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DallasBryan View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: the Greeks Dont Want No Freaks!
    Posted: September 03 2006 at 15:21
why is the ProgArchives so devoid of many great late 60's and early 70's bands from Greece?
This movement is on the scale of say the Dutch or Spanish movements, a good handful of some excellent classics if your looking for a great individual sound. I would say somewhere between Italian and Middle Eastern influenced Prog, very tasteful!
 
The most famous Greek band of the late sixties was undoubtedly Aphrodite's
      Child. Two of their members are well-known even today: Egypt-born singer
      Demis Roussos (who also played the bass guitar, trumpet, bouzouki and
      organ, by the way) and keyboard wizard and multi-instrumentalist Vangelis
      Papathanassiou, who hailed from the town of Volos (situated in Thessalia,
      roughly mid-way between Thessaloniki and Athens); drummer Lucas Sideras
      (born in Athens) completed the 1968 line-up. They moved to France very
      early in their career and issued a string of singles that climbed the
      hit-parades virtually all over the world (their staying in France was due
      to the great strikes accompanying the upheavals of May 1968; the band were
      actually on their way to London). Most of their music was pop-oriented but
      the psychedelic seeds were there manifesting themselves in songs like "The
      Grass Is No Green", "Don't Try to Catch a River" and "You Always Stand in
      my Way". Their oeuvre culminated in the release of "666", on the famous
      Vertigo label. This double album was inspired upon the Apocalypse of St.
      John and is one of the great psychedelic masterpieces of the period. The
      influences that can be found on it range from Byzantine church music via
      oriental-style improvisations to progressive/psychedelic continental rock.

