As I`ve written last week I have been to Istanbul 4 times in the last 3 years and have always been searching for records. I didn`t know a lot about Turkish rock or pop music so a lot of names were unfamiliar and it was hard to pick the right ones. Only the last time I found some good stuff.
Sometime last year I remembered that I had a whole box full of Turkish 45s in my basement. When my girlfriend and I moved into our apartment ten years ago, we needed some furniture and bought two very cheap 50s cocktail-armchairs in a nearby thrift-store. On the way out I spotted this box of records and asked how much they were. The owner said: “Just take them for free”. They were dusty and without sleeves but I took them all. When I got home I gave them a quick listen and was disappointed that they appeared to be just boring traditional folk music. So they went to the basement.
Last year I remembered this box and with my new knowledge about Turkish music I saw them through, cleaned them and gave them all a spin again. That`s when I discovered this great Erkin Koray 45 that I`ve had all these years and didn`t know about it!
Anybody who knows anything about Turkish rock music knows that Erkin Koray is the king of Turkish rock`n`roll. So this record is not a rarity or obscure, but a Turkish hit record. “Sana Bir Seyler Olmus” is a great cover version of “The land of a 1000 dances”, written and first recorded by Chris Kenner in 1962.
The record has a sticker from a shop in Izmir and two stamps from, I guess, the former owner, who lived just a block away from me. I went there just the other day to see if he was still living there but he must`ve moved. It`s still nice to think that some 39 years ago some Turkish people from my neighborhood rocked out to this stuff…
ERKIN KORAY, Sana Bir Seyler Olmus, 1969
ERKIN KORAY, Seni Her Gördügümde, 1969
This was hidden in the same box. “Ersen ve Dadaslar” are one of the most popular Turkish rock groups and the inventors of the “Anatolian Rock” sound, mixing traditional Turkish and rock music. Normally I don`t like so-called “World-Music” but this is still heavy on the progressive side with some psychedelic moments…
It starts with football fans shouting and has a break with a Turkish radio speaker wildly commenting on a football game. The shouted chorus is something with “Fenerbahce” , so I would guess this is a record in support of the football club “Fenerbahce Istanbul”.
There is no band name credited to the song apart from the musicians: M. Sungar on piano, S. Yurdatapan on bass guitar, R. Anglin on electric guitar, Ismet Demirai on saxophone and Durul Gence on drums. This is pretty much from the beginning of Turkish Rock`n`Roll in the early 60s. I bought some more Turkish Rock`n`Roll 45s on my last visit to Istanbul that I`m going to post in the near future.
So let`s hope the Turkish fans are not wreckin`Kreuzberg tomorrow, as they can get pretty wild in their enthusiasm…
(The illustration is from a postcard that I found in Beyoglu, Istanbul)