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ETO! BAS HOCU!

Bijelo dugme

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Seyo
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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars No, don't be fooled by the cover image - this is not THE ROLLING STONES lips logo!

Although, having in mind Goran Bregović's habit and nerve for trends and currents in popular music business, it is hard not to notice obvious influences from the Glimmer Twins on this album. "It's Only Rock'n'Roll But I Like It" slogan had its Yugoslavian appearance in BIJELO DUGME's "Nista mudro" on this album. - "It's only rock'n'roll/Nothing wise/And nothing else/But I just like it" - sings Zeljko Bebek. A powerful statement that might be justified by the circumstances in which the band was frequently getting accused of alleged "westernisation" of Yugoslavian "Socialist Youth" by the establishment and of "ruralisation" of alleged urban rock aesthetics by some rock journalists. Bregović replied to both: "Give me a break, this is all just a joke, a fun, a rock'n'roll". Of course, Bregović was more clever than that - in later career he knew how to use politics and mass manipulation to his interest, which coincided with ever poorer musical works. But, let's get back to "Eto! Bas hoću!" (En. "So! I Want!").

Ironically, the mentioned "Nista mudro" (En. "Nothing Wise") is among the weakest moments on the album, with unconvincing, largely worn-out boogie format that even the horn section could not amend. Still, it spawned a huge hit and lent its title to the first serious rock biography of BIJELO DUGME written by esteemed rock journalists Darko Glavan and Drazen Vrdoljak.

In this period Bregović liked to give long titles to the songs, thus the opener is named "Izgledala je malo čudno u kaputu zutom krojenom bez veze" (En. "She Looked Somewhat Strange In That Badly Designed Yellow Coat"). Silliness aside, this is excellent, powerfull track with strong and heavy bass rhythm resembling a bit "Gamma Ray" by BIRTH CONTROL and featuring a wonderful Bregović's solo on the largely forgotten vintage 70s device - a "Talkbox" with guitar! Guest keyboardist Laza Ristovski (ex-SMAK, replaced Vlado Pravdić who served the Army) provides nice Hammond organ chords.

"Lose vino" ("Bad Wine") is piano-led ballad written by chansonier Arsen Dedić and here it refreshes the band's romantic and slightly symphonic manner, which is assisted by strings and choir arrangements. There's also a short but memorable solo on electric guitar. The title track is another big hit with silly lyrics, heavy rock structure, excellent drumming by another new mamber Milić Vukasinović (replaced another unvoluntary soldier Ipe Ivandić) and a sort of reverb effect sounding like a vacuum cleaner or rocket launcher.

The legacy of "pastirski rok" is still present in the following two songs - strong and uptempo "Dede bona sjeti se de tako ti svega" ("Please Baby, Try To Remeber") with folky guitar licks and fiery organ solo, and a less convincing "Slatko li je ljubit tajno" ("Oh How Sweet It Is To Love") with its folkish/reggaeish rhythm section. After the negligable "Ne dese se takve stvari pravome muskarcu" (En. "It Doesn't Happen to a Real Man"), the album is brought to an end by the powerful symphonic ballad and one of the best and most popular DUGME songs, "Sanjao sam noćas da te nemam" (En. "I Have Dreamed Last Night That I Lost You"). Although largely taken as a love song, it is in fact a song about death and musically it is indeed eerie and dark sounding with somewhat pompose arrangement featuring Mellotron, choir and brass sections.

Production is again very professionally done at London with the same producer from the previous album, Neil Harrison. "Eto! Bas hoću!" is very good album, one of DUGME's best, and if it's slightly less convincing than its predeccessor, it is because it repeats certain elements from "Sta bi dao...". However, it is still very good heavy rock album, one of the best in that genre in Yugoslavian music scene.

PERSONAL RATING: 4/5

P.A. RATING: 3/5

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#150142)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wow, another classic by the balkan legend from Sarajevo.

I don't understand, frankly, the low ratings of the other colleagues. Even if not at the same level of the terrific previous album Sta Bi Dao Da Si Na Mom Mjestu (1975), a masterpiece, IMHO, Etň, Bas Hocu has similar elements of and the memorable "pastirski rock" sound.

The structure of all the classic repertoire of Bijelo Dugme is here: zenith is touched at the bottom of the tracking list. "Sanjao Sam Nocas da te Nemam" has a very haunting melodic appeal and pompous arrengements, a very distictive sound. Don't understand the lyrics but it seems something sad. The singer Bebek is a pure pleasure to listen to and did a hell of a work along as all the other members.

I find something italian in it (also in other albums)... maybe it is due to the long stay of Goran Bregovic in Neaples in the early seventies, just before the foundation of the band.

The general mood of the music is near the previous work but somehow less aggressive and more gentle in touch. Not less fresh, tough, and that's why I love this album wholeheartedly.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#215729)
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2009 | Review Permalink

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