Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Reappearance: Kourosh and "Ghazal"

We have an oldie for today's song. Ghazal is by Kourosh Yaghmaei, a guitarist, singer and one of the early pioneers of rock music in Iran. He first learned music on the santur and followed traditional Iranian music, but became interested in Western music that he heard on the radio, such as Bach. Listening to rock bands, he taught himself guitar, and in the early 60s joined a rock group called The Raptures, which played covers of Western rock bands such as The Kinks, The Beatles and The Monkees. In the early 70s he started his own band, with his brothers as members. He got his musical ideas by combining Iranian melodies, instrumentals, vocals, and tones with Western harmonies, scales, and modes. He had great success until the Iranian Revolution and a ban on his performances. He did not perform much for three decades, both within and outside Iran. His albums were only allowed to be re-released during the 1990s, though the Iranian diaspora has been very aware of his music. In 2011, the compilation album Back from the Brink - Pre-Revolution Psychedelic Rock from Iran (1973-1979) was released and brought him international attention. You can find Ghazal on that album.