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Galija in 2016.jpg
Galija performing in Niš in 2016
Background information
OriginNiš, Serbia
Years active1976 – present
LabelsPGP-RTB, PGP-RTS, Raglas Records
Associated actsBajaga i Instruktori, Peđa D'Boy Band, Neverne Bebe
MembersNenad Milosavljević
Predrag Milosavljević
Boban Pavlović
Dragutin Jakovljević
Slaviša Pavlović
Ivan Ilić
Goran Antović
Past members

Galija (Serbian Cyrillic: Галија; trans. Galley) is a Serbian and former Yugoslav rock band from Niš.

The central figures of the band are brothers Nenad Milosavljević (vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica) and Predrag Milosavljević (vocals). Galija was formed in 1976, and its first several releases were progressive rock-oriented, but in the mid-1980s, the band moved towards more mainstream-oriented sound. In the late 1980s, the band started to cooperate with lyricist Radoman Kanjevac, releasing the album trilogy consisting of Daleko je Sunce (1988), Korak do slobode (1989) and Istorija, ti i ja, with which they achieved huge mainstream popularity. The band managed to sustain their popularity throughout the 1990s, but went on a hiatus at the end of the decade. Since the return to the scene in the mid-2000s, the band remains one of the top mainstream acts of the Serbian rock scene.

Band history[edit]

1976 - 1984: progressive rock years[edit]

Galija frontman Nenad Milosavljević started performing as singer-songwriter while still in his teenage years.[1] Influenced by hippie movement, he performed his songs playing acoustic guitar and harmonica.[1] He had his first public appearance 1975, on the Evening of Poetry and Music at the Niš Film Festival, performing his own songs and songs by José Feliciano.[1] In 1976, he performed at the Festival Omladina in Subotica and Belgrade Spring Festival.[1] He composed music for the amateur theatre Treća polovina (Third Half).[1] On April 11, 1977 he held a concert in the National Theatre in Niš, on which he was accompanied by the members of the band Dva Lustera (Two Chandeliers).[1]

After the concert, Nenad Milosavljević and Dva Lustera members agreed to start working together as a band.[1] The first lineup of Galija featured Nenad Milosavljević (guitar and vocals), Goran Ljubisavljević (guitar), Predrag Branković (bass guitar), Nenad Tančić (drums) and Branislav Stamenković (keyboards).[1] The band was named Galija after the famous kafana in Niš.[1] Tančić soon left the band due to his army obligations, and was replaced by Boban Pavlović, who would, during the following years, remain one of the rare permanent members of the band.[1] In 1978, with the new keyboard player, Zoran Stanković, Galija won the first place at the Gitarijada Festival in Zaječar.[1] At that time they used to appear on stage in 18th century uniforms.[1] Several months after Gitarijada, they performed at the Festival Omladina in Subotica with Ljubodrag Vukadinović playing the keyboards.[1] During 1978, they performed as the opening band on Smak tour, at the end of the year they performed at the BOOM Festival in Novi Sad.[1]

In 1979, the band released their debut album Prva plovidba (The First Sail) to mixed reviews by the critics.[2] Nenad Milosvaljević's brother Predrag Milosavljević appeared on the album on vocals as a guest musician, and also wrote most of the album lyrics.[1] The album brought hits "Avanturista" ("Adventurer"), "Gospi" ("To the Lady") and "Decimen".[1] After the band's performance at Bijelo Dugme's rock spectacle on JNA Stadium, on which they performed alongside Bijelo Dugme, Kako, Mama Rock, Formula 4, Aerodrom, Opus, Senad od Bosne, Boomerang, Prva Ljubav, Prljavo Kazalište, Tomaž Domicelj, Metak, Suncokret, Parni Valjak, Generacija 5, Siluete and other acts,[3] Ljubisavljević, Branković and Vukadinović left the band. The bass guitarist Zoran Radosavljević, the guitarist Dušan Radivojević and the keyboardist Nebojša Marković became the band's new members.[1]

