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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Boom Pop Fest '73 CD (album) cover

BOOM POP FEST '73

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

 

Various Genres

3.14 | 3 ratings

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clarke2001
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Boom Pop fest 1973 shows indeed all things Yugoslav rock bands were craving to at the time, but also all the weak points.

The festival has gathered a bigger number of professional artist then a year before. That is, there were YU GRUPA, TIME, DRAGO MLINAREC, ZDENKA KOVAČIČEK and GRUPA 220. Unfortunately, there are less than a few numbers that will stand the test of time and prove themselves as the songs of the top notch calibre.

Most of the songs are extended jammings without much going on, with a few notable exceptions. That can be said about DAH's 'Ako pozelis', which is mostly hard rock noodling around a blues scat in Alvin Lee style. Many songs are copycats in style for their Western counterparts, which is not a bad thing per se, but openly citing - no, I'll be frank - plagiarizing entire piece doesn't seems as a good way of going. Zdenka Kovačićek (with NIRVANA, a short living 70s Croatian band) did it in so-called 'Klik Tema Broj 1', which is, apart from the jamming/drumming part in the middle, exact blueprint of YMA SUMAC's 'Let Me Hear You' theme. Perhaps plagiarising wasn't the intention, just a cover? If so, why the different title? And even worse, lack of crediting? At the beginning of the songs there's a spoken line that goes 'we arranged the song ourselves', so who knows what was going on...however, the vocal performance was extraordinary, spectacular, nothing short of Yma's range, perhaps just a bit less technical and more bluesy. Which is not a trivial thing to say.

Where was I? Srđan & Buco were sort of Dalmatian Simon and Garfunkel, a folk duo with strong local melos, and perhaps the most consistent of the whole bunch. AVE also did a pleasant little folk number, with more progressive leanings.

777 did a bizarre tune that starts and ends with easy listening, poppy vocal compartment (they were always strong with vocals), while the middle section consists of psychedelic and dissonant jamming. (On a side note, I must say they were quite popular at the time, and few years ago I have found their promo sticker 30 years old, which is now proudly glued on my bass guitar).

The only song keeping a degree of popularity to this day is 'Kosovski Bozuri' by Yu Grupa. The songs is not much more than a hook, and a great one at that, based on Balkan folk music. Great guitar work here.

Both 'Reci Ciganko' by Time and 'Gvendolina' by Srce offered a higher level of professionalism on stage, but both are quite forgettable in this live versions. Time can certainly do much better both live and in studio, while Srce are long forgotten, and if an Yu-rock connoisseur will know this band, it will probably be because of this tune.

Rock Express, a band that I never heard of before or later, did 'Eto Taako' which is just disposable jamming. Well if they fell into oblivion, that's deservedly so. And I can't say Jutro's 'Mala Nočna Glasba' is any better, since it's just uninspired (and thankfully short) rock adaptation for a classical piece we all know: 'A little night music'. Calling it a butchering would be perhaps too harsh, but such a lovely music certainly deserves a little more grandeur.

For the end...no, there's nothing special I will mention at the end, because I wasted all the aces up my sleeve before. But Grupa 220's 'Pop pjevač' and Drago Mlinarec's 'Pjesme sa Planina' both deserve thumbs up for the good delivery and cocky performance. Pity they are going nowhere in these extended live versions, because they're both great potential, as could be expected from Mr. Mlinarec (and Grupa 220 is his band anyway).

In conclusion, this is far from being a sterling work, but it gives a good dissection of the era and the place.

clarke2001 | 3/5 |

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