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20 Nov 2016

Time “Time” 1972 Yugoslavia Prog Rock debut excellent album

Time “Time”  1972 Yugoslavia Prog Rock debut excellent album
Listening to this album today it may sound dated and old-fashioned, but one should keep in mind the fact that this was the very first LP record of progressive rock in ex-Yugoslavia, released only shortly before the equally important KORNI GRUPA’s eponimous debut. Year 1972 marks the real beginning of rock album discography in this country. Thereafter, every next year would see more and more LP records released. “Time” is not a perfect album, production is very basic with some instruments not enough present, but given the overall importance it must be highly rated. The key songs were on the B side of the vynil: “Kralj alkohol”, wonderful piano-driven jazz ballad about the sorrowful life of the alcoholics, and epic 10-minute “Za koji zivot treba da se rodim” with philosophical lyrics about a man’s role in the life and excellent Hammond and piano exchange. On the A side there are: a strong blues-rock opener “Istina masina”, a beautiful acoustic ballad with nice flute melody “Pjesma No. 3” and a jolly instrumental with scat singing “Hegedupa upa”, possibly influenced by FOCUS’ “Hocus Pocus”. The CD re-release 1993 by Croatia Records includes bonus: a popular folk-inspired single “Makedonija” and a power ballad “Da li znas da te volim” from “Time II” album. Highly recommended listening for anyone………. by Seyo …. 

The first progressive rock LP in Yugoslavia probably. 
Now I’m guessing that before TIME only the beat/rock band GRUPA 220 released one LP in 1968, and their leader DRAGO MLINAREC just started it’s solo career a year before with his debut, but I don’t think it was until the second album he really got into his familiar prog folk sound; other greats like INDEXI and KORNI GRUPA were still releasing mostly singles at the time. So the statement of first prog rock would be true I think. 

The sound and similar bands that I would use to describe TIME are a bit horrible to me though; mostly hard rock or proto-prog artists in the early years, and to mention DEEP PURPLE or similar artists it just doesn’t excite me at all cause they are too classic. 

So why does this early prog work? First, I think the length of it is perfect. Half hour seems small but it contains everything it has to; every song is different and recognizable and I don’t get lost in tens of hard rock numbers. There is the hard rock opener, followed by a love ballad, instrumental number, a slower more atmosphere and keyboard oriented piece and of course, a 10 minute epic about life itself. It’s not that groundbreaking internationally as albums go, but it’s nice how it doesn’t go overboard, it’s all contained nicely and leaves you wanting more. 

Vocals of DADO TOPIC are excellent and enjoyable (and it doesn’t surprise that later on he would dedicate himself more to pop rock because of them). The more atmosphere oriented songs like the love ballad are effective and emotional, “Mr Alkohol” being more of a serious tone but more fun as well. Also loads of rhythms and basslines are very catchy which is also something that makes the album stand out. Sound is satisfiyng, even if little touches like yelling one, two, three or intentional mistake while starting the song give it a bit of garage rock feel, maybe production could be better but overall it makes it charming for me. 

Truth be told, only the epic “Za Koji Zivot Da Se Rodim” (“For Which Life Should I Be Born”) fits fully into prog territory and some might find this record more of a transitional stage between rock/blues and prog, as lot of those proto prog bands do. As an album that would represent music history of the region though, it’s absolutely essential, and I would put it side by side with the best music ever come out of the ex country……by historian9 ……….. 

I have to thank Todd for the heads up on this one.TIME was a Progressive Rock band from what was then Yugolslavia, and this is their debut released in 1972. The singer here had been with KORNI GRUPA but he left them in 1971 and helped form this band. From the descriptions i’ve read about this band I wasn’t so sure if I would like it. The mention of Proto-Prog and some of the heavier early bands like URIAH HEEP and DEEP PURPLE gave me low expectations. After many listens I can’t hear how the two bands I mentioned sound anything like TIME, but I will admit there is this Proto-Prog flavour here, but this is far better than most Proto-Prog bands i’ve listened to,and proggier.The vocals are the key, they’re so warm and well done, I can’t say enough about them. Keyboards and guitar are outstanding while the bass and drums are also excellent and prominant. 
“Istina Masina” has this catchy rhythm with vocals.The organ that comes in is a little nasty. Guitar to the fore late. “Pjesma No3” opens with light drums and flute. Very pastoral. Reserved vocals before a minute.The organ floats in. A fuller sound before 2 minutes with passionate vocals but it settles back quickly. Laid back guitar too.Themes are repeated. “Hegedupa Upa” opens with strummed guitar as vocal melodies join in. Organ and drums before a minute. Flute follows. Guitar before 3 ½ minutes makes some noise.This is great ! 

