Friday, 8 November 2019

Menuets ‎– "Dzeguzes Balss" (Мелодия ‎– С60-11303-4) 1979

Soviet Prog recordings on the terminally uncool state label Melodija,could always be relied upon to have some amusing sleeve notes, and this prog classic is no exception.
And I quote....:

"Amidst cars, engines and girls
Feeling cold on street corners
Amidst roaring, growling, whistling-
Is it raving or a hello-
the call of cuckoo."

Poet Māris Čaklais and composer Imants Kalniņš pose this question in
the title-song. Well, yes, what is this "call of cuckoo" in our noisy and impetuous age! And what is Menuet?
The leader of this amateur pop group Jānis Blūms says that Menuet means four guys from Jūrmala. Right! If four students from the Jūrmala high school No 4 - brothers Alberts and Raimonds, Bartaševičs as well as Adrians Kukuvass and Juris Sējāns - had not in 1968 set up their group, there would be no Menuet today. Then, also, it would hardly have survived to this day without participation in the TV contest "Show Your Skill" in 1969 when Jānis Blūms undertook the management of the group. There would also be no Menuet without the other musicians - Inese Paberza, Baiba Sejane, Juris Ulakovs, Leons Sējāns.Or without rehearsals, competitions, festivals and many other things.But first of all the Menuet we know and admire has come alive due to soft rock songs by Imants Kalniņš."

Well,I couldn't have written anything better myself!? I for one would love to see the rest of the acts on "Show Your Skill", but it seems no clips exist!? Like the BBC did regularly in the sixties,Soviet State Television likely erased everything immeadiately after broadcast. So now we are deprived of that Cossack Ventriloquist,Boris the Whistling assembly line operative,Vladimir the Dancing Coal Miner, and that essential soviet accessory,the Kulak impressionist,who did an uncannily accurate Ronald Reagan.
This Latvian prog group that emerged out of Jūrmala high school No 4 back in '68,thanks to sucess on "Show Your Skill",managed to make this rather operatic style prog classic ten years later.
And NO the title doesn't translate as "Disguise your Balls"!!!!?
However,one must recommend the closing ,and snappily titled "Raganas Dziesmiņa Pēc Sprieduma Pasludināšanas", as being very good indeed....especially for an 'Amateur Pop Group'.Very skilful.


A1 Dziesmiņa Dziedama Pusčetros No Rīta
A2 Viņi Dejoja Vienu Vasaru
A3 Dzeguzes Balss
A4 Septiņas Skumjas Zvaigznes
B1 Piedod, Piedod, Piedod Man!
B2 Dziesma Par Florīdas Smiltīm
B3 Dziesmiņa Par To Gadījumu Ar Džordāno Bruno
B4 Raganas Dziesmiņa Pēc Sprieduma Pasludināšanas


Anonymous said...

also do you know that yesterday was Day of the Red Revolution in Russia? It was big official event with war parades (like on the Day of Victory on 9th may) and other shit in USSR but now it celebrated only by Sovki - old-fashioned fans of all Soviet - like Stalin, GULAG and so, you get the picture. Unfortunately they still prevalent here.

Moahaha said...

As Raganas Dziesmiņa Pēc Sprieduma Pasludināšanas as translates into "What the Witch Sang After the Sentence Was Passed" my expectations grew even higher. Well its charming (especially the live in studio-version on youtube), but also resembles the grand finale of a rock musical school production. My favorite track is Septiņas Skumjas Zvaigznes - as it has more of that doomy Soviet Union witch trial feel I was hoping for.

kevinesse said...

these titles are all in family speaks an antiquated form, as they moved to the us in the 50s and there was no more progression linguistically....

what little i remember...
a1 singing a song at 3;3o am
a2 they danced one summer
a3 .....not sure
a4 7 (something) stars
b1 forgive,forgive, forgive me
b2 song about floridas sand
b3 song about the case with jordan bruno
b4 and the previously translated "witchs song after judgement proclamation"

these are pretty latvian is sketchy at best!!

Jonny Zchivago said...

Is there no end to your talents Kevin?
Or maybe all your talents are sketchy?
Latvia seemed to be the music factory of the USSR? Its that maritime link again i guess,like Liverpool and New York etc

Jonny Zchivago said...

Has anyone made a film about Soviet Witch Trials?. i'm gonna start the script today...

Jonny Zchivago said...

I'll note the date for the red revolution in my diary,we'll have a party next in party rather than communist party.... but then again!?

kevinesse said...

all of my "talents" aren't even "sketchy at best"....they are 'imaginary at best" ha!