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Locomotiv GT was founded in Budapest on April 6, 1971 from the remnants of Omega (Gábor Presser), Metro (József Laux.and Frenreisz Károly) and Hungária (Tamás Barta). Their first concert was held on the Park Stage in Buda in July. It was followed by the first single ‘A, Boldog vagyok’ (I'm Happy). In December 1971 they released their self-titled debut, but in Hungary progrock wasn’t supported by the regime and regarded as too experimental. Oddly enough a copy of the album reached England which got them a good review in the NME and a concert at the Great Western Express Festival together with Genesis, the Beach Boys, Joe Cocker and the Faces. In Autumn 1972 they released their second album, ‘Ringasd el magad’ (Rock Yourself).

Due to difficulties with the authorities the band started to work more as a backup band to get their music across. In 1973 they can be heard on albums by singers Zarolta Salatnay and Kati Kovács. Work also started on a musical on Tibor Déry's An Imaginary Report on an American Pop Festival. This much to the frustration of Frenreisz, who left the group and founded his own band, Skorpió. He was replaced by Tamás Somló, another former member of Omega. With Somló the band started working on their third album ‘Bummm’ which turned out to be their international breakthrough. The authorities again banned the album due to their idea that rock was a subversive Western genre. Thus the strange situation occurred that the band was hailed in English speaking countries while in Hungary they had to stay underground. Their album ‘Zene – Mindenki másképp csinálja’ was even blacklisted in surrounding countries Rumania and Czechoslovakia. This situation stayed like this until 1980 when the tension cooled a little. In effect their double album ‘Loksi’ sold over 25.000 copies and it was the first time the band received any royalties (70 penny per sold copy). In the same year the band toured the USSR with together with Omega. The new temporary freedom also enabled EMI to get the band to record an English album at Abbey Road. Without much success however, times already had changed in the west. The Hungarian version of the album was a national success however but the climate again changed. During the eighties the band did play on albums by Zorán, Katona Klári and Révész Sándor (former singer of Piramis).

After the fall of the communist regime Locomotiv GT organised a grand liveshow on 14 May 1992 at the Western Railway Station with over 20.000 people attending. This was also their final performance till 1997 when suddenly a new album appeared. ‘424 – Mozdonyopera’ was actually created by accident when moviedirector Sándor Pál asked some musical friends to record the soundtrack. Among those members of Locomotiv GT which resulted in a soundtrack album. . In 2002 another accidental get together resulted in a new album when a ballet was made on new music by Locomotiv GT. Because the band didn’t want to give to much publicity around the album was mostly recorded in secret. In 2006, at a birthday concert for Károly, some his former bandmates joined the stage. The next year, to celebrate their 25th anniversary the band opened the Sziget Fesztivál in Budapest.

On the web:

- Locomotiv's website: http://www.lgt.hu/

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What do we think:

DB: I actually knew Locomotiv GT long before i started to collect non-english albums through their 1974 USA album which was i guess an English version of Bummm. It's exemplary for this band that they were heralded in the West while back home they weren't met with the same popularity. At least not by the officials because they play along a whole load of Hungarian seventies classics and i'll bet in the underground their albums sold really well. It's sad that when the climate was more friendly for rock music they disbanned. Classic Hungarian progrock.


- Locomotiv GT - 1971

♪♪♪ - Ringasd el magad - 1972

♪♪♪♪ - Bummm! - 1973

♪♪♪♪♪ - Mindig magasabbra - 1975

- Locomotiv GT V. - 1976

- Zene – Mindenki másképp csinálja - 1977

- Mindenki - 1978

♪♪♪ - Loksi - 1980

- Locomotiv GT X. - 1982

- Ellenfél nélkül - 1984

- 424 – Mozdonyopera - 1997

- A fiúk a kocsmába mentek - 2002

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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  EUROPOPMUSIC - Central Europe