Spot on Bulgarian Music: When the ‘Sofia Orchestra’ felt the force

Written by on December 29, 2017 in Leisure - Comments Off on Spot on Bulgarian Music: When the ‘Sofia Orchestra’ felt the force

In communist Bulgaria, musicians were told what to play and what not to play. Those who did not give a damn what kind of music the regime wanted people to hear, were threatened.

But someone with decision power, possibly at the Ministry of Culture, must have given The Sofia Orchestra permission to funk things up a little in 1980. Dimitar Simeonov, Georgi Borissov, Todor Karapetkov and four more musicians were part of that band, some 37 years ago.

Their tune “С теб е бил той” (“You Are the One He Was With”) was actually composed and performed in the “decadent, imperialist” West, under a different title.

The Real Thing was the most successful and one of the most brilliant Soul and Funk acts in the United Kingdom during the 1970-s. In 1979, they released their single “Can You Feel the Force?”, a Jazz-Funk tune with a great horn section, a killer intro, off-beats and a lot of energy.

“С теб е бил той” was an intended copy, or, to be more polite, an interpretation of “Can You Feel the Force?”, released on the state-owned “Balkanton” label. But, copy or not, The Sofia Orchestra must have made people dance. Funky Bulgaria in 1980? To a certain extent, yes.

The Sofia Orchestra, “С теб е бил той” (listen to Youtube file):

The Real Thing “Can You Feel the Force?” (the original, listen to Youtube file):





About the Author

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. Please click to support our advertisers!