( Ein kleiner, von mir auf deutsch geschriebener Text über Kourosh Yaghmaie und iranische Rock-Musik, erschien am 2. Juli 2009 in der Wochenzeitung Jungle World. Im Internet zu lesen ist er hier. )
Now that the Western journalists have successfully been silenced or had to leave the country ( at least German television seems to be completely ignorant of the wave of repression that is happening in Iran right now) the Islamist fascists can finally crack down on the protesters. And they do with the most vicious brutality. It´s heartbreaking. Like this video that reports of mass beatings and killings happening June 24, 2009:
The brave people of Iran have shown that the resistance to the Islamic dictatorship is widespread and that they have had enough. Whatever will become of the situation in Iran, the powers that be, will not be able to turn back the wheel of time. No dictatorship has ever been able to do that. They can rule with fear and scare everyone to death. Just like Hitler did. But they will inevitably be brought down. The crack in the system is there. It´s only a matter of time now until it gets bigger and bigger and it will break…
There is so much that Iran could give to the world if the people would be free. It´s a big country of 70 million and the majority are young and restless. They want freedom. As a reminder that Iran used to have a great history of Pop music that was mixing Western and Iranian traditional influences, here is the most famous Iranian Rock song. Of course there is Rock and Pop music in Iran today but as usual I´ll stick to vinyl records on this site. These were lend to me by my friend Minou who got them from her father. Incidentally she is visiting her family in Los Angeles right now. Thank you Minou! Thank you Mousa!
How fitting that these records are in such poor condition. I don´t have any professional clean-up program yet to get rid of all the disturbing surface noise. Just don´t give up too early. There are some beautiful tunes that lay beneath that. They mostly start out real bad but it gets better towards the middle. Enough with the metaphors, on to the music…
Kourosh Yaghmaei was Iran’ s most well known Rock musician before the Islamic Revolution brought the country to a halt in 1979 and all Pop and Rock music was banned. He was silenced and forbidden to perform and record for 17 years. He started playing in the 60´s in the Iranian Beat group the Raptures and then went solo with this his first record.
Gole Yakh is a sad, slow Rock song with a nice piano and a great guitar solo. It´s got a beautiful, haunting melody. The b-side Del Dareh Pir Mishe is a mid-tempo song with great fuzz guitar and organ. Wonderful!
KOUROSH YAGHMAEI, Gole Yakh (Ice Flower), 1974
KOUROSH YAGHMAEI, Del Dareh Pir Mishe (The Heart Is Getting Old), 1974
Fikret just supplied a much better sounding file for Gole Yakh. If you like the song you´ll find the link in his comment below.
The bootleg LP compilation Raks! Raks! Raks! of Iranian Beat groups of the 60´s came out in March of this year. But I haven´t heard it yet. In 2004 Tian An Men 89 Records released the first ever Iranian Punk Compilation The Persian New Waves (Mawdj-e Naw e Farsi) LP. That one I gave to Minou so I cannot say much about it either. For these posts I`ll stick to the records Minou gave me . Until I will hopefully find out more about them later this week, they will remain nameless. Like the protesters that are currently being beaten and murdered in Iran… ( Update: I just got a mail from Minou in Los Angeles with translations for the record labels done by her family. Thank you so much!)
The biggest expert on Iranian records is probably Dario over at the Irannostalgia blog. Stuart at Radiodiffusion had a great post last year about a Iranian 45 by the Golden Ring. I feel a little bit stupid because I know so little about Iranian Rock and just try to grab bits and pieces here and there. And I´m certain this record is also well known to Iranians but for the time being I will have to go by the music alone to describe it
The First song is actually two songs. A classical piece that I´m too ignorant (or uneducated) to know, followed by Katanga, a organ-driven Rock instrumental with very dynamic drums. Psychedelic!
