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The Plastic People of the Universe


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The Plastic People of the Universe Hovězí porázka album cover
4.15 | 16 ratings | 2 reviews | 53% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sel pro krev
2. Prasinec
3. Kanárek
4. Nenávist vola k řeznickýmu psu
5. Petřín
6. Moucha v ranním pivě
7. Bleskem do hlavy
8. Spatná věc
9. Papírový hlavy

Line-up / Musicians

- Milan Hlavsa / bass [1-9], guitar [5, 6], vocals [1, 3-5, 7-9]
- Josef Janíček / keyboard [1-9], synthesizer Korg [3-8], vocals [1, 2, 5, 8]
- Jiří Kabes / viola [1-9], vocals [6, 7]
- Jan Brabec / drums [1-9], vocals [7]
- Ladislav Lestina / violin [1-9]
- Václav Stádník / bass-clarinet [1, 3, 4, 7], flute [2, 5, 6, 8, 9]
- Petr Placák / clarinet [1, 3-7], bass-clarinet [2]
- Milan Schelinger / guitar [8]
- Vratislav Brabenec / alto saxophone [9]

Releases information

Globus 1992 part of 8CD box PPU IX
CD 425668-5

Thanks to clemofnazareth for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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THE PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE Hovězí porázka ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(53%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (7%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars By the time the Plastics recorded the tracks for this album they were under pretty much constant surveillance and harassment by the communist police in Prague. The home where they recorded ‘Co znamená vésti koně’ had been burned to the ground by police, and longtime member saxophonist Vratislav Brabenec had been arrested and beaten enough times that he was forced to leave Czechoslovakia and resettle in Canada where he eventually found a new living as a gardener. He appears on only one track here (“Papírový hlavy”) but would resurface in the band’s 1997 return concert following the collapse of the Soviet Union although only on a couple songs in that show. Three of the songs on this album (“Šel pro krev”, “Kanárek” and “Špatná věc”) would be played during that show.

The thing I notice most about this album is the increased emphasis on atonal reed and horn sounds. Václav Stádník plays bass clarinet and flute and new member Petr Placák a variety of clarinets. The lower registers of the twin bass clarinets result in a rather depressing sound, and the overall mood of this record seems more resigned than the band’s previous works. The band also picked up a Korg somewhere, and keyboardist Josef Janíček plays it on most of the tracks here and on their next release ‘Půlnoční myš’.

Otherwise this appears to be more of the same by the band. The songs are all sung in Czech, something that Brabenec encouraged the band to do after he joined them in 1972. Prior to that they alternated between Czech and English, partly because of their many English-speaking influences (Zappa, Velvet Underground, the Fugs), and partly thanks to the brief period in which Canadian Paul Wilson was in the band in the early seventies.

The English translation of the album title means ‘slaughtered beef’ or something to that effect. One can only imagine what the band members were referring to considering the tribulations they had suffered at the hands of their oppressive government throughout the entire history of the group. The Berlin Wall was still a few years from falling, but the band themselves would call it a day following this and their next album, with some members going on to form Půlnoc and some of them reuniting in the late nineties.

This isn’t really a standout album from the band, but anything they’ve managed to commit to vinyl over the years is well worth a listen by progressive music fans and those whose blood boils at the thought of people having to suffer for the simple act of making music. Give it a spin if you get a chance, this is an important piece of musical history that you’ll certainly never hear on your local radio station. Four stars.


Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars THE PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE are a legendary band from the Czech Republic who were hassled, jailed and beaten by the communist government. They even had their house burnt down, all for making music that wasn't government approved. The album's title means "Beefslaughter" and the album's cover is pretty gross looking and is related to the title. I am so happy with the music here. I was dreading that it would be that depressing, minimalistic stuff that they used on the previous record "Co Znamena Vesti Kone".Thankfully it's more in the style of their masterpiece "Egon Bondy's Happy Hearts Club Banned". So yeah this is a lot of fun and catchy, but with clarinet, bass clarinet, drums, viola and violin leading the way you wouldn't think so right ?

"Sel Pro Krev" opens with bass clarinet, violin and a catchy rhythm.This sounds great ! It's got a lot of bottom end, even the vocals are alto. Some dissonance around 3 minutes and later at 4 1/2 minutes.There are keyboards in this one too which is a nice touch. "Prasinec" sounds even better with bass clarinet and violin and a really good rhythm section.Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes and we get some flute 3 minutes in as well. "Kanarek" puts the focus on the vocals early but we still get the ever-present violin, viola, clarinet, bass clarinet and that rhythm section. He yells a few times on this one which sounds amazing believe it or not.

"Nenakist Vola K Reznickymu Psu" is more uptempo and the vocals come and go. "Petrin" has lots of strings and vocals that come and go.That beat too of course and guitar this time. "Moucha V Rannim Pive" has pulsating clarinet as violin and a beat support. This sounds incredible. "Bleskem Do Hlavy" has such a good rhythm to it, like a train, then vocals and dissonance come in. "Spatna Vec" is uptempo with vocals, drums and horns. It settles some 2 minutes in with guitar then picks back up. Violin after 3 1/2 minutes. "Papirovy Hlavy" has a more laid back beat with horns and violins. Dissonance ends it.

An easy 4 stars and a joy to listen to.

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