Yugoslavia no longer exists, but various new states, which are proud that something has changed.
Has so much really changed for the people there?
Rock music knows the answer!
In the 1980-ies: Rockers draw a gloomy picture of the situation
The standard of comparison is the 1980s in a country called Yugoslavia.
Zagreb in the 1980s: power outage and structures
In Zagreb, a band sings in a song in times of ubiquitous power failures, that the electricity never fails among the „primates“ (meaning probably the alpha animals and functionaries) in the privileged suburbs. And that these primates would hardly notice if there would be power cuts: After all, they hardly read at all. And if they did read, then the wrong thing.
In another song, the group reported about a city under controll of the „structures“ in which students without diplomas rot in their sneakers.
The group is called „Azra“. Sounds exotic, but Heinrich Heine is to blame. No joke, but that would be going too far now!
Sarajevo in the 1980s: Waiting for the passport, because life is elsewhere
In Sarajevo at that time another group sings about how everyone would only wait for their passports because they think – similar to the Czech poet Milan Kundera – that life takes place „somewhere else“.
The group is called „Smoking Forbidden“ in translation and has something in common with Amon Düül, Barcley James Harvest, Supertramp, Wishbone Ash and the Doobie Brothers. They also existed twice at times.
But also that would lead too far now!
Serbia in the 1980s: No justice, but „bread and games“
In Belgrade in the 1980’s a group reported about a country where there is „no God and no justice“ and that people would leave it because of this.
They talked about „bread and games“ in their songs, and about those who „deserved metals and have already learned the school of life“ – that is, who have eaten wisdom with spoons.
The group is called Riblja Corba (fish soup). And today is another one. The singer and songwriter has gone from being a sensitive poet to the bearer of a distinctly national fragrance:
But even to explain that would be going too far at this point!
Conclusion of the 1980-ies: Ne valja!
These were just a few snippets from the Jugo rock of the 80s. With so much dissatisfaction one can understand that this state has fallen apart!
Cuio bono: A sta smo za to dobili?
But what did you get for it?
To find out, you can read statistics or progress reports of the EU about the candidate countries in Southeast Europe. By the way, for some time now these are no longer called progress reports but simply „reports“.
Why is that? A rogue who thinks badly about it!
Bands more on the pulse than official reports
Or you can listen to the bands „from the region“ of today.
Admittedly, for someone who has experienced the eighties – and even the seventies – musically in real time, it took some time to get into the style.
But then you realize: Here old threads are spun further. Musically, it is the combination of music styles that are currently internationally hip and folk music (in the past, what the Bosnian band Biejelo Dugme – White Button – and others did in this regard, by the way, were called farmer or shepherd rock). This continuity will probably become clearer with the listening examples that will follow.
But the continuity is also present in the lyrics:
Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 2010s: Dubious collective against cronies
In Bosnia, the band Dubioza Kolektiv, which could already be heard at the Nuremberg Bard Meeting and the Cologne Summer Jam, complains that the country is now „a state for relatives“ (i.e. private property of a certain group), and that the list of states with the greatest „brain drain“ would be topped.
The band with the unpleasant sounding name „Zoster“ (shingles) are similarly critical of the conditions in the state they now live in. We have already written about this.
Serbia in the 2010-ies: „Belgrade Trade Union“ feels lied to
In Belgrade, Beograd Sindikat (the Belgrade Trade Union) complains that you are „lied to by the system“ and are not supposed to believe anything.
One feels reminded of the lines „Eat what you serve here“ from the song „It’s so nice to be stupid“ (Tako je lepo biti glup) from the Serbian fish soup from the eighties quoted above.
Croatia in the 2010-ies: days of closed doors
And what does the vote of the jury from Zagreb say?
There a band with the beautiful name Hladno Pivo (cold beer) has given their last double album the meaningful name „Day of the closed door“.
Also there you can find many motives that you already know from the 1980-ies. In developed form.
Meanwhile many people not only dream of foreign countries, but already live there. And send patriotic greetings from afar on Liberation Day:
They say: Greet ‚us the homeland /the most beautiful country in the world/…/beautiful when you see it from afar (Kažu: Pozdravi nam domovinu/najdivnija zemlju svijeta…/lijepa vam je izdaleka)
Musically, it sounds like this:
In ex-Yugolawia („in these areas/Na ovom prostorima“) there is a lot of things after that, also positive things, but still enough defiance that there is enough for a few more wars, they sing.
And concerning the relationship to the EU the video speaks volumes – even if you don’t understand the language:
And the moral of the story‘?
What can you say:
– Other coaches,
– other uniforms,
– new stadium,
but still the same game.