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Friday 11 September 2020

The Long Goodbye: Part 24

Part 24 of our tour of the EU, and the start of a run of 'S' countries that will take us all the way to the end. It's Slovakia. I have only ever been to Bratislava but I can assure you that it is a top town. You should go.

For those of you that are keen to explore further after listening to today's selection, the old Internet has a list of the 100 greatest Slovak albums of all time. It was compiled in 2007 so may be a little bit out of date by now, but it is a good place to start your browsing. The top three acts all feature today (although not with those albums). 

Inexplicably missing from the Hot 100 is this masterpiece from 1979 which I picked up on my travels about ten years ago.

Officially described as a Slovak own brand version of Silver Convention, it somehow manages to transcend that unpromising proposition and become a work of pure artistry. I am pleased to restore it to its rightful place at the head of our cavalcade of Slovak sounds.

"I Wanna Dance Bump" - Branjo Sound

"Abraka Dabraka" - Prudy

"Piesen sťastných detí (Pionier)" - Banket

"Závrať" - Helena Blehárová

"Vážim Si" - Medial Banana

Turning to the videos, I am delighted to present covers of Ike & Tina Turner and Haydn and what appear to be affectionate tributes to Robert Palmer and Freddy Krueger.


  1. Ít is indeed a lovely city. We stayed in the Hotel Kiev, a soviet-era monstrosity of a place.

  2. .....there is so much to like about that first video I don-t where to start. Absolutely toptastic. I was a bit less impressed with the Slovakian ELP, though. But you saved the best 'til last.

    1. Shame about that as I only put the Slovakian ELP in for you. Will try to do better with Slovenia

    2. There's gratitude for you!

  3. I do believe that I recognise that 'Branjo' as Braňo Hronec, whose January 1972-recorded album 'Braňo Hronec uvázda' ('Braňo Hronec Presents') I feature at a dedicated page at my Blog on the female Pop of the satellite nations of the former Soviet Bloc, 'Girls Of The Golden East'. I also happen to recognise the ITC Fat Face font on the cover of that 'Branjo Sound' record which I feature at my 'Fonts In Use' presence in relation to the Dutch girl group, The Bentleys (no relation!) and their English-language cover of Il était une fois' 'Rien qu'un ciel' ('Nothing But A Sky'), 'When You Say', Il était une fois' 'J'ai encore rêvé d'elle' ('I've Dreamed About Her Again') also being covered in Slovak by the Helena Blehárová mentioned on her eponymous album of 1976 as 'Odkiaľ k nám chodí láska' ('From Where Comes Love To Us').

    Thanks for mentioning Valérie Čižmárová, whose Fan Blog, 'Hotlips On The Horse Tram' - previously known as 'Bananas For Breakfast' - I run. As well as Bratislava, or, more accurately, Petržalka (Hotel Dominika) I have also stayed twice in her home town of Michalovce, in the far east of Slovakia and once in Helena Blehárová's home city of Žilina, plus a stay in Banská Bystrica in-between. That's actually thrice in Petržalka's case. I recommend Petržalka as a taste of the 'real' Bratislava on the south bank of the Danube.

    1. I have checked the sleeve notes and you are correct, it is Mr Hronec and pals. The two female singers are Alena Blazekova and Magdalena Hanicova - names that mean nothing to me but may do to you.

      Thanks for all the extra info. I will checking out your blogs.

    2. Thanks for the confirmation that I was correct with Braňo Hronec, Ernie.

      It appears that you are one - or rather, two! - up on me with Alena Blažeková and Magdalena Hanicová. I looked into them on YouTube and found an utterly charming slice of what could be called 'Seventies Swing' to the accompaniment of Braňo Hronec and his band on the show 'Našich deväť' ('Our Nine') performing 'Keď ma máš trochu rád' ('When You Love Me A Little Bit') . I may well cover those two sometime soon at 'Girls Of The Golden East' now you've brought them to my attention.