Informed sources tells us that Matthew Fisher's song Why'd I Have to Fall in Love With You was released in Greece this autumn (1998). According to the same sources it sold 6,000 copies within two months. Sales of 10,000 copies qualify for a gold record in this country, so Matthew is doing great, and maybe finally receiving some well-deserved exposure.
We know Matthew had a couple of hits in Greece earlier. But can somebody tell us why a 1980 recording (from his self-titled album) was finally released as a single in this country? Please let us know.
Joan May reminds us that Matthew's Greek success is touched on in Ron Smith's excellent interview: here's an excerpt ...
I heard you had a hit single in Greece.
Well yeah, but this was very regional, this was not the whole of Greece; this was just one little part of Greece, basically one radio station that was very keen on me. But it's not the whole country. I mean, a friend of mine, a girl called Georgia who lives in Athens, she'd never heard of any of my records. But that's quite a few miles south of this place. Serres, that's what it's called.
So outside the gates of Serres you're a hit.
Yeah, apparently I'm very well known there. But not any other part of Greece.
August 2000: Lefteris Lalos writes to BtP
Hi I'm Terry
I'm living in Athens, Attica, Hellas for the past five years after leaving my hometown Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Hellas. For many people in the US & in the UK it may come as a surprise to find out that Matthew Fisher, former member of Procol Harum is indeed a very big star, not only in the area of Thessaloniki (meaning cities like Veroia, Serres, Katerini and others), but also in our capital Athens where his song Why'd I have to fall in love with you is receiving respectable air-play the last couple of years.
I first heard Matthew singing back in 1984 when his song Can't you feel my love was #1 in Radio 1's in Thessaloniki, and I remember our local star-Jockey George Alexiou being obsessed with Matthew but also with unknown (by that time) singers like Bertie Higgins (Casablanca, Key Largo, Tokyo Joe), Adrian Gurvitz (Classic), Paul Davis (I go crazy) and many others.
I can say , without a doubt, that the Matthew Fisher song Why'd I have to fall in love with you is the #1 Radio favourite of all times in the region of Macedonia, Hellas. Continued.....
George Eleftheriou writes to BtP (November 2000)
I read at your site an article commenting on the success of Matthew Fisher in Greece. As I lived in Thessaloniki which is the capital of north Greece, for 25 years I would like to add a few things.
Matthew Fisher's Why 'd I have to fall in love with you was a big hit during the 80s and the 90s all over North Greece, not only in a little town called Serres. Unfortunately very few music producers had his album Matthew Fisher and indeed you didn't listen to this song very often.
In 1987 a music producer was selling me his album for 20,000 drachmas, about $50, a lot of money for that time. George Alexiou, a music producer from Greece, and a record collector with over 100,000 records in his collection perhaps can tell you more about the success of Matthew Fisher in Greece.
All I can tell you is that everybody was doing like crazy for this song.
Best Regards …
Matthew's solo gig in Greece included Can't You Feel My Love, Just How Blind, Miss Susie, Just Looking For Shelter, and Running From Your Love, but owing to a torrential downpour the concert had to stop after five songs. The crowd sang along and showed no sign of shifting while Matthew played to some backing tracks, and the acoustic guitar of Alan Fox.