September 15, 2023

We are Turks, we sing Turkish folk songs

In July, listener and friend Ceci asked me a question about Turkish rock bands.  She had just seen Altın Gün at Thalia Hall in Chicago and loved them; she wanted to know what other bands she should listen to since she enjoyed them so much.
I too am a big fan of Altın Gün; their album Aşk is one of my favorites of 2023 so far.  So I put together a list for Ceci of my ten favorite Anatolian rock albums.  Some of them are by current artists either from Turkey or from around the world, others are from the 1970s when the Anatolian rock genre was being invented, and a couple are compilations of songs by a variety of historic Turkish artists.  This list is in no way a summary of the best, or the best known, or the most important Anatolian rock albums -- it's entirely based on my eccentric personal taste.
I liked the list so much that I thought, "This would be a great subject for an episode of Global A Go-Go."  So that's what I'm doing this week (Sunday September 17, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site).
Those top ten Anatolian rock albums will make up the first hour and a half of the program.  After that you'll hear my favorite new Turkish rock releases from Lalalar, Gaye Su Akyol and the aforementioned Altın Gün.  And we'll finish with a tribute to Erkin Koray, one of the founders of Anatolian rock, who passed away in August.

Before I get to the tracklist, here's that list of Global A Go-Go's favorite Anatolian rock albums:
The current revivalists
Umut Adan - Bahar:  My favorite new album of any genre in 2019
Altın Gün - AşkWill be one of my top albums of 2023
Şatellites - ŞatellitesFrom Israel, but they certainly sound like Turks
Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek - Kar YağarSinger is Turkish-German, other band members are from France and England
The compilations
İstanbul 70: Psych, Disco, Folk ClassicsThe first compilation of this material that I heard, and still one of the best
Uzelli Psychedelic AnadoluAll recorded for a Turkish general-store-turned-record-label in Frankfurt, believe it or not
The originals 
Alpay - YekteA pop singer who followed the Turkish psych-rock trend and ended up making some of that genre's best songs
Derdiyoklar Ikilisi - Disko FolkTwangy Turkish duo in Germany whose music sounds kind of like Anatolian surf-rock; worth owning just for the cover
Mazhar ve Fuat - Türküz Türkü Çağırırız!This one is folk-rock, reminds me of Fairport Convention in places and the Laurel Canyon sound in others
Üç Hürel - 3 Hür-ElThe three Hürel brothers, another album that's more folk than psych
Artist | Country | Song | Recording | Label | Year
Oliver Lake | USA | Separation | Matador Of 1st & 1st | Passin' Thru | 1997
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros | England UK | Global A Go-Go | Global A Go-Go | Hellcat | 2001
Şatellites | Israel | Yağmur Yağar Taş Üstüne | Şatellites | Batov | 2022
Umut Adan | Turkey-Italy | Şeytanın Aklını Çeldim | Bahar | Riverboat | 2019
Alpay | Turkey | Akça Kızlar | Yekte | Pharaway Sounds | 2013-1971
Kardaşlar, Ünol Büyükgönenç | Turkey | Deniz Üstü Köpürür | Uzelli Psychedelic Anadolu | Uzelli | 2017-1973
Altın Gün | Turkey | Su Sızıyor | Aşk | ATO | 2023
Üç Hürel | Turkey | Ölüm Al Beni | 3 Hür-El | Diskotür | 1972
Mazhar Ve Fuat | Turkey | Türküz Türkü Çağırırız | Türküz Türkü Çağırırız! | Shadoks Music | 2014-1973
Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek | Turkey-Germany-France-England UK | Dom Dom Kurşunu | Kar Yağar | Bongo Joe | 2019
Derdiyoklar İkilisi | Turkey-Germany | Ata Sozleri | Disko-Folk | Guerrssen | 2012-1980
Ersen Ve Dadaşlar | Turkey | Derman Bulunmaz | İstanbul 70: Psych, Disco, Folk Classics | Nublu | 2011-1977
Şatellites | Israel | Seni Sen Olduğun İçin Sevdim | Şatellites | Batov | 2022
Barış Manço & Moğollar | Turkey | Binboğanın Kızı | İstanbul 70: Psych, Disco, Folk Classics | Nublu | 2011-1971
Mazhar Ve Fuat | Turkey | Adımız Miskindir Bizim | Türküz Türkü Çağırırız! | Shadoks Music | 2014-1973
Alpay | Turkey | Seni Dileniyorum | Yekte | Pharaway Sounds | 2013-1973
Umut Adan | Turkey-Italy | Sevdiğimi Seçtim | Bahar | Riverboat | 2019
Lalalar | Turkey | Serüven | En Kötü Iyi Olur | Bongo Joe | 2023
Gaye Su Akyol | Turkey | Böyle Olur Mu | Love Buzz / Böyle Olur Mu - Single | Sub Pop | 2023
Erkin Koray | Turkey | Cümbür Cemaat | Meçhul: Singles & Rarities | Sublime Frequencies | 2023-1976
Erkin Koray | Turkey | Estarabim | 2 | Doğan | 1976
Erkin Koray | Turkey | Tek Başına | İlla Ki | Emre | 1983
Erkin Koray | Turkey | Olmayınca Olmuyor | Meçhul: Singles & Rarities | Sublime Frequencies | 2023-1977


Andy Denton said...

hey Bill,
I've been a fan of your show for many years and try to catch it online ever since I moved from Richmond. I'm in Little Rock now. Anyway, I thought today's show was great. I've been getting interested in Turkish rock lately and I found myself drawn there since getting into King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. They have been making microtonal albums with re-fretted guitars that they had made. This led me down a rabbit-hole of youtube videos of Turkish classical guitar players and other Turkish stringed intruments. Anyways. Love the show, especially the opening Mescaleros track! Wish I caught it every Sunday morning.
Andy Denton

Bill Lupoletti said...

Thank you Andy and best wishes to you out in Little Rock! If you can't catch the show live online, remember that podcasts are your friend. You can find all of them right here: