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Mourmourika: Songs of Greek Underworld
Various Artists
Mourmourika: Songs of Greek Underworld
Genres: World Music, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1

Songs of tough men and wily women living outside of the law: dope smoking, gambling, bragging and boasting, and making it through jail time are the subjects of lyrics put to music on this CD. No, it's not gangster rap, it'...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Mourmourika: Songs of Greek Underworld
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rounder Select
Original Release Date: 1/26/1999
Release Date: 1/26/1999
Genres: World Music, Pop
Styles: Europe, Continental Europe
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 018964112028

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Songs of tough men and wily women living outside of the law: dope smoking, gambling, bragging and boasting, and making it through jail time are the subjects of lyrics put to music on this CD. No, it's not gangster rap, it's not even The Threepenny Opera, this is mourmourika music, the dark underbelly of the Greek rembetica form. These rare recordings from the '30s through the '50s feature passionate vocals over a variety of string backing--bouzouki, guitar, baglama, kanoun, and the occasional violin. The surface hiss of some of these 78 rpm originals does not dim the vitality of the singers and players, and most of the tunes here are marvelously restored. The profusely annotated booklet gives insights into the social context of this music, while song translations point out timeless human themes of sorrow and survival, desperation, and celebration. --Jeff Grubb

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CD Reviews

N. Pourpourakis
12/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I met Nick Pourpourakis, the composer of the last song on this CD, "The Sultan", 15 years ago. In his heyday he was one of the most talented and most popular of Greek Musicians here in the United States. His speciality is "Rembetiko" style music which is the theme of this CD. He is still active and performs in a local restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California and was recently on television. He composed "The Sultan" in New York in the 50's in his late teens and he has actually worked with some of the musicians who are featured on the album (who of course were quite a bit older). "The Sultan" was also chosen as background music for an episode of a very popular Soap Opera in Greece "Lampsi." This CD "MOURMOURIKA" is an excellent collection of a style of music that was in a world of its own, back in the 1900's to about the late 1950's. I recommend it highly, especially to music historians. Here's to you Nick."
Well chosen collection of rare tracks
03/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD contains a good selection of rare tracks by well known and rather more obscure singers of the rebetiko idiom. The sound quality is very good considering the age of some of the recordings. If you know rebetika already, this CD will increase your knowledge, if you are new to the music, it provides a good introduction. All in all a must have."
The real rembetica!
Leonard Behr | Hudson, NY USA | 10/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When one travels in Greece it is very hard to find true Rembetica music. When asked where this style of music is to be found, most Greeks will send you to the nearest taverna to hear the loud, raucous, popular music that is now called rembetica by so many. For the afficianado who wishes to hear the real thing, this CD is the perfect fix. It is the best of the real rembetica singers of the 1930s to 1950 and will give the listener a true felling for the music of those times in the Greek tavernas. Acoustic, simple, clear, and totally authentic - pure Greek gold!"