Oliver Mandić (Оливер Мандић, born July 13, 1953 in Titovo Užice, Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia) is a Serbian pop musician, composer, and producer - very prominent and popular throughout the 1980s.
Musically involved from a young age, he first started playing the accordion before taking up the piano. In his early youth, Mandić's family moved to the capital Belgrade where he pursued a career of a pianist after getting accepted at highly reputable Kornelije Stanković musical high school. However, despite a lot of promise, he left school in 1969 to try to branch out into pop music.
When he debuted on the scene as an underage instrumentalist in the early 1970s, most observers considered him somewhat of a wunderkind. His wealth of formal musical education combined with his tender age certainly made Mandić stand out on the Yugoslav pop scene, which at the time mostly consisted of amateurs and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.
Towards the end of 1971 he started playing in a jazz-rock band called Oliver with members of Pop mašina along with Dušan Prelević on vocal. The group performed only once - January 2, 1972 at Hala sportova. Mandić then played with Pop mašina couple of times, and was in talks to join YU grupa and Time, but neither transfer took place.
Around the same time, he took part in his first studio recording (made with Dušan Prelević): single "Tajna" / "Prošlo je sve".
Mandić's next notable outing came during the 1976 BOOM festival at Tašmajdan Stadium where he led the especially assembled group called Oliverova beogradska reprezentacija. The ad-hoc band included some notable musicians of the time: bassist Robert Nemeček, guitarist Zoran Božinović, drummer Lazar Tošić, trumpet player Stjepko Gut, and saxophonists Jovan Maljoković and Ivan Švager. That gig brought Mandić his first eccentric episode in public, something he would become known for later on, as he smashed his synthesizer on stage and walked out in the middle of performing unhappy with the level of commitment his fellow musicians were putting forth.
Mandić's solo performing career began almost by chance in 1978 with "Ljuljaj me nežno" single. He composed that song, with text supplied by Marina Tucaković, for singer Maja Odžaklijevska, but since she failed to show up in Split studio 'Tetrapak' for a booked recording session, Mandić was persuaded by producer Enco Lesić to record it himself.
The material was released the same year as a 2-side single "Ljuljaj me nežno" / "Šuma" by PGP RTB, garnering positive reactions both commercially and critically. A year later, Mandić put out another successful single release with "Sutra imam prazan stan" and effective ballad "Osloni se na mene", cementing his place on the scene.
Zdravko Čolić came calling next, inviting Mandić as guest on his country-wide tour that included stadiums and sports arenas. Mandić's part in the show consisted of coming out in the middle of Čolić's performance and doing only "Ljuljaj me nežno", which had by that time become a sizable hit.
In 1979 he wrote and recorded a track "Cvećke i zloće", which was included in Goran Marković's movie Nacionalna klasa.
 Probaj me
Mandić then took some time off to concentrate on his debut Probaj me album which came out in 1980, featuring hits "Samo nebo zna (Poludeću)", and a re-recording of "Osloni se na mene". The record was promoted somewhat unconventionally - through TV show Beograd noću ('Belgrade by Night') directed by Stanko Crnobrnja. The ambitiously avantgarde programme even won Rose d'Or (Golden Rose) award at the 1981 Montreux TV festival. Mandić's controversial image on the show, created by conceptual artist Kosta Bunuševac, raised quite a public furor due to the singer's cross-dressing and aggressive makeup. It was noted at the time that a viewer from Zemun smashed his TV set at the sight of Mandić in high heels and tight mini-skirt.
 Zbog tebe bih tucao kamen
In 1982, second album Zbog tebe bih tucao kamen came out, delivering a new batch of hits: "Smejem se, a plakao bih", "Neverne bebe", and controversial disco track "Sve su seke jebene" (using motives from Crven ban, book of erotic folk poetry collected by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić). Recorded in Switzerland and produced by Mandić and Peter Taggart, the album features Nenad Stefanović on bass, Điđi Jankelić on drums, Srđan Miodragović on guitar, Laza Ristovski on organ, Mića Marković on saxophone, Stjepko Gut on trumpet, while Bebi Dol provided the backing vocals. In addition to singing, Mandić played the acoustic and electric piano.
