100 HITS OF THE REPUBLIC 1983 – 66th segment: “Great”

Photo: Supraphon

1983 was not a great year for Czech pop, with the Communist censors making themselves felt. They banned rock guitarist and singer Vladimír Mišík and the group Pražský výběr, who were just about to release their album “Straka v hrsti” or “Magpie in One’s Fist.”

In March, at the request of Charter 77, the seriously ill dramatist and dissident Václav Havel was released from prison.

On July 26, athlete Jarmila Kratochvílová set a new record of 1:53.28 in the 800 metres. It stands to this day.

Lech Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In March, the censorship campaign culminated with a notorious article in the Communist weekly Nová. It signaled major problems for an entire generation of groups, especially alternative ones.

At the other end of the spectrum were the singer, musician and composer Karel Zich and lyricist Michal Bukovič. In 1983, their hit “Paráda,” or “Great,” which Karel Zich recorded with his band Flop, was all over radio and television.

Beneath the surface of Czechoslovak society there was harassment and prohibition in this period. But the Communists passed the situation off as “great”.

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