Prljavo kazalište

Infobox musical artist
Name = Prljavo kazalište

Img_capt =The band's logo designed by ".
Background = group_or_band
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born =
Died =
Origin = Zagreb, Croatia
Instrument =
Genre =Rock
Punk rock
New Wave
2 Tone
Occupation =
Years_active = 1977-present
Label = Jugoton, Suzy, CBS Records, InterService, Croatia Records, Dallas Records
Associated_acts = Ciferšlus
Parni valjak
Dorian Gray
ITD band
Current_members =
Past_members =

Prljavo kazalište (meaning in Croatian language: "Dirty Theatre") is a rock band from Zagreb, Croatia. Since its formation in 1977, the group changed several music styles and line ups but remained one of the top acts of both the Croatian and the former Yugoslav rock scenes.



Prljavo kazalište was formed in 1977 in Dubrava, part of Zagreb, the capitol of the then SR Croatia, a constituent country of the former SFR Yugoslavia. Founding members included: Jasenko Houra (rhythm guitar), Zoran Cvetković a.k.a. Zok (lead guitar), Nino Hrastek (bass guitar) and Tihomir Fileš (drums). Its first vocalist became Davorin Bogović, although they were thinking about taking Davor Gobac (later of Psihomodo pop) instead. All of them, except Houra, previously played in another band called Ciferšlus (Zipper), but after he joined them to form a new group, they opted for the name "Prljavo kazalište" after an episode of the satirical Italian comic book "Alan Ford", which was very popular in the former Yugoslavia.

In its early beginnings, Prljavo kazalište's was a Punk band, although they initially wanted to sound like The Rolling Stones for whom they maintained a great admiration. The group performed live for a first time in 1978 at a gig organized by the magazine "Polet" where they were noted for their furious punk image and stage performance. In the same year, Prljavo kazalište released its first single, the punk rock sounding "Televizori" for the major record label Jugoton. It featured three songs: "Televizori", "Majka" and "Moje djetinjstvo". In 1979, Suzy Records released their second single "Moj je otac bio u ratu". That song was included in the compilation album "Novi Punk Val" compiled by Igor Vidmar, along with Pankrti, Paraf and other prominent artists of the former Yugoslav Punk scene.

First album

In 1979, they released their first eponymous album, produced by Piko Stančić, for Suzy Records. It was promoted when the group performed as a support act of the Yugoslav cult band Bijelo dugme at a concert held at the JNA stadium. During the recording sessions, Zoran Cvetković left the band and was replaced by Marijan Brkić. The album soon came to prominence all over the former Yugoslav federation for its social commentary and provoked the then-ruling one-party system, additonally because it also featured probably the first gay-themed song in Yugoslavia titled "Neki dječaci (Some Boys)" (followed later by "Retko te viđam sa devojkama" by Idoli). The authorities valuated the album as "šund" ("kitsch") and hence they imposed higher taxes on its sale price, while the records considered "truly artistic" enjoyed a reduced tax rate. Despite that, the group was not banned and it could freely continue to work and sell records, because non-aligned Yugoslavia was not so strict regarding censorship as the other communist states. Although the band played on the album in a rudimentary manner, the media and the public proclaimed it one of the best debut albums ever released in Yugoslavia. The record sleeve was designed by Mirko Ilić and featured a parody of the famous John Pasche's ".

"Crno bijeli svijet"

On their second album titled "Crno bijeli svijet" ("Black and White World") released in 1980, Prljavo kazalište affiliated with the New Wave music, accepting a more polished image and sound. The album, again produced by Piko Stančić and released for Suzy, was recorded in Milan, Italy. The album included several Ska and Two Tone songs such as the main single "Crno bijeli svijet" and "Mi plešemo", meaning "We Dance", although the original title was supposed to be "Mi pijemo" ("We Drink"). Also, it featured a cover version of "Sedamnaest ti je godina tek" by the notable retro traditional pop singer Ivo Robić. The record was a major success and Prljavo kazalište became one of the leading acts of the former Yugoslav New Wave scene (called Novi Val in Croatian).

Soon afterwards, Davorin Bogović left the group. Reasons included disagreements with the other band members or his inability to withstand the pressure of extensive touring and recording, as the band was already in the top of the Yugoslav rock scene and had tight schedules.

"Heroj ulice"

In 1981, the group recorded its third album in the studio of Sjunne Ferger in Sweden. The album was produced by Tini Varga, featuring guest appearances by the percussionists Ferger and Miroslav Budanko and the saxophonist Janne Gustafsson. Since Bogović's departured, this time Jasenko Houra had to take over the position of a main vocalist. With this album, Prljavo kazalište gradually moved on to a more conventional rock, hence achieving great mainstream success across whole Yugoslavia. The album featured a tribute to Bruce Springsteen (the songs "Heroj ulice" and "Široke ulice") and to Phil Collins in the ballad "Noćas sam izašao na kišu". After the release of the record, Fileš and Hrastek were conscripted in the Yugoslav People's Army, so the group performed with the help of the drummer Dražen Šok and the former member Zoran Cvetković who played bass this time. The latter released a solo album from which one song was included in the "Vrući dani i vrele noći" compilation and he later joined the group Dorian Gray in 1982.

"Korak od sna"

In 1983, Davorin Bogović returned to the band, and sang on their fourth album "Korak od sna" released jointly by Suzy and CBS Records, which featured the hit "Sve je lako kad si mlad". That was Prljavo kazalište's last record with Bogović and after he left he was replaced as a frontman by Mladen Bodalec, the album's back vocalist, a former member of Patrola.

"Zlatne godine"

With Bodalec, the group released its fifth album "Zlatne godine" in the beginning of 1986. This record was pop-rock oriented and it included the successful hits: "Ne zovi mama doktora", "Sladoled" and "Ma kog me boga za tebe pitaju". Unlike their previous Suzy Records albums, this one was signed for Jugoton.

"Zaustavite zemlju"

In 1988, Prljavo kazalište released their sixth album "Zaustavite Zemlju" which included several hits such as "Zaustavite zemlju", "Marina", "Moj bijeli labude" and "Slaži mi". The album, which was released for Suzy, included the song "Mojoj majci" which Houra tributed to his recently deceased mother. At that time, shortly before the upcoming breakup of Yugoslavia, tensions broke out between the constituent countries of the Yugoslav federation, so the issue of an eventual Croatian independence from Yugoslavia started to rise. Hence the lyrics "Zadnja ruža Hrvatska" (meaning: "Last Croatian Rose") made the song very popular in Croatia, but also criticized in some parts of the rest of Yugoslavia due to (perceived) nationalist undertones, which were considered politicaly incorrect for the Yugoslav policy of brotherhood and unity. After the album's release, Marijan Brkić left to join Parni valjak and was replaced with Damir Lipošek. The band went on an international tour which culminated with a big open-air show played on October 17, 1989 on the Republic Square in Zagreb in front of approximately 200,000–300,000 people, during which the performance of "Mojoj majci" stirred up nationalist feelings among the Croatian youths.

"Sve je lako kad si mlad - LIVE!"

In the following year, the group released its double live album titled after the song "Sve je lako kad si mlad - LIVE!". Beside live material from the concert held in November 1988 at the Zagreb's "Dom Sportova" and from the performance at the "ZG Rock Forces" festival, it included few older studio tracks as well. The record sleeve again featured the band's logo as on the first album but on a black background.


During the same year, Prljavo kazalište recorded a new studio album titled "Devedeseta" (meaning: "Nineteen-ninety", "1990"), produced by Mate Došen, while the backing vocals were recorded by Davorin Bogović and Vesna Došen. The group also got a new member, the keyboards player Mladen Roško.

"Lupi petama"

In the beginning of the 1990s, Prljavo kazalište frequently played shows abroad for the Croatian diaspora. During the first years of the Croatian War of Independence, which established the Republic of Croatia as an independent state, the group paused its activities and in 1993 with the new keyboard player Fedor Boić (former member of ITD bend) released the album "Lupi petama" for "InterService" label with the patriotic war songs "Reci sve za Hrvatsku", "Pet dana ratujem, subotom se zaljubljujem" and others. The group adopted elements of folk music and a traditional tambura orchestra from Vinkovci appeared on their track "Uzalud vam trud svirači". The record cover featured a plate filled with bullets. In 1994 Prljavo kazalište received the Croatian "Porin" music award for this album, but also in other categories as well.

