Asanović, Tihomir “Pop”
Povratak prvoj ljubavi & Return to the First Love

  • Format: CD
  • Band: Asanović, Tihomir “Pop”
  • Title: Povratak prvoj ljubavi & Return to the First Love
  • Band's Origin: YU
  • Style: Jazzrock, male & female vocals, English vocals on CD 2
  • Rating: 4
  • Release Year: 2019
  • Recording Year: 2019?
  • Production Year: 2019
  • Record Company: Croatia Records
  • Item's Number: 2CD 6085651
  • Color of the Label:
  • Edition:
  • Extras: fold out covers
  • EAN: 3850126085651
  • Weight: 114 g
  • Visual: new
  • Acoustic:
  • Cover: new

Croatia Records Release Information

43 years have passed since the last solo album of the iconic Tihomir “Pop” Asanović (“Pop” (Priest) from 1976) and 45 years since the album that earned him his cult status “Majko žemljo” (Mother Earth) from 1974), as well as the title of one of the best jazz organists in Europe. Tihomir “Pop” Asanović once again gathered phenomenal musical names and recorded a double album with the symbolic name “Povratak prvoj ljubavi / Return to the First Love”, which was released today for Croatia Records. And his love is music – jazz fusion, a combination of progressive jazz, funk and rock, a signature that is recognized throughout Europe and the world.

In addition to his solo career, Pop’s musical career was also marked by work in the cult bands Time and September and in the band Jugoslovenska Pop Selekcija, while he also contributed as a member of bands, accompanying or as session musician to the legends of our region, Boško Petrović, Josipa Lisac, Pro Arte and many others. He gathered the best domestic musicians, those he met and played with during his career, on a new double studio album consisting of Serbocroatian and English versions of the songs and new Macedonian musical treasures. Tihomir “Pop” Asanović & Friends is the name of the band that worked on all the songs, and apart from Pop, it includes the singer Sabrina Hebiri, the guitarist Jani Moder, the bassist Davor Črnigoj and the drummer David Morgan. Guests on the album are: Vlatko Stefanovski, Dragan Jelić, Radomir “Točak” Mihajlović, Nenad Čanak, Vedran Božić, Primož Grašič, Amir Gwirtzman, Drago V., Aki Rahimovski, Janez Bončina, Vlado Janevski, Karolina Gočeva, Saša Antić, Tone Tuoro and Vinko Mihić. The album was recorded at the Croatia Records studio in Zagreb and the RSL studio in Novi Mesto, Slovenia with the sound engineers Matej Gobec, Goran Martinac and Mauro Širol, and was produced by Duško Mandić. The great cover of the album is decorated with a photo of Pop’s son, Milan Aleksandar Asanović, while the artwork was done by Ivo T. Montin.

From the first presented single “Femme fatale”, through the Macedonian pearl “Ludo momče Makedonče” (Crazy Macedonian Guys) and the new version of the great song of the group September, “Domovino moja” (My Homeland), to the progressive masterpiece “Express Novi Sad”, the album “Povratak prvoj ljubavi / Return to the First Love” is definitely one of the best musical works recorded in the recent years in the domestic music scene. The esteemed Croatian music critic Zlatko Gall was signed as the lyricist of the Serbocroatian versions of the songs, who now found himself on the other side of the pen:

“It was on Pop’s part – an immoral offer. He jumped at me during the morning coffee, which we usually drink in the cafe “Sunce” in Dolac, with a question that was on command: “How about you writing me all the lyrics for the new album? ” As an old fan of his music, one of the old ones who enjoyed “Majko žemljo”- both the album and the concerts – I didn’t hesitate for a moment. The very first encounter with the new material, then still in that elementary state at Pop’s house, while he was playing future compositions, knocked me off my feet. And – to put it briefly – turned me into a songwriter overnight. I hope it’s at least close to the great music that Pop, the excellent soul-jazz singer Sabrina and the genius musicians put on the album.”

Before the official announcement, the album came into the hands of Gall’s pen brothers, the music critics Hrvoje Horvat and Dubravko Jagatić, who did not doubt for a second that it was a unique work that, more than 40 years later, just like its predecessors, would be permanently recorded in our musical history.

“Of all the returns, the return of Tihomir “Pop” Asanović was waited the longest, since 1976. Appropriately, the legendary keyboardist’s new album “Povratak prvoj ljubavi / Return to the First Love” is a real parade and a loud firecracker of keyboardist bravura by the master of his instrument, complete with guest appearances by prestigious musicians that only Pop Asanović could gather in one place. However, in addition to the “who’s who” on the instrumentalist scene of renowned domestic stars, “Povratak prvoj ljubavi / Return to the First Love” brings a masterful performance by the entire ensemble, clear and concise songs to which, in the manner of jazz and funky, the final gloss is given by the great singer Sabrina Hebiri, a new vocal star of great and here proven potential. The only thing that can intrigue us more after the album comeback is the recent concert, with which Pop Asanović will confirm on the “field” the statement that these are people for whom a passionate gig is a natural state of mind, spirit and body.” – Hrvoje Horvat, Večernji List

“This album is full of virtuoso playing and vocal parts because Asanović decided to give everyone their five minutes with which they completed and enriched his songs. A perfect combination and an incredible continuation of his work with the first two albums from about 40 years ago, but in a modern production. Recognizable arrangements and the even more familiar sound of the hammond organ made Tihomir “Pop” Asanović famous, and he plays them on this album as if he had just stepped onto the stage. At the same time, the fact that it took more than 40 years for someone to record such an album with so many virtuosically played moments is incredible.” – Dubravko Jagatić, National

And indeed, there is an incredible energy in Pop’s songs, but also the musical brilliance that seems to have been crouching in him for these four decades, waiting for its dawn. The list of musicians who responded to his invitation is also incredible, which confirms the status and reputation of this pioneer of jazz fusion in our area. All of this was preceded by the publication of remastered reissues of the cult albums “Majko žemljo” and “Pop” on CD and LP, which were best sellers in Croatia for several months according to the official national vinyl sales chart. And the new album will see a vinyl edition as well soon.

Full album:

Femme fatale (official video):

Days of Daze (official video):

Noć u klubu (official video):

Male stvari (official video):

Express Novi Sad (official video):


CD 1 Povratak prvoj ljubavi

1. Femme fatale 5:24
2. Male stvari 3:59
3. Gledaš u mene 4:26
4. Domovino moja 5:13
5. Uvijek možeš se dić’ 3:59
6. Kao Lucy 3:21
7. Ludo momče Makedonče 5:11
8. Poruka 3:20
9. Express Novi Sad 4:29
10. Noć u klubu 5:18

CD 2 Return to the First Love

1. Days of Daze 5:24
2. Little Things 3:59
3. My First and Last 4:25
4. To Mother Earth 5:13
5. Shooting for the Stars 3:58
6. Skywalk 3:21
7. Crazy Macedonian Boy 5:11
8. Message 3:20
9. Express Novi Sad 4:29
10. Night at the Club 5:18