CULTURE

Music sales picking up during Games

Does it matter that each time a Greek athlete takes the stand, he is accompanied by syrtaki music, or that Greek success has been linked to an out-of-key, touristy soundtrack we have been trying to forget for years? «Syrtaki is very much in fashion these days and so is the national anthem,» said a broadcaster of national television. Fortunately, the opening ceremony soundtrack managed to fit everything in: from DJ Tiesto to Theodorakis, from Bjork to Hadjidakis and from Hadziyiannis to Papadimitriou and Xarhakos. What about the albums sales though and how were they affected by the Games? We wanted to find out what sort of music «sells» during the Games and came across different views. As spectators in the stadiums, we have been listening to rock, ethnic, Greek, lounge, pop, film music, from the Beatles to Edith Piaf and from Eleni Tsaligopoulou to U2, Deep Purple, Nikos Portokaloglou, Haris Alexiou, Manolis Lidakis and Giorgos Dalaras – a mixture reminiscent of a broken radio. Bjork may have interpreted «Oceania,» but her new album «Medulla» has not yet reached Greek music stores. Judging from estimations, it will probably not be sold out. Bjork, in an attempt to justify her not-so-spectacular appearance at the opening ceremony, told fans over the Internet the Olympic Stadium is not the most suitable venue for her songs and that her music sounds better in caves and huts. DJ Tiesto is facing no such problems, since he is heard everywhere and the fact he is considered the No. 1 DJ in the world is not random. His sales remained steady both before the opening ceremony and after, judging by the sales of «Just Be.» Tassos Anastassiadis, from the dance music department of the central branch of the Metropolis music store, said it has only been a few days after the start of the Games and that DJ Tiesto enjoyed large sales even before, because there were rumors he would be attending various events. «I think Bjork will also do well when her album gets here, although she wasn’t that great. She doesn’t have a best seller, or something that would stand out. Collections and what they play at clubs, all the current hits, is what is selling the most,» he added. «It’s certain things that sell steadily,» said the jazz department representative of the same music store. «It’s Greek bands like Human Touch and Barberis, 6.90-euro offers of old titles, Greek, traditional albums, Bithikotsis, Zorbas and Theodorakis, which tourists insist on.» «We usually sell Hadjidakis and Theodorakis,» said Nikos Zotos, representative of the Metropolis branch at the Elefterios Venizelos Airport. «We have always had an increased demand in Greek music. Today we can talk about a small increase, not a huge one and it is mostly about Greek entechno and not folk music. There is an approximate 4 percent increase in the music of Hadjidakis, Theodorakis and Yiannis Kotsiras. Foreign music is at roughly the same levels as last year. Visitors always ask for collections, mostly Greek ones.» Singer Yiannis Kotsiras and «Pass the Flame» were favored by the opening ceremony, despite the fact we have heard tango, tsamiko and jazz remixes of that song. Despina Vandi is also heard quite a bit, because of a sponsor’s ad. «It’s not just the opening ceremony, but the flame as well,» continued Zotos. «It is only lately that ‘Pass the Flame’ has started selling more. Since the flame’s arrival we have been selling about five copies per day, when before we only sold one per day.» The three Olympic albums, «Phos,» «Harmony» and «Unity,» fall into the same category as Olympic mascots Phevos and Athena and the other genuine Olympic products, and it seems «Phos» is faring better. In Maroussi, things look different. Nikos Tsakiridis, from the local branch of the Virgin music stores, said already there is great demand for Bjork. «They ask for her album, but it hasn’t been released here yet. We expect it any day now. DJ Tiesto enjoys high sales regardless, he didn’t need the Games to boost his sales. In general, things are quite slow. A couple of days ago, some international media asked us for Greece’s ‘best of.’ We gave them Ploutarchos, Anna Vissi, Theodorakis and the like. ‘Phos’ is quite high on the list and somebody even asked for Sakis Rouvas the other day. Regarding foreign hits, the Olympics are not necessary for the public to remember DJ Tiesto or Bjork, they enjoy high sales anyway. Besides, that is why they were asked to perform. Or am I wrong?»