      After the release of the album (apparently, everyone thinks this was in
      1972; I'm convinced it was recorded in 1970, L.) the band members went
      their separate ways: Lucas Sideras released two rather good albums (and is
      still active, apparently, playing with a band called Diesel), Demis
      Roussos dived head first into cocktail-lounge music with "We Shall Dance"
      (1971) (although I must say there are one or two b-sides of his singles
      that still bear the mark of his previous career, "Lord of the Flies" for
      instance, and according to Teodore and Mike there are some great songs in
      the traditional style on his first album, "On The Greek Side Of My Mind",
      L.) and Vangelis went on to become one of the great popular keyboard
      wizards of the seventies. But his first solo outings were of a different
      nature, with "Hypothesis" (recorded in May 1971,at the Marquee Studios in
      London), "The Dragon" (recorded one month later, same place) and the
      all-but-forgotten "Fais Que Ton R...ve Soit Plus Long Que La Nuit". The
      former two feature Michel Ripoche (the violinist from a French band called
      Zoo who was also present at the recording of "666") ex- Aphrodite's Child
      guitarist Arghiris "Silver" Koulouris and some British session men (to wit
      Brian Odger, Mick Waller and Tony Oxley) playing some very fine
      jazz-influenced ("Hypothesis") and progressive ("The Dragon") music, while
      the latter is a rather militant political statement, produced and composed
      by Vangelis, making use of inscriptions culled from Paris walls in May
      1968. All three albums came out in 1971, a year that also saw the release
      of a single by Alpha Beta, with two songs on it: one was called "Astral
      Abuse" and the other "Who Killed". Like "Dragon" and "Hypothesis" it came
      out on the Byg label. In case you're wondering what this suicidal ugly
      duckling is doing in the midst of these glorious Greek swans, let it be
      known to all of ye that Alpha Beta was none other than Evangelis O.
      Papathanassiou in person!
      Two years later "Earth" recaptured some of the splendour and mood of
      "666", while on 1974's "Entends-Tu Les Chiens Aboyer" (released on the
      very small Vampir record label, distinguishing itself by a very bad
      quality of vinyl - even by French standards, L.) the first inklings of the
      keyboard extravaganza that was to come reared their head. The next one,
      "Heaven And Hell" was the one that brought Vangelis (he'd dropped the
      Papathanassiou with an eye towards commercial feasibility) in the picture
      as far as the public at large was concerned.
      And while we're at it: Aphrodite's Child weren't the only Greek band
      trying to make it abroad; there was Axis, for example, a band that was
      actually formed in Paris (in 1970). Like their more illustrious
      compatriots they succeeded in breaking into the hit lists, with a Greek
      traditional called "Ela Ela" (I recall seeing them on t.v. in the early
      seventies, with drummer George Hatziathanassiou joining the rest of the
      band front-stage bashing a huge drum strapped to his belly, L.). They
      recorded three albums, the first of which contained some fine heavy organ,
      while the second saw them moving into the twilight zone between
      progressive music and hard rock. Axis disbanded in 1974, after the release
      of their third album that failed to make it commercially, in Greece as in
      the rest of Europe. Organ player Demis Visvikis and bassist Dimitris
      Katakouzinos joined Demis Roussos' backing band.
      Another Greek expatriate was George Romanos, who had come on the scene in
      the mid-sixties, adopting the image of the lonesome troubadour. His first
      two albums, released in 1967 and '68, are nice collections of folk
      ballads. In the early seventies he changed his style into a
      Byrds-influenced fuzzed-out melodic psychedelic sound and issued the
      excellent album "Duo Mikra Galazia Aloga" ("Two Small Blue Horses") in
      1970 (I've got another from around the same period (judging by the cover
      photos) called "George Romanos In Concert & In The Studio", the studio
      being Columbia, same as on "Two Small Blue Horses". As far as I can tell
      by the (Greek) liner notes, George was helped out by Vangelis
      Papathanassiou!, L.). In 1971, George Romanos moved to France where he
      seems to have been seen playing with members of Axis; in 1974 he issued a
      fourth (fifth?) album there, called "Dans Le Grenier", on which the
      emphasis lies on the bitter-sweet edge of his melodies and the surrealist
      lyrics. For quite a long time (almost a decade) Romanos was nowhere to be
      seen but then he came up with two more albums in the eighties, having
      partially reverted to his ballad-oriented style, but mixing it with
      progressive and psychedelic stuff.
      To close off this slightly oo-la-la chapter there's Stamatis, a Greek
      singer who recorded "Beautiful Lies" for the Philips label in 1972. The
      album is a mixture of acoustic and electric rock, once again consisting
      mostly of perfectly sung and orchestrated quiet songs and ballads, in a
      similar vein to Strawbs or very early Genesis. Some French musicians
      participated on the album, as well as Arghiris Koulouris and Lucas Sideras
      of Aphrodite's Child.
      Meanwhile, back in Greece the seventies heralded an explosion in the Greek
      underground scene; not only in music but also in all other forms of art as
      well as in political activism a stream of radical innovation was
      omnipresent. The principal expressions of this phenomenon were the gradual
      change of several quarters in Athens toward becoming freak hang-outs
      (Plaka and Exarchia Square) the turning into rock clubs of many
      traditional folk music taverns and in general the adopting of alternative
