fredag 16 september 2016


Czech sampler containing single cuts recorded for the label around mid-sixties. All domestic acts, with exception for "Scandale Dans La Famille" sung by French artist Nicole Felix. The album is a very fine exemple of what happened outside the dominating US/UK pop markets at the time. Apparently most of the cuts were on the spot recordings without overdubs or re-takes, giving a "live in the studio" feeling with very direct and natural audio. You get three numbers from The Mefistos - one of the first Czech rock bands, existing 1963-70 - a vocal cover of "Johnny B Goode" and two Shadows style instrumentals. Karel Duba Orchestra with vocalist Josef Laufer are represented by two covers - "Michelle" and "Sticks And Stones" - both in a warm dance band atmosphere with the latter's vocals clearly inspired by The Zombies version. Roman Pahl Quartet contributes two organ/sax driven intrumentals - "Watermelon Man" and the self-penned "Swedish Woman". The two self-penned instrumentals from Ferdinand Havlik Orchestra comes with a "Swinging London" feeling and the Sasha & Vilda cut can best be discribed as classic country & western with lots of Jimmie Rodgers style yodeling. Of The Olympics' numbers "Oh Darling, Kuss Mich Mehr" and "Cinderella" are sung in German while the album's hardest r&b pick "Mary" comes with English vocals. So what you get here is a vast variety of contemporary pop styles, covers mixed with original compositions, performed as instrumentals, yodeled or sung in English, German or French. With fifteen tracks differing that much it could have been shattered, but it is well tied together by the big natural audio and warm friendly atmosphere making it smooth and steady listening after all. Released in Czechoslovakia only. There were at least four Supraphone reissues, in mono or stereo, using differing label designs. To my knowledge the one shown here was the original. It came in a laminated flip/back cover. (BÅC*) (SÄM*) (GZÅ*)

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