Neoton Família

History of the band -- 5 -- Conquering Asia

After 1984 all albums of "Neoton Família" were getting a new sound with a lot of synths and drum-machines used, resulting in a style that is more 1980s euro disco and electro pop than classic disco pop. The first of these albums, "Karnevál", boasts outstanding melodies and arrangements. The fame it brought the band could be compared to their 1980-1981 fame. Neoton Família went on tour once again, visiting Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and USSR. Radio stations of Eastern Europe perpetually broadcasted such songs as lyrical "Látomás" ("Image"), lively "Karnevál", rhythmic "Gimi love" and "Volt egy lány" ("There Was a Girl") and cheerful "Na-na, nagyfiú" ("Pretty Fatty"). After this album's release the band's singer Éva Csepregi began her solo career without leaving the band. Her solo albums were produced by her husband, Scottish composer Bob Heatlie, employed by West German label Hansa. Outside of Hungary Éva's solo albums were released mostly in Asian countries (Korea and Japan) under a name Eva Sun. This year Janula Stefanidu left the band, with gifted singer Mária Juhász (born 17.12.1954) taking her place.

A year later "Neoton Família" treated their audience to a record titled "Magánügyek" ("Personal Business"), which was evidently inferior to the previous album content-wise. The most prominent songs were energetic "Ejszakai laz" ("Night Fever") and romantic "Újra itt vagyok" ("I'm Here Again"); "Nyár van" ("It Was Summer") and "Glória" also got some attention. However, most of the tracks, while being composed in a style popular for the time, were of the underwhelming, run-of-the-mill variety, so the record could be considered a failure. The most balanced and successful of the band's works of the late 1980s is probably the next album, "Minek ez a cirkusz?" ("Why All This Circus?") — the first album to not get a proper English version. The best dancing songs on this album were "I love you" (which got in TOP20 in several European countries), "Robinson" (with lead vocals by Ádám Végvári) and "Yo-yo". The best slow lyrical songs definitely were "Búcsú" ("Farewell", alternate Hungarian title "Nem akarok mindent újra kezdeni"; lead vocals by Éva Csepregi and György Jakab) and "Ha elmúlik karácsony" ("When Christmas Passes Over"). The same 1986 year a song titled "Love is magic", once again sung by a duo of Éva Csepregi and Ádám Végvári, won Most Outstanding Performance Award of a music festival held in Seoul.

Three last albums the band released, "Védőháló nélkül" ("Exposed", 1987), "Vonalra várva" ("Stand By", 1988) and "Abrakadabra" (1989) are more varied than "Minek ez a cirkusz?" rhythm-wise and arrangement-wise. The band cound keep from delving into cheesy territory and some songs from these albums sound pretty decent. Songs like dynamic "Visz a hajó, fúj a szél" ("The Wind Blows, All Aboard!"), cheery "Ilyen egy lány" ("One of a Kind Girl"), endlessly romantic "Latin szerenád", aggressive "Holnap", enigmatic "Medve táncdal" ("Bear Dance") and serene "Ugye, arra gondoltál?" eventually reached out to the fans. The last of this three albums was recorded with Edina Schäffer (born 17.07.1968) replacing Mária Juhász who left the band. As of late 1980s, "Neoton Família" could boast of getting a rather prestigious eMeRTon'87 award issued by Hungarian Radio along with recording new albums. On top of that, during 1988 Seoul Olympics Opening Ceremony Éva Csepregi performed a song titled "Korea", which became a worldwide hit, together with ex-singer of East German "Dschinghis Khan" disco band Leslie Mandoki. This song was also composed by Ralph Siegel of Jupiter Records label (which once hosted "Dschinghis Khan" he was producing). 

By Mikhail Badanin and Kirill Babanin
Translated into English by Andrey Sinelnikov