1966 – present (53 years)
Shturcite was formed in 1966 in Sofia by Kiril Marichkov, Petar Tsankov, (both from the Bandaratsite band) Petar Gyuzelev, and Veselin Kisyov (both from the Slanchevi Bratya band). Their first performance was at a students party in VITIZ (The Bulgarian Performing Arts Academy), and in 1967 they recorded their first songs. At first Georgi Minchev took part in the group too, and with him they created their first hit: the song Byala Tishina (White Silence), written by the composer Boris Karadimchev, winning the national award of Belia Orfei (The White Orpheus).
In 1968 the group released their first EP including Veselina ("Веселина", lyrics by Radoy Ralin), Zvan(Ring), Malkiat Svetal Prozorets (The Little Bright WIndow) and Izprashtane.
They released their first self-titled album in 1976. It instantly became a hit and sold more than 100 000 copies. The songs 'На Прага', 'Говори се за нещо' and 'Дяволски сезон' became prominent hits. 1978 saw the release of their second self-titled album. It was also their first record with the would-be classic line up, which included Georgi Markov on the drums and Vladimir 'Valdi' Totev on the keyboards and vocals.
In 1980 they released their third LP, "XX век"(XXth century), which would become a solid classic in the Bulgarian rock catalogue. It spawned many hit songs like the title track, "Среща"(Rendezvous) and "Две следи"(Two traces). All three are considered essential Bulgarian rock songs and remain immensely popular to this day.
In 1982 Щурците released their first double LP, which included among many songs the hits 'Вълшебен цвят'(Magic Blossom), 'Имаш ли Приятел?'(Do you have a friend?' and 'Вкусът на Времето'(The taste of time), which was also the album title.
In 1985 they released one of their most renowned albums, 'Конникът'(The rider). It is also the top-selling Bulgarian album with over 250 000 copies sold, the Bulgarian population being about 8 million.
In 1987 Kiril Marichkov scored the Ivan Andonov picture 'Вчера'(Yesterday). The band was credited for the song 'Клетва'(Oath), which is about friendship of the graduate high school students. To this day, it is a compulsory song on Bulgarian prom nights, and, moreover, the singing of the song by all the graduate students is one of the centre events of the night.
In the same year they released their sixth album, "Мускетарски марш"(Musketeer march). The band consider it to be their finest effort. The album release coincided with the band's 20th anniversary and was followed by a grand tour - Щурците filled stadiums in many Bulgarian and eastern bloc cities. A live album was released the following year, although it is yet to see its digital remastering and release on cd. The band then decided to retire from active touring and musicianship. However, they wrote one of the anthems of democracy in 1990 - 'Аз съм просто човек'(I am just a human), which is still used as an anthem of one of the democratic parties.
In the 90s and early 2000s the band members concentrated on their solo careers. Kiril Marichkov scored the otherwise discarded movie "Дунав мост"(Danube bridge), and the song 'Моят свят'(My world) became a big hit. He also released two moderately successful solo albums. Valdi Totev and Georgi Markov joined the first Bulgarian supergroup "Стари муцуни"(Old faces). Valdi also released several solo albums, one of which included perhaps the most well-known democracy anthem, "Вдигни очи".
Щурците reunited for their 30th anniversary and made a national tour. A live album with six new songs was released in 1998, simply named "30 години Щурците"(30 years Shturtsite).
In the following years they played occasionally on events such as national holidays and new year's eve.
In 2004 they released a four-part Anthology of their works and played a gig with younger Bulgarian rock bands. It was later released as a DVD, their only one to date.
2007 is the year of Щурците's 40th anniversary and to celebrate the occasion they are going on a grand tour in many European and American cities, as well as a national one. A new studio album, the first in twenty years, was released in 2008. It was called "Na praga na surceto" (On the doorstep of the heart) and was their final release. The band made two final appearances in 2010 to fund the cancer treatment of Peter Gyuzelev. Their final shows were in Pazardzhik and Yambol.
The style of Щурците's music varies. In their early period, as the band own, they were heavily influenced by the beatles' music. In the early years they even made Bulgarian covers of Slade and Kinks songs. In their most productive years, around 1980, they moved towards a harder sound, which can be best described as 'classic rock'. In their last two studio albums the progressive rock influences are prominent.
Щурците had a great impact on Bulgarian cultural life, comparable to that of the Beatles in the UK. Many of their songs are known by heart from three generations of music-lovers.
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