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Crna Dama

Smak

℗ 1977 RTB Records LP 55 5307

℗ 2010 barin.livejournal.com BR LLF 29172

℗ 1978: Black Lady

Smak  1977  Crna Dama

SMAK was formed 1971 in Kragujevac, the present Serbia and Montenegro, by a guitar virtuoso Radomir Mihajlovic nicknamed "Tocak" (the Wheel). The first stable line-up was assembled in late 1974 including Slobodan Stojanovic (drums), Zoran Milanovic (bass), Boris Arandjelovic (vocals) and Lazar Ristovski (keyboards). During 1977-78 Ristovski was replaced by first Miki Petkovski and then by Tibor Levay on keyboards, while in the period 1979-81 Dado Topic (ex TIME, KORNI GRUPA) collaborated with SMAK as producer and occasional guest vocalist before the band broke-up in late 1981. The original line-up gathered again in 1986 with a new keyboardist Milan Djurdjevic, but after the release of one LP they split again. The third comeback of SMAK happened in 1992 with Ristovski again as a member, when they mostly played concerts in Serbia and issued a live album. Finally, in 1994 SMAK re-appeared again, this time along with Tocak and Stojanovic they added younger musicians: Dejan Stojanovic (second drum kit), Dejan Najdanovic (vocals), Vlado Samardzic (bass) and Milan Milosavljevic (guitar).

SMAK was celebrated for Tocak's virtuosity in guitar playing, modelled on J. Hendrix and J. Page style, and for interesting, if not always successful, fusion of hard rock, prog rock, jazz rock with strong blues backing, with Arandjelovic's falsetto vocal often used as an instrument rather than singing. "Ulazak u harem", a folk-inspired instrumental issued as hit-single in 1975, showcased Tocak as one of the guitar-heros of ex-Yugoslavian music scene of the 1970s, while albums "Crna dama" ("Black Lady") and "Stranice naseg vremena" ("The Pages of Our Time") were highly celebrated among prog fans and were even released in English versions for the Western market. Their reunion, from the second half of 1980s onward, turned the musical direction of the band into less-inspired mainstream hard rock, abandoning any prog elements. As a comparison, one can mention similarities in style with artists such as DEEP PURPLE, TASTE, TRAFFIC, DOOBIE BROTHERS, SANTANA, LEB I SOL.

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