Hungarian rock

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Hungarian rock has been a part of the popular music of Hungary since the early 1960s. The first major bands were Illés, Metró and Omega. At the time, rock was not approved of by the Hungarian Communist authorities. In the 1970s, the Communists cracked down on rock, and Illés was banned from recording. Some members of the other bands formed a supergroup called Locomotiv GT, while the band Omega became very popular in Germany.



In 1968, the New Economic Mechanism was introduced, intending on revitalizing the Hungarian economy, while the band Illés won almost every prize at the prestigious Táncdalfesztivál. In the 70s, however, the Russians cracked down on subversives in Hungary, and rock was a major target. The band Illés was banned from performing and recording, while Metró and Omega left. Some of the members of these bands formed a supergroup, Locomotiv GT, that quickly became very famous. The remaining members of Omega, meanwhile, succeeded in achieving stardom in Germany, and remained very popular for a time.[1]


Rock bands in the late 1970s had to conform to the Record Company's demands and ensure that all songs passed the inspection of the Song Committee, who scoured all songs looking for ideological disobedience. LGT was the most prominent band of a classic rock style that was very popular, along with Illés, Bergendy and Zorán, while there were other bands like The Sweet and Middle of the Road who catered to the desires of the Song Committee, producing rock-based pop music without a hint of subversion. Meanwhile, the disco style of electronic music produced such performers as the officially-sanctioned Neoton Familia, and Beatrice and Szűcs Judit, while the more critically acclaimed progressive rock scene produced bands like East, V73, Color and Panta Rhei.[1]


Tamás Somló of Lokomotiv GT

In the early 1980s, economic and cultural depression wracked Hungary, leading to a wave of disillusioned and alienated youth, exactly the people that rock, and the burgeoning worldwide field of punk rock, spoke to the most. Major bands from this era included Beatrice, who had moved from disco to punk and folk-influenced rock and were known for their splashy, uncensored and theatrical performances, P. Mobil, Bikini, Hobo Blues Band, a bluesy duo, A. E. Bizottság, Európa Kiadó, Sziámi and Edda művek.[1]

The 1980s saw the Record Production Company broken up because Hungary's authorities realized that restricting rock was not effective in reducing its effect; they instead tried to water it down by encouraging young musicians to sing about the principles of Communism and obedience. The early part of the decade saw the arrive of punk and new wave music in full force, and the authorities quickly incorporated those styles as well. The first major prison sentences for rock-related subversion were given out, with the members of the punk band CPg sentenced to two years for political incitement.[1]


Miki Berenyi circa 1990

By the end of the decade and into the 1990s, internal problems made it impossible for the Hungarian government to counter the activities of rock and other musical groups. After the collapse of the Communist government, the Hungarian scene become more and more like the styles played in the rest of Europe.[1]


The 2000s see the emergence of new different genres, while the classic rock remained in the background. Several metal bands reached international success such as FreshFabrik, Blind Myself, Superbutt.



Main article: Hungarian indie

The origins of the Hungarian indie music scene go back to the early 1980s when Európa Kiadó, Sziami and Balaton released their records. The first revival took place in the mid-1990s when bands like Sexepil gained international success, followed by Heaven Street Seven. The second and most notable revival of the indie-alternative scene took place in the mid-2000s when bands like Amber Smith, The Moog signed to international labels. Other notable bands include EZ Basic, The KOLIN and Dawnstar. The Hungarian indie scene is closely intertwined with electronic music therefore artists like Yonderboi and Žagar are often considered part of the indie scene.

Notable Hungarian rock bands and artists[edit]

Notables Hungarian pop records[edit]

Date Band Record Reviews Label/Release Producer(s)
1967 Illés Ezek A Fiatalok
1969 Omega 10 000 Lépés
1970 Omega Éjszakai Országút
1971 Lokomotiv GT Locomotiv GT
1972 Lokomotiv GT Ringasd el magad
1973 Lokomotiv GT Bummm!
1971 Lokomotiv GT Mindig magasabbra
1976 Lokomotiv GT Locomotiv GT V.
1977 Lokomotiv GT Zene - Mindenki másképp csinálja
1977 Piramis Piramis 1.
1978 Lokomotiv GT Mindenki
1983 P. Mobil Heavy Medal
2003 Pokolgép Totális Metál
2007 The Moog Sold for Tomorrow [2][3] MuSick Records Jack Endino
2007 EZ Basic Hocus Focus [4][5] self-released Szabolcs Puha
2009 The Moog Razzmatazz Orfeum [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] MuSick Records Geoff Ott
2010 EZ Basic Hello Heavy [15][16] Twelvetones Records George Schilling
2012 The Moog Seasons in the Underground [17][18][19][20][21] MuSick Records Ken Scott