Kostas Tournas

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Kostas Tournas
Native name Κώστας Τουρνάς
Birth name Kostas Tournas
Born (1949-09-23) 23 September 1949 (age 64)
Origin Tripoli, Greece
Genres Greek rock
Occupations Singer, composer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist
Years active 1960s–present

Kostas Tournas (Greek: Κώστας Τουρνάς) (born 23 September 1949,[1] Tripoli, Greece) is one of the pioneers of modern Greek rock.[2][3] He is a singer and composer of many hits in the 70s including Ti Na Mas Kanei I Nychta (What Can The Night Do For Us).[4]

He shaped Greek rock music in the late 60s along with groups such as Socrates Drank the Conium, Peloma Bokiou, Nostradamos and Hexadactylos. He is also one of the founder members of the pioneering Greek rock group Poll along with Robert Williams.[5]

Tournas along with Robert Williams and Stavros Logarides, as members of the legendary rock group Poll, created a music wave which met with great success and took the music scene of Athens under the colonels by storm. Their music resonated with the young and created songs which still remain in the history of Greek rock.[6]

His 1972 progressive-psychedelic solo album, rock opera Aperanta Horafia (Infinite Fields), is considered a landmark of Greek rock and an act of resistance against the junta which ruled Greece at the time.[7][8]

His songs often deal with Space and Time and one of his greatest hits from his album Astroneira (Star Dreams) was I Michani Tou Chronou (The Machine of Time).[9] He participated in the rock opera Trojan War composed by Yannis Petritsis along with Robert Williams and other Greek rock stars.[10]

His anti-war protest song Anthrope Αgapa (Humankind Love Each Other) as a member of Poll along with his solo albums Astroneira and Kyries kai Kyrioi were among the biggest hits of the 70s in Greece.[11] Tournas was included in the electoral list of New Democracy in 2011.[12] He is also a candidate of ND for the European Parliament.[13]

Early life[edit]

Tournas was born in 1949, in Tripoli, Greece. As a child he enjoyed singing Greek melodies of the era. Due to financial difficulties, his family eventually moved to Kypseli, Athens. Tournas managed to finish high school and in his spare time he used to study playing the guitar which he received as present from his mother.[11]

Music career[edit]

In Athens, Tournas worked at various music clubs in playing Italian and French songs which he did not enjoy very much because he found them melodramatic. He was a Beatles fan to the point of having watched Α Hard Day’s Night seven times in a single day. He also enjoyed listening to the Rolling Stones and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.[11][14]

Poll[edit]

After returning from the army, Tournas founded Poll, one of the first rock groups of Greece, along with his childhood friend Robert Williams and Stavros Logarides. The motto of their group was Poll is love and their logo was the stylised outline of a dove. In a concert with Poll, in their first ever photographic event, at the Pedion tou Areos Tournas played guitar, sitar, flute and the piano.[15] Poll started appearing at the popular Athens music club Kyttaro presenting folk rock songs influenced from the hippie culture which soon became very popular among the youth.[1]

Their first album Anthrope... (Humankind...) included the song Anthrope agapa (Mankind Love Each Other) which became a huge success and came in a fashionable gunny sack.[1][11][16] Anthrope agapa is considered the first protest anti-war song in the history of Greek rock.[1] Other hits from the same album included Poll Means Love, Έλα Ήλιε μου (Come My Sun), Στην Πηγή μια Κοπέλα (A Girl At the Fountain), Αετοί (Eagles) and Η Γενιά μας (Our Generation).[1][16]

It was followed by their second album Lefko (White) which was influenced by the Beatles White Album.[11] Poll dissolved soon after their second album.[11] The group broke up because Tournas wanted to pursue a solo career. When asked about the reasons of the breakup Tournas commented that sometimes a group is like a partnership and when the reasons for its existence are no longer there then it breaks up.[17]

Later career[edit]

