Edda Művek is a highly successful Hungarian rock band formed in 1973 under the name "Griff". The word "művek" (works) symbolizes the band originally starting off its career in Miskolc, a typical Central European industrial city also dubbed as "Steel City"
Edda's catchy, melodic rock tunes and touching ballads focus primarily on the social and emotional life of youth, love, sexuality, cultural identity, politics and predicaments of a society faced with uncertain economic times. The band performs more than one hundred shows annually throughout Hungary and surrounding Hungarian communities around the Carpathian Basin. However, the energetic and inventive musicianship that EDDA's known for, is best reflected through their dynamic live performances.
The band was formed in 1973 in the city of Miskolc, Hungary by founding member, Jozsef Halász. Halász was attending university at the time the city organized a large-scale, local rock festival. Having been inspired by the event, Halász decided to form his own rock group, recruiting several friends as musicians. Initially performing under the name Griff, the band eventually switched to Edda (taken from the title of books of prose and poetry of Old Norse mythologies) several months later. With regular performances at the campus club of the University of Miskolc, Edda's popularity gradually grew. In order to get positive crowd response, the band's regular set lists were mainly composed of international pop hits.
Due to the pursuit of academic studies, members often left resulting in frequent lineup changes within the band; an ongoing trend that would continue throughout the 1980s and 90's resulting in high turnover rate in membership. Lead vocalist, Zoltán Zsiga was replaced with Attila Fodor who was eventually succeeded by current band leader, Attila Pataky. Pataky was the only member who's intent to pursue music as a full-time career, aimed to vigorously elevate the band to a professional level. Jozsef Halász decided to relocate to the city of Zalaegerszeg, granting the rights to the name "Edda" to Pataky. (As band leader, Pataky would shortly rename the band form "Edda" to "Edda Művek") Halász's position on drums was temporarily filled by József Szepcsik who unexpectedly died from a severe illness in 1977 prompting Pataky to ask Halász to rejoin the group. Misfortune struck yet again as Halász, shortly after his return, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, eventually passing away in 1980.
1977 arrived and with the intent to shape Edda Művek into a prominent rock band, Pataky recruited accomplished musicians from around Miskolc, including a new song-writing partner and lead guitarist, Istvan Slamovits. They decided to conquer the Hungarian music scene, a feat that was extremely difficult for any musical act originating outside of Budapest during the 1970s.
The classic Edda:
The band's Budapest debut performance took place in 1979. The first show was a flop (with only 178 viewers), yet their popularity grew quickly across the country. The band recorded its first single (Minden Sarkon Álltam Már / Álom) in 1979, and the eponymous debut album: "Edda Művek 1." the following year. The release is currently a certified diamond disc in Hungary, with more than 500,000 units sold. Many of the songs on the landmark debut also became popular hits. The success continued as the band made an appearance in the movie "Ballagás", also featuring their own soundtrack. Edda Művek continued performing and composing new music, however tensions between members were escalating. Alfonz Barta left for Switzerland never to return and there were further replacements among musicians with bass guitarist and drummer positions changing. In 1983, continuing internal conflicts within the band, differences between Pataky and Slamovits led to the disbanding of Edda Művek. The group performed an emotionally charged farewell concert in Miskolc on December 17, 1983. The performance was recorded live and would ultimately become the band's fourth and final release.
Forming a new band:
After a two year hiatus, Pataky decided to revive Edda Művek. He left for Norway with László Fortuna (the only other band member from the original Edda lineup), Péter Csomós, and Endre Csillag in 1984. The band performed clubs in the evening, and wrote new material during the day. In 1985, Pataky and Fortuna returned to Hungary and restarted Edda Művek with hired musicians from Budapest. The comeback performance, highly anticipated by fans, turned out to be a success. Similarly to the band's final show, this comeback event was recorded and released as the band's 5th album, with a track list featuring entirely new material recorded live. After additional lineup changes through the years following, Edda finally formed a stable roster in 1988. Engaging in a vigorous touring schedule the band played numerous venues and some unusual places that included a steel factory and correctional facilities. In 1991, Péter Kun replaced lead guitarist István Alapi who briefly left for Canada. Sadly, after only a brief period with the band, Kun died in a tragic motorcycle accident in 1993. The band held numerous memorial concerts to the many fans overcome with shock and grief over the passing of the young, talented guitarist. At the request of Pataky, István Alapi rejoined the band.
The last member change occurred in 1997 with drummer, Zoltán Hetényi replacing Tibor Donászy. In 1998 the band released their first English language album, "Fire and Rain". Presently, the band releases original studio material every three to four years, while maintaining a busy tour schedule. The band regularly holds special concert events commemorating significant turning points of its career. The release of their classic, self-titled debut album in 1980 earned national recognition and breakthrough for Edda Művek, establishing the band as a professional musical outfit. The special Birthday Party events organized by the band every five years therefore, commemorate 1980 as the band's official start. Occasionally, past members of Edda's classic line-up (1980-1984 era) also make guest appearances and perform alongside the band, an indication of Pataky's reconciliation with old band mates over the years.
Old Edda (1973-1978):
Zoltán Zsiga (vocal) 1973,
István Darázs (vocal) 1973-1974,
Fodor Attila (vocal) 1974 (†2006),
Attila Pataky (vocal) 1974-,
József Halász (drums) 1973-1977 (†1980),
József Szepcsik (drums) 1977-1978 (†1978),
Zoltán Ferenczi (guitar) 1973-1977,
Katalin Beély (bass guitar) 1973-1977,
Zoltán Fancsik (keyboards) 1974-1975,
Classic Edda (1978-1983):
New Edda (1984-):
In 1985, Pataky and Fortuna were the only core members of Edda Művek with the other musicians being hired personnel. Following the success of the band's reformation, Pataky decided on hiring professional, permanent members. For a brief period in 1987, Alapi and Csillag both performed together as guitarists. Shortly after Csillag decided to go to Austria.