Azra (Croatian rock band)
Azra was a rock band from Zagreb (Croatia) that was popular across Yugoslavia in the 1980s. Azra was formed in 1977 by its frontman Branimir "Johnny" Štulić. The other two members of the original line-up were Mišo Hrnjak (bass) and Boris Leiner (drums). The band is named after a verse from "Der Asra" by Heinrich Heine. They are considered to be one of the most influential bands from the former Yugoslav new wave rock era and the Yugoslav Rock scene in general.
They released their first single in 1979 with songs "Balkan" and "A šta da radim". The first album named Azra was published in 1980 and achieved commercial success and popularized Azra in former Yugoslavia. Azra recorded its last studio album Između krajnosti (Between the Extremes) in 1987. In 1988 the band recorded 4LP live album under the name Zadovoljština (Satisfaction), after which Štulić disbanded the band. Štulić recorded three more solo albums since moving to Netherlands, where he currently lives in seclusion. A 2003 rock documentary, Sretno dijete depicts Azra as the locus of the rock scene in the former Yugoslavia during the 1980s, along with Bijelo dugme. Even today, Azra remains very popular among youth in the countries of former Yugoslavia.
In 1998, the music critics compiled a list of 100 best albums of Yugoslav pop and rock music. Five Azra albums were included, three of them in top 10. On the Radio B92's list of 100 greatest songs of former Yugoslavia, four Azra songs were included, all of them in top 20.