Sometimes you have to love the internet. I got this record by Biky in Toronto, because it looked interesting. It’s half sung in French, half in Greek and contained a cover of “The Letter” by the Box Tops. After taking it home and listening to it, I immediately thought to post some of it here, yet I could find no information on “Biky.” However, some relentless (and lucky) googling revealed to me that Biky is actually Vicky Leandros, who is well familiar to me from, uh, EVERY SINGLE THRIFT STORE IN MONTREAL… I figure without google it would have taken a good 3-4 years to have that Eureka moment on the identity of Biky.
Viky Leandros was a Ye Ye girl of sorts (hair over one eye, perky photo shoots, miniskirts, father produced her material, sometimes went by just her first name…), but with mostly middle of the road material, as demonstrated by her big hit, “L’Amour Est Bleu.” It’s known to most Americans through the instrumental version by Paul Mauriat, as “Love is Blue”, which hit number 1 here in 1968.
It is interesting how Greek singers like Vicky, Demis Roussos, and Nana Mouskouri also recorded in French and often ended up based out of Paris. I guess Paris was the center of continental pop music at that time. On the album I have by Biky the songs in French are upbeat and poppy and the ones sung in Greek are more traditional sounding ballads. I am not sure what the difference is between Biky or Vicky Leandros and if Biky is some sort of persona a la Sheila B. Devotion or a phonetization (“I am bery bery glad to see you, Bicky”)…
My favorite two songs on this record are French covers of English language material. There is the aforementioned cover of “The Letter” done with a slow, funky, horn driven arrangement that I have never heard before. I wonder if the arrangement is original or a cover of some down low American version I am unfamiliar with? The other cover is a fairly straight forward version of “The Question” by the Moody Blues, a definite late night FM standard.
Biky- La Lettre