“Kralj Alkohol” starts and stops twice but the third time is the charm. Piano, light drums and reserved vocals lead the way.The organ before 3 minutes takes the lead. Nice. Back to the earlier sound then the organ returns 5 ½ minutes in. “Za Koji Zivot Treba Da Se Rodim” is my favourite and the longest at around 10 minutes.Gentle guitar as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in before a minute. Nice. Electric guitar follows. An excellent instrumental section with piano. Flute then replaces the piano 4 ½ minutes in as he lets it rip. A nice and heavy sound here. It’s the guitars turn after 5 ½ minutes. A calm before 7 minutes. Organ floats in as it builds. Vocals are back before 8 ½ minutes. Big finish. 

Very enjoyable and a solid 4 stars….. by Mellotron Storm ……. 

Dado Topić, the key figure of the band, left KORNI GRUPA in mid-1971, moved to Zagreb and with help from Vladimir Mihaljek formed TIME. The original line-up consisted of Dado Topić-vocals, Tihomir Pop Asanović-organ, Vedran Božić-guitar, Mario Mavrin-bass, Ratko Divjak-drums and Brane Lambert Živković-piano, flute. The eponymous debut album was released in summer 1972, ranking among the very first LP records of rock music issued in Yugoslavia at the time. The initial edition was issued in 500 copies only, because the record company did not expect any commercial success. However, this album proved its value in the decades to come and it was re-issued several times thereafter. The original line-up split in January 1973 after several personnel changes. In 1974 Topic spent some time in prison due to avoiding military service and there he wrote most of the material for the second album. “Time II” appeared in 1975 and it was recorded by Topić-vocal, bass, acoustic guitar, Asanović-keyboards, Divjak-drums, congas, Dragi Jelić-electric guitar (guest musician from YU GRUPA) and Dabi Lukač-moog, mellotron. Topić then moved to London where he played bass in the FOUNDATIONS during some 40 gigs across England. At the beginning of 1976, during the FOUNDATIONS tour in Yugoslavia, Topić with his bandmates Petar Petej-drums and Chris Nicholls-keyboards decided to re-form TIME. Petej would occasionally play with TIME, but two original members, Božić and Divjak, rejoined the band for recording of the third album. “Život u čizmama sa visokom petom”, a concept album about the life of a rock'n'roll star, was recorded in Munich, Germany with these musicians: Topić-vocal, Božić-guitar, Nicholls-keyboards, Divjak-drums, Karel Charlie Novak-bass, Ivan Piko Stančić-drums and Zdenka Kovačiček-backing vocals. After several tours during 1976/77, TIME finally disbanded in late 1977 and Topić started his solo career. In 1998 Topić, Božić and Divjak with several young musicians resurrected TIME for a limited number of live concerts and again in 2001, this time in original line-up with Mavrin and Asanović, they played several gigs in Zagreb.Their style can be described as progressive rock with jazz influences. Similar bands of the ex-Yugoslavian scene were INDEXI, KORNI GRUPA and SMAK, while on the international scene one can mention the cross between GENESIS, FOCUS, TRAFFIC and STEELY DAN for example. The first album is the best and the dominating instruments were Hammond organ, piano and flute. “Time II” is more hard rock oriented with some nice ballads with a rare use of Mellotron in ex-Yugoslavia, while the third one is the best produced and more into jazz-funk style. For prog fans the first album “Time” is highly recommended for listening. It is one of the best debuts in the former Yugoslavian rock scene and it influenced many generations of musicians. “Time II” and “Život u čizmama s visokom petom” are less strong pieces and less progressive in sound, but nonetheless are worth hearing, especially for enthusiasts. “Time” was reissued on CD by Croatia Records in 1993, while the second and the third one were coupled on one CD under the title “Time & Dado Topić”, issued by Raglas/PGP RTS in 1996. (from…… 

“Time” (1972), (Jugoton) / (Croatia Records) 
“Time II” (1975) 
“Život u čizmama sa visokom petom” (1976) 

1973: “Život moj / Pjesma No.3” (Jugoton) 
1973: “Reci Ciganko, što mi u dlanu piše / Makedonija” (Jugoton) 
1975: “Kad jednom otkrijem čovjeka u sebi / Da li znaš da te volim” (PGP RTB) 
1976: “Tin i Tina / Dok sjedim ovako u tvojoj blizini” (PGP RTB) 
1976: “Kad smo ja i moj miš bili bokseri / Dok ja i moj miš sviramo jazz” (PGP RTB) 
1976: “Poželi nešto / Superstar” (PGP RTB) 

Line-up / Musicians 

- Brane Lambert Zivkovic / piano, flute, electric piano 
- Dado Topic / vocal 
- Mario Mavrin / bass 
- Ratko Divjak / drums 
- Vedran Bozic / guitar, vocal 
- Tihomir Pop Asanovic / Hammond organ 

Songs / Tracks Listing 

1. Istina masina 
2. Pjesma no3 
3. Hegedupa upa 
4. Kralj alkohol 
5. Za koji zivot treba da se rodim

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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