One of the most influential bands ever to come out of the Eastern Bloc, Hungary’s legendary Omega have been at it since 1962, the same year the Rolling Stones first got together. Give or take a couple of early members departing and a period of inactivity during 1987-1994, they are one of the longest-running acts in rock history and with one of the most stable line-ups.
Omega’s sound has obviously changed over their five decades, travelling light years from their early Beatles-influenced pop songs towards something kinda like early Status Quo fuzz box guitar meets the Moody Blues classical rock (or sometimes like a Slavic version of schlager), then a prog rock sound in the 70s that gave way to harder rocking wail (and even disco) by later in that decade. The 1980s saw them develop a spacerock thing that continues to be their signature sound.
Since Omega recorded songs in both magyar and in English, and regularly toured in England and Germany (The Scorpions are known to be big fans) they are one of the most popular groups to originate from the Communist bloc.
In any case, it’s more Omega’s early material that I like the best, so that’s what I’m going to post here. I hadn’t thought about this band in years until one of our readers, Kjirsten Winters, reminded me of them. I was shocked by how many amazing vintage clips of this band exist. Feast your eyes and ears on Omega…
Start with the mind-bending “Tékozló fiúk” (“Prodigal Sons”) from 1969. Play it LOUD!
Below, “Azt mondta az anyukám” (1967):
“Gyöngyhajú lány” (The girl with pearly hair). This has been viewed over 3 million times on YouTune, giving you some indication of the popularity of this, their greatest song:
1968’s “Nem tilthatom meg” (“There’s Nothing I Can Do”) would not be out of place on a Communist version of Nuggets, would it?
The lovely “A napba néztem” from 1968
“Tízezer lépés” from 1969. The guitar solo here will blow your mind:
Thank you kindly, Kjirsten Winters!