It is definitely a sad day for the Greek music industry today. Nikos Papazogloy died at the age of 63 after battling it out with cancer. The popular singer will be buried tomorrow in Toumba, Thessaloniki.
Known as one of the most genuine singers in the Greek music industry, Papazogloy would often perform on stage with the same blue denim shirt and a cute red kerchief tied around his neck. He was a simple man, with a simple task… to simply perform and transport his fans into other musical dimensions. No thrills and frills… no star-studded choirs, just authentic folk sounds, deeply provocative lyrics and just enough rock notes to make people stop, listen and wonder.
I believe he is one of the few Greek artists that actually took rembetiko and laiko (two various types of Greek music) to a whole new level by making the baglama (small bouzouki) perform alongside with his electric guitar. His well-crafted songs tended to be insightful and at times they were also very graphic with lofty themes and they granted him a well deserved place in the Greek music charts.
Papazogloy was born on 20/3/1948 in Thessaloniki. His musical career began a little after 1965 when he began to perform with a local group performing hits of that era, especially Bob Dylan songs (said to be his favourite). In the same period, he also began writing music and created a small studio where his amateur band would jam and record.
For a short time in 1972 he moved to Aachen in Western Germany with the group “Zilotes” (Zealots) in an attempt to break into the international music scene. The group recorded six songs in Milan that today can only be found in private collections.
Upon returning to Greece, Papazogloy began a passionate relationship with the “bouzouki”.
The year 1976 was a turning point in Papazogloy’s career. Dionyssis Savopoulos, one of the most eminent and radical song writers of the new Greek music scene, invited him to participate in Acharnees, a cycle of songs and stage acts based on the ancient comedy by Aristophanes. There Papazogloy met Manolis Rasoulis and the two, along with Savopoulos and Nikos Xydakis, produced the infamous Ekdikisi Tis Gyftias (The Revenge of Gypsies) two years later. The work received critical acclaim, immediate acceptance by audiences and had a remarkable influence on the course of Greek popular music in the 1980s and 90s.
Since 1984 the artist organized his tours by himself. Playing on small islands and difficult to get to mountain villages where no one had ever given concerts in the volcano on Nisiros, the ancient theater on Thassos, Astipalia, and other off the beaten track places. He liked to take his songs to the countryside where people didn’t have the opportunity to hear live concerts even though many times these venues were not economically viable.
Over the years Papazogloy has worked and performed with countless artists such as Orifeas Perides, Thanassis Papakostantinou, Sokratis Malamas and Glykeria and he has performed such legendary songs as “Pote Voudas, pote Koudas”, “Kaneis edw den tragouda”, “Ydroxos”, “Treli kai Adespotoi”, “Avgoustos” “Ax Ellada S’agapo” and one of my personal favorites “Ego Den Eime Poiitis”.
His works generated an ever-expanding audience in northern Europe and America. In certain countries such as in Germany and The Netherlands, Papazoglou assumed the status of a cult persona in the world music scene. Without a doubt he is one of the very best examples of a class act musician. His contributions to Greek music will never die. Indeed…. he will sadly be missed
Kalo Taksidi Nikola…..
1984 Xaratsi (Lyra)
1986 Meso Nefon (Lyra)
1990 Sinerga (Lyra)
1991 Epitopios Ixografisis sto Theatro Tou Lykavetou (Lyra)
1995 Otan kindineveis Paikse tin Pourouda (Lyra)
2005 Maissa Selini
1977 Axarnes – O Aristofanis pou girise apo Ta Thumarakia (Lyra)
1978 I Ekdikisi Tis Geiftias (Lyra)
1979 I Reserva (Lyra)
1979 Ta dithen (Lyra)
1981 Xeimerinoi Kolimvites (Unknown Label)
1984 Oloi dikoi Mas Eimaste (Lyra)
1986 En Athinais (Lyra)
1986 Pote Voudas Pote Koudas (CBS)
1987 Zito to Elliniko Tragoudi (ΜΙΝΟS)
1988 O Savvopoulos Efxaristi ton Xatzidaki kai Tha erthei Oposdipote (Σείριος)
1988 Ston Seirio Yparxoun Paidia (Σείριος)
1988 Tragoudia Apo to Theatro (Lyra)
1989 Aspromavres Istories (Lyra)
1991 Paramythia (Lyra)
1992 Ta Skorpia (Lyra)
1992 Syxrono Tragoudi – Meres Mousikis (Lyra)
1993 I Mikri Galera (Αspalthos)
1997 Pylli tis Ammou (Μύλος)