Modry Efekt - 33. 1981 Czech Republic
Modry Efekt - 33. 1981 Supraphon
CD reissues: 2001 Bonton; 2009 Supraphon (as The Blue Effect 1969-1989 9 CD compilation)
33 is Modry Efekt's final studio album, and they exited in fine fashion. Musically, Modry Efekt continues along from their earlier efforts, with blistering guitar leads, and fine synthesizer soloing. The 4 long tracks give the band plenty of space to try many ideas within a composition. Unfortunately the vocals are getting to be too obtrusive at this point, and the term "over dramatic" does begin to leap into one's mind. Though the album is mostly instrumental, the finale of each track tends to drag with unnecessary crooning, which drops this album down a half star from the others.
Is it just me or does the album cover overtly celebrate individual achievement and comfort? Seems they missed a key point of the Revolution... Well, the Czechs always had the best beer, so perhaps the Authorities were a bit preoccupied (hmm-hmmmm...)
This is our last entry for the 9 CD box set, though I did leave out a couple of albums, which I probably will report on at a later time (including my favorite A Benefit of Radim Hladik).
Just a few words about the box itself: If you don't own any Modry Efekt, then this box set will take care of everything you need. It includes all their albums except the English language version of Meditace (Kingdom of Life). They each come in a nice slip cover resembling the original LP design. It also comes with a fine booklet, all written in Czech, but with some neat photos and you can generally figure out what the text is.
The only unique material here is the 9th disc titled Singly & Bonusy. I don't speak Czech, but I think I can figure this one out... In any case, it's a fine addition, though it's not something you'd want to purchase the box set for if you're already in possession of their other discs. The best material is taken from their Snakes EP from 1969, and is similar to Meditace. They also include both sides of another single from 1969 that is quite good. Interestingly, the band only recorded one single in their 1970s heyday (from 1973), and it's pretty good, though not really resembling their move to progressive / jazz rock. After that it's... the 80s. Yea... that's a problem. And it sounds every bit of it too. So that by 1989, one is inclined to shoot the horse just to put it out of its misery. It's interesting all the same, and you can see the band is desperately trying to stay relevant, but it's clearly not their strong suit. The bonus section includes one rough demo of a 1969 track, and then 2 live extended pieces from the band's best period of the late 1970s. The recording is bootleg standard, but is enjoyable from an historical perspective.