the releases also defied the conventional sound-carrying devices of their time... For example, the maxi-single containing the "live recordings" from the "Peroke" (1985-86), "Μπαλάντα των αισθήσεων και των παραισθήσεων", (Balada ton aisthiseon kai ton paraisthiseon), "Με τελείωσες" (Me telioses) and "Ταξίδι στα Κύθηρα" (Taksidi sta Kythira), was

something special during the reign of the vinyl records, something imperative, just as the songs themselves were the three very special moments of that programme, chosen for recording. And it is again no coincidence that we are talking about three songs which all enjoyed a distinguished career in this version.

The next "live" (1986) contains the first experiments with the "latin" songs, an encounter with Paco de Lucia, but also with the Katsimichas brothers, as well as special versions of songs from Dalaras' by then classical repertoire.

He relies on this same repertoire for his first album of live recordings aimed at the public outside of Greece, which follows as he gives more and more performances outside the country: 1988 is the year of the second big tour in Europe, with 20 concerts in different European cities.

The next one has a totally different dimension, especially considering this is the time of the big stadium concerts and of the highly demonstrative multitudes of spectators: it is the live recording of the programme Dalaras presents in late 1987, at the "Seirios", which is run by Manos Chatzidakis. The interpretation is finely detailed, accompanied by only 1 or 2 instruments, forming an anthology of the history of Greek musical creation.

At the opposite end, there is the full laiko orchestra at the "Pallas", which brings to a wider audience mostly the songs from the movie "Rembetiko", but also some older songs by Stavros Ksarchakos.

Finally, the record "Υπάρχει λόγος" (Yparchei logos) records six moments from the second collaboration between Dalaras and the brothers Charis and Panos Katsimichas, in early 1992.

13. Συμμετέχει ο Γιώργος Νταλάρας

With the collaboration of Giorgos Dalaras

"With the collaboration of Giorgos Dalaras" is a famous, and in the eighties also somewhat infamous, expression, which first appears on the album "οι Κυβερνήσεις πέφτουνε μα η αγάπη μένει" (Oi kyberniseis peftoune ma i agapi menei) by Christos Nikolopoulos and Manolis Rasoulis, in 1981.

From then on, the practice develops. It results in important songs and important interpretations, it makes some personalities known, but it also attracts the satirical comments of others, about the "high protections" - commercial or other - on which such collaborations might be betting.

Dalaras' contributing to these records, mostly by song-makers of the younger generation, is, in essence, nothing more or less than the expression of his exploration of contemporary musical creations which have no particular reason to claim support from him personally, from his personal career. In this frame of mind, during the last twenty years, he has been contributing to a long series of records, and of songs, of which many met with great success, and really did reveal new personalities to a wider public.

There is "Σκόνη" (Skoni) from the Termites' "Αμαρτωλή Μαρία" (Amartoli Maria); there are the songs of Zikas, and those of Kostas Kaldaras on "Νυχτερινή Κυβέρνηση" (Nychterini kyvernisi); there are his contributions to the sound-tracks of Eleni Karaindrou, Ταξίδι στα Κύθηρα" (Taksidi sta Kythira or "Journey to Cythera") and "Μελισσοκόμος" (Melissokomos, or "The bee-keeper"), to "Τι έχουν να δουν τα μάτια μου" (Ti echoun na doun ta matia mou) by Nikos Tsatis, to the Palamas poems set by Michalis Terzis; there is his production of and contribution to "Τα αηδόνια της Ανατολής" (Ta aidonia tis anatolis), a record of traditional folk-music by Chronis Aidonidis; there is Lavrentis Machairitsas' "Διδυμότειχο blues" (Didimoteicho blues), there are the songs by Takis Bourmas, Giannis Spyropoulos, the Agamoi Thytai, Stamos Semsis, Giorgos Andreou... Together, they add up to a kind of parallel discography, where the final form of the released record is not his own, but where the spirit, the quest, is definitely, deeply personal.

14. Latin

The "Latin" record is one more youthful dream which led to a gigantic success, and made a deep impression on the scene of Greek singing at the time of its release.

Delight in the "latino" guitar rhythms, but also in a series of songs from the time of their first popularity, in the late 1950's and early '60's: this is the starting point of the double album called "Latin", on which Dalaras plays and sings some latin-american classics, and some Greek songs written under their influence, in the 1950's, by Chiotis, Zambetas, Mouzakis, Morakis and others.

Musically, the result is exceptionally interesting, because of the collaboration with musicians who have evidently been carrying along the genre in what they listened to and in their interests, and also because of some exceptional presences, such as Al di Meola playing Chiotis, Zambetas and Morakis.