Following Poll, in 1972 Tournas composed Aperanta Horafia, a 40 minute psychedelic pop-rock symphonic work which he presented with the group Ruth.[1][7] The work featured the participation of a symphonic orchestra. Tournas was inspired by Beethoven for this work.[11] Aperanta Horafia sold just 2500 records at the time. During the subsequent 39 years, multiple editions of the record have sold-out. On the 40th anniversary of the album, Tournas performed a concert featuring the work with the participation of the Orchestra of Modern Music of ERT under the direction of Stathis Soulis at the theatre of the cultural centre Hellenic World.[7][8]

Tournas' career took off in the 70s and in subsequent decades he produced several other hits.[11] In 1973, influenced by David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, he created Astronira (Star Dreams).[1] His songs often deal with Space and Time and one of his greatest hits from his album Astronira (Star Dreams) was I Michani Tou Chronou (The Machine of Time), a song about how Time, like a machine, changes everyone and everything.[9] He participated in the rock opera Trojan War composed by Yannis Petritsis along with Robert Williams and other Greek stars such as Marina, Giorgos Moutsios and Charlie.[10]

He appeared also in several television broadcasts and live performances in Greece and Cyprus.[11][18] In 1973, Tournas along with Greek rock-pop idols Elpida, Marina, and Robert Williams gave a performance at the Open-Air Theatre in Cyprus which attracted thousands. The Dance orchestra of ERT also performed at the same event.[18] His night concerts have been praised as "reviving a whole era" with his songs which "have written a part of the pop-history" of Greece from the era of Poll to the present day.[19] His Italo disco album Fantasia 85 has been praised by an Italian music critic.[20]

Guitars[edit]

Over the years Tournas used the following guitars.[21]

Discography[edit]

This is a partial list of Tournas' discography:[22]

Date Album title Record company
1972 Απέραντα Χωράφια (Endless Fields) Polydor
1973 Αστρόνειρα (Star Dreams) Polydor
1974 Κυρίες & Κύριοι (Ladies and Gentlemen) Polydor
1974 Ο Πιο Καλός Τραγουδιστής / Η Μηχανή Του Χρόνου (7", Single) (The Best Singer/The Machine Of Time) Polydor
1975 Λευκά Φτερά (LP, Album) (White Wings) Polydor
1978 Αγαπημένη (Beloved) Polydor
1980 Τώρα (LP, Album) (Now) Polydor
1981 Χωρίς Λόγια (Wiτhout Words) Polydor
1982 Λίγη Αμαρτία (LP, Album) (A Little Sin) Polydor
1983 Υπερβολές (LP, Album) (Hyperbole) Polydor
1985 Πορτραίτο (LP, Comp) (LP, Album) (Portrait) Polydor
1986 Κλισέ (Cliché) Polydor
1988 Παιχνίδι (LP, Album) (Game) Polydor
1990 Αλητείες (Bumming Around) RCA, BMG
1993 Κάτω Απ' Την Ακρόπολη (Below Acropolis) RCA
1993 Ντουέτα (Duets) RCA
1996 Δεν Λέει (Doesn't Say) RCA, BMG
1998 Κώστας Τουρνάς - Χρήστος Δάντης - Live (Kostas Tournas-Christos Dantes - Live) RCA, BMG

