three standout album tracks from behind the Iron Curtain
Bema Pamieci Załobny – Rapsod (Bema Memorial Funeral – Rhapsody) Czesław Niemen Released on Enigmatic, Polskie Nagrania Muza (1970)
This 16-minute slice of progressive rock and sung-poetry captures Niemen at his epic best. Enigmatic is widely regarded as one of the finest Polish albums of all time.
Gyöngyhajú Lány (Pearls in her Hair) Omega Released on 10,000 Lepes (Steps), Qualiton (1969)
English- and German-versions of the Hungarian band’s best-known song aided its success overseas. “One day the sun felt so tired / She has fallen asleep in the lap of a deep green lake”, it begins. Cosmic.
Wenn Ein Mensch Lebt (When A Person Lives) The Puhdys Released on Die Puhdys, Amiga (1974)
This piano-led pop song was the theme tune for Heiner Carow’s Die Legende von Paul und Paula (The Legend of Paul and Paula), a 1973 film about a young couple’s frustrations with life in the GDR.