But, at least at the time, what is most immediately impressive is the welcome the album receives, at a time when, in Dalaras' own estimation, "the knives have been sheathed". The record goes on to sell some 600 thousand copies, to influence a large number of others, but also to be "copied" hundreds of times.

15. Τα κατά Μάρκον

Ta kata Markon - According to Marc

Dalaras and Stavros Ksarchakos first work together in 1988, for the concert at the "Pallas", with songs from the movie "Rembetiko" but also with older songs by Ksarchakos. This concert is later released on record.

The next year will see the release of Dalaras' interpretation of the "Missa Criolla" of Ariel Ramirez. This is also a live recording, from the catholic church of Agios Dimitrios, with Ksarchakos directing.

Thus we reach 1991, and the release of a new song cycle by Ksarchakos, with Dalaras as the most important singer. This is "Τα κατά Μάρκον" (Ta kata Markon), which is also destined to be the last poetic cycle by Nikos Gatsos. The melodies are low-key, and they are sung and orchestrated accordingly, but they express with the greatest dramatic intensity the anxiety about the contemporary course steered by Greece.

15. Αττικόν Νταλάρας - Παπακωνσταντίνου

Attikon Dalaras - Papakonstantinou

Dalaras first appears at the "Attikon" in early 1990. At the end of the same year, he comes back to the same stage on one of the rare occasions, in those years, where he works with a top singer of his own generation.

The live recording of the common performances of Dalaras and Vasilis Papakonstantinou is released on record as well, initially in the form of two full-size vinyl records, but also one maxi-single.

They sing together, they "exchange" their hit songs, but each also presents a different side of his own repertoire, or some songs chosen from the present or past of Greek singing.

Dalaras elects to sing some songs from the "new scene" of Greek music (Moutsis, Bakirtzis, Papazoglou), a couple of traditional gypsy songs, but also Kaldaras' "Καλή τύχη" (Kali tychi) and the rembetiko classic "Μανώλης" (Manolis) in a contemporary interpretation. Also, this is one of the rare occasions where Dalaras makes public one of his own melodies: "Στο ίδιο έργο θεατές" (Sto idio ergo theates)...

16. Θάνος Μικρουτσικός

Thanos Mikroutsikos

In the early 1990's, Dalaras and Mikroutsikos work together twice.

In late 1991, Dalaras contributes to Mikroutsikos' second recording of the songs he has composed to poems by Nikos Kavadias. On this record, called "Γραμμές Οριζόντων" (Grammes ton orizonton), Dalaras sings five songs, of which two are newly written.

In late 1992, they work together again, this time completing an entire record with new songs. This is "Συγνώμη για την άμυνα" (Sygnomi gia tin amina), and for both of them, it is the second time they grapple with Kostas Tripolitis' poetry: Dalaras, ten years earlier, has sung his "Ραντάρ" (Radar). Tripolitis' lyrics, which dissect the contemporary social and political realities like a scalpel, turn into laiko songs and make approaches to the wider sensitivities of the time. In the attempt, the "Ανεμολόγιο" (Anemologio) is especially successful...

17. Βαμμένα κόκκινα μαλλιά

Vammena kokkina mallia - Hair dyed red

It all came of a television serial... Vasilis Dimitriou wrote the songs for the television filming of the book of the same title, written by Kostas Mourselas. The spring of 1993 is a time when Dalaras has not exactly been parading the innocent "serenade singer" of some of his Kougioumtzis songs, and this is when he elects to sing these, which definitely hark back to the codes of the older laiko songs. And he taps the similar need which is felt by a wider public. It is no coincidence that "Το πεπρωμένο" is so widely heard in the years between then and now... And at the opposite end, there is the low-key, sensitive, "belcanto" like title song, of a rare kind in Dalaras' repertoire.

18. The big orchestras

Dalaras' encounters with some of the big foreign classical orchestras form a separate chapter of his activities, starting in the middle of the 1990's and still going on today.

Singing both his personal repertoire and a repertoire suited or adapted for the circumstance, he has met and worked with many orchestras over the years, many more than have been recorded and released.

The first occasion was in October 1995, with the "Metropole orchestra", in a double tribute: on the orchestra's part, it was a tribute to the music written for the international cinema, and Dalaras' contribution was a tribute to the music written for the cinema by Mikis Theodorakis. The concert at the Irodeio theater was recorded, and provided the material for a double album release.

In November 1997, in Tel Aviv, a live recording is made of his encounter with the Israel Philarmonic, with a repertoire which ranges from contemporary Greek song (Chatzidakis, Theodorakis, Kougioumtzis) to excursions to the East and West (Livanelli, Bregovic, but also some hispanic ladino songs). The recording is released as an album almost two years later.

