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Sunday Old School: Gordi

We've covered bands from many countries over the course of Sunday Old School's history. From Mezarkabul in Turkey to Aria in Russia and Holy Dragons from Kazakhstan across to Asian bands like Crash from South Korea and Sigh, Loudness and Church Of Misery from Japan. However, one thing we haven't done as of yet, is look at a group who's entire history took place in a country that no longer exists. Of course the land is still there, but the nation formerly known as Yugoslavia has since become several countries and the former capital city of Belgrade is now the capital of Serbia. Despite being gripped in the rule of Marshal Tito, a dictator whose legacy remains disputed, rock and metal music was able to find it's way into the country and was pioneered when it came into the hands of the proud ones, or rather, Gordi.

Gordi, which as the previous paragraph alluded to, is Serbian for "the proud ones," was formed in 1977 in Belgrade by guitarist, Zlatko Manojlovic, along with his brother Goran, drummer Stevan Milutinovic Steva and bassist Dragan Jankovic, who was soon replaced by Zdenko Pomper. It was only after this change that the group were able to record and release their first album, "Covek," through the Ljubljana based major label, ZKP RTLJ. It was very much a progressive rock affair, with Zlatko Manojlovic later describing it as "psychedelic."

Following their debut, Gordi moved to the state owned label PGB-RTB, (as you can see, Yugoslavia was big on catchy names,) and once again replaced their bass player, this time bringing in Slobodan Svrdlan. Though still essentially a prog album, their sophomore full length, "Gordi 2," marked the first signs of their future sound, with more hard rock and early heavy metal traits seeping into the music, which remained on their third album, appropriately enough entitled, "Gordi 3," though this was considered to be a more "poppy" album than the previous two releases.

After opening for the Ian Gillan Band at the Pionr Hall in Belgrade, Gordi began to incorporate a much harder sound into their music, and with it, a more uniform heavy metal look, such as leather jackets et al. By now, they had become a power trio after Zlatko's brother, Goran Manojlovic left the group and Stevan Milutinovic was replaced by Cedomir Petrovic "Ceda." They again changed labels, this time teaming up with the Zagreb based company, Jugoton, and released their fourth album, "Pakleni Trio," which was well received by rock critics at home and those who could get their hands on it abroad.

It appeared that with "Pakleni Trio," the band had found their sound and kept it for their next full length record, "Kraljica Smrti," ("Queen of Death,") which once again was met with generally favourable reviews. Despite the plaudits the band were beginning to receive and the tag of being one of Yugoslavia's most popular heavy metal bands, Gordi decided to call it a day in 1984, with many members going on to perform with other heavy metal groups both in Yugoslavia and abroad, while Zlatko Manojlovic went on to have a respected solo career.

Gordi - "Covek"

Gordi - "Ovog leta idem na more"

Gordi - "Pomozi Nam"

Gordi - "Ona Je Zena"

Gordi - "VeŇ°tice, Djavoli"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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