Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tokoloshe Men

John Kongos, born 1945 in Johannesburg, at Greek parents, is best known for his 1971 hit He’s Gonna Step on You Again. The song was a top 10 hit in UK and is cited in the Guinness book as the first song to ever use a sample (Wikipedia). In another interview (in Greek) Kongos claims that the use of tape loops was something usual at the time.
He’s Gonna Step on You Again was covered by several artists, most successful being the Happy Mondays cover under the title Step On.
The song was co-written by Chris Demetriou, another one with Greek origin (born in Cyprus and moved to South Africa).

He's Gonna Step on You Again (1971) - John Kongos

Tokoloshe Man (1971) - John Kongos

Both of them became known during the 60s, Kongos with his band Johnny Kongos and the G-Men and Demetriou with John E Sharpe & the Squires. The two form Floribunda Rose and in 1967 move to UK. After one year of touring and some singles Floribunda Rose change lineup and name. The new band created by Kongos and Demetriou, Scrugg, was another short lived project. After 3 singles and some heavy touring they split.The psychedelic pop music of Floribunda Rose and Scrugg plus the first solo album by John Kongos, Confusions About a Goldfish, are gathered in the Lavender Popcorn (1966 - 1969) compilation.

One Way Street (1967) - Floribunda Rose

Lavender Popcorn (1968) - Scrugg

Kongos followed a solo career with success in several countries during the 70s. Demetriou changed direction in 1972 and as a producer he produced many albums and singles with Buddha and the Chocolate Box by Cat Stevens (also from Cyprus) being one of them. Demetriou (according to Wikipedia) today is CEO and owner of a media company, a senior pastor (!) and a writer.
Kongos during the late 70s and 80s has written several film and TV scores including The Greek Tycoon, (story by Nico Mastorakis), Blind Date (b-movie by Nico Mastorakis), Cats Eyes etc. Today he lives in Arizona with his family (his children have formed their own band named Kongos).

Just a Dance With Me (1978) - Petula Clark (John Kongos from Greek Tycoon OST)

Cats Eyes theme (1985) - John Kongos (from Cats Eyes TV series)

I Need Your Love (1984) - John Kongos (from Blind Date OST)

Additional information about both Kongos and Demetriou plus interviews you can find in the nice Garagehangover blog (here and here) which I also used as a source of information.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Unreleased Soundtracks

Back to the 70s soundtracks with some unreleased ones. As in other posts with unreleased soundtracks, I have done some editing in order to improve sound. Some noises still exist but in any case I did my best.

So the first one comes from a 1975 movie, The Navel (Synomosia sti Mesogeio was the Greek title).
It’s a spy movie shot in various places with some great funk/jazz music from the great George Hatzinasios. Hatzinasios is a composer who not only has a jazz feeling but also knows how to conduct a small orchestra. Although he has released a number of quite significant soundtracks (The Hook, Soul and Flesh etc), a great portion of his work with movies remains unpublished.

The Navel (1975)

Mikaela is a sexploitation movie released in 1975.
Credits for the original music belong to George Paris and from a quick search I didn’t find any other soundtrack he has composed (although he was credited as Music Supervisor in at least 9 more Greek movies of the 70s). The score is a typical, funky exploitation one.

Mikaela, Sweet Temptation (1975)

The Last Flight is a drama from 1978.
The movie has some really great music from the soundtrack master Kostas Kapnisis and it is really a pity that the soundtrack is not released.

About Kapnisis we have said a few things in older posts and hopefully we’ll present more of his work in the future.

Here’s a small sample, a bossa nova from Last Flight.

Last Flight (1978)

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