Introductions about Persian Rock in 70's and now :

"Iran in the 70's was pretty much copying western styles of music, but the rock genre did not appeal as much as to the youth who had just discovered Disco. There was a place called "Kakh Javanan" or Palace of the youth , which was the main stage for Iranian rock artists.

The most popular artists who emerged from this generation were Koroush Yaghmayee (still performing in Iran today ) ,Farhad (recently passed away), Naser Cheshmazar ( still performing in Iran), the group Black Cats (now mainstream POP and in LA), the group Zangooleha (or the bells), the group Ojoobeha (or the remarkables), Toofan" (the storm ), and Ardeshir Farah (now very successful with the group Strunz and Farah, grammy award nominated)."  

There is a huge activity going on in Iran at the moment regrading underground music. As you know , the current Iranian government is against all sorts of western influences and most of these are illegal , especially art and music, but youth feel the need to express themselves with these styles. In Iran's underground music scene, we now have hundreds of groups writing and recording heavy metal, grunge, Jazz....etc without ever having the chance to get published.

just a sample :

The forerunner of these underground groups now is O-Hum who has a huge cult following in the underground music scene. You can listen to all their stuff here: htp:// "*

B. K.

*(PS. O-Hum still is within meanstream reach)

According to Dario artists that should be interesting for my interest are :

"1) Kourosh Yaghmaii, 2) Abbas Mehrpouya, 3) Googoosh (her late 70's work), 4) Ramesh (Her late 70's work), 5) Habib (Habib Mohebbian) His early works, 6) Siavash Ghomeyshi (still very active), 7) Shahram Shabpareh (song Leila Leila), 8) Nasser Cheshmazar, 9) Fereydoun Foroughi, and perhaps Mazyar (male singer), and Mahasty (female singer) who's late 70s material was a mix of pop with traditional"

“I think Iran made the best music in the world for the years 1976 and 1977, with two arrangers that were absolutely amazing and sophisticated.
But, if you like "rock" and psychedelic, Iran was not an appropriate country  for that. The reason is that there was really just one big FM radio station and this station had a musical director that was a famous classical music composer. So obviously if the record was not orchestrated it didn't have a chance of getting airplay. Even Yaghmaie was banned from airplay until he joined forces with a guy that was working on the radio panel.”

There is also a two set DVD compilation that is in really high quality, of various artists. You can buy it at: * (review futher on my pages)

The arrangers that were great where Varoojan who died in 1977. Example here. The video is a bit confusing though because they show some of the songs performed live with new arrangements, but the 70s footages are the real thing. The other arranger was Manouchehr Chesmazar . He was truely amazing unfortunately after the revolution the quality of his work dropped heavily, but if you understand music and arrangement you'll see that it is difficult to come up with such contrast between the songs melody and the arrangements. This one is a killer example : video


Another introduction from :             

"The Golden Age of Persian pop music started as early as the 1950s under the monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. During his rule, there was an emergence of a new Western-influenced middle class. Soon, record labels started popping up.

The first label in Iran was Ahang (”song”) in 1959 and pressed their records in Germany. Ahang records were distributed by the Beethoven Music Center based on Manuchehri Ave. in Tehran and owned by Karim Chamanara. By the following year, they were issuing more than two hundred records 45 rpm 7″ records. Six years later, the label change its name to Ahang e Rooz (“song of the day”).

Royal Records was probably the second largest label in Iran. They began by releasing more traditional Persian music on 78 discs, then reproducing old recordings in the 45 rpm format. Eventually Royal, as well as Ahang and a handful of other labels, started to release new recordings of different artists and in all genres of Persian music - including the new “Beat music”.

There were a number of Beat groups in Iran, including Flowers, Golden Ring, Littles, Maha Jamin, Ojoobeha (Remarkables), The Rainbow, The Rebels, Shabah. And while there is little information beyond a few photos and sound files, I have read accounts of Ojoobeha riding camels to the stage and The Rebels cruising around Tehran in a black Cadillac convertible. But beyond that… There is not a whole lot. I know that Golden Ring released at least three singles. They were also the backing band for Aref on some of his earlier singles. The Rebels, also known as The Rebels 5 and The Rebel Kings, released at least three singles - one with a cover of The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” and another with a version of The Rolling Stones’ “Mother’s Little Helper”. As for the rest, I have only seen one single by each of them.

Pop music in Iran started as early as the 1950s, and is generally credited to Vigen Derderian, who was known as the “Sultan of pop”. His popularity coincided with the emergence of a new, Western-influenced middle class. By the early 70’s, using indigenous instruments and forms and adding electric guitar as well as other Western influences, artists such as Googoosh and Mehr Pooya rose to popularity. The Golden Age of Persian pop music did not last very long, though, and was banned within Iran after the 1979 revolution and many of the artists fled to other countries. In Iran, anything that was of Western influence was banned or destroyed. Due to this fact, records from this period difficult to find, and so is any information about the artists.
Music links :

Situation on indipendent music in Tehran now :
Rock in Iran now :
Progressive music in Iran now :
Music of many Iranian groups in general : &
Rock music in Iran :
70's pop : &
Iranian Pop & Fusion for sale :
Iranian Pop for sale :
& &
& &
& (&
World Fusion artists (-Persian artists living in the US-) : &
About Persian Jazz mix :

Musicians in Fusion / Crossover / Progressive Music, Rock & heavy metal styles :
(names that received airplay are in yellow)

127 : new rock band. Homepage : Audio :
Info :
I prefered not to review their demo, because it was just rock, without much crossover ideas.
Other article here
2ins + 1 :  The band was amongst the most celebrated and succesful submissions for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005. Soft vocals and beautiful production of modern electronica pop. This could become popular on a bigger international market. Their submission was voted for best pop song saying "short and concise, yet deep and colorful. Band is consistent, instrumentation is correct, lyrics are nice, performance is professional".
Abolth : dark metal
Adham : the band delivered a rather interesting simple funky-distorted guitar driven underground rock submission, "Perfect E!" for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005.
Agah Bahari : supposed to be a progressive rock musician ? Info :
audio :
Ahura : Fusion
Ahoora : rather calm well composed progressive metal : (with video's).
Their submissions for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005, a 12 minute track from their new album sounded just great. Talented. Homepage :
Alan Kushan : santur player of World Fusion (living in US) :
Aldoush Alpanian : Persian Fusion and World Fusion and World Jazz Fusion artist (living in US) :
Amateurz : nice s/sw submission for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005 : slightly breathy nicely coloured voice, good acoustic guitar arrangements. Sung in English.
Amertad : progressive band with some hardrock/metal influence :
Info :
Anagran Band :
Aram Danesh : I think he makes mixed sophisticated pop with jazz influence ? not sure if it will be interesting for people checking this list :
Arashk : hard/progressive rock :
Aref : see :
-About Aref 's “Hey Girl”, recorded with the band The Golden Ring-.
Born Aref Arefkia, he introduced Western melodies with romantic lyrics to Iran in the 1960’s at a time when the only kind of popular music was in “Tasnif” style. Aref was one of the pioneers of this trend. This style was quite popular among the youth, so much that at the age of 21 he was invited to appear and sing on the Iranian National Television.
His first hit was “Daryacheye Noor” which is still popular among most Iranians to this day. Aref was also a very popular singer for movie soundtracks. His songs were heard on numerous Iranian films of the 1960’s & early 1970’s among which “Gholam Gandarm” and “Soltan-e Ghalbha” are the most famous. He also appeared in six different musical films.
Aref received many awards, one of which was granted to him by the Shah himself. Aref received the Highest Cultural Imperial Medallion from the Shah for singing at the Asian Games of 1974 in Iran. In this concert with Tehran’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Aref sang in front of 100,000 Iranians and in the presence of many International state officials and dignitaries. Aref performed his first concert out of Iran in New York City in Madison Square to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the American Independence.
Aref and his family left Iran in 1979, following the Islamic revolution. He first lived in London for a period of 3 years, then moved to Los Angeles, California.
Avijeh : Persian Music with Jazz
Avizheh : rock-traditional Iranian, one of the most prominent fusion groups in Iran
Axiom of Choice : World Fusion : and
albums with sound files :
Azure : the group makes a fusion between Drum 'n Bass, Jazz, Bossa Nova, and Downtempo grooves with influences from Jazz to Progressive Rock and World Music ? Homepage :
Babak Amini : Flamenco/Jazz
Babak Riahipour : rock musician.
Babak Moshiri : poprock ? musician :
Bahman : they had a rather short instrumental submission, called "Taab" for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005 to judge on this knowing what more this group has in them. It is moody acoustic and amplified guitar mixed with simple drumming. Could be only just an intro.
Baqfar : their submission for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005, called "Boro" has some nice feeling in playing in the slow progressive progression in the rock composition, and a nice electric guitar solo. Within a certain simpleness they succeed to be very moody in their execusion. I had to give it a few listens to recognise its potention.
Bijan : this group had a poprock submission, called "Shoma?" for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005 which is a song with moody guitars, drumming, some keyboards/electronica. Worth mentioning.
Bijan Chemirani : Fusion ? small review :
Bivareh : this group had a 12'27" long progressive rock submission, called "Circus" for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005. It evolves extremely slowly and moody, with at first with simple keyboards, then with well fitting organ, beautiful electric guitars, some acoustic guitars and drums it succeeds to create its own atmosphere, which is melancholic and somewhat psychedelic, mixed with a Fusion style, with some rhythm changes. Potentional.
Black Cats :
The Black Cats did a James Brown cover… see
Chesmeh : new progressive rock band :
Dad : heavy rock/metal instrumental band
Dariush : I heard a gfew beautiful songs and one album from '70's. He still performs today with different arrangements on the background. I wonder which albums/songs would fit this webpage best.
Demonesh : new alternative rock band. Listen to their promising demo on
Desert Illusion : heavy metal/progresive rock led by guitarist/song writer Cem Nisanoglu
DNA : a now disbanded rock group from the early new generation.
Interview :
Eghma : interesting modern alternative rock :
Emam : World Fusion artist / percussionist (worked with Indian influences mostly) (lives in US)
Info : See also my radioshow at the new Indian Fusions page
Enchant : their submission for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005 is in the poprock tradition of Yaghmaie. It sounds very much Persian pop but with a rock touch. Keyboards are rather kitschy, and drums more pop orientated, but it's interesting though. It also has an electric guitar solo.
Exir : progressive rock band now based in Germany. Info :
& &
Interview with one of the members :
Explode : heavy metal band. They interpret well great classic metal riffs and interpret briliantly a Bach tune into heavy metal. Beside they have their own compositions. Will review their demo soon.
Homepage :
demo will get review soon , Persian article :
(Fanoos : poprock duo based in Sweden, not sure if they are interesting enough for this list :
Farman Fathalian : Persian Pop Fusion :
Review :
Farshid Fani's Blues Bazar : progressive blues rock/bluesrock. I think he lives in Germany. Homepage :
Farzad Golpayegani : Instrumental Fusion-Metal guitarist. Info :
Flowers : one of the few beat groups from the 60s.
Foozhan : Persian music with electronics,.. :
The Golden Ring ; see and on next review page->
Golestan : Hungarian group of Persian /Hungarian fusion : &
Googoosh : female singer ; some songs of her had an early psychrock crossovers touch
"I can confidently say that she is the most popular Iranian alive today. The reason being that she started her music career at the age of 5 yeard old, and blossomed into a super-diva when she was hardly 30 years old. So 3 generations of Iranians know her music. She was always the trend-setter in the Iranian entertainment industry, breaking new ground with her lyrics, music, hair and fashion styles, screen roles and everything she put her hand on. People admired her for her courage for breaking traditional religious  boundaries, but also loved her because of all the mishaps she had been through.
She single-handedly changed the course of pre-revolutionary Iranian pop music with her introduction of western elements into her music, but was forced to be silent for 22 years after the revolution. You can see Jazz progressions and harmonizations, Latin beats and rhythm sections, and even 70's rock influences , combined with Iranian elements in her music. Her style was copied by everyone and eventually developed into mainstream Iranian Pop !!!! One of her most popular songs is called "Talagh" or divorce, and it is the exact music from the main theme of the 70's rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar"!!!
But I dont think today's definition of "Fusion" music applies to her, as she has always been a "Pop" Diva, albeit the greatest, I would not include her in a list* with Axiom of Choice or Keyhan Kalhor as they are very very different in their approach and what each stands for. Besides, Googoosh has released only 5 songs over the past 22 years and those are in no way "World music" material. She had a comeback tour after 22 years. I can assure you no other Iranian singer has ever been  able to attract such a huge crowd in every concert that she performed." Babak K.
Webpages : and
Habib : I don't know how much elsewhere, but on "Man Marde Tanhaye Shabam" he rocks a guitar against a psychedelic backdrop and moog synths. See video's here
Halazoon : participated in the Underground Music Competition in Teheran 2005 with a good arranged poprock/rock contribution called "Beezseed".
Hafez Modirzadeh: World Jazz artist (living in US) :
Hamen : participated in the Underground Music Competition in Teheran 2005 with an instrumental/ rock improvisation great electric guitar, with ok drumming & electric bass. Promising guitarist.
Hasht : participated in the Underground Music Competition in Teheran 2005 with this postpunk-danceable wavepunkrock or whatever rock track, called "Mikhandeh". (Would have received if I had the chance).
Hésam Rad : independent keyboard/electronic driven folkpop, which they call folk'n'rock (1995-200..) :
Hera : participated in the Underground Music Competition in Teheran 2005 with a fine 8 minute electric guitar and some keyboards driven track called "The Lonely Castle" with a moody progressive rock evolution.
Homayoon Majdzadeh : progressive rock musician from DNA group.
Hora : their submussion, "Under the sheets" for the Underground Music Competition 2005 was simple, warm rhythmic jazzfusion of acoustic guitar with sax and drums.
Jahleh : made an interesting and very original style mix of exotic rhythms, acoustic guitar, with an almost Afrocrossover feeling, with Persian rap and some female vocal arrangements on their Underground Music Competition 2005 submission, "Sharji o Garmaa". (I usually hate rap-like vocals but this is great, gentle, exotic and rhythmical).
Jam : funk-inspired rock band who participated in the Underground Music Competition in Teheran, with much apreciation.
Article with info :
Kamil Yaghmaei : electric or acoustic guitar mixed sometimes with electro-pop, often still more in poprock teritory :
Kahtmayan : progressive metal/heavy metal/trash metal group from Tehran : http://www.kahtmayan.comInfo : &
&, &
Kaveh Yaghmaii : alternative poprock from one the sons ? or natives of Kourosh Yaghmaii.
Homepage :
Review :
Keyhan Kalhor : Persian/Indian Fusion
Kiosk : Persian rock group.
Review :
interview :
Kooch : Persian Fusion /folkrock group based in UK :
Review :
Kooch Neshin : I heard this beautiful arranged track, "Shazde Koochoolo" from the Underground Music Competition 2005 with almost classical delicate background voices, acoustic guitar picking, flute, cello. 
Kourosh Yaghmaie : sweet PsychPoprock in a rather English style with Persian touch :
See review and cover at my next review page. More releases will be added soon.
Lian Ensemble : World music group based in LA,US :
Littles : one of the few beat groups from the 60s.
Maha Jamin : one of the few beat groups from the 60s.
Mahmoud Tabrizi-Zadeh : contemporary classical music / "folk" fusion  :
Manoucher : see
(Marjan : pop singer with like Gogoosh just a few tracks with more rock band approach in 70's:
Maya : beautiful acoustic jazzrockfusion with Persian touch, acoustic and electric guitars, I hear on "Moon", a track send to the Underground Music Competition 2005. Vocals are used to bring sphere to what is basically an instrumental.
Meera : alternative rock band :
End 90's "With careful maneuvering, Meera was one of the first rock acts to be able to gain state approval for album production and live performances."
Article with audio : or "My son Arash"
Interview : & (in Persian) here
Mehrpouya : with his low voice melancholic singing reminds me of some Indian records. Accompaniment is by middle eastern handbells with a jazzy soprano sax ? (with 30's-40's jazz flavour) and some great ethno jazz rhythms (that reminds me at the Ethiopian releases a bit), and fine electric guitars. Again a perfect World styles crossover which should interest worldpsych lovers.
Full review at the review page. Info & soundfiles :
Mes : rock band
Mirage Music Band : new Iranean rock band. Homepage :
Nabz : Persian rock band with Naeeim Meschian (Amertad) progressive & modern production based in US: &
Review : ; Audio :
Naeem : a beautiful emotional Persian sung track , "Mahtab"was send to the TAMF 2005.  The band arrangements might have been done better, but I think it still is a great folkrock track. Very promising.
Neghaab : the group prvided a good rock track, "Khaab" for the TAMF 2005
Nikbakht & Martone : World (Jazz) Fusion  :
as Synesthesia :
Nima & Merge : American Fusion group with Iranian member.
Info : http://www.mergemusic.com
Short review and links on electric fusions review page
Niyaz : other Fusion group from Axiom of Choice singer :
info : with audio :
review will be added soon on next review page
Norik Misakian Band : Rock band from Teheran that tried to release an instrumental album but it was rejected by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance saying that "Western rock is the product of drug addicts". Guitarist website :
Info :
Ojoobeha (Remarkables) : one of the few beat groups from the 60s.
(Onik : backing band in 70's delivered a few interesting crossovers :
O-Hum : popular alternative Rock with some Persian elements and using lyrics from Hafez & Rumi. With their music there started the opening up of new possibilities into a personal rock expression. "Music is a global language." "music is a global movement and has nothing to do with the ideology of some particular person in the west". & "Rock is like a large container that can hold different cultures and ethnic mentalities."
Homepage : & and more info : and here and
Review :
Orient Express crossover prog / psych pop (Mainstream EEC Re) Group with one Iranian Percussionist, Farshid Golesorkhi, who plays electric melodica, dumbek, tympani, sings.  He had been decorated by the Shah of Iran for his drumming and was interested in applying Eastern rhythms to Western music, in Iran. With Guy Duris (born in US, who plays sitar and oud) and Bruno Giet (who plays electric minitar) a Belgian pilot and guitarist they moved from Europe towards the US, where they finally settled and there they recorded this wonderful crossover psych album., and at least three singles. This album was recorded in new york at AandR studio in 1968, and released on the 22 of february 1969. Album is listed on Cover album here ; Contact Guy Duris : here
Info : Express
Oriental Silence : One of the most interesting new groups if you ask me. Unfortunately I don't have a contact e-mail. This is instrumental progressive rock /psychrock band from Teheran with definte Clapton & other great 70's rock guitarist groups & early hard rock & psych influences (Pink Floyd,..) :
(with video & audio) &
Pakzad : the band performed a good Persian folkrock track, "Dat Yad" for the TAMF 2005. I wish more bands kept alive their Persian traditions, even when in an usual, rock setting. In some way this is renewing the Yaghmaie tradition, something which I like to support.
Papillon : hard alternative / underground rock. I think they are based in Germany ?
Info :
Pejvak / Pedjvak: from :"at the time when a band like O-Hum was experimenting with Rock, turning a new page in the history of Iranian music, many took issue with the band for desecrating Hafez poetry. To critics, words of Iran’s foremost classic poet could not be made to ride on a music that belonged to a different setting and arose out of a different context. As such, they argue, O-Hum’s lyrics are void of the spirit of the poetry of Hafez. Exactly the same thing happened when Pejvak tied Rock music with Hafez and Rumi poetry in their album "Mast o Divane"."they worked a lot more on the correct articulation of the poems, although they may not have succeeded in their endeavor"
Pezhvak : cover rock band who performed instrumental music by Santana and Joe Satraini and songs by Pink Floyd, at concerts in Tehran and Kish Islandn around 2000-2002.
Info : &
Pod : "as playin' cover songs always had more fans, the most famouse progressive performance, went to the band named POD,that played eleven songs of Dream Theater, including nine songs of their 99's album,Scenes from a memory. In fact,Dream Theater became one of the most famous progressive banda in Iran,mostly because of their metal elements. There's also other bands who are known for die-hard progressive fans in Iran, such as King Crimson, Rush, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Liquid Tension, ELP, Transtalantic, The Flower Kings, Planet X, On The Virg etc." Agah Bahari
Pouya Mahmoodi : supposed to be a progressive rock musician ? don't know more information yet.
Probe : World Fusion : Review at next review page. Other links : & here
Project Pink Purple : Project lead by Shahram Nabizadeh influenced by Pink Floyd and mostly Deep Purple. They play Deep Purple cover and their own tracks :
Pun : had a submission of a their 12 track "Jun" for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005. It's an almost overcalm, relaxed song, with progressive edge, with a style which is still somewhat individualistic and which I think has potential to grow out or develop to something better, perhaps with some extra driven guitars and a better drummer. This is already moody, has calm and beautiful organ keyboards and fine bluesy Gilmourish guitars.
The Rainbow : one of the few beat groups from the 60s.
Raga Band : black/doom and progressive ? metal :
Raptures : Kourosh Yaghmaie's first band (60's ?). Info :
Raz-E-Shab : classic rock/jazz mix. review :
The Rebels / Rebels 5 / Rebels Kings : Iranian group from the sixties with Siavash Ghomeishi on keyboard, Shahram Shabpareh on drums, and Kambiz Moeini on guitar. They release three or more singles. One of them was a Beatles cover, "I saw her standing there", another had a Rolling Stones cover "Motther's little helper".
Info and pictures here and here
Respina : rock band
Revival : jazz psych fusion with fantastic flute lead by Al Basim. One of the best Iranian "psych" items. This Iranian guitarist went to US to record this album with Jews musicians in 1979. He was hanged for this by the government when he returned. Review on next review page
Reza (Derakdhani) : Persian musician living in UK. Made two albums. Review of one of both here.
Rumi Ensemble : Indian-traditional Iranian, one of the most prominent Persian groups
SDS Band : brutal/death/heavy metal (the first Death metal band performed in Iran)
Sahleh : made interesting acoustic rap for the TAMF 2005. (Would have received if I had the chance).
Sepand : The band had a submission for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005, of a clever modern poprock instrumental "Fereydoon" with good rhythms of keyboards and some electric guitar and modern production. It was actually a solo project contribution from Salim from Arashk Band.
Shamaeezadeh :
Funky track audio here : According to Dario, he was Googoush's live bandleader and her first call as arranger any time the diva wanted a funk, soul or samba feel in a recording.
Shahin & Sepehr : guitarist duo persian flamenco easy fusion
Review :
Shandiz : Shandiz had a piano composition submission for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005. It's not easy yto judge on its qualities on just this track, but it is chosen for airplay on my radioshow.
Schizoid Man : doom metal
Sheila Bazleh :
Shidi : beautiful s/sw as a mix of western style with Iranian themes in 2 languages :
& in English : & will be reviewed soon.
He used to play in progressive rock bands during the 70's, called Scorpio & Mummies. At the stage of the foundation of Mummies he was only 14,with two of his older Brothers (Farokh on Drums and Shahrokh on Bass guitar) and Farshid on rhythm guitar (see picture at website). They began to play in dance clubs, night clubs concerts and too many other places almost every night, till 1976 when the two brothers left Iran to Europe (Germany and England}. Then Shidi joined the Scorpio ,a band that already was working for about two years and because their guitar player left Iran to Italy he replaced him. They worked together  until early 1978 the band collapsed. He still worked with oher musicians and singers till Revolution. These  bands were two of the best available profesional bands on that time and he performed with them as a Singer and Guitar player.
Soheil : the group had a rather interesting submission for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005 called "Missing Piece" which sounds like a more innocent or boyish pop version of Rammstein with normal vocals and more a pop reference. Interesting is also that the guitar improvisations near the end are in Persian mode.
Soul Nidus : alternative rock. Homepage : &
Sote : electronic music musician Akta Ebtekar. Info :
Audio :
Susan Deyhim :
Taboo : the band had a fine submission of their song "Why?" for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005. Calm progressive rock with beautiful Dead Can Dance-like vocals, male Gothic talk in English, ethereal keyboards, with slightly soft Gothic touch and with progressive electric guitars. However they didn't make it to the 20 best choices. They will get airplay in my radioshow.
Tarantists : dark metal band with good sound. The band had a submission of their song “Momental Madness” for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005.
Technicolar Dream : singer-songwriter (sings in English) in a style defintely influenced by or with a voice reminiscent to Nick Drake. He had a submission of a song “Fallen Birdman” for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005. The percussion on the track is a bit primitive but I like his voice.
Tisias : the band delivered a metal rock instrumental for the Tehran Avenue Music festival 2005, called "Till when?". Rhythmically the track could have been better, the metal is more rock-like.
Turning Leaves : poprock band
intro :
Various Artists :
Revolutionary Pop songs" CD (charming pop songs with both western / middle eastern instruments):
(Vigen : some use of moog on pop song "Beh khaater-e to" and just a few other early pop / poprock crossovers in '60's and '70's :
Xakestar : According to the webpage the first Persian Gothic black metal band
Zia : see
See also the page Middle Eastern Rock and Fusions
Thank you for informing me : B.K., Dario

See also page 2 : Review Page of 70's Progressive Music Items
See also page 3 : new Persian Fusions

links updated 2004-07-45
new name added 2006-09-12
Some more interesting / more "progressive" band ideas pop videoclips from 70's : (page will be back up soon) (in English) (Joleen cover)

Check also audio music box of mostly more progressive groups at
(page will be back up soon)

Persian funk audio : 

Some more covers of 70s records :

Audio from indipendent Iranian bands (registered visit) from underground rock festival tamf :
Label that supports some Persian rock bands :
More bands :
Underground magazine that supports independent bands :
Supporting label in Iran of music with some tradition :
Supporting Music Center : ?
Supporting website & cafe? :

Heavy metal interest in Iran (in Persian only) : &
More Persian metal bands, doom and black metal bands included :

Iranian Rock Music blog (in Persian only) :

More interesting music links :

PS. some contemporary artists are listed at

Also interesting to know is the story about Ziryab who revived music in Morish Spain around the 9th century and established a school of music.
Info :
When in 15th century Western civilisation laid its first fundaments, it used many ideas which were developed and described in some Middle Eastern writings. Not only the re-establishment of Greek philosophical fundaments, the principles of justice and many other developments were adapted and further developed. Also fundaments of music were built and directly influenced by some ideas from the Middle East (especially the use of drums and rhythm is more often mentioned). Different to Arab languages Persian language, especially the older form, has the fundaments and origin of as various other Western languages. In various periods communicating and developing ideas together over the entire world was normal. This still is the case, except that rulers often limit the amount of communication, creativity and of the feeling there is an existence of an interconnected creativity net possible.

While Iran's structural openness in the '70's to the west became associated with the Shah's directed interests, I don't know what really caused they idea of a revolt against this. Was it fear used from some religious groups, as if people would forget about some of their own origins in spiritual awareness, a standard idea against something of the fundament of a ruling money-making system like that of America ? Any how the result was that some more fanatic rulers took over the country and destroyed a lot of the possibilities to understand different roots of creativity. This fanatical terror caused the temporaly disappearance of building further on this world open vision how to make bridges, like in music or in a variety of visions. Many musicians fled from their beloved country. Nowadays new western-inspired music is becoming possible again, with ups and downs and a struggle from within, without any support or much possibility to record. The fears of the leaders are still strong because rock is still not seen as a inner need to liberate expressions, but they still consider it more as a drug addict vision. Perhaps they did not realise that also that what we call "psychedelic music", which might have been associated with drugs at first, became a genre name for many free-making musical expressions. "Progressive" was another term used in the West, for a drug-free development of expression, a term which suits many of the rock styles from various Iranian groups. Rock in general is a kind of symbol for a liberal, free human expressive being, with a different more inner strength of musical expression compared to the pop style which often makes public concessions. The rock genre has some struggle to survive in Iran. But perhaps even Sufi music and its mystic schools are under pressure of some censorship, for not confirming the the leaders idea of what is pro-Islam. I hope the rock scene will continue to grow. I can only hope that an informative page like this can attract some helping hands from outside, or can help for a more general acceptation of its scene.

There has been, at first, a short period of Iranian pop music which was especially interesting from 1975 until 1979, where some ideas towards progressive music and crossover styles were beginning to be made better possible. This far too short period to have found too many musical challenging artefacts as result, was quickly destroyed by the aforementioned spiritual "back to basics" terror of Khomeini and the likes. Also all evidence of such a period had been destroyed as much as possible. It is really hard nowadays to find any left over recordings. It is mostly only through the help of exiled persons we can trace and rediscover this period and it’s saved recordings. But I realise not many people started to rediscover this period outside the  interest for looking for songs. Any help to provide more information about this scene is highly appreciated.

"Royal records was the second largest label in Iran. They began releasing traditional music on 78", then reproducing old records on "45. Royal, the earliest label Ahang (song) and a few other labels then started releasing different genres, just like beat music. Beat groups included Flowers, Golden Ring, Littles, Maha Jamin, Ojoobeha (Remarkables), The Rainbow, Rebels, and Shabah. Odd stories were Ojoobeha riding camels on stage, and Rebels cruising Teheran with a cadilac.

Intro on Persian pop (mostly in relation to LA) :

“With the invent of radio in the 1930 and in the aftermath of World War II in 1945, pop music in Iran fully grew, matured and developed. However, one can link its origins to the Qajar dynasty in the 19th century.
A variety of musical styles such as rumba, tango and waltz became prevalent in Iran some 40 years ago.
This music compared to its traditional predecessors was quite modern. In the beginning, it was imitated and copied in Iran but after a while it formed its own identity.
The onset of modern pop music in Iran was with the emergence of stars such as Vigen, Aref, etc.
The music itself was the copy of the western music with only the lyrics translated into Farsi. The introduction of pop music into radio was largely owed to an Iranian-Armenian musician named Soren.
The first studio in Iran was called Tanin, which was extremely influential and successful. A lot of music was recorded in the Tanin studio during those years.
Varoojan who ran Tanin was a trendsetter and many people followed in his footsteps. He was very hardworking, determined and successful.
The music that came out of Tanin studio had a fresh and innovative sound and was known as the fifties music.
The 50s was a good decade but Iranian pop music had not reached its peak. The government had just given the go ahead and consented to different lyrics and new subjects to be included in songs and topics about social and cultural realities to sneak into popular music.
It is notable that radio and television played a significant and powerful role in the distinct sound of the 50s to get into the public consciousness and become popular. In particular, the radio and TV's pop orchestra played an instrumental and crucial role in this endeavour.
In addition, powerful and popular groups such as Apolon and Beethoven were established with considerable success.
It is important to remind that recording music in those days was quite a time-consuming, fastidious and delicate affair and this fuss was the key and secret to the immortality and eternal popularity of 50s music and bear evidence to the amount of work, precision and guts that went into producing those songs.
The popularity and fame of pop music gave rise to the emergence of a number of pop bands in the late 40s and 50s. These bands either made the lead singer famous or by having an already famous singer in their band tried to gain an advantage over other singing bands.
Examples include the band called the Golden Ring using Aref to fortify their fame, etc. However, the most successful band in those days was called Black Cats with their unique lead singer named Farhad.
But after the 1979 Islamic Revolution pop music was identified as a symbol of Mohammad Reza Shah's dictatorship and completely disappeared from the scene in Iran. Pop music was branded as western, un-Islamic, un-Iranian etc. and was banned altogether.”

An interesting article about Iranian evolution : or here
Last 10 years it seemed that it were mostly various Persian Fusion groups which were interesting to discover, played by Iranian groups in exile mostly. It seemed that the very first rock groups that appeared since the nineties didn't have much complexity and style development yet. But an organisation like the Tehran Avenue Music Festival held in 2005 proves that today there are many more bands eager to express themselves with progressive rock, rock, metal and modern pop, and if it can not survive well within Iran, they might hope on an access to the bigger international market. My personal choice from this particular festival is added on this page too. My own choice is only judged on their potentional in a "progressive" & intuitive-creative way.
About the recent opening up of possibilities : :
"After the Revolution in 1979 only traditional music bands could perform. When reformist President Mohammad Khatami came to power in 1997, restrictions on live performances were eased. Soon the first Iranian pop bands started to appear on the scene. However, concerts are few and far between and remain strictly controlled."
Another good introduction about rock in Iran :
"Music was banned at the first years after revolution, and even after some years,that it allowed again, there was no chance for rock,pop and up-to-date kinds of music to have an official performances. About fifteen years ago,there was only two major divisions of music in Iran society:
1-Iranian Traditional music,which mostly performed in Iran
2-Iranian pop music, which performed and still performing by Iranian Artists,mostly immigrated to LA, USA, after Iran's islamic revolution. But there's a different story about Rock music.
In fact there's only a few who are really into progressive rock in Iran, and even in this very small society,there's very few one who are dedicated to write and record their original material. In this case, there's an exact meaning of dedication 'cause it's almost impossible to get permission to perform your music. There's no suitable halls as well. But the most important one is that there's no real fans.
Almost nobody cares about your muscial,theorical and emotional sides. It's all about doin' speeds. Faster one, better one. And that's the thing that ruin everything about real music and musicians here in this society. But even in such a situiation,there's a few who are writing, playing and listening to progressive rock music for the love of the music itself." "And as far as playin' cover songs always had more fans." There's also other bands who are known for die-hard progressive fans in Iran,such as King Crimson, Rush, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Liquid Tension, ELP, Transtalantic, The Flower Kings, Planet X, On The Virg etc. There's different kinds of music that playin' in Iran. Mostly altarnative rock and some styles of metal music such as Death metal,Thrash metal and Black metal,but the fact is that the most growing one is progressive rock. Besides all the limitations,Progressive artists doin' their best,to learn and experience as much as possible,to be the best. Its almost impossible to form a standrad progressive rock band, to get permission to perform an official performance and to find any halls to playin' your stuff, but I believe that nothing can stop progressive artists."
Agah Bahari (Exir)
and on
About western music that can still not be broadcasted :
-An interesting contra-censorship remark by a scholar in Islamic religion : : "There is no ban on music in the Koran, and those talking about which music is haram (forbidden/bad) and which music is halal (allowed) have very weak evidence." “On balance censorship,” Mardini notes critically, “exists to preserve regimes.” Mardini says that he completely rejects censorship, arguing that it is not the mission of the faqih [jurist] to condemn things; his job is merely to guide the faithful. Mardini points out that Islamic fundamentalism does not have a religion. A fatwa is no good unless it develops. It must not be static. The faqih has to be flexible. The faqih must be with the times and understand them".-

More info on Rock in Iran now :
Progressive music in Iran now :

Can anyone help me providing me extra information or know more examples of new or old groups ? It's really hard to obtain such recordings. I don't need originals, but prefer to hear and review the good/best  examples.

I will not index pure classical music artists here, also no mainstream Pop and no mainstream Rock musicians. Persian Fusions, crossovers and individual talents on folk music, and progressive music but also rock and heavy metal are listed, and will be airplayed one day in my radioshow.
There had been a Persian Underground Music Festival in Holland to occur on 2006, October 22 in Zaandam,
Info here & &

See also first Review Page of Persian 70's Progressive Music Items
See also second review page : new Persian Fusions
see also third review page : new Iranian progressive