February 10, 2016
Czech Up! Vol. 1: Chain Of Fools
TITLE: Czech Up! Vol. 1: Chain Of Fools
Supraphon and Panton were two of the three state-owned record companies in Czechoslovakia after the second world war. They’re best known for classical music, but their popular music catalogs are extensive and Munster/Vampisoul has been mining them in recent years. This compilation is a good overview of their 60s and 70s output. A lot of the stuff here is pop that’s been rocked up in a post-Beatles manner: 5 and 6 are the best examples, 3 is pop-funk, 9 is really quite far out, and 22 is just plain inexplicable. Czechoslovakia had some excellent garage bands, many of whom would go psych or prog in the 70s and end up banned by the government: 10 and 11 are world-class freakbeat. Of course, compilations of this sort always feature unlikely covers, and this one is no exception: you haven’t lived till you’ve heard Stevie Wonder in Czech (7), not to mention the Bob Crewe Generation’s “classic” song from the movie Barbarella in Czech (25). Good times, and it looks like there’ll be a lot more where this one came from.
TOP TRACKS: 3 5 6 7 9 10 11 22 25
ALSO RECOMMENDED: many of the rest of them