In 1980, the band released their second album, Druga plovidba (The Second Sail). The album was produced by Gordi guitarist Zlatko Manojlović.[1] The songs were composed by Nenad, and the lyrics were written by Predrag Milosavljević.[1] Druga plovidba was the first Galija album to feature Predrag Milosavljević as the official band member.[1] During the same year, the band performed at the Split festival, playing at Poljud Stadium with Azra, Metak, Drago Mlinarec, Generacija 5, Senad od Bosne, Aerodrom, Dado Topić and other acts.[4] During this period, Galija achieved huge success with the audience in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and until the beginning of Yugoslav wars the band had the biggest fanbase in Bosnia.[1] Boban Stamenković left the band in 1980, and was replaced by Zoran Stamenković. During that summer, they performed in Makarska, and during the following years they would continue to hold regular concerts in the town.[1] In 1981, the band performed, alongside Pomaranča, Tunel, Radomir Mihajlović Točak Trio, Piloti, Bulevar, Siluete and other acts, at the Belrade Rock Festival in Pionir Hall.[5]

In 1982, the album Ipak verujem u sebe (Nevertheless, I Believe in Myself) was released,[1] bringing hits "Još uvek sanjam" ("I'm Still Dreaming") and "Burna pijana noć" ("Stormy Drunken Night").[1] At the beginning of 1982, Boban Pavlović returned to the band.[1] In 1983, Galija performed as the opening band at Joe Cocker's concert in Pionir Hall in Belgrade, and on the June 10, 1983 they held a big concert at Belgrade's Tašmajdan Stadium with Potop and Kerber as the opening bands.[1] Potop leader, keyboardist Saša Lokner, soon became a member of Galija.[1]

1984 - 1988: shift to mainstream rock[edit]

In October 1983, Galija recorded their fourth studio album Bez naglih skokova (Without Bounces).[1] The album, released in 1984, was recorded in Manchester and was produced by Nightwing bass guitarist Gordon Rowley (who previously worked with another band from Niš, Kerber), and mixed in California.[1] The material was offered to record label Jugoton, but the label refused the material, so the band once again signed with PGP-RTB.[6] Unlike the band's previous releases, Bez naglih skokova did not bring any hits.[1] After the album release, the band performed, together with Bajaga i Instruktori, Laboratorija Zvuka and Leb i Sol, on a fundraising concert in Sarajevo, dedicated to the victims of the 1983 Kopaonik earthquake.[7] At the end of 1984, Galija were voted "The Best Live Act on the Shore" by Split youth.[1] During the year, the band started to hold regular concerts in Music Club 81 in Niš, on which they performed covers of foreign rock hits.[1] During the same year, Lokner joined Bajaga i Instruktori, and was replaced by Aleksandar Ralev.[1] Jean-Jacques Roscam, a Belgian of Zaire origin, a former Peđa D'Boy Band member, soon joined Galija as the lead guitarist.[1]

In 1986, the band released album Digni ruku (Raise Your Hand), with the title track becoming a hit.[1] The band wanted the album cover to feature a provocative image of the Hero of Socialist Labour Alija Sirotanović with a blindfold, which the record label refused.[8] The album featured Roscam's song "Winter's Coming", with lyrics written by Dani Klein, the singer of the Belgian band Vaya Con Dios.[1]

1988 - 1994: cooperation with Radoman Kanjevac and album trilogy[edit]

Galija in the late 1980s

In the late 1980s, the band was joined by the keyboard and flute player Bratislav "Bata" Zlatković, who graduated from Sarajevo Music Academy, and started to work with the lyricist Radoman Kanjevac, the two bringing new ideas.[1] Kanjevac brought up an idea of releasing an album trilogy which would deal with problems of SFR Yugoslavia in transition,[1] and Zlatković introduced folk music influences into Galija's sound. The album Daleko je Sunce (Distant is the Sun), named after Dobrica Ćosić's novel, featured numerous guest musicians: Kornelije Kovač, Saša Lokner, Nenad Stefanović "Japanac", Ivan Vdović, Fejat Sejdić Trumpet Orchestra and others.[1] Songs were named after the works of writers Dobrica Ćosić, Branko Ćopić, Ivo Andrić, Laza Lazarević and Aleksa Šantić.[1] The album's biggest hits were the ballad "Da li si spavala" ("Did You Sleep") and the folk-oriented "Mi znamo sudbu" ("We Know the Destiny").[1] The other hits included "Intimni odnosi" ("Intimate Relationship"), "Orlovi rano lete" ("Eagles Start Flying Early ") and "Kao i obično" ("Like Usual").[1] The song "Zebre i bizoni" ("Zebras and Buffalos") was dealing with the enigma of Josip Broz Tito's residence at Brijuni.[1] As the record label considered the song politically problematic, "Zebre i bizoni" lyrics were not printed on the inner sleeve.[9] Due to lyrics perceived as politically provocative, the editors of Radio Belgrade and Radio Zagreb marked two songs from Daleko je sunce unsuitable for broadcasting, while the editors of Radio Sarajevo decided not to broadcast four songs from the album.[10]

After Daleko je Sunce was released, Zoran Radosavljević left the band, and was replaced by Predrag Milanović.[9] The second part of the trilogy, Korak do slobode (One Step to Freedom) was released in 1989.[9] The album was produced by Saša Habić.[9] While Daleko je sunce lyrics were written by both Kanjevac and Predrag Milosavljević, the lyrics for Korak do slobode were written by Kanjevac only.[11] The song "Sloboda" ("Freedom") featured Kerber frontman Goran Šepa on vocals.[9] The album hits included "Na tvojim usnama" ("On Your Lips"), "Kopaonik", "Korak do slobode" and "Kad me pogledaš" ("When You Look at Me").[9] Roscam's reggae song "Ljubavna pesma" ("Love Song") had ironic lyrics dealing with the growing nationalism in Yugoslavia.[9] During the same year, Nenad Milosavljević won the Composer of the Year Award at MESAM festival, although Zlatković was the band's main author.[9] The new bass guitarist Dušan Karadžić soon joined Galija.[9] The band promoted the album with a concert in Dušanova Street in Niš in front of some 20,000 people.[12]

At the beginning of 1990, Galija, alongside Riblja Čorba, Valentino, Viktorija and Bajaga i Instruktori, performed in Timişoara, Romania, at the three-day concerts organized two months after the Romanian Revolution.[9] All five acts performed on three concerts in Timișoara Olympia Hall in front of some 20,000 people each night.[12] During the same year, the compilation album Još uvek sanjam (Najveći hitovi) (I'm Still Dreaming (Greatest Hits)) was released, with some of the old songs re-recorded.[9] At the time of the first multi-party elections in Yugoslavia, Galija, after the idea of Kanjevac and journalist Petar "Peca" Popović,[13] recorded an EP with songs "On je isti kao on" ("He Is just Like Him", which compared Josip Broz Tito and Slobodan Milošević), "Ti si moja jedina partija" ("You Are My Only Party"), "Posle svega" ("After Everything") and "Komunista" ("Communist", which featured Romani musician Šaban Bajramović on vocals).[9] The EP featured provocative lyrics dealing with the uncertain future of the country,[13] and was, because of the political censorship, never released.[9]

With the album Istorija, ti i ja (History, You and Me), released in 1991, the trilogy was complete.[9] The album was produced by Valentino member Nikša Bratoš and featured Saša Lokner, Slaviša Pavlović, flutist Bora Dugić and the group Renesans as guests.[9] Istorija, ti i ja featured some of the band's biggest hits: "Skadarska" ("Skadarska Street"), "Trube" ("Trumpets"), "Da me nisi" ("If You Haven't"), "Trava" ("Grass") and "Seti se maja" ("Remember May").[9] Soon after the album release, Roscam left Yugoslavia because of the growing tensions in the country.[9] and Dragutin Jakovljević replaced him in Galija.[9] In June, Galija was the opening band on Bob Dylan's concert in Zemun.[9]

The band, in the new lineup, released the compilation album Ni rat ni mir (Odlomci iz trilogije) (Neither War nor Peace (Passages from the Trilogy)), which consisted of songs from the trilogy, and two new songs "Pravo slavlje" ("Real Celebration", also a word play, as "Pravoslavlje" means "Orthodoxy") and "Na Drini ćuprija" ("The Bridge on the Drina").[9] The 7" single with these two songs was given as a present to the members of the audience on their concert in Sava Centar, which featured Fejat Sejdić Trumpet Orchestra, St. George Choir and pianist Miloš Petrović as guests.[9] A year later, they held another concert in Sava Centar, as a part of celebration of the publishing house Srpska književna zadruga hundred years of existence.[9] For this occasion, they recorded another gift-single, entitled Jednom u sto godina (Once in a Hundred Years), with a cover of Film song "Mi nismo sami" ("We Are Not Alone") and a cover of Indexi song "Sanjam" ("I'm Dreaming"), the latter cover featuring a recording of Ivo Andrić's voice.[9] At the beginning of 1993, Zlatković left the band. Oliver Jezdić became the new keyboard player, and Bratislav Milošević became the new bass guitarist.[9]

The double album, Karavan (Caravan), was recorded in Cyprus and produced by Saša Habić.[9] Part of the album lyrics were written by Kanjevac, and part by Predrag Milosavljević.[9] The album featured Generacija 5 guitarist Dragan Jovanović on acoutic guitar as guest.[9] The album featured a cover of traditional song "Petlovi" ("Roosters").[9] With Karavan Kanjevac ended his cooperation with the band.[9]

1994 - 2000: after Kanjevac, without Predrag Milosavljević and hiatus[edit]

During the summer of 1994, Karavan was promoted with a large number of free concerts, one of them being a concert in the park outside Belgrade's Old Palace.[9] At the time, Galija started to promote the Socialist Party of Serbia, which has provoked a part of the critics and fans, who have proclaimed Galija a "state's band".[9]

In 1996, the album Trinaest (Thirteen) was released.[9] Alongside Predrag Milosavljević's lyrics, Trinaest songs featured lyrics from Branko Radičević, Stevan Raičković and Petar Pajić's poems.[9] During the next year, the band released the compilation album Večita plovidba (Eternal Sail),[9] and the studio album Voleti voleti (To Love to Love), which featured the hit "Kotor".[9]

The recording of the concert they held in Čair Hall in Niš on March 8, 1998 was released on the live album Ja jesam odavde (I Am From Here).[9] On that evening the band performed in the following lineup: Nenad Milosavljević (acoustic guitar and vocals), Saša Ranđelović (guitar), Dragutin Jakovljević (guitar), Saša Lokner (keyboard), Boban Pavlović (drums) and Slaviša Pavlović (bass guitar).[9] In 1999, the band released the album Južnjačka uteha (Southern Comfort) with covers of Serbian traditional songs.[9] The album was recorded without Predrag Milosavljević.[9] Shortly after the album release, the band went on a hiatus.

2005 - present[edit]

In 2005, the band released the album Dobro jutro, to sam ja (Good Morning, It's Me), in the following lineup: Nenad Milosavljević (vocals), Predrag Milosavljević (vocals), Dragutin Jakovljević (guitar), Jan Vrba (keyboards), Boban Pavlović (drums) and Slaviša Pavlović (bass guitar).[9] The album featured Laza Ristovski, Aleksandra Kovač and Kristina Kovač as guest musicians.[9] The following year, PGP-RTS released a best of compilation Najveći hitovi (Greatest Hits), featuring digitally remastered eighteen tracks spanning the band's whole career.[14] In 2009, in order to celebrate 30 years since the release of their debut album Prva plovidba, the band released a compilation album Oženiše me muzikom (They Got Me Married To Music), featuring a double compilation album consisting of 33 tracks recorded from 1979 until 1996, and a DVD entitled Kamera kao svedok (Camera As A Witness), with 19 promotional videos the band recorded during the same period.[15]

In October 2010, the band released their latest studio album, Mesto pored prozora (A Seat by the Window). The album title was selected out of four suggestions via fan e-mail poll.[16] Videos for the songs "Zločin i kazna" ("Crime and Punishment"), which featured the actor Srđan Todorović,[17] and "Čuvam ti mesto pored prozora" ("I'm Keeping a Seat by the Window for You") were directed by Aleksa Gajić.[18] In May, 2011, Galija performed in Sarajevo for the first time after twenty years.[19] The band celebrated thirty-five years of work with two concerts in Sava Centar, on October 22 and 23, 2011. The setlist consisted mostly of the band's ballads in new arrangements.[20] The concerts featured numerous guests: TV host Ivan Ivanović, the band's former member Jean Jacques Roscam, actor Goran Sultanović, actress Sloboda Mićalović Ćetković, traditional music singer Biljana Krstić, rock musician Kiki Lesendrić, pop musician Vlado Georgiev, actor Vuk Kostić, and others.[21]