      attitudes by the most advanced of the younger people. Thus a small radical
      core began to show its presence nearly everywhere in the big cities,
      spurred on primarily by the fall of the military regime but also by an
      obvious desire for change. Having to face a new, uncontrolled phenomenon,
      the conservative Greek society showed a hostile disposition, with the mass
      media printing slurs against the new movement and approving of the
      autocracy of the suppressive forces. As was to be foreseen this behaviour
      did nothing if not strengthen the cohesion of the alternative scene. A
      space for free and virtually limitless forms of expression was opened and
      many bands quit their previous mainstream direction and jumped on the
      alternative bandwagon. Unfortunately the record companies were loath the
      issue rock music, not necessarily from a political but rather from a
      commercial point of view: they assumed that there wasn't enough of a
      potential audience for the genre to make it worth their while. The
      majority of the groups disappeared without leaving any recorded traces.
      Some of the more serious underground bands were captured on vinyl,
      however, like on the "Live At Kyttaro" album that gives a very nice
      cross-section of what was happening in Athens in the early seventies. The
      recordings on the album date back to 1971 (I think) but it was only
      released in 1980 (on the Lyra label) and it features some convincingly
      shouted pop material from Despina Glezou, a folk-influenced protest-type
      song by Damon & Fidias, a free-form piece by the infamous Hexadactylus,
      Dionysis Savopoulos with Stella Gadeda and his band Bourboulia, and last
      but by no means least a ten-minute track called "Elektrikos Socrates" by
      Socrates Drank The Conium.
      We'll go over the latter three bands in some detail, starting with
      Socrates.
      Socrates was formed (as Socrates Drank The Conium) from the ashes of
      garage band The Persons in 1969, around bass player and singer Anthony
      Tourkogiorgis and John Spathas, an excellent guitarist, with George
      Trandalides on drums. Over the years, they turned into Greece's most
      expressive rock band. Their first two albums were issued in 1972 and 1973
      respectively and contained some very fine blues and early hard rock, with
      the band shortening their name to Socrates in the process. On their third,
      "On The Wings" (1974), they incorporated some elements of Southern rock
      into their sound, while for their fourth effort - recorded in London -
      they drafted in Vangelis Papathanassiou (who had turned down an offer from
      Yes to replace Rick Wakeman!) whose keyboards helped turn "Phos" (1976)
      into a progressive underground masterpiece. For their last two albums they
      went back to the straight and narrow path of just plain old rock, with a
      few funk elements thrown in, although the quality of their music remained
      at a high level. Socrates disbanded in 1984 and its musicians now pursue
      successful solo careers.
      Dionysis Savopoulos was probably the most influential individual in the
      history of Greek alternative music. His ethnic approach to rock is unique
      and ranks him among the sacred monsters of the genre. He began way back in
      1966 with "Fortigo" a record that was markedly influenced by the songs of
      Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Jacques Brel. In 1970, Savopoulos turned to a
      completely personal sound, blending protest ballads, rhythm'n'blues,
      psychedelia, straight rock, jazz, Greek traditional music and ethnic tunes
      from all over the Balkan into an awesome progressive idiom. His long song
      on "Live At Kyttaro" is most impressive and one of the best cuts on the
      album. Members of other important Greek bands (Iraklis, for instance)
      popped in to give him a hand occasionally and his cooperation with Stella
      Gadedi was prolonged well into the seventies. Practically all of his
      albums up to 1979 are works of an untiring genius, but sadly his musical
      offerings of the eighties show an almighty drop in quality accompanied -
      alas - by a change of attitude in his political views as well.
      Hexadactylus arose from the ashes of MGC. With the charismatic singer
      Dimitris Poulikakos as main man they proved to be one of the principal
      bands of the period. They developed a personal musical style leaning
      towards Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention (with some wild vibraphone
      playing by Dimitris Polytimos) and soon acquired a devoted following.
      Apart from this live track, only two singles were left behind by this
      freaky, jazz-influenced band: "The Kids Are Alright" and "Aneprokopos",
      both released in 1971. In 1976 EMI Greece released "Metaforai Ekdromai - O
      Mitsos", credited as a Dimitris Poulikakos solo album; it's considered to
      be one of the three best albums to come out of Greece's underground scene
      in the seventies, having successfully captured the spirit of the age.
      Apart from all the members of Hexadactylus (who were Dimitros Poulikakos
      himself, Lakis Diakogiannis on sax, Nikos Politis on guitar, Antonis
      Triantafyllou on bass, Leonidas Alachadamis on drums and Dimitris
      Polytimos of vibes and organ) just about the whole Greek music scene was
      present on the album, with lots of members of other bands participating in
      the project. A few random examples: Vlassis Bonatsos of Peloma Bokiou was
      there, Nikos Tsilogiannis of Bourboulia, Costas Doukakis and John Spathas
      who had played guitar on the Socrates albums as well as Socrates drummer
      George Trandalides, Pavlos Sidiropoulos of Damon & Fidias and Spyridoula,
      and quite a number of persons who had worked on the Iraklis albums. And to
      join both ends of the circle Dimitris Poulikakos in his turn sang on
