George Dalaras(Γιώργος Νταλάρας) Bookmark and Share


29 September 1949

George was born in Nea Kokinia, Piraeus. His father was Loukas Daralas, a singer of rebetiko. Dalaras' first song, ‘Προσμονή’ ('Expectation'), was recorded in 1967. The single never reached any popular status in fact, was barely released. Dalaras even had to struggle to get into the studio, as ironically the day he began his studio career was the day that the Greek military junta had taken over the streets of Athens, and the roads were littered with tanks. After several appearances on various recordings as a "bonus/token" singer, his debut album was released in early 1969, a self titled album released under the MINOS label. The recording included many compositions by Stavros Koujioumtzis, who proved an inspiration for Dalaras’ music. The biggest hit of the record turned out to be ‘Pou' nai ta hronia’ which is still on Dalaras' large repertoire today.

In 1972, Dalaras, along with singer Haris Alexiou, received his big break in the Greek music industry when their album ‘Mikra Asia’ (‘Asia Minor’) went platinum, his first album to do so. The songs were written by Apostolos Kaldaras, a heavyweight in the laïkó scene of the '50s and '60s, who at this time decided to enter the political fray of Greek music. The 'Mikra Asia' album was later followed up by another project with Haris Alexiou.

After several LPs and further collaborations with Koujioumtzis, Kaldaras, Manos Loizos, Mikis Theodorakis and others, Dalaras decided to release his own renditions of rebetiko songs on the double album ‘50 Hronia rembetiko songs’ released 1975. The recording proved an immediate success, despite the toning down of the musical lyrics. However, as a result, a new movement was set to take place in Greek music, and the once forgotten rembetes were finding themselves performing, in some cases for the first time in 30 to 40 years, live in front of a live audience. He later followed up his work with an album in 1980, ‘Rembetika tis Katochis’, which was a more gritty and meaty release, more faithful to the tone of the original rembetika as heard in the 1930s however again, references to drugs were cut out, and only mentioned in fleeting. Unlike the previous double album, this also contained some of the original musicians, Bayianteras and Genitsaris in particular making an appearance on the record.

Since the 1970s, George Dalaras has recorded more than 120 records and performed in thousands of concerts. Two historical concerts occurred in the Athens Olympic Stadium, attended by more than 160,000 people. This was the largest attendance at a Greek concert, to the point where Rolling Stone magazine commented that Dalaras was responsible for the birth of the Stadium era in Greece.

On the web:

- George's website: http://www.dalaras.gr
- Listen to Dalaras on Mygreek.fm: http://www.mygreek.fm/

What do we think:

DB: To be honest, I only have one live compilation album of Dalaras. I always found it a bit to traditional for my taste. So actually I have to go with all the info you’ll find about him. Greek music lovers are always speaking with the highest regard about him and with his track record he possibly can’t be left out of this website. Below recommended list is therefore partly from our own collection and partly picked from the rateyourmusic-website which is in the end a website from fans for fans.

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:


Recommended abums:

♪♪♪♪ - George Dalaras - 1969

♪♪♪ - Mikra Asia - with Haris Alexiou - 1972

♪♪♪ - Vizantinos Esperinos - with Haris Alexiou - 1973

♪♪- 50 χρόνια ρεμπέτικο τραγούδι - 1975

♪♪♪♪ - Ta tragoudia mas (with Manos Loizos) - 1976

♪♪♪ - Kalos Tous - 1994

♪♪♪ - Yannena with Two canvas shoes - with Goran Bregovic - 1997
♪♪♪♪ - Afieroma ston Vassili Tsitsani - 2003

♪♪ - Mazi (Together) - with Marinella - 2003

♪♪♪ - Αφιέρωμα στον Μάρκο Βαμβακάρη - 2003 

♪♪♪ - Mesogeios (Mediterranean)  - 2005

♪♪♪♪ - Erima Horia - 2006

♪♪ - To Filtro - 2009

Further listening:

Pεμπέτικα της Κατοχής  - 1980; Καλημέρα κυρία Λυδία  - 1984; Latin Featuring Al Di Meola  - 1987; Συναυλία – Γιώργος Νταλάρας, Δήμητρα Γαλάνη (In concert - Dalaras - Galani) - 1988; Το ελληνικό πρόσωπο του Γιώργου Νταλάρα  - 1988 Τ' αηδόνια της Ανατολής (Nightingales from the Orient) - 1988; Live & Unplugged  - 1998; I Asphaltos Pou Trehei (Pouring Asphalt) - 2001 Sta tragoudia pou sou grapho (The Songs I Write for You)  - 2004

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided