Turbo (Polish band)Turbo is a Polish heavy metal band. It was started in January 1980, in Poznań, by Henryk Tomczak (formerly in Stress and Heam, both pioneering Polish hard rock groups). Turbo has been described as one of the most important bands in Polish heavy metal. Turbo's most famous album is Kawaleria Szatana (Satan's Cavalry), considered an opus of Polish heavy metal. The band is best known for the tracks "Dorosłe Dzieci", "Jaki był ten dzień", "Żołnierz fortuny" and "Wszystko będzie ok".
1980–1989The first line-up was Wojciech Hoffmann (guitar), Wojciech Anioła (drums) and Wojciech Sowula (vocals). Soon a single was released, the tracks being "W środku tej ciszy" ("Deep in the Silence") and "Byłem z tobą tyle lat" ("So many years with you"). The band's style then was very much like 1970s or early 1980s hard rock. In November 1980, the singer left and was replaced by Piotr Krystek. New tracks were recorded and frequently played on the radio. Soon more line-up changes came, the original founder and bass guitarist left. 16-year-old Piotr Przybylski took his place. Andrzej Łysów joined as second guitarist and the singer was changed once again. Since then Turbo's vocals have been by Grzegorz Kupczyk, one of the most famous Polish heavy metal singers, sometimes compared to Bruce Dickinson.
In 1983, the first LP was released, entitled Dorosłe dzieci (Grown-up Children). Its music is a blend of traditional hard rock and NWOBHM. The title track has become a hit and the most recognizable Turbo song. With the LP recorded, the group played extensively, including at Rockowisko in Łódź and the famous Jarocin festival. Despite the success, the line-up continued to change: successive drummers were Marek Olszak, Ryszard Oleksy and Przemysław Pahl. Finally, the drummer's place was taken by Alan Sors. Piotr Przybylski (bass guitar) left and was replaced Bogusz Rutkiewicz.
Apart from problems with the line-up, the band had other difficulties to address. The record company insisted on softening the band's sound and recording more 'catchy' tracks. Wojciech Hoffman later called that "a time of mistakes and distortion". In 1985, a compromise, softened LP, Smak ciszy (The Taste of Silence), was recorded. Despite the sound being relatively soft, the riffing resembles Iron Maiden and the vocals give the music more heaviness. The charting songs were "Smak Ciszy" and "Jaki był ten dzień" ("How That Day Was").
A year later, Turbo recorded an LP that became one of the best Polish heavy metal albums of all time – Kawaleria Szatana (Satan's Cavalry). Heavy riffing, Iron Maiden-like soloing and lyrics dealing with typically 'heavy' themes such as death, war and pain, completely changed the band's image. The LP was very successful and is still considered to be the group's greatest effort. After the release Turbo collaborated with Metal Mind Records, which enabled then to play at the Metalmania festival.
In 1987, the band recorded another LP, Ostatni wojownik (Last Warrior. An English-language version was released in Europe a year later). It was the first album for the new drummer, Tomasz Goehs. The band's style hardened even more, influenced by early Metallica, as did the lyrics, even darker than before. In 1988, the first live recording, Alive!, was released, containing material recorded at gigs on 12 December 1986 and 3 March 1987.
With 1989 came several changes in the line-up – Bogusz Rutkiewicz quit, Andrzej Łysów took bass instead of guitar, and as the new guitarist came from Acid Drinkers Robert "Litza" Friedrich. Influenced by Anthrax, Flotsam and Jetsam and Wolf Spider the musicians recorded Epidemie (later English edition, Epidemic), a highly technical thrash album.
In 1990 a break-up occurred, when Grzegorz Kupczyk and Andrzej Łysów quit the band. Tomasz Olszewski joined on bass, and the new singer was Robert "Litza" Friedrich. This line-up went on, creating Dead End which resembles somewhat of death metal vocals, but the songs' structures are still thrash. The break-up and lack of concerts would cause the band's inactivity. A compilation of 1980–1990 songs was released, containing tracks unreleased before.
Wojciech Hoffman tried to form a new line-up in 1992, releasing One Way (tapes only), but the effort turned out to be a commercial loss and Turbo finally ceased.
The following years, several compilation albums were released – in 1992 Titanic, with unreleased songs from the 'softened times', and a year later Dorosłe Dzieci i inne ballady (Grown-up Children and other ballads) – a collection of all Turbo ballads.
In 1995 Turbo played at a gig in Poznań, the line-up being Wojciech Hoffmann, Grzegorz Kupczyk, Bogusz Rutkiewicz together with Marcin Białożyk – guitar and Szymon Ziomkowski – drums. The applause caused the group to reform, and 1 January 1996 Turbo regrouped. In 1997 another compilation was released, this time entitled Intro: 1982–1996, composed of most popular songs. In 1999 Metal Mind Records released a Turbo discography on CD. The band played at Thrash'em All and Metalmania festivals.
2000–presentIn 2000, a remastered version of Titanic was released, called Remix '92. On 20 January 2000, Turbo played at a gig celebrating Grzegorz Kupczyk's 25 years on stage. The gig was released as a CD, 20012000.
In 2001, after a ten-year break, another LP was released. Awatar (The Avatar) was an experimental, new-sound album, influenced by modern hard rock. The experiments were disapproved of by the heavy metal diehards, who rated the album very low. The line-up formed was Hoffmann, Kupczyk i Rutkiewicz and Mariusz Bobkowski (drums).
In 2004, Turbo returned with Wojciech Hoffmann, Grzegorz Kupczyk, Bogusz Rutkiewicz and Tomek Krzyżaniak (drums) and Dominik Jokiel (guitar). The Tożsamość (Identity) LP was released, a return to pure heavy metal. The diehard public considered it to be an excellent come back, while others claimed the group was repetitive. In 2005, a limited edition of Tożsamość together with Akustycznie (a record of the acoustic performance XII 2003) was released. The band went to Metalmania and released the gig as a live DVD.
Because of unresolved problems with the record company, and a bad music market situation, the band ceased once again. Wojciech Hoffman began a solo career, Grzegorz Kupczyk worked with his band , and Bogusz Rutkiewicz joined Gotham.
In March and April 2007, the group took part in the Metal Marathon Tour 3 with Chainsaw, Turbo's first tour since 2001.
In 2009, Metal Mind Productions released remastered versions of all Turbo albums, including One Way. Also in 2009, Turbo released a new album (Strażnik Światła) with a new member, Tomasz Struszczyk, on vocals. On this album, the band returned to the classic heavy metal music style.