(Update 07/18/2009: Ilias from Athens, Greece just lifted the mystery. The classical piece is Bach´s “Toccata & Fugue”. Now, that´s a very famous piece! But at least I don´t have to feel too lonely to be uneducated since you my dear readers also didn´t know that. Yeah, now it´s too late to say you knew it…)
Diwane Bood In Del (This Heart Was Insane) is a beautiful sad Psychedelic-Pop song with a nice sitar by Abbas Mehrpouya.
( From the youtube video description: Abbas Mehrpouya (1928-1993) was one of Iran’s top guitarists and sitarists.
He had a unique voice and a unique style which no one has copied yet.
He has composed most of his pieces. He used to invent natural instruments and sometimes bones and some pots were used instead of drums.)
MERHPOUYA, Diwane Boud In Del (This Heart was Insane)
The Persiandiscography site was very useful to find at least some information about all of these lost Iranian record labels, of which Ahang-E-Rooz was the most important one. This record has the same usual white and yellow front but a black b-side.
Delakam is a mid-tempo song with a funky wah-wah guitar and the great voice of Ramesh. Tschi mishe is a sad, slow Pop song.
RAMESH, Delakam (My little heart)
RAMESH, Tschi mishe (What´s gonna happen)
I should have at least recognized the voice. The persian superstar Googoosh singing Djadeh with a touch of Shirley Bassey and a dramatic horn-section backing her. Kieh, Kieh is a slow Pop ballad.
GOOGOOSH, Djadeh (The Road)
GOOGOOSH, Kieh, Kieh (Who is it?)
MANOUCHEHR SAKHAEI, Gardanbande Allah (Allahs necklace)
MANOUCHEHR SAKHAEI, Shahre nour (City of light)
I´m a little late again because I´m still worn-out from last week´s Comics-Festival in Munich. As usual it was a blast! It´s always great to meet all the other cartoonists and of course the readers of my comics. Some even follow this blog, like Robert from Stuttgart. Guess what he gave me? Another Bernhard Frank single! Robert bought it at a flea-market and didn´t even like it that much. Thanks a lot Robert!
I think it´s a great record! Amazingly the guy only wrote great songs!!! This one is a little more on the Pop side but still the Rocker shines through on both songs. Lichtspielhaus is about going to the movies with your lover. A great rockin´ up-tempo Pop song.
I think I like the b-side even a little bit better. A mid-tempo song with a big Beatles influence. Rote Segel (im Sonnenuntergang) translates to Red Sails In The Sunset but it´s a completely different song. Much better than the famous one. Beautiful. I love it!
By the way, if you like these songs, Michael over at the (60´s)Mostly Uncomped Blog just made another nice Beat compilation including the other Bernhard Frank songs I posted here and here. You can download the whole package and a bunch more he collected easily with a mouseclick. Good job, Michael!
So apparently Bernhard Frank got a break with Philips but so far I couldn´t find out anything about him. I`m sure sooner or later some information about him will surface. This is great stuff!!!
BERNHARD FRANK, Lichtspielhaus, 1968
BERNHARD FRANK, Rote Segel, 1968
HEIKO HENSS, Take It Easy, 1966
HEIKO HENSS, Und der Himmel weint, 1966
Josef Laufer was one of the few artists ( like Karel Gott, Waldemar Matuska, Vaclav Neckar, Hana Hegerova) from Communist Czechoslovakia who got to record in Western Germany. Of course they also recorded and performed in East-Germany, a socialist brother-country.
Here you can see Josef Laufer playing alongside Vaclav Necker in a Czech musical. The guy posing on the ladder in the denim jacket, that´s him. Very cool. I can already hear the Russian tanks rolling in the back …
I have four of Josef Laufer´s early EPs that he made for the Czech Supraphon label, and even one on the Romanian Electrecord label, but none are as rockin´ as these two songs here, that he sings in German.
JOSEF LAUFER AND THEIR MAJESTIES, Veni Vidi Vici, 1968
JOSEF LAUFER AND THEIR MAJESTIES, 99 Stufen, 1968