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The Day After The Sabbath 120: Wolf of Iron Jaw [Serbia 70's Rock] by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud
I must thank tdats fan Adam Burke, front man of Pushy and Fellwoods, and brilliant artist, for drawing a cover especially for this volume. It is inspired by the Psoglav, a werewolf-like demonic creature in Serbian mythology which bares iron teeth. Another thanks goes to the blog Jugo Rock Forever, one of the best sources of Yugoslavian rock.
01. S Vremena Na Vreme - Tema Za Šargiju  (1975)
from album 'S Vremena Na Vreme'
02. YU Grupa - Drveni Most (1974)
03. Grupa CD - Vjeruj U Ljubav (1973)
04. Džentlmeni - Veseli Svet (1968)
from compilation 'Retrologija'
05. Zlatko Manojlović - Ko Te Sada Ljubi (1975)
06. Smak - Živim... Biska 13 (1974)
07. Tako - Druga Strana Mene  (1978)
from album 'Tako'
08. Grupa SOS - Tražim (1974)
09. Korni Grupa - Neko Spava Pored Mene (1970)
10. Miodrag Bata Kostić - Tvoj Put (1975)
from album 'Kongres Rock Majstora'
11. Pop Show Grupa - Okrutna Žena (1974)
12. Pop Mašina - Vreme Za Nas (1975)
from album 'Na Izvoru Svetlosti'
13. Igra Staklenih Perli - Majestetski Kraj (1979)
from album 'Igra Staklenih Perli'
14. Riblja Čorba - Hej, Ćale (1979)
from album 'Kost U Grlu'
15. Dah - Majka Jugovića (1974)
from album 'Veliki Cirkus'
16. Opus - Sam (1974)
17. S Vremena Na Vreme - Tema Za Šargiju [reprise] (1975)
from album 'S Vremena Na Vreme'
Up until the early '70s, Serbia's only rock releases were on 7 inch singles and EPs. The first full-length rock album was Korni Grupa's debut LP in the comparatively late year of 1972, they were also the first Serbian band to play hard, progressive rock, which is shown in this comp with one of the oldest tracks here, a 1970 single of theirs.
The three other bands that heralded the beginning of Serbian hard rock were Yu Grupa, Pop Mašina (Pop Machine) and Smak (Endtime). From 1973 onward they started releasing excellent albums, displaying impressive technical skill, but also plenty of soul and passion. Smak stood slightly apart in their inclusion of jazz-influenced prog sounds, but they were also satisfyingly heavy. All three took clear influence from the pioneers like Cream, Led Zep and Black Sabbath, but also had their own Balkan flavour, giving them a refreshing slant that holds them up on their own merits. Indeed, of all the smaller regions I have studied so far for TDATS, with a consequently small number of bands, I can safely say that Serbia is right up there at the top regarding the consistent quality of what music there was. Discovering these bands has been an especially enjoyable experience which, by all accounts, will be repeated when I turn to neighbouring countries like Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia for later episodes. I can't wait!
|Boom festival 1972|
|Jogoton logo c.1974|
With the exception of Smak, every one of the bands in this volume originated in the capital of Serbia, Belgrade (natively called Beograd), although many individual members were from other countries situated in the former Yugoslavia.
|Smak in front of the Ružica Church in Belgrade.|
l-r Laza Ristovski, Slobodan Stojanović "Kepa", Radomir
Mihajlović, Zoran Milanović, and Boris Aranđelović.
We move on to a purely symphonic prog band called Tako, a rarity for the Serbian region at the time. Again they were very accomplished technically, and turned up the riffs a few times, like in the first part of the epic 16 minute "Druga Strana Men" on their self-titled first album. They appeared once before in TDATS on the flute volume 78. Founding member Sava Bojić (guitar, vocals) had been in an early lineup of Pop Mašina. Bassist Dušan Ćućuz was a member of the omni-present Džentlmeni, and he was part of the original Opus.
Tunel) and Stevan Stevanović (drums). By '78 only Miroslav remained, with newer members Rajko Kojić (guitar) and drummer Vicko Milatović, all of whom then became Riblja Čorba with the inclusion of former Suncokret & Rani Mraz member Bora Đorđević (vocals, acoustic guitar and songwriter).
|Korni Grupa 1972 LP,|
Kornelije Kovač standing furthest-back
|Korni Groupa at Eurovision|
|Kongres Rock Majstora concert poster|
|Goran Bregović - Josip Boček|
|Vedran Božić - Miodrag Bata Kostić|
The band was Miodrag Dobrić (bass), Dragan Milić (guitar) and Vladan Dokić (drums). Vladan was in Opus and later-on Rok Mašina, which was an '80s development of Pop Mašina. Both bands coming up here soon...
|Na Izvoru Svetlosti LP 1975|
|Rok Mašina, 1981|
|Igra Staklenih Perli|
|Riblja Čorba 1978|
|Dah 1974, Zlatko Manojlović on right|
|Dah - Veliki Cirkus LP 1974|
|Opus "Veče / Sam" single 1974|
|"Opus 1" LP 1975|
If you have listened all the way to the end of these songs I think you'll agree that the former Yugoslavia has a natural aptitude for rock music and an amazing number of consistently good musicians and singers. The mind boggles at what more is out there to discover from other parts of the Balkans, but I'll most certainly be doing my best to find out!
Thanks for reading, Rich