15 Great Albums You Probably Didn't Hear in 2017

Rolling Stone critics choose LPs that flew under the radar

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Kostas Bezos and the White Birds, 'Kostas Bezos and the White Birds’
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Kostas Bezos and the White Birds, 'Kostas Bezos and the White Birds’

Hawaiian steel guitar and ukuleles first popped up in Greek music during the 1920s, and no one made better use of them than composer, journalist and cartoonist Kostas Bezos. Born in 1905, Bezos worked and played hard (cocaine and stuff) until he died of tuberculosis in 1943. With his White Birds band, Bezos combined Hawaiian acoustic instruments and Greek song, and then spiced everything up with his zingy add-ons (such as replacing Hawaiian falsetto vocals with Alpine yodeling) and clever political satire. This collection of 78s simultaneously embodies local charm and international sophistication. Bezos' giddy, animated spirit reflected a crazy world in flux. Richard Gehr

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