Blue Effect - Blue Effect 1969-1989: 9 CD box set (due to size and weight, this price for the USA only. Outside of the USA, the price will be adjusted as needed)
Blue Effect (also sometimes known as Modry Efekt, their name in Czech) released 8 albums in their lifetime, going from 1969-styled r'n'b/beat works to ambitious psych and post-psych works with additional instrumentation to jazz/rock with progressive rock touches to pretty much out and out progressive rock. This has all 8 of their albums plus a bonus disc of singles and rarities.
"The Blue Effect continued in the spirit of The Matadors, playing superb r&b material with Radim Hladik's fuzz guitar in charge. In 1969 they recorded their first single 'Slucen˝ Hrob' and an untitled 4-track EP. Their album Meditace (1970) was great. 'Pamet L·sky' opened the album with threatening Gothic voices, narrative lead vocals and careful orchestration, much like a post Soviet invasion requiem. The other tracks ranged from Yardbirds-like sitar excursions and blues-rock highlighting the flute (similar to vintage Jethro Tull) to well-written pop-psychedelia in the typical late sixties tradition. It seems that Vladimir MisÌk left The Blue Effect after a dispute over lyrics. He wanted to sing English lyrics, which didn't exactly please the Czech authorities. MisÌk joined the second version of Flamengo, but still had to sing Czech lyrics on their 1972-album (it was banned anyway!). His place was soon occupied by L. Semelka, a vocalist with a very unique style. Hladik, Cozel and Cech then embarked on the first of three experimental recordings, attempting to combine free jazz and beat with Jazz Q Praha featuring JirÌ Stivin. The sound of Coniunctio will puzzle the ears of many listeners, as this is considerably different to early Western attempts to combine jazz and rock at the time. The New Synthesis albums are indeed even stranger, recorded with the Czechoslovak Radio Jazz Orchestra. Judging by their playing techniques, these professional musicians collectively seemed to ignore any new developments in jazz since 1960 (and rock was totally out of the question). The result was not a 'synthesis' but two different generations of musicians playing on top of (but not with) each other. A self-titled and largely instrumental progressive rock album was recorded in 1973, but not released until two years later. Two tracks were over 10 minutes long and ideal showcases for Hladik's intricate style (somewhere between Jan Akkerman and the non-Latin jazz-rock style of Carlos Santana). His reputation as the best guitar player in Eastern Europe has a lot to do with this album. In 1975 Hladik reformed the group (now as M. Efekt) with Cech and two new members. Their album Svitanie (1977) marked a turn towards a more lyrical and symphonic approach with a wide array of keyboards (ARP, string ensemble, pianos and organ). Some aspects of this new sound resemble Yes circa 1972-73. Svet Hledacu (1979) was recorded after the departure of Freso. He was replaced by the returning Semelka, who in the meantime had played in the group Bohemia. The album fulfilled the M. Efekt-concept of long, elaborate tracks. It's interesting to note that no bass player was employed. This was also the case on their final album, 33."