"Isplači suze" by Tereza Kesovija (1962) EP

Another discovery from digitally remastered archives of former "Jugoton" (now "Croatia Records") is this little EP recording, the long unavailable and in light of her later success, mostly forgotten early, tentative studio debut. Kesovija eventually rose to prominence but it took her a good decade to find her style, which makes this recording even more interesting.

At that time, in the early 1960s local pop music was strongly influenced by San Remo and Italian artists, so like almost everybody else Kesovija covered Mina and Milva, even if this was actually not suited for her voice at all. Ubiquitous mastermind Mario Kinel, who himself idolised Italian music and encouraged homegrown artists to follow their steps, wrote Croatian lyrics for all the selections here, which were naturally covers - the theme of the project was crying and tears, hence the title - orchestration and arrangements (courtesy of Nikica Kalogjera) are stylish and competent, but it must be said that (just like majority of local pop recordings) this sounds as something that could have been done in previous decade and have nothing to do with than current international trends. Considering that 1962. was a year of "Telstar", Duane Eddy, Chubby Checker, Everly Brothers and The Shadows, heavily orchestrated covers of Italian canzone seems as tunnel vision - either from being overtly cautious not to step or anybody's toes (western influences were still censured) or out of personal liking, Kinel groomed young artists as local copies of San Remo winners, while rejecting Karlo Metikoš because he dared to sing American Rock (famously, Metikoš gave him later the signed copy of his French smash recording). Young Kesovija have already sung on popular homegrown festivals but everything from this era sounds as she tried too hard to lower her voice into wrong key (emulating booming alto of Milva), while her natural voice was crystal clear soubrette type bell. These songs were all wrong for her - the worst offender here being mind-boggling decision to cover "Non, je ne regrette rien" by Édith Piaf where 24 years old singer wrestles with stately funeral march. It is still an interesting oddity, even if its completely false start. 

No comments: