Friday, 6 August 2010

Zümrüt - Turkey's Cover Girl

The music of Turkey has long been home to a diverse array of influences, both homegrown in regional terms and externally, including Persian, Balkan, Byzantine and both popular and classical western music. The resulting mix has produced a vast array of genres over the decades, but the one concerning this post, is the one by the name of Aranjman, or literally "Arrangement". This genre was a dominant force in the Turkish music in the 60's, 70's and early 80's before it fell temporally out of favour and is basically the interpreation of foreign pop songs (mainly French, English, Spanish and Italian) into Turkish by homegrown artists, albeit sometime with traditional flair. Fecri Ebcioğlu's version of French singer Bob Azza's C'est écrit Dance le Ciel in 1961 is generally regarded as the first instance of this, and was so popular that a craze was born and so subsequently many artists joined the frame with their own slants on their westernly neighbours hits. The main propenent of these was blonde beauty Ajda Pekkan, who continued to have a long and popular career - but the focus this month is on a lass who goes by the name of Zümrüt. Recording a slew of singles and an album in the late 60's and early 70's she is the more poppier of the recording artists, and whose covering reportoire includes The Beatles, Sandie Shaw, Ray Charles, Sylvie Vartan, and US girl group The Toys. So not too bad a starting point eh! I've managed to collate most of her output from various Turkish forums, but improved the sound quality to make the listening experience a bit more pleasant! The full rundown goes as follows ::

1. Zümrüt - Anya Manya Kumpanya
2. Zümrüt - Aşk Sönmesin (Long Live Love)
3. Zümrüt - Aşk ve Sen (Rain and Tears)
4. Zümrüt - Bir Sevenin Şarkısı (A Lover's Concerto)
5. Zümrüt - Bir Zamanlar (Those Were The Days)
6. Zümrüt - Bu Benim Şarkım (This Is My Song)
7. Zümrüt - Bu Hikaye Boyle Bitsi
8. Zümrüt - Dönüş (Aranjuez D'amour)
9. Zümrüt - Ne Zormuş Unutmak (A Hard Day's Night)
10. Zümrüt - Samanyolu
11. Zümrüt - Sen Olmadan (Where Do I Begin?)
12. Zümrüt - Seni Gidi Çapkın (If I Were a Rich Man)
13. Zümrüt - Sevgim (My Love Is Warmer Than The Sunshine My Love Is Warmer Than The Sunshine)
14. Zümrüt - Şeytan Tüyü (Caro Mozart)
15. Zümrüt - Son Dans (The Last Waltz)
16. Zümrüt - Yanimdaki Golgen

Interestingly enough her strongest song, Anya Manya Kumpanya, is an original by acclamied and sadly the very recently departed Turkish composer Selm Andak. The fusion of the Turkish and Latin rhythms work very nicely indeed! Cover wise her take on Sandie Shaw's Long Live Love is very worthy, but close enough to the original that it sounds like it uses the same backing track! A Hard Day's Night gets more of a makeover, and stands up pretty well too. Ok, so discover the jewel that is Zümrüt below!


Anonymous said...

I have an Ajda Pekkan cd, but had never heard of Zumrut. I'll give her a listen. Thanks!

cinnamonK said...

Ta! You won't regret it (at least I think so!)

joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful find, I'm glad to see your blog is back. This is exactly what I look for when I'm in Turkey looking for records. More 60's and 70's Turkish please.


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