This article is the English version of the Greek article
Η Πωλίνα μιλά στο Dilzas Says and Shares για το MTV και το Αγγλόφωνο Maxi Single της που παρουσίασε ο Steve Blame! Αποκλειστικες φωτογραφίες και τα remixes του τραγουδιου του Nikko Patrelakis για πρωτη φορά στο Ιντερνετ!
translated in English by TINA REFENES
1990. This is the period before the explosion of information on the Internet. Music lovers and record fanatics like myself, were kept informed of new releases by our favourite record store owners who would tell us “we received a sample of such an artist’s new release, we have placed an order and it will be delivered on such a day.”
Therefore a regular trip to the Centre of Athens looking for new releases, was a favourite pastime. Can you imagine what it was like wanting to be informed about everything instantly and YouTube did not exist?
In the pre-Internet age of the 80s and 90s our main source of information on new releases came from the various Greek music magazines of the time (“POP + ROCK”, “TOP and Lyrics”, “POP CORN”, “DISCOMODA IN”, “SMASH HITS”) and others.
Also information came from TV shows initially with Roula Koromila’s “Morning Coffee” where she frequently presented our favourite artists performing their new releases (if you visit my YouTube Channel, Dilzas Says and Shares – kosdil, you will find many such appearances which as a child I used to record on VHS so that I could watch them again). Then came “Bravo” where record companies battled for airing space on a Saturday night to promote the records and songs in their catalogues. And over the years there have been several others such as “CIAO ANT1”, “STAR CAFE”, etc.
And of course on the radio we had Natalia Germanou with “Club Sandwich” and Poseidonas Giannopoulos with “Music Express” and we would hang out around the Radio in the afternoons to listen to any new releases which they had exclusively secured for their programmes.
So in 1990 Polina is a big star in Greek Showbiz.
I remember admiring her as a child in the TV show “Pramata kai Thamata” with Sophi Zaninou, where the whole family sat around the television in the evenings to have fun with thοse amazing ladies.
Polina had been doing very well in the years before 1986, (she was singing with the great showman Giorgos Marinos; she took part in Thessaloniki’s Music Festival; she participated in Eurovision together with Elpida and “Socrates”; she was a member of the group “Sunset” etc), when she released her first album “Biriba” with which she began her journey to stardom which came a year later, firstly with the single “Roz bikini” which was on the album “Ta 10 dekaria”, and in early 1988 with “Pame gia treles stis Seiheles” which became a smash hit and climbed to the top of the official Greek Chart published by “POP AND ROCK”.
In 1990 after her success with the famous Seychelles LP, she released the album “Kontres” which proved to be full of hit singles (“Anatolitisa”, “Kontres”, “Oli ta pernoune”, “Pseftis”, “Radio agapi mou”, “Safari”), and then she released yet another album “Kali Epitihia” also full of hit singles (“Kikloforise”, “Push-ups”, “10 hronia meta”, “Kali Epitihia”, “Zalada”, “Oti kalitero”, “Eh, kai ti m’afto”, etc).
In that year then, when Polina is at the top of her career with many hit singles under her belt, when she is appearing on the most popular TV shows, when she appears as the first name in Athens’ night clubs and while her album “Kali Epitihia” is selling like hot cakes, entirely silently and without warning, a new release pops up in the record stores!
I will never forget my regular visit to the “Diskadiko tis Athinas” (famous Greek record store) that particular afternoon of 1990 looking for new releases!
Passing through the new releases section I went straight to the maxi singles section, as this is my favourite format (successful hits of the time, mainly from abroad, were released as maxi singles). The maxi single was a regular 12 inch vinyl record but it usually played at 45rpm containing remixes of only one song, and sometimes it would include some other songs as bonus tracks.
And so, as I am going through the maxi singles looking for new releases, I fall upon this front cover!
It just says POLINA! Nothing else!
I recognised our beloved Polina on the cover photo, I seemed to remember seeing it before in one of her magazine interviews, and I was amazed! “What’s going on?.. can it really be her?.. our own Polina on a foreign maxi single? How? When?”
I pick up the maxi and turning it over I note that the record is released by CBS Greece and Polina is singing a song which we, who follow foreign discography as listeners and record collecors, know nothing about. The song is called “Your Body” and the title of the song is not mentioned on the front cover but only on the back!
I see Nikko (Patrelakis) in the credits who I knew from a maxi single that I had recently bought, one of his works that had been released in Netherlands as Nikko, his amazing maxi single “Once in a Lifetime”, years before he became famous, enchanting the Greek music loving public with his works. I have never been able to understand why such a wonderful maxi single did not come out under the label of CBS Greece. Was it perhaps Nikko’s wish or was it because CBS Greece did not show any interest in what was for the times a very progressive production?
The lyrics of “Once in a Lifetime” and “Your Body” were both written by the beloved Terry Siganos!!
My anxiety reaches the limit. I start counting my money… (no credit/ debit cards then but only my very limited pocket money!) and thankfully I had enough to buy it! I do so and, crazy with anticipation, I rush home to place the maxi on the pick-up, (unlucky today’s younger generation who do not experience this anxiety of anticipation, as nowadays every detail regarding their favourite artists and their new releases is at their fingertips).
I put the maxi to the record player and I am astonished by what I hear! A crazy 90s funky mix, a great song with a wonderful beat and a production far ahead of the times in Greek discography. I hear a saxophone masterfully played by the very talented David Lynch! The 1st side contains the Deep mix which has been mixed by Nikko himself.
I flip the record over so that I can listen to the Funky mix produced by the great Nikos Espialides! I cannot believe what I’m hearing! A song with the potential to become an international success! Polina’s voice is reminiscent of Eartha Kitt who made a crazy comeback in the 80s with “Where Is My Man”.
Impressed and proud with the step that my beloved Polina had taken, I waited for the promotion of the song, anticipating that I would hear it on the Radio, see it climbing the charts, see Polina singing it on the TV.
I also expected “Kali Epitihia” to be re-released and to include “Your Body” as a bonus track (a usual practice by record companies to increase the sales of an album).
Unfortunately none of the above ever happened…
Time passes and the song is invisible. It would appear that the company is not promoting the song at all, as a visit to most of the record stores confirmed. They had stocked none or indeed very few pieces of the maxi single – unbelievable considering the brightness of Polina’s star at the time. Polina is still appearing on TV but she only sings her “Kali Epitihia’s” LP smash hit singles, in accordance with the record company’s advice.
Until the news break!
MTV’s Steve Blame will present a tribute to Polina and “Your Body” on his programme! It was then that the music magazines started to write about Polina’s English song and about MTV’s famous Video Jay’s involvement with our beloved singer.
Steve Blame comes to Greece and the shooting of the tribute takes place. And it is now that the TV channels and the public generally, took notice of “Your Body”.
Unfortunately I cannot remember if I kept a recording of any of the TV reports and however much I have searched my VHS archives, I cannot find anything. Perhaps our beloved Nikko has some material which he would kindly share with us after all these years, as a gift to all the people who love this song, Polina and himself!!!
Following MTV’s reportage I expected to see the song released in other countries under different labels, but this never happened.
Unfortunately the song was never promoted by CBS Greece and obviously there has never been an agreement with other labels. I wonder why they bothered to release it since they didn’t promote it at all.
In 2007, 17 years after the release of “Your Body”, Sony Greece released an album “best of” Polina which included, amongst her successful hits with the company, the duet she sung with Dakis and released by Minos called “Val’ to disko”, but unfortunately Sony did not include “Your Body” on this album. And so the song missed this opportunity to pass onto the digital age and has remained in its analogue form as a vinyl.
But of course, the most suitable person to tell us about the song’s journey is Polina herself, and I am pleased and proud that she has graciously agreed to share through Dilzas Says and Shares her memories of this project and to give me for publication rare photographs of her shooting with Steve Blame!
I feel great joy to host my beloved Polina in an interview about this wonderful and unexpected project!
POLINA ON DILZAS SAYS AND SHARES!
– Polina, how did this wonderful project come about? Whose idea was it?
– The idea was Nikko’s who was super talented and very far ahead of the times! Of course I agreed immediately, as did CBS, and we began…
– Why was this great song never included in an album??? Not even in “Back to the 80s – The Very Best of Polina”!
– I really do not know. I simply believe that as it was the first foreign language piece and an independent production, they considered that it had no place in a collection of Greek hits…
– I want to know about Steve Blame and how all that came about! Steve Blame was then MTV’s most famous VJ presenter!!! I wonder where that Polina’s tribute MTV video can be found now???
– The agreement and the shooting with Steve Blame for MTV was a great moment and we all enjoyed it tremendously.
I believe that the copyright of the interview was not something we could claim, but because I am not sure, only Nikko would be able to answer.
I do remember that the shooting took place in Petros Kostopoulos group (IMAKO) buildings, and he was there with us!
There is of course photographic material!!!
– How was the song recorded? Did you record your voice together with the instruments?
– No, when the musicians finished with their instruments, I then added my voice to the recording.
– Do you remember anything special from the recording?
– I had a little help with my pronunciation but from what I remember everything went very well!
My dearest Polina I thank you from the bottom of my heart for these details and for the rare photographic material you gave me for this article!
The exclusive photographs given to Dilzas Says and Shares by our beloved Polina.
The two songs from the maxi single have now been uploaded to Dilzas Says and Shares in a high quality transfer from the vinyl and with new sound editing. (The Deep mix had been uploaded to YouTube in the past, but it was of a different quality. The Funky mix has never been uploaded!).
The songs of the maxi single “Your Body”
1. Polina – Your Body – Deep Mix by Nikko
2. Polina – “Your Body” – Funky Mix by N. Espialides
With my beloved Polina. A love that has lasted years…
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Until the next time I bid you farewell!