Caltex Rec. Kourosh Yaghmaie : the best of / Gol-E-Yakh (1974)***** One of my all time Middle Eastern favorites. Lots of 70's psych organ, piano, electric bass, drums, "catchy" song melodies (Gol-e-Yakh & Entezaar -or here-), some in progressive / soft melodic rock song style, with emotional and incredibly beautiful soft voice & voice harmonies. Also noteceable are a few more funky electric guitar solo's. Highly enjoyable and joyful early 70's styled songs. Very harmonous "progressive" music, with a kind of musically very relaxed, and emotionally rich playing. The musicians take time for the melodic development, in a way I miss often in most music from the West. It also has a high degree of purity in music inspiration. The Persian language here has its own a natural harmony, and feelings and the music is inspired with detail. Highly recommended !! The more I listen to this, the more I like this. I tried to hard to get collector's and global musical interest and attention to this.
The second album (right), with no other title but "Kourosh Yaghmaee", is a live recording which is not very well recorded / mixed, and therefore also not so interesting.*
I heard later KY is considered to be "the grandfather of Iranian rock".
PS. The song "Rayhan" could be compared to Erkin Koray's "Zuleyha".
Audio : "Gol-e Yakh"(or here), "Havar Havar", "Entezaar"(or here), "Paeez", "Leila" and here and here & on http://www.taranehbaran.com/ ; Video's : here, here, here, here, here, here , here , here; Other video's : here * Dario : "Well, the story is that, it was NOT a live album. They are songs recorded in the studio in 1979. They were released on tape inside iran in 1979. The US record company illegally and without the artists permision released the tape in the US, but the quality of the copy they had was so low, that they decided to add pre-recorded hand clapping to the beggining and the end of the songs to make it sound like a concert. Sound samples of the original tapes is available on Kourosh Yaghmaie's site here." Well, this explains it all... Really a shame... Nava Entert. Kourosh Yaghmaie : Sib e Noghree (Silvery Apple) (IR,1994)**°°°
While the first two tracks are rather nice, pop & poprock with some mainstream elements and a variety of style arrangements, I think some of the keyboard arrangements are a bit limited in expression. The third, really great track is calm Persian folk into a rock style. Also the one after this is calm progressive poprock, which sounds nice too, but with some additional keyboards simplifications. The nice song after that uses Spanish lead guitar, double sax, oboe and somewhat let's say, world gothic keyboards. The most impressive track is the last, almost 28 minute long track. It is a true symphonic piece with orchestrations, some traditional Persian instruments, whistle instruments like clarinet, environmental sounds, piano, keyboards and electronics, some choir arrangements which remind me, also in combination with the electronics/keyboards very much of Atom Heart Mother (Pink Floyd), some progressive rock passages, acoustic guitar, and of course the beautiful emotional singing from Yaghmaie. A fantastic, mostly instrumental track which is worth the purchase alone. Some passages are gloomy, melancholic, and very filmic, with an always present richness and the reference to Persian music as well as other standards are mixed brilliantly. A progressive masterpiece. A must-have-track. This was his first album after a 17 year ban.
label? Kourosh Yaghmaie : Tofang Dasteh Noghreh (IR,2001)*°°
I assumed this is a later recording. I heard that Kouroush still performs or lives in Iran, but I don't know any details. Also here the rhythms are mostly taken over by keyboard rhythms, with additional electric guitar and bass, often well arranged but more mainstream as before, even when so many different styles are assembled. I liked the music best when some rhythms are left out, like on the 5th track, which starts with a beautiful electric guitar intro (with some keyboards), some acoustic guitar, and dual vocals until the full-band arrangements take over with more great electric guitar solos, and the last track partially. I'm sure the other tracks with a bigger budget would have been improved. But I assume this is a private recording only, without much support. All potential is still here.
label? Kourosh Yaghmaie : Kaboos -the nightmare- (IR,1997)**°'
The first track on this tape is another creative symphonic concept, like most tracks on this album, arranged by guitars and keyboards and voice(s) only. There's a label print "Iranian antinarcotics propaganda organisation", so seeing the cover with cigarettes I assume this might be some story with a moral, or some kind of musical task. Some of the guitar solos might refer again to Pink Floyd. An interesting composition, which would have been optimal with some big budget support. Second track is a beautiful song on keyboards and acoustic guitar, while third track is heavy guitar rock. Also the tracks on the second side are equally arranged, with a rock attitude. Third track on side B has some nice electric guitar sound, and some heavy rock influence. Kouroush shows here he has all the skills to write good song tracks, and to arrange them in an optimal way, even when also here there is no budget to support him. I hope one day some Iranian government will realize that supporting rock music could mean peaceful communication and interest from other countries. I wish Kouroush could work on the development with his own band once more, in the future.
Now Again Rec. Kourosh Yaghmaie :Back From The Brink (IR,1973-1979,re.2011)***°°
I have tried to promote Kourosh's music for a long time. I also never understood why others whom I showed some tracks to only smiled as if it was just charming to hear this, myself I liked a lot of tracks more and more with each listen. It is about time some label gave Kourosh Yaghmaie all the credit he deserves, and this now finally happens with this compilation. This double CD is a complete set from all the recordings that were saved and were made from before the Iranian "devolution" with all the tracks published from before the political and spiritual change. The story behind what happened to music and to the musicians and their creative lives is sad to say the least. It is written down in the extensive book(let). There has been already one very good unofficial compilation called Gol-E-Yakh, which featured many tracks that can be heard on this compilation, mostly the first CD, but this is the first official remastering of these tracks, lead by this godfather of rock music in Iran, if we can call him that. He surely had an independent and strong vision.
I didn’t listen to the album yet as if it was completely new to me, but only checked what was new to me. From what I didn’t hear before there are some surprises too. The beautiful and sad electric guitar intro of Leila for instance was left out on the previous compilation. It is the first time I heard the rather psychedelic “Shirin Joon” first led on electric guitar and synths with groovy at times funky rhythms, before a song comes forward is paired densely with it, still allowing a few occasional electric guitar riffs. Then we have “Baroona” with acoustic guitar, drums and organ and some sixties harmony vocals and bluesy electric guitar solos. The second album gave many more new tracks but not too many surprises. We must know many songs from this period were recorded in a certain rush of time behind the scenes with little time left before the stop of the natural creative evolution that only left a few people left to decide what is rightful creation and what is not. These tracks are fine but I will need my time to get into all of them.