In the year 1973, Ilhan Irem started his career
in the professional sense when he was only 18. Very short after his first
single, his second single including the hits "Yazik Oldu Yarinlara/Haydi Sil
Gozlerini" (Ode to tomorrows/Take it easy, friend) has sold more than two
million copies which made him the best seller singer in 1974. One year later,
the single he made in 1975,"Anlasana" (Do understand) was the first sign that he
was going to be a superstar in the future. This great start along with his being
very popular brought into view his personal life more than his understanding of
music, despite his wish. That wasnt the atmosphere he wanted to bring about.
The single he made in 1976 was an answer to such approaches."Bir Varmis Bir Yokmus/Kuklaci Amca" (Once upon a time/Puppet man).
His first work in which he questioned God and built up relations to metaphysics was unfortunately collected by the firm after 30.000 copies were released because of the threats made by religious fanatics.
In 1977 Ilhan Irem released the singles "Iste Hayat/Son Selam" (Life Goes On/The last salute), and in 1978 "Sazliklardan Havalanan/Sen Bilirsin"(Arising from the rushes/It's Up To You) which both received golden record prizes. Finally in 1970 he made his collection named "Sevgiliye"(To the beloved) which was his first step towards being a great star, in which he was accompanied by a good number of musicians, including Istanbul State Symhony Orchestra.
Though he had some disagreeing challenges, 1970s were the years in which a singer out of a city pursued success, singing ballads and chansons unlike others, through receiving golden record prizes, and being almost always at the top of music lists.
In 1979 he left for his military service, and came back to Istanbul in September 1980. On 12 September 1980, there was a military impact in Turkey. From that day on, he went into a period of transformation. This transformation was completely done in the late 1980s, and found its mass of listeners. It appeared that a new Ilhan Irem was born through new thoughts, new images and new productions. In his point of view, this transformation was one formed concerning the new scene of Turkey, new expectations and the accumulation following the turning-point on 12 September.
What he observed in the melting of pop music was the kingdom of arabesque music, which conquered contemporaneousness and cities, and which was an easy-won noncultured village-rooted type of thing.
The change in the perception of politics, music and arts But in his art and personality, the concept which started a revolution, and which triggered his move toward a different point was the indifference and inattentiveness which he observed in his beloved ones, friends, in the music world and almost all through Turkey and worldwide. The transformation of love, relations and breaking apart of people, migrations and the reaction emerging from the transfer of technology into the arabesque world, ending up with the explosion of pop era. In such a mood, as a human being, as a singer, he started questioning the meaning of his life. And after reviewing his life until 1980, he went further away from people whom he thought were insincere, withered, meaningless crowds, and from the popular culture which cared for forms more than what is produced.
In a sense of alienation, he sort of retired into seclusion 7 years between 1980-1987. This withdrawal turned out to be an adventure starting from the inrecoverable disgrief in the songs of 1970s, extending to mystical tranquility and metaphysics. Thus after this withdrawal, in the concept albums tracing New Age and symphonic rock, the progressive works of a contemporary poet emerged.
The works of our singer in this new scope was the ,trilogy which consists of three works following each other,"Pencere" (The window) in 1983, "Kopru" (The bridge) in 1985, and "Ve Otesi"(The beyond) in 1987. These albums which were smyhonic rock formations, carried traces of progressive developments and utmost synthesis dimensions never tried before, both in the years they were released and in 2000. The 2000 release of these three albums were again in their original forms. The CDs you have are these late releases: "Ucuk Mavi Pencere" (Abstract blue window), "Bulutlara Kopru"(The bridge to the clouds),"Dusler Ve Otesi" (Dreams and beyond). This trilogy in short, narrates a trip from life to death, beyond death, and to spiritual enlightenment. Abstract blue window, narrates birth, childhood, existential developments, first love, marriage, separation, universal feelings, old age, loneliness and death, The bridge to the clouds narrates the transformation of energy and death concepts in the sense of reincarnation.Dreams and beyond is the story of a turning back to tranquility again in another point of view.
In Old Turkish, Ilan-i ask is an expression which means the offering of pure love to the beloved. Our singer changing this expression a bit, and making it ilhan instead of ilan through word formation, thus putting his own name, creates a new expression, wishing to express his love and all the beauties to experience in the future. Ilhan-i ask is a very important album which has a high musical quality and which has mystical dimensions.
"Koridor"( The corridor) is the story of attaining beauties and reaching better times by escaping from the evil forces which the world has gone through."Romans" (Romance) is a meditational version of The corridor prepared upon the wish of listeners, who wished the hard rhythmic songs were no longer in the album of their favorite singer.
"Seni Seviyorum" (I love you) is the latest and the most abstract album in which his musical talent is exposed. Even though you wont understand the words, you will surely feel the depth of the musical dimension, and his universal screams. "Sevgililer Gunu" (Valentines day), which is the first album of the The best of series consists of the sentimental ballads of 1970s... The best of/2 and the best of/3 consist of songs each of which were hits at the time: ballads and rock music in progressive formations.
Ilhan Irem was rewarded with lots of prizes, including seven golden records. Apart from the five books and art exhibitions he has from time to time, he has neither participated in any TV or radio programs non accepted interviews except for a few since 1992, in relation with his wish to stay away from the popular culture. Today, Ilhan Irem is an underworld hero whose each new album is a best seller through his philosophical union called "Irembagi (Garden Of Eden) which has about 90.000 members.
isik ve sevgiyle... (Through light and love),