"Božićni koncert"

In 1995 the group released a new live album recorded at the concert held on Christmas Eve in Dolac titled "Božićni koncert" ("Christmas Concert").

"S vremena na vrijeme"

In the end of 1996 the album "S vremena na vrijeme" with a luxurious cover came out for Croatia Records, however it didn't bring any fresh ideas. The recorded material was mixed and pre-mastered in London, UK with the help of Zoran Cvetković. The album included a guest appearance by Mel Gaynor, the drummer of Simple Minds.

"XX Godina"

Jasenko Houra formed a record label called "CBS" a pun to "CBS Records" for whom the group once released an album, and the abbreviation for the band's best known song "Crno Bijeli Svijet". In the late 1997 Prljavo kazalište celebrated 20th anniversary by playing a concert with a symphony orchestra at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall and released the recordings as a live album titled "XX Godina" on Houra's new label.

"Dani ponosa i slave"

In 1998 the group released its album "Dani ponosa i slave", which was the first studio album released after the 20th anniversary. It included guest appearance by the Croatian rap music group Tram 11.

"Sve je lako kad si mlad" Box Set

In the 2000s Prljavo kazalište released a four audio CD box set titled "Sve je lako kad si mlad" (not to be confused with the previously mentioned live album with the same title). Its record sleeve again featured the band's logo, but this time on a white background as it was on the first album.

In 2003, the band took part in the rockumentary "Sretno dijete" which covers the former Yugoslav New Wave scene and features many eminent former Yugoslav rock acts from Zagreb, Belgrade and Ljubljana.

"Radio Dubrava"

In the end of 2002, Prljavo kazalište signed a contract with Dallas Records which released their album "Radio Dubrava" in the following year.

"Moj dom je Hrvatska"

As of 2008, currently, the last studio album of Prljavo kazalište is "Moj dom je Hrvatska" which was released in 2005.


A Polish language cover version of the Prljavo kazalište's song "Crno bijeli svijet", translated as "Czarno-Biały Świat" performed by Kazik was included in the tribute album titled "Yugoton" released in Poland in 2001. The record is a tribute to the former Yugoslav rock scene.


#"Televizori" - 1978 (Single) ("TVs")
#"Moj je otac bio u ratu - 1979 (Single) ("My father was in the war")
#"Prljavo kazalište" - 1979 ("Dirty theatre")
#"Crno bijeli svijet" - 1980 ("Black & white world")
#"Heroj ulice" - 1980 ("Hero of the streets")
#"Korak do sna" - 1983 ("A step away from dream")
#"Zlatne godine" - 1985 ("Golden years")
#"Zaustavite zemlju" - 1988 ("Stop the Earth")
#"Sve je lako kad si mlad - live" - 1988 ("It's all easy when you're young")
#"Devedeseta" - 1990 ("The year of 1990")
#"Lupi petama..." - 1993 ("Knock your heels")
#"Božićni koncert" - 1995 (Live) ("The Christmas concert")
#"S vremena na vrijeme" - 1996 ("From time to time")
#"XX godina - live" - 1997 ("20 years")
#"Dani ponosa i slave" - 1998 ("Days of pride and glory")
#"Radio Dubrava" - 2003
#"Moj dom je Hrvatska" - 2005 ("Croatia is my home")


* Porin 1994 - Album of the year
* Porin 1998 - Best rock album
* Porin 1999 - Best rock album

ee also

*Croatian popular music
*SFR Yugoslav pop and rock scene
*Yugoslav New Wave
*Sretno dijete

External links

* [ Prljavo kazalište home site]
* [ Prljavo kazalište fan forum]


* [ Janjatović, Petar. "Ilustrovana Enciklopedija Yu Rocka 1960-1997", publisher: Geopoetika, 1997] sr icon
*"Sretno dijete", documentary film
* [ Bio] at Hit Records Official site hr icon
* [ Artist page] at Croatia Records Official site hr icon

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