Nana Mouskouri

nana brilGlobally speaking, Nana Mouskouri is the biggest-selling female artist of all time. Her fluency in multiple languages -- Greek, French, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese -- enabled her to reach audiences all over Europe, the Americas, and even Asia. Possessed of a distinctive, angelic soprano -- the product of having been born with only one vocal cord -- Mouskouri was sometimes described as Europe's answer to Barbra Streisand. Her repertoire was varied enough to support the universal appeal she aimed for: jazz standards, well-known pop tunes from before and after the rock era, French cabaret chansons, movie songs, classical and operatic repertory, religious music, folk songs from her native Greece and elsewhere, and more.

Television ads for Mouskouri collections (a major North American marketing tool) leave the impression that her chief strength was interpreting familiar songs in that lovely voice; however, her early fame in Europe was built largely on songs written for and associated with her, most notably her first hit, "The White Rose of Athens." She was particularly successful in her eventual adopted home of France, where her trademark large black glasses were viewed as highly unorthodox visual style. Mouskouri recorded steadily from the 1960s into the new millennium, tailoring specific releases to specific international markets with tremendous success.

"Bob Dylan wrote 'Every Grain Of Sand' for me, and I recorded it before he did," she told Liz Thompson in London, 1984 . . . "I met him in Los Angeles in 1975 or 1976 through mutual friends. He didn't know I did a lot of his songs in French and German."

While Mouskouri may have recorded the song first, Dylan's version was released in 1981, the year before it appeared on Mouskouri's album, Song For Liberty. According to a 1981 interview in London with WNEW-FM DJ Dave Herman, Dylan said he wrote the song the previous summer. Mouskouri said the song was written after Dylan attended one of her concerts.

nana dylan"In 1979 I was on tour in American and Canada featuring the Roses and Sunshine record," Mouskouri is quoted as saying. "In Los Angeles I sang in the Greek Theatre in front of a sold out house. Among the audience were Neil Diamond and Leonard Cohen. Bob Dylan spent the night in the stage wings. After the concert he wrote the song 'Every Grain Of Sand' for me. I have sung many songs by Neil Diamond, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan not only in English but also in French and German. Their songs were very successful. These three musicians have always been an inspiration to me."
According to Thompson, the demo version of "Every Grain Of Sand" (included on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3), "arrived in the mail following a meeting backstage in L.A. "

Mouskouri wrote in her memoirs that she and Dylan became friends through Cohen. Dylan and Mouskouri shared some late-night dinners, but she said that it never went any further.

Mouskouri and Dylan have apparently stayed in touch over the years. She told Bunte magazine, "I love emails . . .but it is pretty tough with Bob Dylan, he writes so rarely."

Mouskouri performed a medley of three Dylan songs with Hugues Aufray on French television in 1976: "Adieu Angelina" ("Farewell Angelina") and "Le ciel est noir "("A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall") in French, and "Blowin' In The Wind" in English. Aufray has also covered many Dylan compositions, including two tribute albums.

Le Jour Où La Colombe

Le Jour Où La Colombe

1967 - French

Adieu, Angelina (Farewell, Angelina)

French EP

French EP

1967 - French

Adieu, Angelina (Farewell, Angelina)

A L’Olympia

A L’Olympia

1967 - French (live)

Adieu, Angelina (Farewell, Angelina)

Dans Le Soleil et Dans Le Vent

Dans Le Soleil et Dans Le Vent

1970 - French

Amour Moins Zero (Love Minus Zero)

The Exquisite Nana Mouskouri

The Exquisite Nana Mouskouri

1969

Love Minus Zero / No Limit

Turn On The Sun

Turn On The Sun

1970

Farewell

Au Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

Au Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

1974 - Live - French

Le Ciel est Noir (A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall)

Träume Sind Sterne

Träume Sind Sterne

1975 - German

Schlaf Ein - Angelina (Farewell, Angelina)

Roses & Sunshine

Roses & Sunshine

1979

Tomorrow Is A Long Time

A Paris

A Paris

1979 - Live - French

Le Ciel est Noir (A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall)

Meine Lieder Sind Mein Leben

Meine Lieder Sind Mein Leben

1981 - German

Jedes Körnchen Sand (Every Grain of Sand)

Song For Liberty

Song For Liberty

1982

Every Grain of Sand

A Place In My Heart

A Place In My Heart

2000 - duet with Stig Rossen (Denmark)

To Make You Feel My Love

Return To Love

Return To Love

1997

Dignity

Love Me Tender

Love Me Tender

1987

I'll Remember You





Le Ciel Est Noir: Les 50 Plus Belles Chansons

Le Ciel Est Noir: Les 50 Plus Belles Chansons

2007 compilation - prev. unreleased studio rec. - French

Adieu, Angelina (Farewell, Angelina)..(1967 version)
Le Ciel est Noir (A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall) (prev. unreleased studio recording - date unknown)

Super Best Rematered

Super Best Rematered

2011

Adieu Angelina remastered

I'll Remember You

I'll Remember You

2005 Compilation

Tomorrow Is A Long Time
I'll Remember You

Rendez-Vouz

Rendez-Vouz

2015

To Make You Feel My Love duet with Stig Rossen (Denmark)
Adieu Angelina duet with Roch Voisine

 

 

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