The Past Returns

The Beginnings of Musical Nostalgia in the Late Kádár Era. Popular Music and Nostalgia in the Late Kádár Era

In this paper, I primarily examine what those Hungarian musicians of the 1970s and 1980s who have in common regularly gained success from the recycling of already existing musical pieces, and reactivating the (popular) musical past. The goal of the paper is to develop a popular music history that is not based on the succession of genres and generations, as works usually do that emphasize the trend-forming eff ect of rock music. On the contrary, I highlight the simultaneities, revivals, and (stylistic-compositional) diff erences within the genres. I focus fi rst and foremost, therefore, on the joint work of the band “Hungária” and the various appearances of rock and roll in Hungary, trying to prove that certain songs and genres in the history of Hungarian popular music can be linked to diff erent performers and periods at the same time. I argue that we can obtain the broadest and most comprehensive overview concerning the role of rock and roll in the musical nostalgia, if we collect and analyze local practices of imitating and covering Western popular music in socialist Hungary.

Released: Replika 115–116, 151–173.
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