1990 - 73rd Segment: “Rachel”

Photo: Supraphon

In this series we present 100 songs which have gone down in the history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. On Czech Radio’s web pages you can find a poll, in which you can vote for the best hit from the past century. We look forward to your vote! We continue with the year 1990.

On January 1st, a general amnesty was announced.

On March 29th, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was transformed into the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic.

On July 5th Václav Havel was reelected president of the newly renamed state.

1990 brought about a great decrease in all Czech cultural activities. People did not go so much to theaters, cinemas or concerts, and they instead watched the news and followed the country’s political developments. Some were nervous that the changes brought by November 1989 would not last,others were shaken by the thought of losing their position in the previous regime.

Photo: Supraphon
Regardless, mass media provided an outlet for artists and bands suppressed during communism, including Tichá dohoda, Vltava, Mňága a Žďorp, Psí vojáci, Orlík, Precedens, Bára Basiková, J.A.R. and Michael Viktořík. Change took place incredibly fast, and forbidden records such as those by Karel Kryl and Marta Kubišová were quickly released.

Albums featuring previously overlooked groups such as Orlík or Tři sestry (Three Sisters) began to be released on vinyl and cassette tapes. They were also broadcast in French on commercial radio stations like Stalin and Evropa 2. The Czech band Ocean became extremely popular with its song “Rachel.” The group’s frontman, Petr Muk, was a highly esteemed author at that time.

Vote for the best song of the century!