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KAMELEON 02 ~ POLAND ~ Pop & Rock

Recorded: 1967 - 1968 Released: 2013

This is the second album by the legendary Polish group SkaldowieFind albums by this artist, one of the most influential groups during the Golden Decade east of the Iron Curtain. Founded by brothers: Andrzej ZielinskiFind albums by this artist (vocalist, keyboardist, composer, arranger and leader) and Jacek ZielinskiFind albums by this artist (vocalist, trumpeter, percussionist), Skaldowie epitomized everything that was great about the Polish scene in the late 1960s / early 1970s, which struggled against all odds with economic hardships, political censorship and relative isolation from the Western centers of musical progress at the time. Considering those objective adversities, their achievements were simply phenomenal and the music they created remains a symbol of human genius and creativity overcoming all limitations.

The album was recorded in partly in 1967 and than completed in 1968, while the personnel of the group was still unsteady and included: guitarists Jerzy TarsinskiFind albums by this artist, Marek JamrozyFind albums by this artist and Feliks NaglickiFind albums by this artist, bassists Konrad RatynskiFind albums by this artist and Tadeusz GogoszFind albums by this artist, and drummer Jan BudziaszekFind albums by this artist. The female vocal group AlibabkiFind albums by this artist accompanies the group on several tracks.

Musically the album clearly shows the group´s stylistic development from the debut album, full of sophisticated Pop, Psychedelia and Baroque Rock. The beautiful arrangements involving orchestra and choir by Andrzej Zielinski, who also composed all but one of the album´s songs, are outstanding. He presents incredible talent to compose breathtakingly beautiful melodies and his arrangement skills, which involved vocal harmonies, unexpected tempo changes and multi-themed songs, as well as catchy riffs, which made this music, in spite of its complexity and sophistication, accessible to a wide range of audiences.

Skaldowie used excellent lyrics, which were written by the best Polish lyricists at the time, like Leszek Aleksander MoczulskiFind albums by this artist, Agnieszka OsieckaFind albums by this artist, and Wojciech MlynarskiFind albums by this artist, Luckily they were never tempted to sing in English and stuck with their native tongue. Of course the Polish lyrics are lost to listeners not speaking the language, but the music is definitely strong enough to stand on its own and Skaldowie achieved a worldwide following despite the language barrier.

This expanded edition includes thirteen bonus tracks (more than doubling the original album´s length), all of which are radio recordings. The bonus tracks all have excellent quality and are a valuable addition to the original album.

This is almost a perfect piece of Pop / Rock music, a status they were about to reach in their next albums. Of course the destiny placed the group at the right time at the wrong place. Had they been active in UK or US they would have been a Rock icon, no doubt, but alas it was not to be. Nevertheless they made a tremendous contribution to East European music and many of their albums are absolute gems, this one included.
 CD 1 Remastered Bonus Tracks Recommend To A Friend

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