Vlada Divljan & Idoli Bookmark and Share


10 may 1958

Vladimir Divljan was born in Belgrade (Serbia) and got interested in music in 1968, after a Drago Diklić concert in Tučepi. Coming back to Belgrade he asked Zdenko Kolar and Boža Jovanović, two of his friends and neighbors, to form a band. In order to have rehearsals the three would skip school. The rehearsals were held at the boiler-room in their building. The three had rehearsals there for about ten years. They held a free gig at the Dadov's upper floor. The first serious band Divljan formed after graduation, in 1976 called Merlin. Together with Kolar and Jovanović he officially formed the band Idoli in The first live appearance was at Belgrade's SKC (Student's Cultural Center). Amonth later the band released their first single inserted in a magazine called ‘Vidici’ and it consisted of two tracks, ‘Pomoc, pomoc’ (Help, help) and ‘Retko te vidam sa devojkama’ (I rarely see you with girls) which is a gay-themed song. This flaunting with homosexuality was also present on a combined album project with colleague acts Elektricni Orgazam and Šarlo Akrobata called ‘Paket aranžman’. On of the tracks Idoli recorded was called ‘Schwule Über Europa’ (German for ‘Gays over Europe’) allegedly a parody on the attitude towards Germans by the Serbs. A second single ‘Maljciki’ was recorded in Zagreb with as a producer Goran Bregovic. The promotional video for single was banned on national television and some radio stations after the Soviet embassy filed a complaint. In the summer of 1981 an already highly anticipated debut mini LP was released called 'Vis'.

The band started recording their first full album in autumn 1981 but took an unusual amount of time to complete the process. The recording of the album took more than four hundred hours which was a record in former Yugoslavia. ‘Odbrana i poslednji dani’ came out in early 1982. It got the name from a Borislav Pekic book with the same title on which the whole album is based. It is a complex concept album dealing with an anthropological approach towards orthodoxy. Although a liberal label Jugoton turned down the original cover for the album which ought to have been a reproduction of a fresco White Angel from Mileševa monastery.
The album was a success and the band won the best album and the best cover award in 1982. In 1986 Yugoslav rock critics voted ‘Odbrana i poslednji dani’ the best Yugoslav rock album of the 20th century. On July 1982 Idoli started recording a new album in London with producer Bob Painter. Even though they changed their style to pop/rock, Cokolada went platinum and the title track became their greatest commercial hit. After performing in Ljubljana, in March 1984, due to conflicts between the members, the band ceased to exist. The last Idoli release was a soundtrack for the movie ‘Šest dana juna’ directed by Dinko Tucakovic. Another gay themed song ‘Zaljubljen sam u svog jarana’ (I am in love with my mate) (written by Divljan) was turned down for the album and remains unreleased to this day. The album was not a commercial success.

Vlada Divljan started a solo career in 1998 he released his first solo album ‘Tajni život A. P. Šandorova’ and with Srdan Gojkovic Gile from Elektricni Orgazam released two rock albums for children, Rokenrol za decu (Rock 'n' Roll For Children) (1989) and ‘Rokenrol bukvar’ (Rock 'n' Roll Alphabet) (1990). In 1991 he moved to Australia only to return in 1995 when he formed the Old Stars Band which led to the live album ‘Odbrana i zaštita’(1996). In the meantime he collaborated with Kiril Džajkovski and worked on several movie soundtracks. In the meantime Divljan met his wife Dina, got married and due to the war threat moved to Vienna. Here he recorded ‘Sve laži sveta’ with the Old star band. He also started working on sound design projects one of which he released as an instrumental album ‘Presents Die Tonzentrale’ (2003).

In 2006 Divljan formed a new backing band called Nevladina Organizacija and did several live shows. He also started working on his new album with the work title. Next to that Divljan regularly records soundtracks. In 2007 Croatia Records released a four-CD box set of Idoli consisting of all studio works except the first single.

On the web:

- Vlada's website: http://vladadivljan.yurope.com/

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Kombi (Poland)

What do we think:

DB: It's examplairy to the quality of the few albums Idoli made that they have such a untouchable status in former Yugoslavia. Apparently it's in the quality and not the quantity with Divljan and his pals. Divljan interest in making soundtacks has been a constant throughout his career. He made many but in below listing I limited myself to just his normal records. PAUL ROYAL thinks the albums of Idoli are a bit to sweet for true new wave. I tend to disagree and think Idoli and Divljan made some good albums although the punch is in the lyrics and not in the music.

Recommended albums:

With Idoli:
♪♪♪ - Vis - 1981

- Odbrana i poslednji dani - 1982

♪♪♪♪ - Cokolada - 1983

- Šest dana juna - 1985

- Tajni život A. P. Šandorova - 1988

- Sve laži sveta (Old Stars Band) - 2000

- Presents Die Tonzentrale - 2003

♪♪♪♪♪ = 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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