Top Ten Songwriters
- Kouyoumtzis (well known for his collaboration with
George Dalaras, the foremost Greek songster of his age) stands out
amongst his contemporaries in '50s/'60s
Greek popular music: more intense, more melancholy, and somehow more
profound. Several of his opuses are guaranteed tear-jerkers around me,
including my all-time favourite, Mi Mou Thimonis, Matia
Mou (Don't Be Angry At Me, Dear Eyes). Kouyoumtzis himself is a
shy bald man with dark glasses, and seems to let his songs do the
talking for him.
- There is a wildness and an aggression to much of Hendrix's work
that makes him irresistable for Saturday night drives; but he was also
a consummate craftsman, reaching a level of perfection few of his
epigones have approached. Noöne has ever made the guitar soar so
high, before or since.
- Vega's music, and particularly her voice, have a seductive hardness
to them; and her earlier lyrics bear a single-minded pursuit of truth
rarely heard in contemporary music. This is most starkly apparent in
her debut self-titled album, is still present, if somewhat more
diffuse, in Solitude Standing, and returns (in a
transmogrified, Industrial-like way) in 99.9F. It must be
a sign of the times that Vega subscribes to her own mailing-list...
- Exaudere monumentum æri perennius. The Beatles
created music that can never die (even if the surviving members do beat
on a dead horse; there was little music in '95 more depressing than
Free As A Bird...)
- Markopoulos spearheaded Greek art music in the '70s, particularly
in his collaborations with Cretan singer Nikos Xilouris; his music
marked out an era. It's just a shame that the era ended up being the
betrayed generation. In the West, he is best known for the inevitable TV
theme, Who Pays The Ferryman.
- Theodorakis (who did not just write Zorba's Dance)
took the synthesis of Greek popular and art music to its highpoint, and
wrote some of the best and most stirring songs of the '60s.
Unfortunately he too belongs to the betrayed generation...
- Ivor Biggins
- British novelty record singer, with all the subtlety of Benny Hill
and much more scatological, there is an unexpected majesty to some of
Biggins' tracks. Then again, I'm just a sucker for a fart joke. (And
I'll gloss over the unfortunate imagery there...)
- Prince (as opposed to The Artist Formerly Known
As, who's gotten just plain silly in his old age) crafted two great
albums in Purple Rain and Sign O The Times;
they're quirky, funky, and intelligent.
- The smartarse of Broadway, Sondheim can do no wrong with his
musicals, all the way from West Side Story to
- Big in the late 14th century in Avignon, I learned Solage's songs through
the thesis my friend Christina Eira did on them in '84 (then under the name
Eira McCarthy). They are exemplars of a polyphony gone berserk in the Ars
Subtilior; they routinely feature polyrhythms, polymetres, and are heavily
intellectual. They are also a good deal of fun.
(Note: renderings of music of the time differ in their
Musica Ficta --- that is, how many accidentals they use to 'smooth'
the music. Eira's version is 'smoother' than the MIDI version available above.
Created and Maintained by: Nick Nicholas,
Last revision: 1999-3-29