- ABC Ansambl Angela Vlatkovića
Yugoslavian composer, arranger and band leader Angelo Vlatković did a lot of writing and arrangements during his active years in Yugoslavian music scene. He also had a group of his own called ABC. It was called Kvintet A-B-C first, but then the name evolved and several different forms appear depending on the country of release. In this self-titled album from 1975 the band was called Ansambl Angela Vlatkovića and Vokāli-instrumentāls ansamblis Angelo Vlatkovića, the latter being the Latvian form of writing. Why Latvian? The Russian national record company Мелодия (Melodija) had at least seven different manufacturing plants all over the huge country and all of those released different cover and label designs and used different languages. This one was pressed in Latvian factory, so the song titles and credits are written in Russian and in Latvian. There’s also different cover versions of this album pressed in other factories.
Musically this album follows quite well the trend that was prevailing that time. It’s full of cover songs from both Eastern bloc and the west. Only one song is an own composition by Vlatković, the really mellow and jazzy, flute driven instrumental groover “Za Tebe”. Among the western covers are Abba’s “Waterloo”, Demis Roussos‘ “Goodbye my love” and Gianni Nazzaro’s “Quanto è bella lei”. These are all quite dull nevertheless. There’s good ones included too of course. The cover of The Sweet’s “Poppa Joe” starts with a break and continues as a song very similar to the original. Uptempo cover of Junior Campbell’s “Hallelujah freedom” is a good one too with a break at the start and nice uptempo beats all over with some occasional organ work. Then there’s cover of Doobie Brothers‘ classic “Long train running”, a very interesting rockish breakbeat one, but not that banging as I hoped. On top of the cake there’s two local songs that are really funky and banging. Uptempo instrumental funk track “Snovi” (Dream) and an uptempo vocal number “Ima Vremena” (There are times) with a break in the middle and all. Although it’s hard to say if these are covers or own compositions as there’s no band members mentioned on the cover they’re still pretty darn tight. Nice record from the former Yugoslavia.
Long train running