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Bajaga i Instruktori (Serbian Cyrillic: Бајага и Инструктори; trans. Bajaga and the Instructors) are a highly popular rock band from Serbiamarker. The group was founded in Belgrademarker in 1984 by composer, lyricist and guitarist Momčilo Bajagić Bajaga, and continue to record music today. The group possesses a rich discography and a plethora of hit songs that place them at the very top of the all-time former Yugoslav rock scene, alongside other mega-selling bands such as Bijelo Dugme and Riblja Čorba.

History

1980s

Bajaga i Instruktori were formed in 1984 by Momčilo Bajagić. A native of Zemunmarker, Bajagić was the guitarist of the highly popular rock band Riblja Čorba from 1978 to 1984. At that point, Bajagić decided to release an album composed of songs that he had originally written for Riblja Čorba, titled Pozitivna geografija ("Positive Geography") released in 1984. Bajagić did not intend to leave Riblja Čorba, but events unfolded in that direction, and by April 12, 1984, Bajaga i Instruktori played their first concert as a group, in Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker. The album went on to become a hit, with songs such as "Berlin", "Mali slonovi", "Poljubi me", "Limene trube", "Tamara" and the group busily began preparing their second release for the following year.

Bajaga i Instruktori followed their debut album with Sa druge strane jastuka ("On the Other Side of the Pillow") in 1985, considered by many to be one of the greatest pop-rock albums in Yugoslav-Serbian history. Bajaga i Instruktori rose to mega-fame that year, and virtually every song on the album became an instant hit. The group received a song-of-the-year award for the mega-hit "Zažmuri", and the album also featured the now-classic songs "220 u voltima", "Ti se ljubiš", "Dvadeseti vek", "Dobro jutro, džezeri", "Vidi šta sam ti uradio od pesme, mama" (a cover version of Melanie Safka's "What Have They Done To My Song, Ma?"), "Francuska ljubavna revolucija" and the popular title track "Sa druge strane jastuka", among several other songs.

Bajaga i Instruktori moved in a slightly different direction with the release of their third album Jahači magle(Fog Riders) released in 1987. The album featured further experimentation with musical genres and presented a technical masterpiece of sound quality and creative output. Again, virtually every song on the album was an instant hit. It featured the classic Bajaga rock numbers "300 na sat", "Samo nam je ljubav potrebna" and "Kao ne zna da je gotivim", as well as the popular song "442 do Beograda" and another rock-jazz fusion, "Red i mir". As with "Sa druge strane jastuka", Bajaga and Dejan Cukić shared vocal duties – particularly apparent in the hit song "Bam, bam, bam".

After Jahači magle, Cukić left Bajaga i Instruktori and started his successful solo career. Bajaga i Instruktori released a new album titled Prodavnica tajni ("Shop of Secrets") in 1988. Inspired in part by Bajaga i Instruktori’s tour of Soviet Unionmarker, Prodavnica tajni had a more melancholy mood than the previous three albums, but included several hit songs. Among those was the folkish-sounding "Plavi safir", "Gore-dole", "Verujem, ne verujem", "Ruski voz", "Tišina", "Godine prolaze" and "Život je nekad siv, nekad žut".

The group returned with the release of Neka svemir čuje nemir ("May the Universe Hear the Unrest") in 1989, a compilation of new songs and live recordings. The album's title track "Neka svemir čuje nemir" and the pop number "Na vrhovima prstiju" became two of the band's big hits.

1990s

Despite mounting problems in the former Yugoslaviamarker, Bajaga i Instruktori had a highly successful decade. The group released a successful mini-album titled Četri godišnja doba ("The Four Seasons") in 1991, featuring four songs that were each tied to one of the four seasons of the year.Muzika na struju("Electrical Music") released in 1993, is considered by many fans to be the group's last hit album. It featured several hit songs including the title track "Muzika na struju" as well as "Grad", "Jedino to se zove ljubav", and "Balkan". The album was followed up one year later by the highly popular soundtrack from the feature film Ni na nebu ni na zemlji ("Neither in Heaven, nor on the Earth") in 1994. In addition to the title track and several previously released songs, the release also featured what may be the group's greatest hit, the single "Moji drugovi", a folk-inspired mega-hit that is tremendously popular both in Serbia and Montenegromarker and amongst the Serbian diaspora throughout the world.

Bajaga i Instruktori followed up with Od bižuterije do ćilibara ("From Tinsel to Amber") in 1997, a self-recorded full album. This release was only moderately successful and can be best remembered for the song "Iza nas". The diminished technical quality and seemingly bland, uninspired and almost depressive sound pointed to what many fans feared was a decline in the band’s inspiration and creativity.

2000 and beyond

After a lengthy hiatus, Bajaga i Instruktori released a studio album titled Zmaj od Noćaja ("Dragon of Noćaj) in 2001. The release was met with mixed reviews. The songs "Zmaj od Noćaja" and "Ala" were moderately successful, as was the bonus track "Zvezda", a tribute to FC Red Star Belgrade that was released simultaneously to the album. Later, the band also recorded a music video for the previously-released single "Pesma protiv maleri".

In a fitting move for the ‘new’ political times in Serbiamarker, Bajaga agreed to compose the soundtrack for the feature film Profesionalac ("The Professional") in 2003. This included the hit song "Pada vlada". The band followed up by releasing a compilation of past hits that had a relation to the city of Belgrademarker, titled Ruža vetrova Beograda ("Belgrade Wind Rose") in 2004. The compilation included two new songs: "Novosti" and the title track "Ruža vetrova", as well as an urban remix of the same track. Both versions of the title track were moderately successful.

Bajaga i Instruktori released a new studio album titled Šou počinje u ponoć ("The Show Begins at Midnight") in 2005. The album featured nine new songs and a diverse mix of musical genres. Potential hits included the title track "Šou počinje u ponoć", as well as the songs "Otrov", "Padaj kišo, keve ti" and "Kap po kap". Bebi Dol made a guest appearance on the album in the songs "Bademi i so" and "Pesma slobode". The release was expected to far better than Zmaj od Noćaja. A tour followed the album and a release of a live DVD recorded in the Belgrade Arenamarker.

In 2008 the band released singles "Bežiš od mene ljubavi" and "A ti se nećeš vratiti" (recorded with Plavi Orkestar frontman Saša Lošić) used in the Vratiće se rode TV series.

Legacy

Bajaga i Instruktori are one of the most successful and influential rock bands of the former Yugoslav and Serbian rock scene. Their string of albums and awards in the mid-to-late 1980s rounded out the golden age of Yugoslav rock. The album Sa druge strane jastuka is considered to be one of the best Yugoslav-Serbian pop-rock albums of all time.

People from Belgrademarker feel a particular attachment to Bajaga’s material of the 1980s and early 1990s, as his music was thought in large part to symbolize that city. Bajaga i Instruktori’s recent concert appearances in the former Yugoslavia (including performances in Sloveniamarker,Croatiamarker and Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker ) as well as in the remainder of Europe, Canadamarker and the United Statesmarker, have proven that the group still enjoys an extensive fan base.

Momčilo Bajagić "Bajaga" is widely (and rightfully) accepted to be the leading figure in the group. He is regarded as an outstanding lyricist and composer, having also written many songs for the famous pop singer Zdravko Čolić. Respect for Bajaga remains high in Serbia, particularly in upper/intellectual social circles.

Discography

Studio albums

  • Pozitivna geografija (1984) - originally released as Močilo Bajagić Bajaga solo album, but included in the official Bajaga i Instruktori discography
  • Sa druge strane jastuka (1985)
  • Jahači magle (1986)
  • Prodavnica tajni (1988)
  • Muzika na struju (1989)
  • Od bižuterije do ćilibara (1997)
  • Zmaj od Noćaja (2000)
  • Šou počinje u ponoć (2005)


Live albums

  • Neka svemir čuje nemir (1989) - live/compilation album
  • Best Of Live (2002)


EPs

  • Četri godišnja doba (1991)


Compilations

  • Neizbrisano (1997)
  • So Far the Best of Bajaga & Instruktori (1993)
  • Balade (2000) - Bajaga compilation; featuring Bajaga i Instruktori songs
  • Hitovi (2000) - Bajaga compilation; featuring Bajaga i Instruktori songs
  • Ruža vetrova Beograda (2004)


Singles

  • "All You Need Is Love (Verzija 1986)" / "Jahači magle (Ukratko)" (1986) - given as present with September 1986 issue of magazine ROCK


References

  • EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006, Janjatović Petar; ISBN 978-86-905317-1-4


External links




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