Of Dalaras' relationship with the "Kamerata" orchestra, what makes it into the discography is the staging of Stavros Kougioumtzis' work "Ύμνοι Αγγέλων σε ρυθμούς Ανθρώπων" (Ymnoi angelon se rythmous anthropon). The concert is recorded in June 1997 at the Athens Megaro Mousikis, and released on record the next year.

19. Ιερά Οδό

Iera Odo

Having abstained for many years from performing on a daily basis on any particular stage, Dalaras wants to come back to it in late 1995. During three consecutive winter seasons, he elects to appear on a musical stage, and accordingly modifies both the place and his repertoire. The place, the stage, is "Iera Odos"...

He executes his plan with great success, and the first two seasons (1995-'95 and 1996-'97) yield two live records presenting characteristic fragments of the programme. The first, "Ζωντανή ηχογράφηση από την Ιερά Οδό Ι" (Zontani ichografisi apo tin Iera Odo I), captures the collaboration between Dalaras and the band Pyx Lax, singing some songs from their respective repertoires, but also different songs, mostly from the "new scene" of those years.

The second is "Ζωντανή ηχογράφηση από την Ιερά Οδό ΙI" (Zontani ichografisi apo tin Iera Odo II) and presents an anthology of the programmes of the second years, part of which kept changing, as different artists of the younger generation came and contributed in turn. Marios Frangoulis, the "Synitheis Ypoptoi", Manolis Famelos, the "Ypogeia revmata"... but it also includes a good number of the songs of that period in the version of Dalaras.

20. Goran Bregovic

1997 is also the year of the release of the record made by Dalaras and Goran Bregovic: "Θεσσαλονίκη - Γιάννενα με δυο παπούτσια πάνινα" (international release: Thessaloniki - Yannena with two canvas shoes). The Bregovic sound meets a band of very Greek musiciancs, it acquires Greek words through the lyrics by Michalis Ganas, Charis Katsimichas and Antonis Andrikakis, sung by the voice of Dalaras, with backing vocals by a Bulgarian women's choir and by some of the most promising of the younger Greek singers.

21. From "’πονα μάτια" to "Η άσφαλτος που τρέχει"

Apona matia - Merciless eyes

H asfaltos pou trechei - The asphalt rushing by (international release: the running roads)

However one looks at it, in Dalaras' discography there are not very many eclectic song collections - meaning records containing new songs written by different people.

In those 35 years, they are not few, they are not many, they are... six in number. And if one excepts the two which he made at the very beginning, and which were mere compilations of 45 rpm releases, only four are left. These are "Οι Μάηδες οι Ήλιοι μου" (Oi maides oi ilioi mou) in the 1970's, "΄Απονα μάτια" (Apona matia) in 1985, "Καλώς τους!" (Kalos tous!) in 1994, and, relatively recently, "Η άσφαλτος που τρέχει" (I asfaltos pou trechei).

In all cases, we find originally unconnected songs, the work mostly of young composers and writers: Dalaras' search for a personal repertoire, outside the safe bounds of a whole record made in collaboration with someone.

"΄Απονα μάτια" (Apona matia) contains laiko songs by Stelios Vamvakaris and Christos Gartzos.

On "Καλώς τους!" (Kalos tous!), the excellence is in the characteristic compositions of Giorgos Zikas, and the laiko explorations of Minos Matsas.

"Η άσφαλτος που τρέχει" (I asfaltos pou trechei) may well be the most extensive eclectic work among Dalaras' records. It contains 28 songs, most of them new. Some are by the typical composers this period (Machairitsas, Semsis, Tatsis, Christodoulidis), but there are also surprises, from song-writers who are better known in a different style (Liougos, Famelos). The record mirrors Dalaras' personal quest in the "adventure", or is it "plight", of contemporary Greek song; his search seems to go rather deeper than suits the reigning "televised" speeds; and it may be that the record demands the corresponding approach. A very special moment is Dalaras' encounter with Sting, for the Greek version of Sting's song "Mad about you".

22. "Από καρδιάς"

Apo kardias - From the heart

This is the live recording of Dalaras' performances at "Zygos" in the spring of 2002. After a number of years, his choices for this programme are once more governed entirely by the laiko song, and the band is a full laiko orchestra, while he appears in the company of singers who represent the younger generation. The programme ranges from old songs by Kougioumtzis and Loizos, to the contemporary ones by Machairitsas and Famelos, and also presents a series of laiko classics by Zampetas, Chatzichristos, Akis Panou, Mimis Plessas and Christos Nikolopoulos.

