Lead by ace guitarist Radim Hladík, BLUE EFFECT were one of the major progressive bands in Czechoslovakia; they were to their own country what OMEGA were to Hungary, or SBB to Poland. They started out in 1968 with a couple of early R&B-oriented albums. However, the Czech governement strongly disapproved of English names at the time, so the band switched to MODRÝ EFEKT and later to simply M.EFEKT. After these two albums, their material veered towards jazz rock and by the early 80’s, following sereval personnel changes, their music had become a little less prog, more accessible. They released their last album in 1981 and then quietly disappeared.
Of particular interest to prog fans are three albums: “Modrý Efekt & Radim Hladík” (1975) which features an energetic mix of YES-like symphonic rock with some fusion; the overall effect will likely remind you of FINCH or CRUCIS. Emphasizing Hladik’s brilliant soloing, this was the album that established him as “the” Czech guitarist par excellence. However, it is “Svitanie” (1977) that is considered the band’s true masterpiece. With its sinewy bass lines and bold keyboard/guitar melodies, it is still quite YES-influenced but it also has a definite Czech flavour that makes it unique. Finally, there is the bolder, more complex and not so YES-like album titled “Svet Hledacu – World of Searchers” (1979); this one is characterized by many sudden tempo shifts and emphasizes the flux between the spacey synths and Hladik’s biting guitars. Except for this album, whose 5 official tracks are all sung, the band’s répertoire is mostly instrumental.
3. Skládanka/Jigsaw Puzzle
4. Ztráty a nálezy/Lost-And-Found
Bonus track on 2000 CD re-issue:
– Radim Hladík / guitars
– Vlado Čech / drums
– Josef Kůstka / bass, vocals
– Lešek Semelka / piano, organ, vocals
– Martin Kratochvil / piano
– Jiří Stivín / flute
Producer – Hynek Žalčík
Blue Effect byla česká rocková skupina založená v roce 1968. V průběhu své existence používala různé varianty svého názvu: The Special Blue Effect, The Blue Effect, Modrý efekt, M Efekt či M. Efekt. Jejím hlavním a jediným stálým členem od založení až do své smrti v roce 2016 byl kytarista Radim Hladík.