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Kostas Tournas". europopmusic.eu. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Maria Paravantes (28 Jul 2000). "Sea 'n' sun and sounds of the season". Athens News. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "One of the forerunners of popular Greek song, former member of Poll, one of Greece's first rock groups, Kostas Tournas is mostly admired for his musicianship and distinctive crystal clear vocals. Not one to rest on his laurels, Tournas' talent of tuning in with the times is truly unique." 
  3. ^ "Kostas Tournas Biography". Music Corner. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Maria Paravantes (11 Jul 2003). "Flying to the moon with Tereza". Athens News. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Maria Paravantes (28 Jul 2000). "Greek beat". Athens News. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "is an interesting album with 13 mature rock-tinged tracks that hark back to the fledgling steps of the genre in the late '60s (with the likes of Kostas Tournas and Poll, Socrates Drank the Conium)" 
  6. ^ "Ο Σταύρος Λογαρίδης επιστρέφει". To Vima. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 9 March 2013. "O Σταύρος Λογαρίδης, αποστασιοποιημένος τα τελευταία χρόνια από τη μουσική σκηνή της Αθήνας, έγινε γνωστός τη δεκαετία του '70, όταν με το συγκρότημά του, τους θρυλικούς Poll, σάρωναν τις σκηνές της πόλης με μεγάλη επιτυχία και απήχηση στο νεανικό κοινό, παρέα με τον Κώστα Τουρνά και τον Ρόμπερτ Ουίλιαμς, γράφοντας μερικά από τα καλύτερα τραγούδια, τα οποία έμειναν στην ιστορία της ελληνικής μουσικής."  (Greek)
  7. ^ a b c "Ο Τουρνάς ξαναπερπατά τα "Απέραντα Χωράφια"". Athinorama. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "Μετά τη διάλυση των Poll, ο Κώστας Τουρνάς ηχογράφησε τα «Απέραντα Χωράφια», ένα προοδευτικό-ψυχεδελικό σόλο άλμπουμ, το οποίο υπήρξε πράξη αντίστασης και ταυτόχρονα όαση μέσα στο μονότονο λαϊκό τοπίο της εποχής. Ήταν 1972. Μαζί με το συγκρότημα Ρουθ, o Κώστας Τουρνάς δεν παρέδωσε απλώς ένα συμβατικό rock δίσκο, αλλά μια rock opera, η οποία αναγνωρίζεται σήμερα ως ορόσημο του ελληνικού rock. Translation: After the breakup of Poll Kostas Tourns recorded Aperanta Horafia, a progressive-psychedelic solo album, which was an act of resistance and simultaneously an oasis from the monotone popular-music landscape of the era. Together with the rock group Routh, Tournas did not simply deliver a conventional rock record, but a rock opera, which is recognised today as a landmark of Greek rock."  (Greek)
  8. ^ a b Δελτίο Τύπου musicpaper.gr (11 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012). ""Απέραντα χωράφια" του Κώστα Τουρνά καρποφορούν 40 χρόνια μετά". musicpaper.gr. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "Η Ορχήστρα Σύγχρονης Μουσικής της ΕΡΤ υπό τη διεύθυνση του Στάθη Σούλη παρουσιάζει ένα μοναδικό μουσικό ταξίδι με ένα έργο ορόσημο της ελληνικής ροκ σκηνής [translation: presents a unique musical journey with a work-landmark in the Greek rock scene], το Σάββατο 15 Σεπτεμβρίου, στις 20:30, στο «Κηποθέατρο» του Δήμου Παπάγου. 40 χρόνια μετά «Τα απέραντα χωράφια» του Κώστα Τουρνά θα ακουστούν ξανά με τη σύμπραξη της Ορχήστρας Σύγχρονης Μουσικής της ΕΡΤ σε μια βραδιά-αφιέρωμα στη μουσική του..."  (Greek)
  9. ^ a b Κώστας Ζουγρής (19 Μαρτίου 2010). "Η μηχανή του χρόνου στο τραγούδι". Eleftherotypia. Retrieved 8 March 2013.  (Greek)
