The WWII, the greek civil war that followed and 7 more years of junda until 1974 kept the greeks more focused on their internal political problems and as every nation has their own arts such as music, to express themselves and talk about every day problems, so did the greeks.
During the 60s, English and American records had still a small distribution and most of the records were entering the country thanks to the greek seamen and their taste on Latin music or bands such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Elvis Presley etc.
It was easier for Italian pop albums or whatever wasn’t “extreme” cause the greek politicians were great fans of the word “cencorship”…
(The Law nr 4000 – something like Tony Blair’s, Anti-Social Behaviour Act – was formed for young people with long hair and “inapropriate behaviour” in general, that were arrested for “teddyboysm”…a greeklish word that would have you with two not so friendly cops, who would give you for free some cool haircut (usualy a Mohawk) and take you for a walk out in the streets while you would have a paper on your chest saying “I am an animal (donkey specifically) I am a teddyboy”.)
This photo on the left, comes from the year 1958 with “teddyboys” being humiliated by the greek police…(Well, later on that haircut would come in fashion-not thanks to the coppers though…)
So, seamen were mostly “importing” mainstream stuff that was appropriate for parties.
The Rolling Stones were the first band (and the last for many years to follow) to play live in Athens on April 17 1967 when during the concert, the police attacked the audience, turned off the lights and started beating the shit out of anybody in their way for no reason- was that part of the show ? (eye-witness describes the whole thing here: http://www.rocksoff.org/greece-april-17-1967-3.htm) Four days later, the junda people took over…
While things were (read here: doubting…) rapidly changing in Greece during the 80s and leaving the junda days (add here: almost) far behind, punk rock and new wave bands were flourished everywhere. Calling somebody a fascist would make almost everyone turn their head having an angry expression on their face…
The first new wave band that made it big were Lefki Symfonia (engl: White Symphony gr: Λευκή Συμφωνία).
Active since 1984, this Athenian band were signed to EMI (Greece) and released their first album “Mystiki Kipi” (engl: Secret Gardens) in 1986.
song title: Mistiki kipi
Thanks to heavy radio rotation and tv promotion, the album had realy good sales, the band played live in Barcelona’s BIENALE and was the first greek band to appear on MTV.
During 1988 EMI released their second album, “Iho tou Pothou” (engl: Echo of Lust)
song title: kitazontas piso
In 1990 the band moved to Germany, changed their name to “Timedrops” played a few gigs and tried to establish a name.
3 years later they returned to Greece and were signed to WEA (Greece) releasing a 12” EP titled “Tha ime eki” (engl: I’ll be there) and the album “Lefki Symfonia”.
song title: tha ime eki
Yet the band was shocked by the death of their drummer (Spyros Harisis, age 27, committed suicide) and they would never recover from the tragic loss of their friend.
Lefki Symfonia supported Metallica and the Cult in Athens while about the same year ,in 1996, released what would be their last album, simply titled, “Hromata” (engl. Colours).
Soon after that, the band split.
Pioneers of the greek new wave scene, Lefki Symfonia had the luck to be signed by two major labels and gave a taste to the rest of the local bands that things would be difficult even under a major greek record company. Simply because they come from Greece and they don’t carry a bouzouki…