(All Album Reviews by maribor)
Goran Bregovic – electric and acoustic guitars
Zeljko Bebek – vocals
Vlado Pravdic – piano, electric piano, organ, moog, mellotron
Zoran Redzic – bass guitar
Ipe Ivandic – drums
All music by Goran Bregovic
Lyrics by Goran Bregovic, except »Sta bi dao da si na mom mjestu« by Dusko Trifunovic
Goran Bregovic, mostly known by people nowadays as a soundtrack composer, was in the 1970s one of the most vital people in the development of Yugoslavian progressive rock. Together with a team of great players, he managed to create some of the most exciting music of the area and also become hugely popular in the process. Bijelo Dugme is considered the most popular Yugoslavian band of all time. Not a lot of people remember their progressive roots, the songs that are most popular are from their later ethno-pop period. Bregovic has since then gone on to create some interesting music for movies, among others Arizona Dream, where he collaborated with the likes of Iggy Pop.
Although their first album was a decent debut, it displayed a typical fallacy present in many debut albums. It was too derivative. Some songs sounded like Deep Purple and there’s actually one song that is a complete rip-off of “Rock’n’Roll Music”. With this, their second effort they came into their own and created what I consider to be one of the most important Yugoslavian albums of the era and in the progressive rock genre.
The keyboards are a lot more emphasised on this album. And with the addition of the mellotron, there is a whole new layer of sound. What Bijelo Dugme were best at was creating beautiful melodies. Sometimes, they would border on tacky but not on this album. The short numbers all contain highly enjoyable tunes with lots of intricate passages. However, it is the long pieces that make this album stand out.
First there is “Ne Gledaj Me Tako”, which is a ballad with excellent mellotron work and a wonderful distant sounding vocal performance by a phenomenal singer.
“Pozurite Konji Moji” is a bit less adventurous, still the middle instrumental segment with the moog slowly joining the other instruments is highly enjoyable. Throughout the song, there is a galloping feel because the song was written after their experiences in Borike, a part of Bosnia where they raise horses.
The last track on the album is a real masterpiece. From the acoustic guitar and mellotron intro to the Hammond and electric guitar interplay in the middle to Bebek’s vocals to the mellotron’s haunting voice throughout the song and the acoustic guitar and mellotron ending, this song never fails to deliver.
One thing that a listener might notice is the lack of jazzy passages that were so typical of other Yugoslavian symphonic bands. Bijelo Dugme is a band of lovely tunes and compositions, not one of lengthy improvisations. It is, after all, nice to have diversity in music. This album is a must have.
8 out of 10.