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20 Nov 2016

Kornelyans {Yu Grupa} “Not An Ordinary Life" 1974 Yugoslavia Prog Rock



















Kornelyans {Yu Grupa}  “Not An Ordinary Life" 1974 Yugoslavia Prog Rock
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Extremely melodic symphonic prog; normally lots of really swell melodic ideas happening at once and meshing together perfectly. Also significant in that it has some of the best synthesizer tones…………. 

Kornelyans are really ‘not ordinary’ in the best meaning of SYMPHONIC AND adventurous prog rock sense (*see last paragraph). WOW what an incredible PROG quite original and tasteful. I had the chance to listen the earlier Korni Grupa, I guess it’s another music proposal, an important record ( they were pioneers ) with very good music; some song, prog, rock, bluesy and jazzier elements. In this seminal record the predominant keyboards are piano and Fender Rhodes, while in Kornelyans 'not an ordinary life’ synth, moog, piano and mellotron are the masters (the entire prog keyboards arsenal is used). Kornelyans is totally prog, very different of Korni Grupa that is not symphonic. 

In Kornelyans 'not an ordinary.’ the super skilled performance reminds me Italians of CHERRY FIVE plus Latin complex flavor by PFM and MAXOPHONE - vocals are great as the last. The rockier creativity and freshness remind me Gentle Giant (around 'in a glass house’ or 'free hand’). The uplifting humor and mood brings to mind also GRACIOUS. But these are only references as Kornelyas sounds its own. It’s a record for international market ala Banco 1975 and PFM 'photos of ghosts’ sung in English, a rich 1974 era record. 

Do you remember the pioneer (for being open to everyone) prog reviews site PROGNET? I guess it got closed around year 2002. I used to put many reviews there (I had free time, no son and my health was ok) and made many friends. One of these friends taped me Kornelyans. I remember I could not believe my ears: All ingredients for an outstanding masterpiece were there!! Thanking my friend I wrote 'when you think you already know most important records a friend amazes you with a pearl’.in fact there are so many unknown prog records from iron curtain, Asia, etc. out there, that a rule for a good fan is to know that we are always learning. 

(*)Not that I think Kornelyans requires many repeated listenings to be full appreciated or understood, if you are familiarized with the bands I mentioned above, it can be love at first listening. I also wrote in PROGNET ’ I heard it more than 10 times, as I wanted to be very sure to assume to say that Kornelyans 'not an ordinary life’ is one of the best 70´s albums of prog rock !’ Well now in 2009 writing to PA I guess, after listening it more than 50 times, I can keep that enthusiastic true heart opinion, I’m not exagerating!….Review from ProgArchives (Prog Veteran)…….. 

Kornelije Kovac was obviously quite dissapointed by both a poor result of a smash hit “Moja generacija” at the Eurovision contest of 1974 and a lack of success to hit the Western market with this prog album so that he decided to disband KORNI GRUPA at the end of 1974. “Not an Ordinary Life” was recorded and released in Italy by Ricordi label, the lyrics were sung in English, while Island Records took responsability for the English- speaking market. However, album reportedly sold only some 10 000 copies due to poor advertising. Looking from distance, it was underrated at the time and neglected by domestic public but surely it is worth listening. This album was made under clear influence from YES and GENESIS style prog, especially noticeable in the first two songs - instrumental “Rising” and the title track. Then we have two re-recorded songs - “Generation 42” is an English version of the Eurovision hit “Moja generacija”, slightly extended and slowed down here, and “Fall Off the Land of Women” which appeared on the first album as “Bezglave ja-ha horde”. They are not so bad but the originals were better, for me as a non-English native the translation did not make it. “Temporary Parting” is a piano/organ based instrumental with some nice Chris Squire-like bass lines, while the final “Man With the White Flag” is a not much inspired lengthy piece with some good Bocek guitar solo. This song would re-surface in a live version on the farewell album “Mrtvo more” the following year. Finally this is a good and well-produced effort (the first Yugoslavian rock album to be recorded in the West!) from the legendary prog-rockers and is recommended to English-speaking listeners, although English singing is weaker segment of the album…..by Seyo……… 

KORNI GRUPA did it again, this time under the different name: they made excellent record. “Not An Ordinary Life” was aimed for the Western market; all the titles and lyrics are in English, and the band changed it’s name (temporarily) from KORNI GRUPA to KORNELYANS. It wasn’t huge success, though. However, album do not contain any bad tracks. Overall, band moved towards the symphonic sound, compared to its predecessor, but jazz-fusion influences are still evident, as well as almost funky bass lines. Highlights of this record are synths (used more often then on “Korni Grupa”) and excellent guitar work, both electric and acoustic, where electric guitar solos are pushing the boundaries in a same vein as PFM did it in their finest moments. Vocals are more than good, and English pronunciation is…not that bad, at least not for the band from behind the Iron Curtain in early seventies. 
A little bit of trivia: I swear that in “Not An Ordinary Life” track you can hear something that could easily be vinyl scratching, somewhere among all that peculiar Moog sounds. In 1974? Well, you never know. 

Again, I won’t give 5 stars to this lovely album because of (how typical) inconsistencies, for example, the track “Man With The White Flag” is a little bit too protracted. But don’t let this discourage you; this is well worth giving it a try. Well-deserved four stars….by clarke2001……… 

Finally I am going to post this beautiful album, after holding “in the barrel”, ie between the drafts, for several weeks. Thank the anonymous blog visitor who, among the comments, he spent there a site where to find this real gem. Not many have heard of Kornelyans, which however were not even Italians: in fact, these a band from the former Yugoslavia. Our before this album, they called Korni Grupa and were active at home since the first half of the 70, proposing a hard rock blood and well played, tending to heavy progressive. The album “Not an ordinary life” dates back to 1975. Very hard to find now in the original, was reprinted by Vinylmagic back in 1991, but, as I understand it, this reprint is now out of time catalog. Coming to the reason for its inclusion in our blog, you should know that this album was recorded right in Italy, for no other than the memories. According to the signed, we are facing a real gem: a musical level is fully registrable to progressive rock, and its sounds do not differ much from those of the then large Italian groups (I found it reminiscent of Trip, among others).“ Taking their name from that of the founder Kornelije Kovac, the Kornelyans Serbs began their career in Belgrade as Korni Grupa, with a first album released in 1972. In search of the international success they recorded their second album, Not an ordinary Life, in Italy, where the LP was released by Ricordi, and a single taken from it, Generation 1942, allowed them to participate in the Eurovision Festival of 1974. in those years the group had anglicized his name to Kornelyans, but despite the efforts of the international career he did not take off and the band broke up. the 1974 album is still very interesting, with a sound not far from some Italian groups of the time. it is curious to note that the record was produced by AC Rossi, founder of the Car Juke Box . ”….. 

Line-up / Musicians 

- Kornelije Kovac / keyboards 
- Josip Bocek / guitar 
- Bojan Hreljac / bass 
- Vladimir Furduj / drums 
- Zlatko Pejakovic / lead vocals 

Songs / Tracks Listing 

1. Rising 
2. Not an Ordinary Life 
3. Generation 1942 
4. Fall off the Land of Women 
5. Temporary Parting 
6. Man with a White Flag

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..