SHE CAME FROM HUNGARY! 1960S BEAT GIRLS FROM THE EASTERN BLOC.

She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc.

Label: Ace International.

After releasing compilations of girl pop from France, Italy, Japan, Spain and Sweden, over the last few years, Ace International’s Beat  Girls’ series turns heads to Eastern Europe and Hungary for the latest instalment in this long-running and successful compilation series. This new instalment is She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc which features twenty-four tracks which were recorded behind the Iron Curtain.

The story begins in the mid-sixties when there was a relaxation in the rule that all music released in Hungary had  to adhere to strict socialist values. This no longer made sense in a country where nearly 40% of the population were aged twenty or under, and wanted to listen to popular music. However, not the music being released by Hungarian bands and singers. Instead, young Hungarians were listening to radio stations based in Western Europe and had discovered popular music. 

This resulted in many up-and-coming Hungarian bands and singers being influenced by British and American popular music. However, there was still a problem for the new generation of Hungarian bands and singers. The music they released had to abide by the government’s Prohibited, Permitted and Propagated policy.

This draconian edict restricted lyrics and dress codes which bureaucrats believed were permissive or subversive. Adding to the woes of bands and singers was the National Centre for Popular Music. It had to approve each and every that was song recorded or performed live. After approval was granted, bands and singers were permitted to record and were accompanied by the National TV and Radio Orchestra, the Stúdió 11 ensemble. That was the case with the majority of tracks on She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc. 

Only a very few Hungarian beat groups that were allowed to record on their own during this time. These groups were trusted by the authorities because they towed the party line and released music that was essentially propaganda for the Communist Party. 

By then, the KISZ (Hungarian Young Communist League) had realised the growing interest in Western pop music within Hungary and decided to take advantage of this. They decided to promote Hungarian pop culture, and tried to convince young people into performing songs in their national language and using traditional folk instruments. The Hungarian Young Communist League even decided to organise a new competition.

This was the Táncdalfesztivál,which began in 1966, and was televised by the state broadcaster. Various artists and grouse competed live in the competition which proved popular with viewers in Hungary. Meanwhile, in the real world, the sixties were swinging in England the psychedelic era was well underway.

The Táncdalfesztivál proved so popular that it featured on Hungarian television for four years. After that, music in Hungary began to change.

During the four year period between 1966 and 1969 all Hungarian records were released on the state-run Qualiton label. The label was unlike most Western labels and in many cases, a different artist or band featured on either side of a single. However, it was easy to spot the most successful Hungarian artists as their singles were released in picture sleeves.

 By the mid-sixties the Qualiton began to sign mainly beat girls including Sarolta Zalatnay, Kati Kovács and Zsuzsa Koncz, They were joined by groups Illés, Omega and Metro, who would become some of the most successfulHungarian music groups over the next few years. All these artists and groups feature on She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc.

One of the biggest names in Hungarian music was Sarolta Zalatnay who contributes Fekete Beat, Zold Borostyán and Vén Tükör. Her first hit single resulted in her winning a musical scholarship in London.

 There’s highlights aplenty in this twenty-four track compilation ncluding Ha Csak Egy Fokkal Szebb Az Ördögnél’ by Gabi Fenyvesi, ‘Keresek Egy Fiút and Mária Wittek’s Keresek Egy Fiút  and  Éva Nagy’s freakbeat cult classic Ez Az Utolsó Randevúnk which opens She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc.

Add to this songs of the quality of Márta Bencze’s Csak Fiataloknak,Kyri Ambrus’ Júdás Vagy, Clementina Magay’s Zsákutca and Mindig Tanul Az Ember by Beáta Kard. There’s also Marika Késmárky’s Nyílik Még Virág,Kyri Ambrus’ Ez A Szerelem, Kati Kovács’Hazudik A Drág and Teréz Harangozó’s Hétköznapi Szerelem which closes She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc.

These songs are a reminder of quality of music that was being recorded and released in Hungary by the Hungarian beat girls. However, these are just some of the highlights on She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc, which was recently released by Ace International, an imprint of Ace Records.

She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc is a welcome addition to this this long-running and successful compilation series. This new instalment features a tantalising taste of the music which was being recorded behind the Iron Curtain. Sadly, the wider world was unable to hear the music which features on She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc.

That was a great shame as there are many talented artists and groups on She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc which deserved to be heard by a wider audience. Now some fifty years later, the music on She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc somewhat belatedly can be heard by a wider audience during Ace International’s first journey behind the Iron Curtain with the beat girls. 

She Came From Hungary! 1960s Beat Girls From The Eastern Bloc.

2 Comments

  1. You really do find (and know about) the coolest stuff

    • Hi Steve,

      Good to hear from you.

      It’s a great compilation and one of my favourite additions to the series.If you get a chance check it out,

      Have a good weekend.

      Regards,
      Derek

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: