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Demis Roussos - The Soundtrack to Summer Forever and Ever.
Demis - Summer Island Music
'When Forever Has Gone ...' Sad News - January 2015
Summer in the '70s
I remember the 1970s with great affection.
The UK seemed to enjoy better, warmer, sunnier summers back then!
Plus, of course, I was enjoying the carefree days of my youth!
I loved a lot of the music ~ especially that which complemented those long hot summer days!
And one performer, who truly seemed to provide the soundtrack for summer, was the singing phenomenon, Demis Roussos. His high lilting, 'warbling' voice complemented the season perfectly ~ and still does!
At the time, Demis had dark eyes, under expressive brows, with a dark moustache and long thick dark curling hair. His heavy build meant that he often wore kaftans.
Now he is slimmer and greyer, but his eyes still express his love of the music and the songs , which he performs, with ease, in a number of languages ~ and with a number of well-known guest partners, including Nana Mouskouri.
Some of his greatest hits were recorded in the decade that was the 1970s, but he continues to release popular albums ~ including some Christmas albums.
He was ~ and still is ~ one of my great favourites!
There are a number of sites, providing information, interviews, biographies, etc, for Demis Roussos ~ and they have helped me greatly with this item. Many thanks to them! They are noted in the 'links' section.
I hope that you will enjoy sharing some of Demis Roussos's music, with me, on this hub!
Demis Roussos - Then and Now
Who Is Demis Roussos?
Demis Roussos is a larger-than-life singing phenomenon from Greece.
Many of his songs have a lovely summery feel to them, so it is not surprising to learn that he was a summer baby ~ born on 15th June, 1946.
Though he is of Greek ancestry, both he and his parents were actually born in Egypt. (In the ancient Greek city of Alexandria, according to Wikipedia.).
His full name is Artemios Ventouris Roussos; son of Olga and George Roussos; brother of Costas Roussos. This was the family, which was residing in Egypt, when the Suez crisis erupted in 1961, and they decided to ~ very quickly ~ go home to Greece. They had to leave many of their belongings behind.
Demis was in his mid teens.
Aphrodites Child - Rain and Tears
Musical History: 'Aphrodites Child' and Other Bands
Demis studied music and learned to play piano, bass and trumpet. By the mid sixties, he and his band, were earning money, entertaining tourists, and others, in Athens hotels.
Later, Demis also started to sing for the customers. According to various 'bios', he was particularly associated with the song 'The House of the Rising Sun'. The two main groups that he was involved with were 'The Idols' and'We Five'.
But his big break came after meeting Vangelis Papathanassiou, in 1966, when he joined the group that would first make him famous ~ 'Aphrodite's Child'. (Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She is the Roman equivalent of Venus, and possibly equivalent to the Phoenicia goddess, Astarte.)
Vangelis Papathanassiou, Demis Roussos, Loukas Sideras and Anargyros Koulouris formed the band 'Aphrodite's Child' in 1967. The following year, they went to London, whence they travelled to Paris, where they recorded probably their best-known their hit: "Rain And Tears". Demis Roussos was the vocalist. Success continued with more hit records and concerts.
Other recordings followed. Then, when the album "666" was in its way to completion, Mr Roussos, now married with a child, went solo ~ though he continued to work with his bandmates, and with Vangelis, on and off, over the years.
According to 'demislegrec.com', he sold two million records in his first year as a solo recording artist!
Demis Roussos - Forever and ever
The Greek Side
Going Solo - The Roussos Phenomenon
The first solo LP, "On the Greek Side of My Mind" ("Fire and Ice") came out in 1971 It followed the success of his single "We Shall Dance".
Another big hit was "My Reason", in 1972. The single, ''Forever and Ever", was another huge hit, as was the album of the same name ~ and as were several other tracks from that same album, like "Goodbye My Love Goodbye" and "Velvet Mornings".
The Roussos Phenomenon, a BBC TV programme, added to his popularity. In the UK, Demis Roussos really was a phenomenon, with his music regularly reaching the top of the charts. He was also popular all over Europe, and he worked in America and Australia.
In 1975, his son was born.
"Lost In Love" was his big hit of 1980.
Demis Roussos - Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun
International Influence and Success
The music for which Demis Roussos is known, and has been known, is often influenced by Greek, Byzantine, Arabic and other folk sounds, of the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Indeed, his music has a very international flavour.
There have also been religious influences. He was once a member of a
Greek Byzantine Church choir. In a 1994 interciew he said: "Jesus Christ preached love, I sing about love, so… and at the moment I am the only variety artist to sing in churches." [http://www.demislegrec.com/anglais/interview.html]
the Most Famous Greek Male Singer in the World
Demis Roussos has achieved immense success, in every part of the world ~ topping the charts, making millions of sales and winning awards ~ and he continues to sing, record, release albums, give concerts ~ and entertain. there are simply too many albums to mention!
He may not be a megastar of the English charts these days, but he is still very popular; his music still sells very well; he still wows an audience at various venues.
Roussos has also written a book: "A Question of Weight" was published in 1982.
He is probably the most famous Greek male singer in the world.
And his voice is still the ultimate sound of summer.
Demis Roussos - When Forever Has Gone
Plane Hi-Jack in 1985 - Quotes
'1985 ..... was the year in which an exceptional event was to leave a deep and lasting mark on Demis. On June 14 he was the victim of a plane hijacking w.... Shocked by this traumatising experience and having brushed with death, Demis realised just how precious and beautiful life is.'
'Demis flew from Athens to Rome on July 14, 1985. Their plane was hijacked and Demis was kept hostage in Beirut for five days. Although the English press at the time praised Demis for "singing his way to freedom" (the hijackers actually celebrated his birthday with him and let him free because he was indeed Demis), it was quite apparent that the incident had left Demis shaken ..'
Demis Roussos Greatest Hits
I bought a number of Demis Roussos singles ~ including 'Forever and Ever', and I was given an album (vinyl) for my 21st birthday. Unfortunately, I lost that a few years later, in a burglary, but I have now replaced it with a CD.
I also have The Roussos Phenomenon on DVD and CD.
Some of my favourite songs are:
"O Can't say how much I love you"
"Goodbye My Love Goodbye"
''Forever and Ever"
"Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun"
"When Forever Has Gone"
"Lost In Love"