Đorđe Balašević : biography
At the 1979 Split Festival Balašević won the first prize with the single "Panonski mornar" ("Pannonian Sailor"). A few months later, Rani Mraz sold out Belgrade’s Dom Sindikata Hall eight times in a row. In 1980, Balašević served in the Yugoslav People’s Army in Zagreb and Požarevac, where he had a role in the TV show Vojnici (Soldiers), but also found time to write song "Zbog tebe" ("Because of You") for Zdravko Čolić and lyrics for several songs recorded on Srebrna Krila album Ja sam samo jedan od mnogih s gitarom (I’m only One of Many with a Guitar).
By the end of 1980, Balašević and Krstić released their second and final album under the name Rani Mraz, with a symbolic title Odlazi cirkus (The Circus Is Leaving). The album reaffirmed Balašević’s status and delivered several hit songs, one of them being "Priča o Vasi Ladačkom" ("Story of Vasa Ladački") which went on to become one of Balašević’s signature songs. However, Rani Mraz officially dissolved shortly afterwards.
Balašević started his solo career in 1982 with the album Pub (Jack) which was well received, bringing hits "Boža zvani Pub" ("Boža Known as the Jack"), "Pesma o jednom petlu" ("The Song about a Rooster"), "Lepa protina kći" ("Archpriest’s Beautiful Daughter") and "Ratnik paorskog srca" ("Warrior with Peasant’s Heart"). The album was produced by Josip Boček, who would also produce Balašević’s following two releases. Shortly after, Balašević had a role in the TV series Pop Ćira i pop Spira (Priest Ćira and Priest Spira), recorded after Stevan Sremac’s novel of the same title. He spent the winter of 1982-1983 on a tour, during which he sold out Belgrade’s Sava Center hall for the first time. His Sava Center concerts would become his trademark in years to follow. At the time, he wrote the song "Hej, čarobnjaci, svi su vam đaci" ("Hey, Magicians, Everyone Can Learn from You") for the football club Red Star Belgrade.
In December 1983, Balašević released the album Celovečernji The Kid (Wholevening the Kid), which featured hits "Svirajte mi ‘Jesen stiže, dunjo moja’" ("Play ‘Autumn Is Coming, My Dear’ to Me"), "Neko to od gore vidi sve" ("Someone from up above Watches it All"), "Blues mutne vode" ("Muddy Water Blues"), "Lunjo" ("Hey, Tramp") and "Don Francisco Long Play". The following album, 003, was released in 1985, and brought hits "Slovenska" ("Slavic Song"), "Al’ se nekad dobro jelo" ("Back Then Eating Was Good"), "Badnje veče" ("Christmas Eve") and "Olivera".
In 1986, Balašević released the album Bezdan (Abyss), which brought hits "Ne lomite mi bagrenje" ("Don’t Break My Locust Trees"), "Bezdan" and "Ne volim januar" ("I Don’t Like January"). On this album Balašević worked with musicians which would become his live and studio support in the following years for the first time. The record was produced by Đorđe Petrović and arrangements were done by Aleksandar Dujin. Those two would be the key associates of Balašević in the following years. They became the backbone of Balašević’s supporting band nicknamed The Unfuckables (although this is just a nickname, as he performs under his own name and the support band is not billed).
In 1987, Balašević released his first live album, double album U tvojim molitvama – Balade (In Your Prayers – Ballads). The album was recorded during 1986 and 1987 on his concerts in Zetra hall in Sarajevo, Ledena dvorana and Šalata in Zagreb, Sava Centar in Belgrade, and Studio M in Novi Sad. The album featured a gift 7" single with previously unreleased tracks "1987" and "Poluuspavanka ("Half-Lullaby"). The album also featured previously unrecorded track "Samo da rata ne bude" ("Just May There be no War"). The song was recorded live with a large children’s choir.