Brief reference about the Greek modern music

For more than 30 years I have worked as a Greek professional musician and during this time I feel I can say I have acquired some knowledge as well as personal opinions about the evolution of contemporary Greek music, especially from the 1950s to nowadays.

As a child, my first encounter with Greek music was the radio. I can still remember all the family, gathered around the set on Sundays, listening to the show ‘Nea Talenta’ (New Talents) of Giorgos Economides. Today the modern music in Greece has been moved toward the worst or the best , personally I have my subjective ideas but if is for the best or worst you can judge it by watching music videos of Greek music from the 50’s , 60’s, 70’s 80’s ,90’s until nowadays with the resent famous singers of Greece like Despina Vandi, Anna Vissi, Sakis Rouvas, Elena Paparizou,Alkistis Protopsalti, Giannis Ploutarxos , Kaiti Garmbi, Antonis Remos, Pshalis Terzis, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Pantazis and many other small and big Stars.

In fact, if you ask me what I recall about today’s popular music in Greece, or what it represents, I have to say that I have no idea. Names come and go like shooting stars. Only a few performers like George Dalaras, Giannis Parios and some more are keeping alive the original sounds of modern Greek music. Of course Greece finally recieved a Eurovision award with Helena Paparizou 2 years ago but this is not to compare with the success of Zorba the Greek or Never on Sunday witch made the Greek music internationally famous.

As for the Greek pop and rock music there is a great development from the early 60’s onwards , more of this you can read in the article about the Greek pop and rock music

Greece has its own history in modern Pop and Rock Music, starting from the early 60’s when Nikos Mastorakis was actually the one that turn the Greek youth to the pop and rock music with his radio show “Leoforeio i melodia” (a bus named Melody). At this time many pop groups start appearing in the big cities, among them in Thessaloniki, the Forminx, from which 2 members the well known Vangellis Papathanasiou and Demis Rousos, later formed in France the famous group Aphrodite’s Childe.

During the 60’s and early 70’s other Greek pop music groups had a great success in Greece like the Charms, the Idols, the MGC, the Vorioi with Pashalis, and many others. Later the Greek groups might never made such world stars like Vangelis and Demis Rousos, but they have created many good bands and singers with their music and sound being inspired from the British and US rock music mixed with Greek folk sounds. If you see below the 2 videos of Socrates you will realise that the solo guitar sounds are not quite Jimmy Hendrix like, but they are giving the sounds of the Greek mountain shepherd’s flute.

Among those Groups best ever to my opinion was Socrates with one of the best Greek guitar players, Giannis Spathas, other good groups where before Socrates the famous Peloma Mpokiou, Giannis Poulikakos, and the Bourboulia of Savopoulos. Later on new groups with new sounds created like Fatme, Trypes and Spyridoula while the eccentric Jimis Panousis created a lot of reaction with his ironic songs. Nikolas Asimos and Pavlos Sidiropoulos, who died very young but left behind great songs that still the Greek young and older ones sing.

Another one that made quite lot of hits in the Greek rock scene, was my good old friend from the times of the high school, Giannis Giokarinis, one of his best songs was Evlambia. Finally Vasilis Papakonstantinou that started from a different musical background became the best rocker in Greece with famous songs that are between hard rock and soft ballads, like Hellas, Koursaros, Se akoloutho and many others , his main quitarist Christoforos Krokidis later formed his own group and made some very good albuls like, Oliki lovotomi, Me ta Matia Kleista (with My Eyes Closed), Chillout City – Soft & Melodic Rock Tracks that you can listen at apple music, spotify and youtube