The ‘Classic Year’, Eastern Bloc style

One may have seen references recently, in the media, to 1971 having been something of a ‘Classic Year’ in the world of Rock and Pop. Inspired by this here is a selection of what The GOTGE were up to in that year.

First up, here is a German-language rendition of what Helena Blehárová performed as ‘Nech mně odejít’ – ‘Farbstifte’, by Zsuzsa Koncz.

Next – carrying on the theme of songs that were released to the German-speaking market – here is the Czech-language version of what Hana Zagorová released in the DDR as ‘Ich bin dein unbekanntes Glück’. Interesting to note that the music was by the same team as were also behind Valérie Čižmárová’s totally brilliant ‘Koňskou Dráhou’, Vítězslav Hádl and Ladislav Pikart. There’s nothing quite like saying, “It’s a Hádl & Pikart!”

If one cross-references the recording date of 12th January 1971 with Věra Špinarová’s birthdate of 22nd December 1951 one would surely agree that the following is a pretty amazingly mature performance for one just turned nineteen! Like I have said in the past – one of THE voices of the Twentieth Century.

To return to the ‘A-Team’ of composers behind ‘Koňskou Dráhou’, here’s Marie Rottrová performing a song by Vitězslav Hádl with words by Petr Markov.

Since I have previously highlighted a recent magazine article on Nad’a Urbánková, it would seem churlish of me to allow any followers of GOTGE to go away with the impression that all she did was versions of the likes of Little Jimmy Osmond’s ‘Long-haired Lover From Liverpool’!

I claim a bit of ‘licence’ here, since Miluška (as ‘Miluše’) Voborníková released this single in 1971. (Lyrics by the man behind the Czech-language lyrics of Hana Zagorová’s version of ‘Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum’, ‘Pan Tydlitýt a Pan Tydlitát’, Zdeněk Rytíř)

In 1971, still at the age of only nineteen, Valérie Čižmárová came up with her own ‘classic’, ‘Léta letí’, chosen as the title for a retrospective on her life and work on Czech TV.

Taking a little excursion away from the former Czechoslovakia to the two Romanian ‘children of 9th July’, here is some earlier Angela Similea and Margareta Pâslaru than I have previously encountered. Again, there’s some ‘licence’ here, since I assure readers that the single was dated ‘1971’.

Returning to the former Czechoslovakia, before leaving once again to return, here’s a slice of Petra Černocká’s very early single-releasing career (quite a presentable B-Side, actually).

Meanwhile, in Poland, six years before getting into Disco-Funk, (also showing that the Sopot Festival has a pretty long history – a recently embedded video having been of Hana Zagorová at Sopot ’84), here is Zdzisława Sośnicka at Sopot ’71 – very different from Disco-Funk!

If Eva Kostolányiová was going to cover anything one could guarantee that it was going to be something ‘A-List’ and the following is no exception to that rule.

Next, a title in English from Marcela Laiferová.

Although the following film dates from 1973, Jana Kocianová’s version of ‘Love Story’ did originally date from 1971.

As we wore on into the 1970s it was quite clear that Helena Blehárová was associated with some pretty scenic promo-vids. So, let’s take a boat trip with Helena, then!

Finally, here’s the ‘other’ Helena (Vondráčková) from that year, even though it says on the relevant YT page that it’s from 1972. I’ve been sort of wondering if any readers might have been wondering where Helena V. might have got to in my video-embedding. I must confess that I’ve been having a bit of difficulty really getting ‘into’ Helena V. I suppose it’s a factor of already being pretty well-known and being from the capital that does it. Unlike Petra Černocká, (also from Prague), she hadn’t been in any wonderfully nutty films about teenage witches! (So there wasn’t that to get one’s teeth into). I’m trying my best, honestly!

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