Meeting Karlo – development and formation (1970s and 1980s)

“Happiness… What is happiness, now I know – it is every meeting with him”
Her acquaintance, friendship and love with the popular rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter Karlo Metikoš completely encompassed her music and life. Metikoš’s experience and powerful authorial personality shaped Josipa Lisac into a unique artist and woman.

josipa20Their first joint album from 1973, Diary of a Love (Dnevnik jedne ljubavi), is still one of the best conceptual rock creations and anthologies of Croatian music. The song which begins the album, “About a youth” (“O jednoj mladosti”), is, moreover, one of Croatia’s most famous songs. In the year which marked the 40th anniversary of the album’s release (2013) Siniša Škarica pinpointed this as the moment when our rock music reached a par with the best music of the time. On the fortieth birthday of Diary of a Love Croatia Records released a limited-edition version of the album on white vinyl, and awarded Josipa Special recognition for outstanding contribution to the Croatian music scene. Two years later, in 2015, Josipa Lisac, Karlo Metikoš and Ivica Krajač were awarded the Porin for exceptional achievement in Croatian music.

Josipa Lisac confirmed her multifaceted talent with the remarkable and demanding role of the girl Jana, in the first Croatian rock opera (and fifth in the world), written by Ivica Krajač, Karlo Metikoš and Miljenko Prohaska ‒ Gubec Beg. The opera premiered in 1975, and ran for 212 performances, and toured not only the whole of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia but also Trieste, Rome, St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and Budapest. In total Gubec Beg was seen by almost half a million people. The most famous and most performed aria from the rock opera became “Ave Maria”, which today is still an indispensable part of Josipa’s concert repertoire.

In 1976 a jazz album was also released, entitled Josipa Lisac & B.P. Convention Big Band International. This so-called “White vinyl” was recorded with big names from the world of jazz – Ernie Wilkins, Clark Terry and Gianni Basso ‒ and was produced by Boško Petrović and Karlo Metikoš. After this Josipa went to the US with Karlo for three years, where she recorded and collaborated with world-class American musicians: Ira Newborn, Paulinho da Costa, Joel Peskin and others. The result of this collaboration was the album Made in USA, recorded in 1979 in Croatian and English in Studio 55 in Los Angeles and Sounds Good Recordings.

On her return to her homeland she appeared in two American films: Wallenberg: A Hero’s Story with Richard Chamberlain and The Dirty Dozen. Invitations followed for theatre performances and many concert tours and recordings. She won, on multiple occasions, the awards “Vocalist of the Year”, “Singer of the Year”, the recording industry award Porin and numerous others. In 1996 she was honoured with the Order of Danice hrvatske with the likeness of Marko Marulić for special service to culture.

Josipa and Karlo released around ten albums together. Apart from the authorial and production hallmarks of Karlo Metikoš, the albums were dominated by lyrics by Ivica Krajač or Alka Vuica.

In the early 1980s Josipa got closer to a pop sound with a string of albums: Whim, whim, whim (Hir, hir, hir) (1980), The Fox (Lisica) (1982) and I only want you (Hoću samo tebe) (1983), and the decade was rounded off with the very successful record Goddess (Boginja) (1987), created in collaboration with Krešimir Klemenčić (writer of most of the songs, producer and arranger). In the 80s she had hits with “The fog” (“Magla”), “The daredevil” (“Hazarder”), “Today I’m crazy” (“Danas sam luda”), “Where the Danube kisses the sky” (“Gdje Dunav ljubi nebo”), “The queen of the wilderness” (“Kraljica divljine”), “I am lovesick” (“Ja bolujem”)

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