The title Národ Psích Vojáku comes from a lyric line in the song "Psí Vojáci," one of the group Psí Vojáci's first-ever compositions. Filip Topol's group originated in late-'70s Czechoslovakia. Until the end of the communist regime in 1989, they remained in the underground, performing illegally and recording with limited means (most of their samizdat cassettes from the '80s have been reissued on CD by Black Point). In 1996, now enjoying a highly visible career in central Europe, Psí Vojáci entered the studio to give their greatest hits with a decent sound. The selection goes as far back as 1979 up to the early '90s and it truly represents the group's finest moments; many of these songs will also be found in the repertoire of the Filip Topol & Agon Orchestra recordings. In 1996 Topol was still very much in control of his voice and an energetic performer, which led to enthusiastic versions of old favorites. "Russian Mystic Pop Op. IV," "Hospoda," and "Cerny Sedlo" are all beautifully rendered, with Topol playing the piano in a time-stretching way once again very reminiscent of Peter Hammill. But the highlights are found in "Kruhy" and "Ziletky." In the latter particularly the singer deploys incredible intensity, grunting the lyrics as if they were burning him alive. The album ends with a recording of "Psí Vojáci" from 1979, just to put things back in a historical perspective. This album is the best place to start exploring the music of this seminal Czech group, especially if you value good sound quality.
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