  10. ^ a b Κώστας Ζουγρής (21 Αυγούστου 2009). "Το έργο του Ομήρου, πηγή έμπνευσης για τους μουσικούς". Eleftherotypia. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "Στην ελληνική μουσική, εκτός από τον Τρωικό Πόλεμο του Γιάννη Πετρίτση, που ήταν μία προσπάθεια για τη δημιουργία μιας ροκ όπερας βασισμένης στο έπος του Ομήρου, με τη συμμετοχή τραγουδιστών της εποχής, όπως οι Κώστας Τουρνάς, Ρόμπερτ Γουίλιαμς, Μαρίνα, Γ. Μούτσιος, Charlie"  (Greek)
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Παπανάγνου Βάιος, Νικολαΐδης Ηλίας (2011-11-15). "Η τάξη του ’71". To Vima. Retrieved 8 March 2013.  (Greek)
  12. ^ ΑΛΙΚΗ ΜΑΤΣΗ (11 Δεκεμβρίου 2011). "Εκλογικές λίστες έτοιμες από καιρό". Eleftherotypia. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "Στη Β' Αθηνών ο κατάλογος δεν έχει κλείσει. Εκτός των παλαιών, νυν βουλευτών, οι πληροφορίες θέλουν να έχουν ήδη εγκριθεί οι υποψηφιότητες των Στ. Παπατζανή, Αρ. Ματιάτου, Αννας Καραμανλή, Ν. Κωστόπουλου και του τραγουδοποιού Κ. Τουρνά."  (Greek)
  13. ^ "Οι υποψήφιοι ευρωβουλευτές των κομμάτων Νέα Δημοκρατία". Kathimerini. 9 Mαρτίου 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "Φεβρονία Πατριανάκου, Γεώργιος Μυλωνάς, Μαρία Σωτηρίου, Νικόλαος Σπυριδωνάκος, Μαρία Συρεγγέλα, Κώστας Τουρνάς, Αθανασία Χαλιλοπούλου, Ευελίνα Φελικίδου και Κώστας Πουπάκης."  (Greek)
  14. ^ Κωστας Κατσαπης; Κεντρο Νεοελληνικων Ερευνων (Εθνικον Ιδρυμα Ερευνων) (2007). Ηχοι και αποηχοι: κοινωνικη ιστορια του ροκ εν ρολ φαινομενου στην Ελλαδα, 1956-1967. Γενικη Γραμματεια Νεας Γενιας. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "Κώστας Τουρνάς, για παράδειγμα, θυμάται ότι παρακολούθησε την ταινία Α Ηατά Ώαγ'χ ΝϊξΗί των Μπητλς τέσσερις με..." (Greek)
  15. ^ Μανωλης Νταλουκας (2006). Ελληνικο ροκ: ιστορια της νεανικης κουλτουρας απο τη γενια του Χαους μεΧρι τον θανατο του Παυλου Σιδηροπουλου. Αγκυρα. ISBN 978-960-422-386-2. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "Οι ΡοΙΙ, στο Πεδίο του Άρεως, στην πρώτη τους φωτογράφηση. Παρουσιάζονται με την εξής σύνθεση (από αριστερά προς τα δεξιά): Σπύρος 77α- παγιάννης (κιθάρα, σιτάρ), Κώστας Τουρνάς (κιθάρα, σιτάρ, φλογέρα, πιάνο, τραγούδι), Νάσια ..." (Greek)
  16. ^ a b "Poll discography". Discogs. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Γιατί διαλύονται τα συγκροτήματα". To Vima. 2000-10-15. Retrieved 8 March 2013.  (Greek)
  18. ^ a b Cyprus To-day. Public Information Office. 1973. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "The Dance Orchestra of the National Broadcasting Company of Greece accompanied by four very popular Greek singers — Elpida, Marina, Costas Tournas and Robert Williams — attracted thousands of young Cypriots to the Open-Air Theatre" 
  19. ^ Κώστας Ζουγρής (24 Φεβρουαρίου 2013). "Ποπ βραδιές με τον Τουρνά". Eleftherotypia. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "ΜΙΑ ΟΛΟΚΛΗΡΗ εποχή ζωντανεύει ο Κώστας Τουρνάς με τα τραγούδια του, που έγραψαν μέρος της ποπ ιστορίας, από τους «Poll» μέχρι πρόσφατα."  (Greek)
  20. ^ Maurino.Boogie (8 March 2012). "Timeless Beats Costas Tournas Fantasia-85". electronique.it. Retrieved 8 March 2013. "_ arranger, multi-instrumentalist and singer popular greek whose productions range dall'Easy listening to folk-rock."  (Italian)
  21. ^ John Deos (Deos) (14 September 2012). "Συνέντευξη με τον Κώστα Τουρνά". musicheaven. Retrieved 9 March 2013.  (Greek)
  22. ^ "Kostas Tournas discography". Discogs. Retrieved 10 March 2013.