YU grupa

YU grupa

Infobox musical artist
Name = YU grupa

Img_capt = YU Grupa performing live at Nisomnia music festival in 2007
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Belgrade, Serbia
Genre = Progressive rock Folk rock Hard rock
Years_active = 1970 – 1981 1987 – present
Label = PGP RTB, Jugoton, ZKP RTLJ, PGP RTS
URL = [http://www.yugrupa.com/ www.yugrupa.com]
Current_members = Dragi Jelić Žika Jelić Petar Jelić Slobodan Jurišić
Past_members = Miodrag Okrugić Velibor Bogdanović Miodrag Kostić Ratislav Đelmaš Dragan Micić Nedžat Maculja (Nexhat Macula) Dragoljub Đuričić Dragan Janković Igor Malešević

YU grupa (trans. "YU band") is a Serbian and former Yugoslav rock band. One of the pioneers in combining folk music elements with rock on the former Yugoslav rock scene, YU grupa is arguably the longest-lasting rock band to come from Serbia.

Band history

1970 - 1981

YU grupa was formed in the autumn of 1970 by brothers Dragi and Žika Jelić (guitar and bass guitar), Miodrag Okrugić (organ) and Velibor Bogdanović (drums). In the beginning the band performed under the name Idejni Posed ("Notional Property"), given by Kornelije Kovač. In November 1970 on their concert in Sinagoga club in Zemun, disc jockey Zoran Modli asked the audience to pik a name for the band. An unknown young man suggested the name YU grupa. Consistening the name, the band continued to hold birthday concerts on November 29, the date of Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia declaration.

Their first song, "Nona", was recorded at the end of December. The song was inspired by folk music of Kosovo, and recording it YU grupa became one of the pioneers of "Balkan rock" sound. Their first concert was organised by Nikola Karaklajić and Petar Popović, editors of the Radio Belgrade show "Veče uz radio". The concert was held in Dadov theatre on January 21 1971. During the year they held a great number of concerts, mostly in Serbia. They recorded fourteen songs for the needs of Radio Belgrade, part of those songs later released on their vinyl singles. All the copies of their first single "Nona" were sold right after the release, but PGP RTB refused to release new number of copies, so Jugoton became YU grupa's record label. The band performed at the Belgrade spring festival with the song "Tajna", also performed by Zdenka Kovačiček. Songs "Drveni most", "Mali medved" and "Devojka Džoj" were hits on all of their concerts. Okrugić's song "Opus 1" was very significant, but it was not released on any YU grupa album.

The band spent the summer performing at the prestigious club Lanterna in Rovinj. Those concerts brought first conflicts inside the band. After they returned to Belgrade Okrugić left the band. Guitarist Miodrag "Bata" Kostić joined the band. He was previously involved in the band's activity: he wrote some of the songs the band performed. Dragi Jelić and Kostić made an effective guitar duo, and Kostić continued to write folk-inspired hits. In March 1972 the band went on Bulgarian tour, during which they held forty concerts. Thanks to the "Veče uz radio" show, which had a cult status in Bulgaria, audience knew all of their songs. The others were shocked by their appearance. After they returned to Yugoslavia, they performed at the rock evening of Belgrade spring festival, performing at Dom Sindikata Hall with Korni grupa, Time and Mladi Levi.

They spent the summer playing in Rovinj's Lanterna. Concerts in Rovinj were crucial once again. After returning to Belgrade Kostić and Bogdanović left the band. Kostić joined Jutro, and Bogdanović formed Opus. YU grupa continued as a trio, with Raša Djelmaš|Ratislav "Raša" Đelmaš, a former Mobi Dik, Pop Mašina and Siluete member as the new drummer. They spent the next year playing all across Yugoslavia, winning new audience in Slovenia and Croatia. At the time, a keyboard player Tihomir "Pop" Asanović was invited to become a new member, but he joined Novi Fosili instead. In February 1973 YU grupa went to London to purchase new equipment, and the CBS Records producers, who had an opportunity to hear their recordings earlier, organised their concert in The Marquee. Thanks to the concert the band got the term at a studio, recorded demos, and a serios cooperation with CBS records was planned. The band returned to Yugoslavia to hold a concert at Hala sportova, and holding a high position on Yugoslav rock scene, the band blenched the career in England. In the summer their debut self-titled album "YU grupa" was released. The album brought numerous hits: blues-oriented "More", "Trka", "Čudna šuma", and their cult ballad "Crni leptir". In November Kostić returned to the band.

At the beginning of 1974 YU grupa took part on the recording of Srđan Marjanović's debut LP "Srđan Marjanović i prijatelji", and later released their second studio album "Kako to da svaki dan?" ("How Come Every Day...?"). The album was musically more diverse, but it did not consist from the numerous hits as the previous one. At the end of the year Dragi Jelić went to the army, and until he returned YU grupa performed as trio. In 1975 best Yugoslav guitarists took part in Kongres rock majstora ("Congress of rock masters") concert. Kostić, Žika Jelić and Đelmaš performed with Vedran Božić, Josip Boček and Goran Bregović, and the double album "Kongres rock majstora" was released.

Dragi returned in June 1975, and Kostić left the band conventionally. The band negotiated with a keyboard player Oliver Mandić, but the cooperation was not agreed. At the beginning of 1976, they released "YU grupa", featuring hits "Oprosti ljubavi", "Novi zvuk" and "Ja moram dalje". In September 1976 a compilation album "YU zlato" ("YU gold"), which featured their single songs, was released. The same year, Đelmaš left the band and formed Zebra. Dragan Micić replaced Đelmaš, and at the end of 1976 guitarist Nedžat Maculja joined the band. In 1977 they went on the Soviet Union tour, during which they held sixty-four concerts. The same year they released their fourth studio album "Među zvezdama" ("Among the Stars"). Album featured Bata Kostić as a guest musician. In 1978 YU grupa performed at the pop oriented festival in Opatija, and their song "Spali svoja sećanja" was released on the festival album "Opatija 78". At the end 1978 Kostić once again became the member of the band, and a former Mama Co Co and Ribeli member Dragoljub Đuričić (drums) and a former Zdravo member Dragan Janković (keyboard) joined YU grupa. This lineup held another Soviet Union tour.

The next album "Samo napred..." ("Ride on..."), released in 1979, featured hits "Identitet, "Udaj se dobro", "Ideš mi na nerve", "Autobus za raj". Album featured Laza Ristovski, Bebi Dol and Slađana Milošević as guest musicians. At the time of New Wave expansion YU grupa's popularity began to decrease. At the end of 1981 their van with a part of the equipement burned down, and Žika Jelić was injured. After this incident YU grupa disbaned. The Jelić brothers started organising concerts, Đuričić became a member of Leb i Sol and Midorag Kostić became a Radio Belgrade editor.

Late 1980s and 1990s

At the end of the 1980s Bijelo Dugme made enormous success with their folk-oriented songs, and the band leader Goran Bregović suggested the Jelić brothers, the pioneers of Yugoslav folk-rock sound, to reunite YU grupa. Although they occasionally performed during the 1980s, YU grupa officialy reunited in 1987. They released their comeback album "Od zlata jabuka" ("Golden Apple"), with the tittle track inspired by folk music as the main hit. Album featured keyboard player Saša Lokner as a guest musician. YU grupa performed at the Rock legends concert, alongside Indexi, Drago Mlinarec, Korni Grupa, Time and Radomir Mihajlović Točak. Live versions of YU grupa's "Čudna šuma", "U tami disko kluba", "Crni leptir" and a medley compiled of "Nona", "Kosovski božuri" and "Sama" were released on the double live album "Legende YU Rocka" ("Legends of YU Rock"). In November 1988, YU grupa released "Ima nade" ("There is Hope"). Biggest hits were "Mornar" and power ballad "Dunavom šibaju vetrovi". This album was followed by "Tragovi" ("Traces"), recorded with Đelmaš on the drums once again, and featuring Pera Joe, Saša Lokner and Nikola Čuturilo as guests.

At the bands 22nd birthday old members of the band played with YU grupa, and the band got the new member, Petar Jelić, Dragi and Žika's nephew. The new lineup released album "Rim" ("Rome"). The album was recorded in Italy, and was produced by Dragi Jelić and Mario Zaninni Quirini. Album brought hits "Odlazim", "Oluja", "Dunav", "Gledaj samo pravo". During the late 1990s band rarely performed in Yugoslavia.


In 2005, with Igor Malešević as the new drummer, YU grupa released its latest studio album with a symbolic title "Dugo znamo se" ("We Know Each Other for a Long Time"). The album was mostly hard rock-oriented, and did not feature many folk music elements. "Pustinja", "Zamoliću te", "Bože, spasi me" became immediate hits. In 2007 the band released its first official live album "Live". In 2008 drummer Slobodan Jurišićwho replaced Malešević. Guitarist Petar Jelić is currently preparing his second solo album.


tudio albums

*"YU grupa" (Jugoton 1973)
*"Kako to da svaki dan?" (Jugoton 1974)
*"YU grupa" (Jugoton 1975)
*"Među zvezdama" (Jugoton 1977)
*"Samo napred..." (PGP RTB 1979)
*"Od zlata jabuka" (ZKP RTLJ 1987)
*"Ima nade" (PGP RTB 1988)
*"Tragovi" (PGP RTB 1990)
*"Rim" (PGP RTS 1995)
*"Dugo znamo se" (PGP RTS 2005)

Live albums

*"Legende YU Rocka" (Various artists live album, Jugoton 1988)
*"Live" (PGP RTS 2007)

Compilation albums

*"YU zlato" (Jugoton 1976)

Vinyl singles

*"Nona" / "Tatica" (PGP RTB 1971.)
*"Bio jednom jedan pas" / "Mali medved" (Jugoton 1972)
*"U tami disko kluba" / "Kosovski božuri" (Jugoton 1972)
*"Šta će meni vatra" / "Spusti glavu" (Jugoton 1973)
*"Drveni most" / "Živi pesak" (Jugoton 1974)
*"Sama" / "Trka" (Jugoton 1975)
*"Osveta" / "Oprosti ljubavi" (Jugoton 1976)
*"3 do 6" / "Tačno u podne" (Jugoton1976)
*"Opasno" / "Budi sa mnom" (Jugoton 1978)
*"Identitet" / "Ideš mi na nerve" (Jugoton 1979)


*EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006, Janjatović Petar; ISBN 978-86-905317-1-4

ee also

*Serbian rock
*Popular music in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

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