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Rock and roll spread around the world in the 1950s and 60s, entering Greece in the middle of the latter decade. Greek performers in the field include Jimi Quidd (born Jimmy Hatzidimitriou, later of The Dots and producer for Bad Brains), the Bob Dylan of Greece, Dionysis Savvopoulos, who also plays Rembétika and Laïka, and Pavlos Sidiropoulos, the most important representative of Greek folk-rock and rock.

Greek rock first peaked in the early seventies, while Greece was still ruled by a military dictatorship. An important centre for Athens rock underground was the club Kyttapo. The club became a centrepoint in Anthens music culture when singer/songwriter Dionysis Savopoulos took the club as his home base in 1966. The former law student moved to Athens in 1963 and has chosen a career in music By the end of the Sixties rock acts frequented the club like Socrates Drank the Conium , Despina Glazou & Nostradamos and Exadaktylos. A joined performance was recorded resulting in the first Greek rock album ‘Η ποπ στην Αθήνα: Ζωντανοί στο Κύτταρο’ (Pop in Athens, live at the Kyttapo) at the start of 1971. Another pop group Poll, around Robert Williams (real name: Ροβέρτος - Κωνσταντίνος Ουίλλιαμς) and Kostas Tournas, enjoyed a number of nationwide hits. Tournas went solo in 1973 and released a string of quality rock albums. After the fall of the Junta Greek rock struggled with the fact that the regime had tolerated them and the public now turned to more traditional music. Still some young musicians took over the flag of rock. One of the most popular rocksingers Vasilis Papakonstantinou orginated in this period .

Another example of this era is the band Mousikes Taksiarchies (Musical Brigades directly translated) with frontman Tzimis Panousis. The lyrical content of the band for the time was considered to vary from humorous and satyric to all-out criticizing mainly towards the political life of Greece, nevertheless the band played music with rich musical content with a mixture of many influences along with rock such as reggae and funk. Electronic experimentation came from classically trained Lena Platonos who created the first album played solely by synthesizer and laced with mysterious poetry.

With the second generation, the scene produced also some of the finest electric guitar players such as Christophoros Krokidis and Spyros Pazios who to date are still active in various projects. During the mid-1980s, a band called The Last Drive appeared, whose outstanding performance both in Greece and internationally deeply influenced the scene. In 1985 it was the great birth of the modern Greek rock as it is known today and this thanks to two bands from Thessaloniki: Trypes with their first album and two years later in 1987 a trio-band called Mora Sti Fotia (meaning: Babes on Fire, name inspired by Baby's on Fire song by Brian Eno playing a combination of new wave, punk, soft and hard rock).
After a temporary break-up of Mora sti Fotia in the early 1990s a new Greek rock band with the same guitar player appeared enriched with more modern electronic sound but also with more younger bands that created also their personal styles and are favorite up to date. This band was called Xilina Spathia (also originating from Thessaloniki) meant to be one the three greatest historic rock bands of Thessaloniki along with Trypes and Mora sti Fotia. Maskes, Diafana Krina, Endelexeia, Flowers of Romance, Pyx Lax (with singer Fillipos Pliatsikas who has now a succesfull solo career), Katsimiha brothers and others followed up. Some bands also had international acclaim with some airplay on MTV such as Magic De Spell with a song about the war in Yugoslavia, a very hard achievement regarding the lack of effective approach to the rest of Europe mainly because of the different language and minimum means. In the new age a mix of Greek and Anglo-american (house)music is made by young stars like Mark F. Angelo and Shaya Hansen.

By gradually changing the manner of expression from non-conformist (mainly due to the political situations) to a wider scale the Greek scene of rock didn't lose its musical richness. Constantly bands emerge that create very successful records and carry on without being forgotten as soon as airplay and promotion ceases. Such are the examples of Domenica, Raining Pleasure, Diafana Krina and others who take carefully elements from various musical movements and bring it to the spotlight in a modern and mostly successful way.

Greece was fairly late with picking up on hip hop. Although the earliest indications of the localized genre date back to 1987 it was not until deep in the nineties that native language albums appeared.




 

 

 




 

  EUROPOPMUSIC - Greece