Modern music in Greece

Vasilis Papakonstantinou

Greece has its own history in 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.

the charmsDuring 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 was Sokrates with one of the best Greek guitar players, Giannis Spathas, other good groups where before Sokrates 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, left 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, S’akoloutho and many others .