nedjelja, 2. svibnja 2021.

YU GRUPA - The Singles A's & B's (1971-1979)


YU GRUPA is a Serbian and former Yugoslav rock band. One of the pioneers in combining folk music elements with rock on the former Yugoslav rock scene, YU Grupa is arguably the longest-lasting rock band to come from Serbia. YU Grupa was formed in the autumn of 1970 by brothers Dragi (vocals, guitar) and Žika Jelić (bass guitar), Miodrag Okrugić (organ) and Velibor Bogdanović (drums). In the beginning the band performed under the name Idejni posed, given by composer and Korni Grupa leader Kornelije Kovač. In November 1970 on their concert in Sinagoga club in Zemun, disc jockey Zoran Modli asked the audience to suggest a name for the band. An unknown young man suggested the name YU Grupa. Consisting the name, the band continued to hold birthday concerts on November 29, the date of Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia declaration. Their first song, "Nona", was recorded at the end of December. The song was inspired by folk music of Kosovo, and recording it YU Grupa became one of the pioneers of "Balkan rock" sound. Their first concert was organised by Nikola Karaklajić and Petar Popović, editors of the Radio Belgrade show "Veče uz radio". The concert was held in Dadov theatre on January 21 1971. During the year they held a great number of concerts, mostly in Serbia. They recorded fourteen songs for the needs of Radio Belgrade, part of those songs later released on their vinyl singles. All the copies of their first single "Nona" were sold immediately after the release, but PGP-RTB refused to release a new number of copies, so YU Grupa moved to Jugoton. The band performed at the Belgrade spring festival with the song "Tajna", also performed by Zdenka Kovačiček. The songs "Drveni most", "Mali medved" and "Devojka Džoj" were well accepted on all of their concerts. Okrugić's song "Opus 1" was very significant on their live appearances, however, it was never recorded. The band spent the summer performing at the prestigious club "Lanterna" in Rovinj. These concerts brought first conflicts inside the band. After they returned to Belgrade Okrugić left and guitarist Miodrag "Bata" Kostić joined the band. Kostić was previously involved in the band's activity, as he wrote some of the songs the band performed. Dragi Jelić and Kostić were an effective guitar duo, and Kostić continued to write folk-inspired hits. In March 1972 the band went on Bulgarian tour, during which they held forty concerts. Due to the fact that Veče uz radio show had a cult status in Bulgaria, audience knew all of their songs, but one part of the public was shocked by their appearance. After they returned to Yugoslavia, they performed at the rock evening of Belgrade spring festival, performing at Dom Sindikata Hall with Korni Grupa, Time and Mladi Levi. The band spent the summer of 1972 playing in Rovinj's "Lanterna". The concerts in Rovinj were crucial once again. After returning to Belgrade Kostić and Bogdanović left the band, Kostić joining Jutro, and Bogdanović forming Opus. YU grupa continued as a trio, with Ratislav "Raša" Đelmaš, a former Mobi Dik, Pop Mašina and Siluete member, as the new drummer. They spent the next year playing all across Yugoslavia, gaining new fans in Slovenia and Croatia. At the time, the keyboardist Tihomir "Pop" Asanović was approached to become a new member, but he chose to join Novi Fosili instead. In February 1973 YU Grupa went to London to purchase new equipment, and the CBS Records producers, who had an opportunity to hear their recordings earlier, organized their concert in The Marquee. Thanks to the concert the band got the term at a studio, recorded demos, and a serios cooperation with CBS records was planned. The band returned to Yugoslavia to hold a concert at Belgrade's Hala sportova, and holding a high position on Yugoslav rock scene, the band blenched the career in England. In the summer of 1973 their debut self-titled album was released. The album brought numerous hits: blues-oriented "More", "Trka", "Čudna šuma", and their cult ballad "Crni leptir". In November Kostić returned to the band. At the beginning of 1974 YU Grupa took part on the recording of Srđan Marjanović's debut album Srđan Marjanović i prijatelji, and later released their second studio album "Kako to da svaki dan?". The album was musically more diverse, but it did not consist from the numerous hits as the previous one. At the end of the year Dragi Jelić went to serve the army, and until he returned YU grupa performed as trio. In 1975 best Yugoslav guitarists took part in "Kongres rock majstora" concert. The double album "Kongres rock majstora" was released, on which Žika Jelić and Đelmaš were the support band following Bata Kostić, Vedran Božić and Josip Boček. Dragi returned in June 1975, and Kostić left the band conventionally. The band negotiated with the keyboard player Oliver Mandić, but the cooperation was not agreed. At the beginning of 1976, they released YU grupa, featuring hits "Oprosti ljubavi", "Novi zvuk" and "Ja moram dalje". In September 1976 a compilation album YU zlato, which featured their single songs, was released. The same year, Đelmaš left the band and formed Zebra. Dragan Micić replaced Đelmaš, and at the end of 1976 guitarist Nedžat Maculja joined the band. In 1977 they went on the Soviet Union tour, during which they held sixty-four concerts. The same year they released their fourth studio album "Među zvezdama". Album featured Bata Kostić as a guest musician. In 1978 YU grupa performed at the pop-oriented festival in Opatija, and their song "Spali svoja sećanja" was released on the festival album Opatija 78. At the end 1978 Kostić once again became the member of the band, and a former Mama Co Co and Ribeli member Dragoljub Đuričić (drums) and a former Zdravo member Dragan Janković (keyboard) joined YU Grupa. This lineup held another Soviet Union tour. The next album "Samo napred", released in 1979, featured hits "Identitet, "Udaj se dobro", "Ideš mi na nerve", "Autobus za raj". Album featured Laza Ristovski, Bebi Dol and Slađana Milošević as guest musicians. At the time of New Wave expansion in Yugoslavia YU grupa's popularity declined. At the end of 1981 their van with a part of the equipment burned down, and Žika Jelić got injured. After this incident YU grupa disbanded. The Jelić brothers started working as concert organisers, Đuričić became a member of Leb i Sol and Midorag Kostić became a Radio Belgrade editor. (from wikipedia)

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