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Bijelo Dugme

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Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (1974 – 1989)

Bijelo Dugme (“White Button”) were a highly influential band from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in former Yugoslavia. Active between 1974 and 1989, they were considered the most popular band ever to exist in the former Yugoslavia. The founder of the band was Goran Bregović, who spent much of his childhood in a Musical School for violin players, from which he was expelled for “lack of talent”. Soon after his expulsion, his mother bought him a guitar, and thus, Bijelo Dugme was born. Goran Bregović often admitted that his main motivation for forming the band was because “women were more receptive to musicians”. Bregović was the band’s sole composer and wrote most of the lyrics, although some of the most popular Bijelo dugme songs weren’t written by Bregović, for example: Ima neka tajna veza, Glavni junak jedne knjige, Šta bi dao da si na mom mjestu, Pristao sam biću sve što hoće were written by Duško Trifunović, Da sam pekar, Selma were written by Vlado Dijak, Loše vino by Arsen Dedić etc.

After recruiting the band’s first line up, Bijelo dugme under the name Jutro (translation: “Morning”) were turned down by Sarajevo based record company Diskoton, but were offered to record a single for another record company, Jugoton. The first single was named Kad bi’ bio bijelo dugme (translation: “If I were a white button”). After the single was released, Bregović was convinced by the band’s manager to change the band’s name to Bijelo dugme.

With charismatic vocalist Željko Bebek, the band soon reached stardom in the former Yugoslavia, as one newspaper put it, they sold more albums than there were record players in Yugoslavia.

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