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DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS

RIO/Avant-Prog • Greece


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Dionysis Savvopoulos picture
Dionysis Savvopoulos biography
Dionysis SAVVOPOULOS is one of the most important Greek composers and musicians of the 20th century. Originally from Thessaloniki, he moved to Athens at the age of 19 in 1963 to pursue his musical ambitions, self-taught, dropping out from his law studies. Initially appearing in small clubs in Athens and elsewhere, he releases in 1965 a couple of 45rpms through LYRA and records his first album in 1966 entitled ''Fortigo'' (Φορτηγό; Truck), which made him instantly popular. In August 1967 he was imprisoned by the military junta for his beliefs. During 1968 he also lived abroad in Paris and Milan, where he worked with DECCA. The censorship of his works continue as in 1969 he releases his second album ''To Perivoli tou Trelou'' (Το περιβόλι του τρελού; Τhe Fool's Garden), receiving wider recognition.

The 70's are his most creative era. Within two years he releases ''Ballos'' (Μπάλλος, 1971) and ''Vromiko Psomi'' (Βρώμικο ψωμί; Dirty Bread, 1972), generally accepted as his most progressive releases. Big concerts across Greece follow and his first 'shadow' play on theater. With the fall of junta comes the release of ''Deka Chronia Kommatia'' (Δέκα χρόνια κομμάτια; Ten Years' Pieces) in 1975, where he re-records earlier tracks and in 1976 he releases ''Happy Day'', an award-wining soundtrack for the eponymous film by Pantelis Voulgaris, and publishes his first books. The same year he starts a show on national television and presents live his musical play ''Acharnes'' (Αχαρνής) which is based on Aristophanes. The album with the same title will be released in 1977. In 1978 he also works as a record producer; in 1979 he released his first double album ''Ι Rezerva'' (Η Ρεζέρβα; The Spare) and in 1981 he runs his own radio show.

In 1983 he records ''Trapezakia Exo'' (Τραπεζάκια έξω; Tables Out) and his first live album ''20 Chronia Dromos'' (20 χρόνια δρόμος: ζωντανές ηχογρα&...
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DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS discography


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DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Fortigo
1966
5.00 | 1 ratings
To Perivoli tou Trellou
1969
3.53 | 5 ratings
Ballos
1971
4.00 | 4 ratings
Vromiko Psomi
1972
4.00 | 1 ratings
10 Chronia Kommatia
1975
4.00 | 1 ratings
Happy Day
1976
4.00 | 1 ratings
Aharnes
1977
4.00 | 1 ratings
I Rezerva
1979
5.00 | 1 ratings
Trapezakia Exo
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
To Kourema
1989

DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
20 Chronia Dromos
1983

DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Zito to Elliniko Tragoudi
1987

DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

DIONYSIS SAVVOPOULOS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ballos by SAVVOPOULOS, DIONYSIS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.53 | 5 ratings

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Ballos
Dionysis Savvopoulos RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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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 Vromiko Psomi by SAVVOPOULOS, DIONYSIS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Vromiko Psomi
Dionysis Savvopoulos RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars Album no.2 on the essential list of Savvopoulos' early releases, "Vromiko Psomi" picks up from where "Ballos" concluded. The eclectic nature is ever apparent with styles ranging from cabaret music to folk, Greek ethnic (zeimpekiko-Epirotic-Macedonian-Thracean tunes) to avant progressive rock, and all that within 37 minutes.

The structure of the album is in a way similar to "Ballos", with several shorter-length songs and a long composition, which comes by the name 'Mavri Thalassa' and represents the absolute highlight; in this occasion, the album concludes (rather than opens) with that most majestic piece of composition.

The "shorts" include among others a very good cover of (surprise-surprise) Bob Dylan on its 'The Wicked Messenger' with strong political lyrics and folkish atmosphere on acoustic guitars. 'I Dimosthenous Lexis' and 'Zeimpekiko' are two of his most well-known compositions that have survived the decades, the former a low-tempo socio-political statement with elaborate rhythm section and the latter an elongated version of the traditional Greek zeimpekiko, giving a different dimension to the Minor Asia-derived 9/8 tempo. Light-hearted and ironic moods could not be absent from this festival; 'Elsa se Fovamai' and 'Olaria Olara', the former showing some skill on sliding guitar playing under an trumpet-led party. The tribute to Zappa and Beefheart, but also progressive folk, take place on 'Tragoudi' and 'To Moro', the second including ecstatic operating female vocals on the short refrain.

All the above mix with trumpet improvisations, twin-flute phrases and Macedonian/Thracean tempos on slap bass to produce 'Mavri Thalassa'. Ancient Greek theatre and opera make their way on the grandiose refrain, which lifts the composition to unimaginable heights, following a dark verse seeming to come out a Pagan dance. After a total fluke of avant improvisation the song returns to an ethnic/folk structure before concluding, leaving the listener with an open mouth...

Similar to "Ballos", "Vromiko Psomi" is a must-have for those stretching their prog boundaries even if not all compositions appear challenging enough for the initiated listener.

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 Ballos by SAVVOPOULOS, DIONYSIS album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.53 | 5 ratings

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Ballos
Dionysis Savvopoulos RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

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!

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