The Ultimate Guide to the Hungarian Music Scene – 48 Bands and Musicians You Need to Hear


Hungarian Music after the Transition – The 90s


Kispál és a Borz



Our pick: Ha az életben (released 1998)


Because: It’s about how nothing will ever be the same once you truly grow up.


Genre: alternative rock


Years active: 1987–2010


Summary:  Although the band retired in 2010, Kispál és a Borz is still considered as one of the most influential Hungarian alternative bands. They just found the right combination of simple but catchy song structures and good lyrics about everyday life.


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Vágtázó Halottkémek (sometimes called VHK)



Our pick: Végzetes Szerelem (released 1997)


Because: The slow development of the verses leads to a true orgasm of sound and emotions.


Genre:  shaman punk, ethno punk, psychedelic hardcore


Years active: 1975 – 2001, 2009, 2013 – present


Summary: VHK’s music is difficult to pigeonhole. “Shamanistic ethno” and “magic folk” would probably come closest to describing them. Because of their uniquely wild and melodic style, their ecstatic concerts and their unmatched spiritual characteristics they gained a great deal of recognition, even abroad. VHK are definitely one of the Hungarian living legendary rock bands.


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Korai Öröm



Our pick: 1. (released 1997)


Because: Wild, weird and psychedelic. And even a bit jazzy.


Genre:  progressive rock, psychedelic rock, world music


Years active: 1990 – present


Summary: Although Korai Öröm is very difficult to pin down since their very special and unique sound which could vaguely be described as ambient, urban folk , psychedelic ethno world music. The following quote put it straight: “Korai Öröm combines the voices of many people and galaxies in their music.” 🙂


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Our pick: Afrika (released 1994)


Because: It’s a real party-anthem of the nineties and everybody can sing the chorus.


Genre:  new wave, pop rock


Years active: 1981 – present


Summary: Kft is known for their ironic and often absurd lyrics. The above song “Afrika” is (although not entirely politically correct) an excellent example for that. And it’s a true classic of the Hungarian popculture.


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Our pick: A 67-es Ùt (released 1994)


Because: It brings up late summer-night memories.


Genre:  rock, folk rock, pop rock


Years active: 1990 – present


Summary: A good mixture of folk, pop and rock with influences of the 60s and 70s provided them great popularity and even the honorary title of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (A Magyar Érdemrend tisztikeresztje).


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Our pick: Mielőtt elmegyek (released 1993)


Because: Like it or loath it, no Hungarian music list is complete without this iconic breakup song.


Genre:  rock, hard rock, alternatív pop/rock


Years active: 1982 – 1992, 1997 – present


Summary: An iconic rock band founded by Feró Nagy, the unofficial godfather of Hungarian rock music. Their early lyrics often carried hidden messages agains the communist oppression.


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Our pick: 8 óra munka(released 1991)


Because: It will successfully make you hate your working hours even more.


Genre: rock, punk rock


Years active: 1969–1978, 1978–1981, 1987–present


Summary: The previous band of Feró Nagy. After several break-ups and reunions, Beatrice is still alive and kicking today and pleases with punk-rock uniquely combined with folk elements.


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Next Page – Hungarian Music during Late Socialism – The 80s



4 replies
  1. Joyce says:

    Could you post the names of the songs in the Muzsikás video? I know the first one is “Nem úgy van most mint volt régen.” And I know the last song, “Betyárnóta.” I would love to know what the 2nd, 3rd and 4th songs are. Thank you!

    • catchbudapest says:

      Hi Joyce,

      the songs in the Muzsikás video are:

      00:00 Nem úgy van most mint volt régen
      04:37 Adjon Isten minden jót
      07:51 Tudod-e édesem
      11:59 Vonat
      15:33 Hulljatok levelek

      Enjoy 🙂

      • Joyce says:

        Thank you! I realized after I posted that the last one wasn’t Betyárnótá. That was another Muzsikás song that I learned at the same time.

  2. Mick O’Donnell says:

    Hello there, I remember the guys from a band called Garazs in 1984. They were very welcoming and friendly but sadly I can’t remember their names. I was visiting as a young music and political radio journalist from Australia.


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