In 2014, after the 2014 Serbian parliamentary election, Nenad Milosavljević became a deputy in the National Assembly of Serbia as a member of Socialist Party of Serbia.[22] On April 22, 2016, the band performed, alongside Riblja Čorba, Van Gogh, Piloti and Električni Orgazam on the opening of renovated Tašmajdan Stadium.[23] The band celebrated their 40th anniversary with two concerts. The first one was a part of the festival 5 do 100 (5 to 100), which was held on July 4, 2016 on Niš Fortress. The festival featured Galija, the band Novembar, celebrating their 25th anniversary, and the band Van Gogh celebrating their 30th anniversary (the combined "age" of the bands was 95, thus the title of the festival).[24] The second concert was held in Belgrade's Sports Hall Ranko Žeravica on December 29, 2016. The concert featured Vreme Čuda as the opening band and the band's former members Aleksandar Ranđelović and Saša Lokner and Kerber frontman Goran Šepa as guests.[25] Between two concerts, in November 2016, the band released the Celtic rock-oriented single "Nešto me goni" ("Something Makes Me Fight"), announcing their upcoming studio album.[26]


Galija song "Intimni odnosi" was covered in 2011 by Serbian soul band Maraqya, on their album Savršen dan (Perfect Day).[27]

In 2011, the song "Još uvek sanjam" was polled, by the listeners of Radio 202, one of 60 greatest songs released by PGP-RTB/PGP-RTS during the sixty years of the label's existence.[28]

The lyrics of 12 songs by the band (1 written by Predrag Milosavljević, 10 written by Radoman Kanjevac and 1 written by Kanjevac and Bata Zlatković) were featured in Petar Janjatović's book Pesme bratstva, detinjstva & potomstva: Antologija ex YU rok poezije 1967 - 2007 (Songs of Brotherhood, Childhood & Offspring: Anthology of Ex YU Rock Poetry 1967 - 2007).[29]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq Janjatović, Petar (2007). EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006. Belgrade: self-released. p. 86.
  2. ^ Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 43.
  3. ^ Janjatović, Petar (2007). EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006. Belgrade: self-released. p. 33.
  4. ^ Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 54.
  5. ^ Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 54.
  6. ^ Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 74.
  7. ^ Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 80.
  8. ^ Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 81.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao Janjatović, Petar (2007). EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006. Belgrade: self-released. p. 87.
  10. ^ Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 85.
  11. ^ Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 94.
  12. ^ a b Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 100.
  13. ^ a b Kerković, Milan (1996). Galija. Niš: Prosveta. p. 101.
  14. ^ Najveći hitovi at Discogs
  15. ^ "Galijina komplacija u prodaji",
  16. ^ Galija official website
  17. ^ "Žika Todorović u spotu grupe Galija",
  18. ^ "SPS nam nije organizovao koncert",
  19. ^ Galija (Sarajevo, „Sloga“ 27.5.),
  20. ^ "Dva beogradska koncerta Galije",
  21. ^ "Galija proslavila 35. rođendan",
  22. ^ Nenad Milosavljević info at National Assembly of Serbia official website
  23. ^ "TAŠMAJDAN PONOVO PRIPADA BEOGRAĐANIMA: Uz spektakularan koncert otvoren rekonstruisani stadion! (FOTO)",
  24. ^ "Galija, Van Gogh, Novembar: Rođendan na rock’n’roll način",
  25. ^ "'Galija' proslavila 40 godina",
  26. ^ "'Galija' objavila pesmu 'Nešto me goni'",
  27. ^ Savršen dan at Discogs
  28. ^ 60 хитова емисије ПГП на 202!,
  29. ^ Janjatović, Petar (2008). Pesme bratstva, detinjstva & potomstva: Antologija ex YU rok poezije 1967 - 2007. Belgrade: Vega media.

External links[edit]