Omega (band)

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This article refers to a musical group called Omega. For other uses see the Omega disambiguation page.
Omega
Omega (együttes).jpg
Background information
Origin Budapest, Hungary
Genres Psychedelic rock, Hard rock, Progressive rock, Space rock
Years active 1962 – 1987, 1994 - present
Labels Qualiton, Pepita, Bacillus
Website www.omega.hu
Members János Kóbor
György Molnár
László Benkő
Tamás Mihály
Ferenc Debreceni
Past members Gábor Presser
József Laux

Omega is one of the most successful Hungarian rock bands.

Biography[edit]

Formed in Budapest in September, 1962 by the winds player László Benkő on organ and János Kóbor as a singer and rhythm guitarist, they initially performed covers of British and American rock songs, frequently changing the lineup of members. In 1967 Tamás Mihály came on bass, Gábor Presser joined on keyboards and began writing original music for the band (in 1968 György Molnár became a lead guitarist), contributing to the release of three LPs before leaving the band with József Laux, a drummer from 1962, to form Locomotiv GT in spring 1971. These first albums were heavily influenced by the music of The Beatles and psychedelic rock, but they also looked forward to the band's future more hard rock, then progressive and space-rock styles. After Presser and Laux's departure, the band found a new drummer (Ferenc Debreceni (later as Debreczeni) came from group Neoton) and appointed Benkő as the main keyboardsman, in August 1971 creating the current lineup, which has remained the same for over 30 years:

  • János Kóbor ("Mecky"), lead vocals
  • György Molnár ("Elefánt"), guitars
  • László Benkő ("Laci"), keyboards, vocals
  • Tamás Mihály ("Misi"), bass, vocals
  • Ferenc Debreceni ("Ciki"), drums
  • Katy Zee,bass

This lineup of Omega released ten more albums from 1972 to 1987. Many of these were released both in Hungarian and in English, in the hopes of generating wider interest in their music. However, the contents of the English albums often differed from their Hungarian counterparts, sometimes assembling tracks from several different albums and nearly always changing the song order. Following a few years of inactivity, the band reunited in 1994, with former member Gábor Presser joining them at concerts and contributing several tracks to 1995's Trans And Dance.

Omega has achieved great international success through releases in multiple languages, and tours in England and Germany in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Their 1969 song "Gyöngyhajú lány" became an international hit, and was later covered by Griva on their 1987 self-titled album, with the title "Devojka biserne kose", and by Scorpions on a 1995 live release, with new lyrics and the title "White Dove" (the Hungarian title officially was translated as "Pearls In Her Hair"), In 2013 Kanye West used the song in a sample for his track New Slaves.

Omega’s 16th. Hungarian studio release is 2006’s Égi jel: Omega ("Divine Sign: Omega"), and their latest English release is 1996’s Transcendent. In spring and summer of 2006, they performed their "EurOmega 2006" tour, including concerts in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Berlin and Basel.

As the first part of a trilogy the band released in autumn 2010 Omega Rhapsody.

Discography[edit]

Omega has sold (2013) approximately more than 50 millions of records around the world.[1] Their most popular album is Gammapolis, which sold around 650,000 copies[citation needed] - it was the biggest selling album ever in Hungary. Omega performed by far the most concerts abroad of any Hungarian band; all in the age of communism/socialism. They were also the first Hungarian band to release an album on CD[citation needed]. Omega were well known for producing exciting live concerts with an accent on light shows and quality sound. They are by far the longest-running Hungarian rock band.[citation needed]

Studio albums[edit]

Hungarian language albums
  • Trombitás Frédi és a rettenetes emberek (1968), due to marketing schemes the band's name was changed to Omega Red Star on the album cover
  • 10 000 lépés (1969)
  • Éjszakai országút (1970)
  • 200 évvel az utolsó háború után (recorded in 1972, but not released until 1998 due to government censorship; Élő Omega, a fake "live" recording of the original studio material was released instead)
  • Omega 5 (1973) later remixed, remastered and released as Szvit
  • Omega 6: Nem tudom a neved (1975); later remixed, remastered and released as Tűzvihar - Stormy Fire
  • Omega 7: Időrabló (1977); later remixed, remastered and with its English-language version released as Időrabló - Time Robber
  • Omega 8: Csillagok útján (1978); later remixed, remastered and with its English-language version released as Csillagok útján - Skyrover
  • Gammapolis (1979); later remixed, remastered and with its English-language version released as Gammapolisz - Gammapolis
  • Omega X: Az arc (1981)
  • Omega XI (1982)
  • Omega 12: A föld árnyékos oldalán (1986)
  • Omega XIII: Babylon (1987)
  • Trans And Dance (1995); later remixed, remastered and released as Transcendent - Hungarian version
  • Omega XV: Egy életre szól (1998)
  • Omega XVI: Égi jel: Omega (2006)
  • Omega Rhapsody (2010)
English language albums
  • Omega Red Star From Hungary (1968) extremely rare vinyl recording, since October 2007 available on CD. Vocals by Mihály Tamás
  • Omega (1973)
  • 200 Years After The Last War (1974)
  • Omega III (1974)
  • The Hall Of Floaters In The Sky (1975)
  • Time Robber (1976)
  • Skyrover (1978)
  • Gammapolis (1979)
  • Working (1981)
  • Transcendent (1996)

Also, one German studio album was released:

  • Das Deutsche Album (1973)

Live albums[edit]

  • Élő Omega (1972, released instead of their 4th studio album, first LP with Debreceni on drums; on official band's site is included on the Studio Albums list)
  • Élő Omega Kisstadion 79 (1979; a 2-LP set)
  • Live At The Kisstadion 79 (1979; a 2-LP set, including some tracks dubbed with English vocals)
  • Kisstadion '80 (1981; 5 titles by Omega, and rest of the album by 2 other performers of joint show, Locomotiv GT and Beatrice)
  • Jubileumi Koncert (1983)
  • Népstadion 1994 Omegakoncert No. 1: Vizesblokk (1994)
  • Népstadion 1994 Omegakoncert No. 2: Szárazblokk (1994)
  • Az Omega összes koncertfelvétele 1. (1995, a 3-CD set of live recordings from the 1960s and 1970s, including the Kisstadion 1979 concert)
  • Az Omega összes koncertfelvétele 2. (1995, a 3-CD set of live recordings from the 1980s and 1990s)
  • Népstadion 1999 (1999, released as a 2-CD set and as a DVD)
  • Napot hoztam, csillagot (2004 limited edition CD; a DVD of this title was also released, with a different tracklist)
  • Greatest Performances (2012 edition on CD and DVD)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ostmusik.de/omega_presse30.htm

External links[edit]