23. Μαρινέλλα - Νταλάρας

Marinella - Dalaras

This collaboration starts as a few performances at the Athens Megaro Mousikis, but the chemistry works so well, and the success is so great, that is is extended with the release of the live recording and with a long concert tour both in Greece and abroad. This is 33 years after they first appeared on stage together: Marinella was the singer who "introduced" Dalaras, then very young, to the "official" world of entertainment of those days. The concerts are set up as a recital and an anthology of Greek song, with a very special accent on the "togetherness" of the performance.

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Though for myself it is not sooo necessary to have a translated version ( :music:), congratulations, Geske, to the great work you have done. :confused: (And of course also a - delayed - "thank you" to Agnie for typing and posting the original :wow:.)

I would like to add a small explanation: In the translation appears several times a word called "laikο" (spelled "la-ikο", that means the "a" and the "i" separated in the pronunciation and stressed on the last letter "o").

[Geske and I originally tried to write the word correctly with two dots on the letter "i" but then it is not displayed in the right way on the site.]

To understand fully the text written by Giorgos Tsampras, it is useful to know what the word (approximately) means:

The full term is "laiko tragoudi" (and the plural: "laika tragoudia").

The literal translation would be "popular song" (or "folk song"). But Geske's decision not to translate the term was very wise, as such a translation would be misleading, because "laiko (tragoudi)" means a quite specific type of greek (popular) songs. I think it is not wrong to describe it in a very rough way as the "bouzouki songs", that means songs in which the leading instrument is (usually) the bouzouki. This type of music developed out from the older song-type "re(m)betiko". Both types are very close to each other, so you cannot always make a clear distinction between them. (I think many people will regard the rebetika songs also as a part of laika songs.)

Often the laika songs have specific rhythms and mostly their lyrics deal in a relatively simple language with the everday problems of the common people. (Although there are laika songs too whose lyrics tend to a more poetic language.)

By the time the laiko song (at least in its typical way described above) was displaced more and more by other, more "modern" types of songs. More "modern" concerning the instrumentation (usually a more electronic sound instead of bouzouki and other traditional instruments) but also concerning the rhythms and perhaps also the lyrics. That's what Giorgos Tsampras is obvioulsy referring to when he is writing about Dalaras' last album which he made with the composer Christos Nikolopoulos in 1996:

<<"Μεθυσμένα Τραγούδια" (Methysmena tragoudia), to lyrics by Manos Eleftheriou and Antonis Andrikakis, is part of the difficulties, and possibly also of the dead-ends, which confront laiko song in that decade, the 1990's.>>

You can see very clearly how the sound of the laiko song has changed (and what Tsampras obviously means with the above comment) if you compare this album ("Methysmena tragoudia") for example with the album "O tragoudistis", composed by the same musician (Nikolopoulos) and published in 1983.

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oooops I'd forgotten about the dots on the i.....

thanks for mentionning it, i've edited them out of the post.

From the translator's point of view, you can't and shouldn't translate "laiko", simply because it's the only name for the thing you are talking about.

:music: ?

The greek word "laikos" is sometimes a normal adjective derived from the noun "laos", "the people" - which translates badly into English and French but nicely into Dutch, German, and other languages that have the fairly exact equivalent "volk".

Sometimes, as in the piece above, "laiko" is a technical term, the name of a certain sort of music. Like "blues", which has little to do with the name of a color, and "rock", which has no relation to stones (except the Rolling ones...). Some such terms have translations, like "dimotica" which one may translate as "folksongs", but, just as there isn't a greek word for "tango" (except... tango), there isn't an English (or Dutch, or Spanish...) word for "to laiko tragoudi".

So, thanks Michael for the footnote :wow:

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One example of how the meaning of "laiko" might have changed.

Recently when I mentioned the album "Ta Tragoudia pou sou grafo" to an acquantance who is a Greek national living temporarily abroad (not long), he said that this album is not liked by many because it is in peoples' opinion "too laiko", which he explained as meaning "too pop".

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One example of how the meaning of "laiko" might have changed.

Recently when I mentioned the album "Ta Tragoudia pou sou grafo" to an acquantance who is a Greek national living temporarily abroad (not long), he said that this album is not liked by many because it is in peoples' opinion "too laiko", which he explained as meaning "too pop".

To my mind on this CD you can find examples both for "laiko" more in the traditional sense (as described by me above) and for "laiko" in the sense of modern "pop".

If it is "too much" or not, is of course a matter of taste. For me some songs are too much "laiko-pop", as for example the two duets he sings with Andonis Remos and Giannis Vardis. On the other hand to my mind there is surely no song with too much "laiko" in the traditional sense.

But I can imagine that there are other listeners of Dalaras who do not like neither the one nor the other element on this CD because they have got accustomed to hear (during the last years) mainly a different Dalaras. :D:D

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