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Dionysis Savvopoulos


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Dionysis Savvopoulos Ballos album cover
3.63 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews | 36% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ballos (16:32)
a) Ermos kai Varis sto Monopati
b) Ton Xero aftona to Horo
c) Oh!Pido Horopido
d) Se touta ta Valkania
2. Kileler (4:32)
3. O Paliatsos ki o Listis (2:54)
(Arranged by Dionysis Savvopoulos, Written by Bob Dylan)
4. Erhete Vrohi, Erhete Bora (3:15)
5. Simea apo Naylon (2:11)
6. Dialeimma (Orhistriko) (1:53)
7. S'euharisto, O Etaireia (2:15)

Total Time 33:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Dionysis Savvopoulos / vocals, guitar
- Thodoros Kekes / Macedonian bagpipes
- Vasilis Ntallas / bass
- Nikos Tsilogiannis / drums
- Giannis Labitski / electric guitar
- Nikos Mourikis / horn
- Nikos Spinoulas / horn
- Dimitris Poulikakos / percussion
- Eugnomon Dialetis / percussion
- Haris Andreadis / piano
- Spiros Kazianis / trombone, oboe

Releases information

Lyra, cat. no. 3573, 1971
CD re-issued/remastered 2011

Mastered By - Thodoris Hrysanthopoulos
Orchestrated By - Dionysis Savvopoulos, Bourboulia
Recorded By - Giannis Smirnaios

Featuring - Giorgos Kontogiorgos

Thanks to aapatsos for the addition
and to aapatsos for the last updates
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DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS Ballos ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A unique listening experience

The early 70's finds Greece in a turmoil caused by the military junta and a number of artists try to find a way to express their feelings. Savvopoulos is one of them and with his third full album he delivers what is possibly his best effort to date, dominated by the brilliance of the title track, a revolutionary atmosphere and hidden messages behind well-worked lyrics.

''Ballos'' (cf. dance of the Aegean islands) takes up half of the album and is arguably Savvopoulos' best composition. Through an orgasm of Macedonian bagpipes, trombone and oboe sounds, the rhythm section reaches a delirium of odd-time signatures and fusion percussion, taking the listener back to traditions of Northern Greece and the Balkans. Combined with the sophisticated Greek lyrics and through a series of sub-sections, you find yourself experiencing an ancient Greek comedy and drama combined, going back thousands of years... The "Choros" is just around the corner waiting to enter the main stage as the drums are pumping, as influences from Zappa and Beefheart merge with this weird symphonic orchestra...

Although the remainder of the album does not reach the heights of the title track, RIO fans will appreciate the Captain Beefheart references especially on ''Killeler'', while the odd trip continues with the mixing of the ironic cabaret-like music, folk (a very interesting cover of Dylan's ''All Along the Watchtower'') and symphonic prog rock arrangements (the closing two tracks). Ranging from light-hearted to dark and mysterious, almost medieval, moods, ''Ballos'' keeps the listener on his toes. Greek lyrics can be an obstacle to appreciating this album, but if you are looking for something different from the norm, this album should be your starting point in a journey to Balkan/RIO prog!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An emblimatic figure of the Greek Rock scene, growing different generations and upon different periods of the Greek history, Dionysis Savvopoulos was born in Thessaloniki in 1944 and stopped his studies at the School of Law in 1963 to become a singer/songwriter.He moved to Athens and sung in various cult pubs and bars of the Greek capital, before launching his debut ''Fortigo'' in 1966, followed by ''To perivoli tou trelu'' in 1967.It was about the same time, when he was imprisoned by the Greek dictatorship for his political and revolutionary beliefs.One of his best albums, ''Mpallos'' sees the light in 1971 on the legendary Lyra label.Among the participants of this album was also Dimitris Poulikakos.

The sidelong 16-min. title track, which refers to an ancient dance, mainly performed on Greek islands, is one of the most obscure pieces in the Avant Folk field with definite influences from Balkan Music and Macedonian Folk, characterized by the changing use of traditional instruments and the impressive, archaic horn sections.Shifting between poetic vocal parts and folky instrumentals, this track is a good example of dark and haunting Progressive Folk with acoustic passages and strong percussions in evidence, supported by Balkan-inspired horn lines, delicate flute and sweet piano themes.A really challenging composition with sarcastic lyrics, driven by the complex breaks and its dramatic atmosphere.The second side is certainly more easy-listening, somewhere between Psychedelic Rock and Singer/Songwriter stylings, even if the Folk influences are still apparent.Moreover I can detect a slight jazzy vibe in the electric guitar parts.Savvopoulos' voice is a trademark of his releases with his hoarse and extremely lyrical color and these pieces contain alternating electric and acoustic moments with more conventional song structures, strengthened by the presence of flutes and horns.''Dialeima'' is among the best cuts of the second side with Classical-driven flute parts and pastoral acoustic guitars in the vein of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, while the closing ''Se efcharisto o eteria!'' is a ZAPPA-esque piano/horn-driven ballad with chant-like vocal arrangements and a humoristic lyrical content.

''Mpallos'' is an excellent addition for all fans of Psychedelic Folk, Avant Prog and Experimental Rock.Enigmatic music, controlled by poetic vocals with electroacoustic craziness and lots of diverse climates.Warmly recommended in general, Greek fans will also appreciate the sinister lyrics of the album and should add a half star.

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