Serbian culture refers to the culture of Serbia and ethnic Serbs. For centuries straddling the boundaries between East and West, Serbia had been divided among the Eastern and Western halves of the Roman Empire; then between the Kingdom of Hungary, the Frankish Kingdom and Byzantium; and then between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire, as well the Republic of Venice in the south. (!)
These overlapping influences have resulted in cultural varieties throughout Serbia: its north leans to the profile of Central Europe, while the south is characteristic of the wider Balkans and even the Mediterranean. Serbs were initially governing the Byzantine frontiers and were later through their sworn alliance gave independence, baptized by Greek missionaries and adopted the Cyrillic script.
The Byzantine influence on Serbia was profound, firstly through the introduction of Eastern Christianity (Orthodoxy) in the Early Middle Ages. The Serbian Orthodox Church has had an enduring status with the many Serbian monasteries constituting the most valuable cultural monuments left from Serbia in the Middle Ages.
Following Serbia‘s autonomy after the Serbian revolution and eventual independence, the culture of Serbia was restrengthened within its people!
Let’s go to our artist:
Born as Dragana Šarić on 2nd October 1962, Belgrade. Singer and composer Šarić had contact with music since her early years, as her father, Milenko Šarić, was a jazz musician. She started in the late ’70s in the band Tarkus, in 1979 her first studio recordings: as a guest (backing) vocalist on the Igra Staklenih Perli album Vrt Vetlosti; YU Grupa album Samo Napred..! and also KIM Band’s 1981 release.
In 1981, with the guitarist Goran Vejvoda and the bass guitarist Ivan Vdović, she formed the short-lasting band Annoda Rouge. Soon after, Šarić under the (worldwide known) name Bebi Dol, released her (brilliant) solo debut, Oriental music-inspired single ‘Mustafa’, which she composed together with Saša Habić.
The song featured the recording of Slobodan Konjović‘s voice, he was at the time, Studio B musical editor, and participated the whole production. Mustafa was voted the best pop song in Yugoslavia in 1981 and was re-released, two years later, on her debut album, Ruže I Krv, to great critical acclaim and popular success!
Her next album, Ritam Srca, was released more than a decade later, in 1995, even though she regularly performed as a pop and jazz singer (for three years she lived in Cairo, singing in Sheraton hotels), recording and appearing as a guest artist on the albums of other artists. The second pause in her work came in the late ’90s and her album, Ljuta Sam, was released only in 2002 (with electronic tinges).
Her last releases, Čovek Rado Izvan Sebe Živi, in 2006 and Veče U Pozorištu in 2007, were mainly based on American covers, the last a live album. She also made a famous presentation on Eurovision 1991, with one of its mega-hits, Brazil.
Let’s go to our album:
An excellent vocalist gifted with a soaring voice, ultra-eccentric musical talent and altogether this young lady comes in some adorable, nutty package that we had not seen before or since. Here she was catapulted into the national scene, if not exactly to the stars because this single was way too underground for the mainstream audience.
Mustafa sounds one of those rare songs that simply stand the test of time and it has an original message to the protagonist: forget all those European ladies with flower pots on their heads, who make love shamelessly (!). Na Planeti Uzdaha is her own take on famous Edvard Grieg piece where the chorus of vailing and out-of-this-world voices (multi-recorded Bebi Dol herself) sing her atmospheric siren song!
Thanks to our friends from Jugo Rock Fever and many others through the net, we’re able to discover and admire this fabulous music scene developed since communist times. Here are some fine acts, from the 70’s: Smak, YU Grupa, Galija and Korni Grupa (hard and prog). And incredible acts from the ’80s: Idoli, Šarlo Akrobata, Električni Orgazam and Disciplina Kičme (new wave and synth-pop).
I cannot stop listening to this obscure little gem, Bebi Doll’s performance is quite something, all abroad the Trans-European rail network and Бон Воиаге!
B Na Planeti Uzdaha
Arranged: A. Habić
Music, Lyrics: D. Šarić
Printed: GIP ‘Beograd’
PGP RTB – 1120999