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A. Kostis - The Jail's A Fine School

by A. Kostis

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Ioannis Valiakos
Ioannis Valiakos thumbnail
Ioannis Valiakos A true gem of an album. Some of the best rembetika tunes in this record, in a fantastic luxurious release! So lucky to have found this via Juno Records in London. Major plus the swift customer service by Gordon (Mississippi Recs) - the code was missing from the album but he sent me one immediately! This requires a good bottle of tsipouro and great company. Grab this gem wherever you find it, this is history. Favorite track: Adinatisa O Kaimenos (I Became Thin).
honza2c thumbnail
honza2c Simply the masterpiece. Organic, brilliant and heartfelt.
Afoforo Music Club
Afoforo Music Club thumbnail
Afoforo Music Club I was waiting for this reprint since too much! I am very happy that Kostis' music is still so meaningful today!
manny_moves thumbnail
manny_moves Thank you so much for tracking down and reissuing these types of recordings! As a child of Greek immigrants I grew up listening to Rebetika and the impact it had on me is indescribable. Keep up the good work. Favorite track: Ap' Tin Porta Sou Perno (I Pass By Your Door).
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  • MRP-097 Black Vinyl LP
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    12" black vinyl LP in reverse-board jacket. Includes 28 page booklet.

    Includes unlimited streaming of A. Kostis - The Jail's A Fine School via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Troumba 04:01


First ever vinyl collection of the legendary “Kostis,” the most enigmatic of all Greek rebetika artists. 12 tracks of truly unique guitar duets and black-humor lyrics chronicling the hash dens, prison culture and pickpockets of old Athens. Recorded under a pseudonym for export to the Greeks living in America, research has uncovered the musician, journalist and cartoonist Kostas Bezos as the figure lurking behind the Kostis name, with ties to the famous singer Tetos Demetriades. Renowned for his slide guitar playing in Hawaiian-style orchestras throughout the 1930s, the Kostis recordings reveal an entirely different underworld of the macabre and illicit. The use of guitar in these now-classic rebetika songs display a virtuosity of finger-picked Near-Eastern modes and unusual tunings at the dawn of rebetika, when the bouzouki was yet to become supreme.

Presented in pristine audio quality mastered from original 78 rpm discs by Michael Graves, “The Jail’s a Fine School” stands as an important document of an enduring mystery in Greek music, and a high standard for what was once a truly subversive art form.

LP version includes a 28 page booklet with extensive notes by Tony Klein (“Greek Rhapsody,” “Mortika”) and research by Dimitris Kourtis, full lyrics in Greek and English, and several previously unpublished photographs.

first edition September, 2015; second edition August, 2020.

Co-released by Olvido Records and Mississippi Records.
OLV-001 / MRP-097.


released May 1, 2018


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