God Bless, one of Indonesia's most consistent and influential rock bands, have accumulated an army of followers – over different generations, too. Founding member Ahmad Albar has presided over a band that first formed in 1973, and has released several popular albums since their eponymous debut in 1975.
To save you the trouble of sifting through piles of 70s progressive rock in dusty second-hand shops we've compiled some of the band's most eye-catching moments which can be easily tapped into via the wonders of YouTube.
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, the title track of their third album, released in 1988. There are no actual visuals, but the music is strong enough to speak volumes. The riffing guitars punch out a strident melody, while the echoing vocals, together with backing harmonies, take the song to new heights. There is excellent keyboard accompaniment as well. At 3:11 the lead guitar hits some fluent licks – typical with a lot of 80s guitar music elsewhere in the world, it was aimed as much at pop audiences as the ‘serious rock fan'.
Ahmad Albar, Godbless, Gong 2000
showcase the music's trademark blend of dynamic instrumentation with upbeat, melodic rock. The driving guitars and full-on vocals carry the song along nicely, while the keyboard in the background, especially at 3:00, produces some menacingly deep bass chords. The chorus is infectiously catchy, and no-one could possibly listen to this joyous music without feeling their feet starting to tap along.
This is a slightly more progressive track than the former two videos. It is heavily keyboard and guitar-orientated, with some powerful licks and hammer-ons bursting through the Marshall stacks within the first two minutes. At 2:11 the song breaks down into an instrumental ‘middle eight' where the guitarist really gets to showcase his perfect command of his fretboard, as he scales up and down, reaching screeching high notes that carry the rest of the song. The longer the melody progresses, the more insistent these breaks become, until a key change launches the tune towards a powerful climax.
Maret 89/ayat setan romika
This features a montage of stills of the band, set against a particularly grinding hard rock tune. The guitar skills are exemplary – around 2:20 a solo kicks in, that by 2:40 merges with a dexterous keyboard solo. The main riff that keeps recurring in the song puts the listener in mind of some stadium band like Guns n' Roses at the peak of their swaggering fame. Indeed, the choruses are just crying out to be repeated back at the band by an arena packed with adoring fans.
Accompanying the music are various stills of gigs, ranging from close-ups of the Marshall stacks that produce such a fabulous rock n'roll noise, to shots of the many festivals the band have played at.
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. It is a slow, heartfelt ballad, full of flowing acoustic guitar lines and plaintive lead guitar carrying the tuneful melody, before splitting into harmonizing parts. The vocals are particularly strong, with choir-like multi voices being applied during the powerful choruses.