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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The term "compilation" does not mean the same for INDEXI and any other band; while the majority of the bands have a habit to publish albums, INDEXI published only singles (with no more than two notable exceptions in the form of studio albums), and therefore a compilation published at the right time and a right place could be considered an album.

I have the same, "album" impression for "Retrospektiva" - not only because of peculiar band's discography facts, but for overall sound, atmosphere and focus.

I have found this tape in my grandmother's car - she is not progressive rock fan by no means, but INDEX were always very eclectic, diverse and - why deny it? - quite approachable to an average listener. The tape was in very bad condition; an ugly, non-transparent, black piece of plastic with an orange sticker, so typical for "Diskoton" (and other) publishing companies. So, I can't comment the production or sound quality: the tape was full of mud and the sound was dull and comparable to an average Gentle Giant live bootleg.

And yet I highly enjoyed this tape, playing it over and over again.

The compilation consists of 11 pieces, and there's only one song that doesn't fit perfectly and that is "Ispili Smo Zlatan Pehar" ("We emptied a golden cup") which is just a folksy easy listening piece, but it provides an enjoyable listening with high-level musicianship nevertheless.

All the other songs are excellent rock numbers; some of them are glancing at prog territories; some of them are just good rock love ballads - "Pruzam ruke", "Volim Te", "Ti si mi bila naj, naj", "Predaj se srce" are ballads indeed, but INDEXI were the best ballad writers in business, and while the piano background will resemble THE BEATLES heritage, the arrangement, lyrics, guitars and overall sounds are pure and uniquely an INDEXI trademark.

The rest of the songs will make smile upon a face of a prog rock purist; "Prazne noci a beskrajni dani" really rocks in it's parts, while same vintage synth wizardry was utilised as percussion tool; "Da sam ja netko" is another brilliant number with excellent criticism on society and human kind in general (these guys just loved to criticise society and greedy humans), with strong DEEP PURPLE/URIAH HEEP overtones.

There are two more ballads ("U tebi se zena radja" and "Bila si ti, bila je ljubav") which are not just pleasant listening because the band pushed the term of balladry on another level - and these two are highly atmospheric, beautiful, undoubtedly artsy, with gorgeous and soulful Davorin's voice.

"Svijet u kojem zivim" is another prog tune, with brilliant guitar, very catchy (and proggy) chorus and that distinctive, unique band's sound - raw and polished at the same time.

For the end I would like to focus one's attention on "I pad je let" - perhaps not the best tune here, certainly the most interesting one. It's got silly but remarkable lyrics - about humankind's greed again - and unique atmosphere made by slow, rock-solid, rolling rhythm emphasised with monstrous raw and grinding synthesizer line; a sharp Clavinet-like sound (slightly detuned in solo!).

At the end of the day, this is an excellent addition to any progressive rock or seventies rock collection.

Report this review (#110862)
Posted Tuesday, February 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This collection was the second compilation released by Diskoton label, but this time only in cassette format. As with many of INDEXI compilations, it is hard to find criteria for selection of songs. In this "Retrospective" you can find mid-60s beat hit "Pruzam ruke" ("Giving My Hands"), easy pop-schlager hits of the 70s "Predaj se srce" ("Surrender My Heart"), "Ti si mi bila" ("You Were My Best..."), "Ispili smo zlatan pehar" ("We Drank From the Golden Cup"), as well as a handful of prog gems.

The cassette starter is the hard-rocking "Prazne noći a beskrajni dani"("Lonely Nights and Endless Days"), B-side of the single "Zivjela Jugoslavija" released 1979. Kovačević's guitar acrobatics and riffs never sounded so heavy metal as here. The leading guitar riff was used as a jingle in a popular Radio Sarajevo show in early 1980s (was it "Primus" or "Sarada akustika" I can't remember!?). Excellent prog 7" from 1971 "Svijet u kome zivim/Da sam ja netko" ("The World I'm Living In/If I Were the One") is entirely included here - true classics of progressive rock era!

Finally, what is most striking about this collection is the inclusion of three tracks taken from Davorin Popović's solo album "Svaka je ljubav ista [osim one prave]" ("Every Love Is the Same [Except the True One]") released by Diskoton in early 1976. Since the studio musicians on this album were actually INDEXI in their full capacity from the period (Kovačević-guitars, Redzić-bass, Lesić-keyboards and Vukasinović-drums), and because LP "Modra rijeka" appeared only in 1978, this LP is in fact the first proper studio album with new songs recorded by INDEXI, although it was released as Davorin's solo effort! "U tebi se zena rađa" ("You're Becoming a Woman") is a dynamic prog with symphonic theme and instrumental parts of guitar and bass resembling Howe-Squire (YES) manner. Fadil Redzić composed two wonderful prog ballads "Bila si ti, bila je ljubav" ("There Was You, There Was Love") and "I pad je let" ("Falling Is Flying Too"), with the latter having a distinguished bass and synth rhythmic pattern supporting the emotional Popović's singing.

"Retrospektiva" is firstly a collector's item and secondly an atypical collection containing several excellent progressive tracks by INDEXI.


P.A. RATING: 4/5

Report this review (#183552)
Posted Thursday, September 25, 2008 | Review Permalink

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