The Forminx

Information about the early 1960’s band "Forminx" and their music.

Also see the
The Forminx image gallery

The Forminx


Late in his teens, Vangelis joined a school band performing pop and rock hits from abroad, in addition to playing their own music. By the mid 1960s the band adapted the name "The Forminx" and became a local sensation in Thessaloniki (Northern Greece.) Their hit record "Jeronimo Yanka" when released in 1965 sold tens of thousands of copies and soon The Forminx were known throughout Greece. Formed in Athens, the Forminx comprised of five members, lead by Vangelis on organ and keyboards, Vassilis Bakopoulos on guitar, Sotiris Arnis on bass, Costas Skokos on drums, and occasionally Tassos Papastamatis on lead vocals.

The Forminx were a phenomenal success in Greek's popular music scene, an achievement typically reserved for traditional and folk music. Somehow, with their Western sound and modern beat, they've captivated Greece's young generation who were eager and hungry to have their own supergroup. Just like any country around the block.

Though popular as they were, The Forminx were considered primarily an amateur and entertainment band with a strong teenager following. They performed at parties and events purely for fun and they didn't get much paid for their gigs. It was the band's enthusiasm that kept them going.

The songs were mostly credited as Vangelis compositions with a few numbers written by the collective band or by outside contributors. The lyrics were in English, which certainly helped setting them apart from the rest of the Greek artists. The released music adopted one of two styles: the semi instrumental songs with simple but catchy melodies, or the slow ballads with crooner Tassos Papastamatis. Sadly though, his English was often tainted with a heavy Mediterranean accent.

After the hit "Jeronimo Yanka" more singles were released and in total there were nine 7" vinyl singles and a Christmas EP released many years after the band disbanded. The list of singles released (including B-side tracks):

  • Jeronimo Yanka / Dream in My Heart
  • Ah! Say Yes / Elephant Twist
  • Jenka Beat / A Hard Night's Day
  • School is Over / Greek Holidays
  • Say you Love Me / Somebody Sent Me Love
  • A Precious White Rose / Il Peperone
  • Our Last September / And Maybe More
  • Mandjourano's Shake / Hello my Love Salonica
  • Love without Love / Until the end
  • It's Christmas Time Again / White Christmas / Jingle Bells / The Sound of Music

Late in 1965, a documentary film in the life of the Forminx began shooting in Thessaloniki. The film's first producer was then Theo Angelopoulos making the debut of his film career. After shooting had started, Theo abandoned the film due to disagreements with the production team and he was replaced with Costas Lychnaras. The film however was not finished and thus never released. It was said one of the aims of the film was to promote The Forminx' success outside of Greece and to help them eventually go on an international tour. Forminx however didn't last long enough to see them traveling around the globe or getting famous outside of Greece. The Forminx disbanded in 1966 at the peak of their success.

After The Forminx, Vangelis continued composing and performing in Greece, although he chose to be more of a studio person helping other Greek artists. In 1967 Vangelis wrote and produced for half a dozen Greek artists such as female singer Zoe (Zoe Kouroukli) and singer George Romanos. And throughout the Forminx years and later he was asked a few times to write songs for Greek films. In 1968 Vangelis, along with musician friends Lucas Sideras and Demis Roussos formed in Paris the short-lived but successful progressive rock group Aphrodite's Child.

The Forminx' brief success has ignited the enthusiasm in the Greek underground music scene and inspired a dozen of young groups to sprout blending their unique style with influences from Western rock n' roll, or rhythm & blues.

Available compilation CDs

The Forminx

        1. Jeronimo Yanka                   3:12
        2. Our Last September               3:21
        3. Mandjourano's Shake              2:37
        4. And Maybe More                   3:09
        5. Somebody Sent Me Love            2:16
        6. Greek Holidays                   2:15
        7. Ah! Say Yeah                     2:16
        8. Jenka Beat                       3:15
        9. Say You Love Me                  3:13
       10. A Precious White Rose            2:57
       11. Il Peperone                      2:10
       12. A Hard Night's Day               2:33
       13. Dream In My Heart                2:18
       14. School is Over                   3:08

Pan Vox CD 16171 - 1998 Music Box International S.A. - Greece.

The Formidable Forminx

Another Forminx compilation CD containing the aforementioned 14 songs plus 4 more. The CD is part of 5-CD set called "The Ultimate Greek Pop" with the 4 other CDs not related to the Frominx. The extra Forminx songs are:

           Hello My Love Salonica           2:32
           Until The End                    2:21
           Love Without Love                2:56
           Elephant Twist                   2:09

10765 Radio Gold 1999 Music Box International S.A. - Greece.

The Forminx

After the re-release of the 5 singles in CD format in 2007 (see the CD singles section below), Music Box released a new compilation CD with the newly digitally-processed audio tracks. The CD is packaged in a book illustrating some excerpts from a well known music magazine publication from 1960s, famous for covering news and photos of the band during their brief burst to fame.

        1. Ah! Say Yeah                     2:17
        2. Elephant twist                   2:09
        3. Jeronimo Yanka                   3:13
        4. Dream In My Heart                2:19
        5. Somebody Sent Me Love            2:17
        6. Say You Love Me                  3:13
        7. Jenka Beat                       3:16
        8. A Hard Night's Day               2:33
        9. Il Peperone                      2:11
       10. A Precious White Rose            2:58
       11. School is Over                   3:07
       12. Greek Holidays                   2:17
       13. Hello, my love Salonica          2:35
       14. Mandjourano's Shake              2:37
       15. And maybe more                   2:58
       16. Unil the end                     2:24
       17. Our Last September               3:23
       18. And maybe more                   3:10
       Bonus Tracks
       19. It’s Christmas time again  3:46
       20. White Christmas                  1:48
       21. Jingle bells                     2:43

MBI 3301273481 - 2009 Music Box International - Greece.

Available CD singles

In 2007 the Greek music label Music Box re-released 5 singles on CD, with additional tracks from the Forminx catalog of songs. The audio on these releases are notably different from MusicBox previous CD releases, as digital restoration was performed in an attempt to improve the fidelity somewhat.

Jeronimo Yanka

        1. Jeronimo Yanka                   3:13
        2. Dream in my heart                2:19
        Bonus tracks:
        3. Ah! Say Yeah                     2:18
        4. Elephant twist                   2:09


Musix Box International 0507 - Greece

Jenka Beat

        1. Jenka beat                       3:17
        2. A hard night's day               2:34
        Bonus tracks:
        3. Somebody sent me love            2:18
        4. Say you love me                  3:13

Musix Box International 0508 - Greece

Love without Love

        1. Love without love                2:57
        2. Until the end                    2:24
        Bonus tracks:
        3. Hello, my love Salonica          2:32
        4. Mandjourano's shake              2:35

Musix Box International 0509 - Greece

Our last September

        1. Our last September               3:23
        2. And maybe more                   3:11
        Bonus tracks:
        3. School is over                   3:08
        4. Greek holidays                   2:17

Music Box International 0510

Il Peperone

        1. Il peperone                      2:12
        2. A precious white rose            3:00
        Bonus tracks:
        3. It’s Christmas time again  3:46
        4. White Christmas                  1:48
        5. Jingle bells                     2:43

Musix Box International 0511 - Greece / Forminx
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