      Iraklis' double album "Se Allous Kosmous" that was released in the same
      year as "Metaforai Ekdromai".
      Iraklis Triandafyllides began his career in the sixties, playing in a beat
      band called The Saints (who had one single out) before going on to join
      D.N.A. in the early seventies. In 1973 he formed a band of his own
      (Lernaia Hydra - named after a monster out of Greek mythology) with which
      he recorded two singles as well as the double album mentioned earlier.
      It's not only one of the best but also one of the rarest Greek releases.
      The two records he released in the eighties are rarities as well. His work
      is mainly characterised by ethnic and psychedelic elements and dreamy
      atmospheres in a folk/psych style using many traditional Greek
      instruments. Nowadays, Iraklis owns several clubs and recording studios;
      he released two albums in the early eighties as well as a single-record
      reprint of "Se Allous Kosmous" in 1988.
      This seems as good a place as any to mention that Giannis Giokarinis, who
      say and played the bass on some of the Iraklis albums, played the
      keyboards for Ilias Asvestopolous, whose "2002 Pola" album was released on
      Pan-Vox in 1974. Bass player Giorgos Fillipidis and violinist Giorgos
      Mangklaras were two other musicians who were both featured on the Iraklis
      albums. Their names were also to be found on an album by one of the
      figureheads of the Greek scene: Stavros Logarides. In the early seventies,
      Logarides founded Poll, a soft-rock, folky-psychedelic, hippie-ballad
      band, clearly influenced by the likes of The Byrds and Crosby Stills Nash
      & Young. The other two members were Kostas Tournas (who used to be with a
      garage band called The Teenagers that released one single in 1966) and
      Robert Williams (I think he's the same guy who recorded "Nosferatu" with
      The Stranglers' Hugh Cornwall in 1979, and who went on to play for Captain
      Beefheart and The Tremblers, L.). Poll only existed for two years but they
      managed to release two albums (in 1971 and '72). Their easy-listening
      ballad style made them very popular with Greek audiences, although the
      songs they wrote were rather light-weight. After the split, Kostas Tournas
      went on to record a progressive psychedelic concept solo album (whew, L.)
      in 1972 while Stavros Logarides started up another band, called Akritas.
      Incidentally, Poll would briefly reform in the early eighties, and come up
      with a live reunion album (they really were taking the CSN&Y thing to the
      limit, weren't they, L.).
      Now Akritas must surely rank among the best groups ever to have hit the
      Greek scene, if one is to judge by their - admittedly very rare -
      eponymous debut album. The LP is chock-full of underground progressive
      rock akin to the sounds that can be found on albums by Aardvark, Arcadium
      and even Emerson Lake & Palmer. Apart from Logarides, other people in the
      band were keyboards player Aris Tasoulis (ex-Despina Glezou), guitarist
      Dimis Papachristou, drummer Giorgos Tsoupakis (who in the eighties went on
      to play with Panos Dracos) and organist John Papadopoulos). Sadly, apart
      from a single, this 1974 release was to be their only re-corded output,
      for soon after this excellent band split up due to general indifference. A
      part of that era's rock press is on record as describing Akritas' music as
      "music for Chinese people", because of the intrinsically difficult and
      complex rhythmic patterns they wove. Interestingly, the lyrics to
      "Akritas" were written by Costas Ferris, the very same one who had also
      worked for Aphrodite's Child on their "666" masterpiece.
      After the demise of Akritas Stavros Logarides seemed to fade from view,
      but he did come up with a solo album in 1978 (recorded in the Studio Era,
      in August of the same year). The LP featured the nucleus of Akritas (Dimis
      Papachristou and Giorgos Tsoupakis) as well as a some guest musicians
      among whom members (or former members) of Iraklis, Socrates and
      Hexadactylus could be spotted.
      Teodore and Mike's favourite band from the early seventies was Peloma
      Bokiou, who released one album (in 1972) and four singles. They were made
      up of ex-Bourboulia guitarist Nikos Daperis, drummer Takis Marinakis (who
      also played with Dimitris Poulikakos), keyboard person George Stefanakis
      and "they had the best Greek male rock singer in our opinion, named
      Vlassis Bonatsos" (T+M). If the group is known to record collectors at
      all, it's not so much because of their organ-based psychedelic hard rock
      sound mixed with traditional Greek folk influences, but rather because
      they were mentioned in the credits on German band Agitation Free's
      "Malesch" album.
      As it happens, the latter's sound greatly influenced one of Greece's most
      extreme psychedelic bands, and another favourite of Teodore and Mike. Like
      them, they came from Piraeus; they were called Gazuama Sinchartas and
      featured fuzzed-out guitars and a completely stoned-sounding
      instrumentation that blended traditional music with a heavy psychedelic
      sound, leaning towards Pink Floyd, Amon Düül II and Egg as well. They
      issued one great single ("Anypsosi" - 1971) but sadly there's nothing else
      left of this monster band.
      There were connections betwixt Peloma Bokiou and some other fairly
      well-known Greek bands and musicians as well: singer Vlassis Bonatsos
      helped out on Stelios Fotiadis's mellotron-drenched "Kainourgia Mera"
      album (released on Lyra in 1975) where he was in the good company of
      Despina Glezou, the female vocalist who was featured on the "Live At
      Kyttaro" lp. She'd been in another band with Stelios Fotiadis before that,
      called Nostradamos; their sole album appeared on the Zodiac label in 1972.

      Peloma Bokiou's keyboard player, Giorgos Stefanakis, played on one of
      Mariza Koch's albums (in 1973; Iraklis guitarist Giorgos Filippidis was
      present as well, and so was Socrates drummer Giorgos Trandalides; this is
      starting to look like a Greek super-group, L.). She was a legendary female
      vocalist with a tremendous voice who came out of the folk movement. During
      the seventies she started to take an interest in a more electrified sound
      and integrated progressive rock, medieval and free jazz elements in her
      music, making for a style close to Area, Fairport Convention and Gryphon.
      Albums like "Dio Zygies Paignidia" (1974) - a true monster release -
      "Mariza Koch" (1977) and "O Kathreftis" (1980) are perfect examples of how
      progressive folk music should sound. She continues making music to this
      day, issuing albums and appearing live, and still has a huge status in the
      underground.
      Incidentally, keen amateurs of eastern-tinged folk and folk rock can also
      get out their wallets and go look for a private label release called
      "Times Of Spring", by Eleni Mandelou. The album was made around 1980/82
      but it appears to be quite hard to find as only 500 copies were pressed.
      The Vavoura Band, formed by John Drolapas (guitars) and John Vavouras
      (bass, vocals) in 1976, was a hard rock formation that was very famous for
      its destructive live shows. Their musical style tended towards Jimi
      Hendrix, Cream and Golden Earring. Apart from the 1981-released single
      "The Junkie" they have a few tracks on compilations. Delta (from Saloniki)
      and Mauve were two other hard rock bands of the same period, who shared an
      album on the Pan-Vox label, with the latter tending more towards straight
      hard rock, while the former incorporated some progressive moves into their
      music.


