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Davorin Popovic - Davor & Indexi: Svaka Je Ljubav Ista (Osim One Prave) CD (album) cover

DAVOR & INDEXI: SVAKA JE LJUBAV ISTA (OSIM ONE PRAVE)

Davorin Popovic

 

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4.00 | 1 ratings

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Seyo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars INDEXI were notorious for lacking both ambition and the record labels' support to produce studio albums. By late 1975, after 14 years of activity during which they gained reputation as a pioneering and groundbreaking rock band in ex-Yugoslavia, they released fifteen 7" EPs or singles and four vinyl or cassette compilations. The latter mostly contained songs from the former 7" issues. Additionally, since 1973 they almost abandoned the rock approach to music production in favor of more commercial orchestral pop/AOR sound of the famous festivals, such as those held in Sarajevo ("Vas slager sezone") and Opatija. All members of the group were also full-time employees of the Sarajevo Radio Television Orchestra so they did not have a strong urge to pursue a risky and always uncertain career of a rock and roll band. All, but lead vocalist Davorin "Davor" Popovic...

Since he was neither composer nor songwriter, his only way to make living was to sing. But he was too close a friend with INDEXI core songwriters, Slobodan A. Kovacevic and Fadil Redzic, so rather than starting a genuine solo career, Davor asked his friends to compose a few songs and back him in studio for his solo debut LP. At the time the band also included drummer Milic Vukasinovic and keyboardist Enco Lesic, so the entire group was present in the studio during the recording sessions in November-December 1975. In between reconsidering his career as popular crooner and planning to open one of the first western-style cafe-bars in Sarajevo (some would say even in the entire Yugoslavia), Davor released "Svaka je ljubav ista (Osim one prave)" - Eng. "Every Love Is The Same (Except For The True One)" in January 1976. Another paradox is connected with this release - it is the very first studio album recorded by INDEXI with all new songs; however it was instead issued under the name of Davor! At the time the band was preoccupied with more "serious" studio material that was to surface more than two years later as the first official studio LP of the group - a masterpiece "Modra rijeka". But does that mean that "Svaka je ljubav..." less "serious"?

The cover image of Davor under the spotlights wearing tuxedo and a bow tie (cover design by Alija Hafizovic, singer in the early INDEXI line-up from 1962, later a respected graphic artist) suggests a sort of adult-oriented pop in the vein of Frankie Boy or Neil Diamond at best. But, if you start listening without prejudice you will discover a quite different music. Something I would describe as "4-minute progressive rock with pop sensitivity". INDEXI prove their masterful musicianship and genuine ability to make complex arrangements into a pop song format without sounding too cheesy. Although this happens to be Davor's solo effort and he sings gently and with passion as always, it is INDEXI in fact who really shine here.

Kovacevic gave distinctive sound with his acoustic and electric guitars, but his lead parts were subdued and restricted to short albeit effective sequences in order to fit the song length. Heavy use of guitar effects made "Nocni susret" - Eng. "Night Encounter" (otherwise also released later that year on INDEXI EP "Moja Hana") and "Tvoje opasne igre" - Eng. "Your Risky Games" sounding like psychedelic heavy rock, reminiscing even Steve Hillage's technique in the latter. On the other hand, gentle solo in Lesic's ballad "Danas place prvi put" - Eng. "Today She's Crying For The First Time" invokes Jerry Garcia's finger picking backed by fuzzy gadgets.

Redzic always had a prominent role in the band similar to that of Chris Squire in YES - one of the main composers/arrangers, unconventional bass guitar player and strong backing vocalist. Here his bass is a lead instrument setting rhythm patterns, dynamic and chord progression in several key songs - such as "U tebi se zena radja" - Eng. "You're Becoming A Woman", "Ne mogu da te uhvatim" - Eng. "I Can't Get You", "Nocni susret", "I pad je let" - Eng. "To Fall Is To Fly" and "Danas place..." where he proved he was one of the best and most creative bassists in the whole Yugoslav music of the era.

Lesic was occasional member of INDEXI throughout the 1970s but here he had equal share of composing duties with Redzic and Kovacevic (each of them was author of three songs). And if two of these - "Mala je stvarno luda" - Eng. "This Little Girl Is Really Crazy" and "Mala pjesma" - Eng. "The Little Song" - are probably the weakest moments of the album showing his inclination towards simple R'n'R/teen pop, his instrumental contribution was enormous. Acoustic and electric piano (listen to the excellent brief jazzy part in "Nocni susret"), organ, ARP synthesizer (solo in "I pad je let") and above all Mellotron ("Ne mogu...") made this album quite "juicy" in terms of thick layers of different sounds, the one usually found in progressive rock production.

Finally, Vukasinovic was talented rock drummer who happened to be INDEXI member in time when their career was marked by pop festival sound and hit-making singles production. But here he used album space to show his drumming skills. Particularly in the opener "U tebi..." with a short but heavily reverberated drum solo he almost announced his later excellent percussive work for BIJELO DUGME's album "Eto bas hocu", where he took part in late 1976 after leaving INDEXI.

The outstanding songs, which also enjoyed popularity and frequent radio play, were "U tebi se zena radja", "I pad je let" (which was used as soundtrack to TV documentary promoting Mostar Bridge jumping contest) and "Bila si ti, bila je ljubav" - Eng. "There Was You, There Was Love". Apart from traditional use of outside lyricists, this album presents also Kovacevic, Redzic and Lesic in that role, each with one song. The biggest problem with this LP was very poor sound quality and production. Producer Milan Stupar did not mix properly some of the best parts like the guitar effects in "Tvoje opasne igre" while pressing of the vinyl by Diskoton seemingly went wrong, resulting in awful mono sound! This perhaps contributed to relatively poor sales and general neglect by the critics and press, except from Petar Popovic's affirmative review in "Dzuboks" magazine in its April 1976 issue.

Despite successful live promotion which took place on 21st February 1976 in Sarajevo's "Skenderija" venue in front of 12 000 spectators, it seems that the album was rarely re-printed (on some re-issues the album was credited to "Davor & Indexi") so it remained a sort of rarity. This is sad because it represents one of the best studio work of both INDEXI as a group and Davor as singer.

"Svaka je ljubav ista..." belongs to those old vinyl records whose "original recording remaster" edition on CD should be a must! Unfortunately, given the destruction of Diskoton during the war in 1992 and uncertain destiny of the master tapes, the only way to hear this album leads to the Internet. Either to search the net for mp3 versions of the ripped vinyl in accordance with "to share is to care" ethics, or to buy a second-hand LP at Web-shops priced up to 60 USD, it is worthy hearing.

PERSONAL RATING 3,5/5

PA RATING 4/5

Seyo | 4/5 |

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