Edited by DallasBryan - September 03 2006 at 15:25
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2006 at 15:24
need a strong drink and quite to read the entire post...Tongue

anyway, must say I'm a big fan of Vangelis, plus I "symphathise" with AC as well.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2006 at 15:26
check out Axis or Akritas for a taste of something special!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2006 at 16:27
What about Yanni...isn't he a Geek? Oh wait...this thread is about Greeks...
I think he passes on both counts.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2006 at 17:59
Thanks, DallasBryan, great post. ClapClapClap
 
Maybe the title isn't so good, because it isn't helpful for searching info on Greek rock.
 
Everyone who tried it, knows that it's almost impossible to find information about Greek rock bands in English (except for Aphrodite's Child and Vangelis). Many times I tried to find something about AKRITAS and Peloma Bokiou and couldn't find anything.
 
I thought I know most of best Greek bands (Akritas, Socrates, Peloma Bokiou, P.L.J. Band, Apokalypsis, Panos Dracos), but now I see other names worth checking.
 
BTW, for those, who are searching for Greek music, including prog and jazz rock, a very good Greek online store: http://www.studio52.gr. Don't worry, the site has English version. 


Edited by NotAProghead - September 03 2006 at 18:43
Who are you and who am I to say we know the reason why... (D. Gilmour)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2006 at 23:21
Originally posted by RoyalJelly RoyalJelly wrote:

What about Yanni...isn't he a Geek? Oh wait...this thread is about Greeks...
I think he passes on both counts.


LOL
LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 07:11
Originally posted by Ricochet Ricochet wrote:

need a strong drink and quite to read the entire post...Tongue

anyway, must say I'm a big fan of Vangelis, plus I "symphathise" with AC as well.
 
even for me that I am Greek... LOL
"Prog-gnostics" show - every Saturday 2-4pm UK time on http://www.justincaseradio.com, the first progressive radio in Greece
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 10:08
damn... I thought this was an Eagles thread.....

DB... why the hell aren't you a collaborator yet....


nice post... though it hurt my head a bit.... my eyesight isn't what it used to be LOL

for us old folks... and the ADD's out there... how about a condensed version of ...

you must get...

x, y, and z,  and why in a couple of sentences hahahha Wink
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 10:24


Edited by Yukorin - September 14 2006 at 01:12
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 12:14
Intresting post, DB.Smile It seems I have to get more familiar with greek prog...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 15:45

DIMITRIS POULIKAKOS / METAFORAI EKDROMAI O MITSOS

1976
 
Axis - same(1973)
Akritas - same(1973)
Socrates - Phos(1976) or Aphrodite's Child - 666(1972)
Vangelis - Albedo 0.39(1976)
 
 
those 5 are my favorites, though I havent heard everything out there, I've heard 20-25 from the 70's - early 80's over the years.


Edited by DallasBryan - September 04 2006 at 15:56
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2006 at 15:52

and believe me,if it wasn't for the seven years of dictatorship, (1967-1973) there would be even more...
-music is like pornography...
sometimes amateurs turn us on, even more...

-sometimes you are the pigeon and sometimes you are the statue...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2006 at 00:03
I thought it was an Eagles thread too
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2007 at 20:41
good thread ?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2007 at 20:47
I heard the name Peloma Bokiou just the other day and marvelled at the fact that I knew nothing about greek music.

a lot of the bands you described sound like psych or hard prog, not really my thing - but it's still interesting to read about
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2007 at 20:55
That was a really long read but well worth it! Good job DB! Clap

I'll have to take a look into the albums listed. Do you think you could make a list for easy reference DB?


Edited by progismylife - March 24 2007 at 20:57
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2007 at 21:01
Originally posted by progismylife progismylife wrote:

That was a really long read but well worth it! Good job DB! Clap

I'll have to take a look into the albums listed. Do you think you could make a list for easy reference DB?
 
or you could just head off here:
 
 
 
C&P DB..Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2007 at 21:03
Originally posted by Tony R Tony R wrote:

Originally posted by progismylife progismylife wrote:

That was a really long read but well worth it! Good job DB! Clap

I'll have to take a look into the albums listed. Do you think you could make a list for easy reference DB?
 
or you could just head off here:
 
 
 
C&P DB..Wink


I take back my clappie then if it was just C&P. Stern%20Smile

List of albums from site:
AKRITAS / Akritas (1974)
APHRODITE'S CHILD / 666 (1972)
AXIS / Axis (1972)
IRAKLIS / Se Allous Kosmous (1976)
PELOMA BOKIOU / Peloma Bokiou (1972)
DHMHTRHS POULIKAKOS / Metaforai Ekdromai - O Mitsos (1976)
DIONYSHS SAVVOPOULOS / Ballos (1971) Vromiko Psomi / Rezerva (1979)
PAVLOS SIDHROPOULOS & SPYRIDOULA / Flou (1979)
SOCRATES (drank the conium) / Socrates Drank The Conium (1972) /
Taste Of Conium (1973) / On The Wings (1974) / Phos (1976)
KOSTAS TOURNAS / Aperanta Chorafia (1972)
VANGELIS / Earth (1973)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2007 at 21:12

well done, Tone! Tongue



Edited by DallasBryan - March 24 2007 at 21:13
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2007 at 21:27

Always cite your sources DB, please...Smile

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