In the mid-1980s Mandić incorporated slight folk elements into his sound. In late 1984 he won top prize at the inaugural MESAM festival with the folkish sounding "Pitaju me pitaju, oko moje" written by Marina Tucaković.
 Dođe mi da vrisnem tvoje ime
Next year in 1985, he triumphed at the same festival again with another folkish track "Pomagajte drugovi". He used the widely publicized festival appearance to promote his third album Dođe mi da vrisnem tvoje ime, produced again by Peter Taggart. In addition to the title track, the album brought further hits that flirt with folk like "Bobane", etc.
For all intents and purposes, this is when Mandić's solo recording career ended, at least in the classic album-tour-album sense, as he began keeping a noticeably lower profile on the pop scene. He got an executive job at the PGP RTB record label, where he stayed for most of 1986 and 1987, before releasing a greatest hits compilation Sve najbolje that marked the 10th anniversary of his solo career. The same year, 1987, saw Mandić team up with Nikša Bratoš to produce Boris Novković's second album Jači od sudbine, which sold very well. Mandić also received an offer to produce the band Plavi orkestar's second album Smrt fašizmu, but turned it down.
For the remainder of the decade Mandić recorded an album of children's music (Deca bez adrese) with popular children's entertainer and TV personality Branko Kockica, and in 1989 he again collaborated with his old friend Dušan Prelević who wrote a screenplay for the movie Poslednji krug u Monci. Mandić recorded the movie's title track "Odlazim, a volim te", which became a sizable commercial hit. The song, along with some other material that Mandić used in the movie, all came from the recordings he made with different musicians such as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Pat Metheny while staying in the United States during the late 1980s.
 1990s and 2000s
The beginning of the new decade saw Mandić appear with Marina Perazić on the Jugoton-released 12-track various artists collection of duets called 12 popularnih dueta - udvoje je najljepse. Their track, recorded some years earlier, was "Mandarina i banana".
Around a year later, towards the end of 1991, he took part in an interesting project - becoming in essence an extended member of Riblja čorba. The idea was to include Mandić in the creative process of the band's planned farewell album Labudova pesma by having him write and compose half of the songs, and later, upon its release, tour as their keyboards player. The material was recorded in Vienna, but as it was being prepared for wide release a huge row erupted between Mandić and Bora Đorđević. As a result, Mandić demanded that all his tracks be removed, and even obtained a court-ordered junction prohibiting their release. In the end, the album's released version contained only eight tracks - half of the originally planned number, and it also ended up not being Čorba's last as they soon changed their minds, deciding to continue playing and recording. On the other hand, raw studio versions of Mandić's unreleased tracks have since then become rare and valuable collecter's items.
Over the next period Mandić placed music on the back-burner completely, choosing to live off releasing greatest hits compilations. First Smejem se a plakao bih in 1993 which sold surprisingly well in the hyperinflation-ridden FR Yugoslavia, followed by The Best of in 1994, which included the previously never officially released, although already widely played hit track "Odlazim, a volim te".
He then composed a couple of songs for his friend Arkan's new girlfriend and later bride Ceca, including the Marina Tucaković-written "Lavlje srce", and even appeared as guest at her Hala Pionir concert in 1994 along with Knez, Željko Šašić and Mira Škorić.
In 1997 Mandić finally ventured back into music, recording the album Kad ljubav ubije. In addition to the material he recorded in the United States during his late-1980s stay, it featured fresh music with Freddie Hubbard, Vlatko Stefanovski, Bebi Dol, and Radomir Mihajlović Točak among the guests. However, the material was never released due to never fully explained reasons. Initially, Mandić was not satisfied with the financial terms and promotional commitment record companies were offering, but after some time the whole thing fell into oblivion and the material is still unreleased. The material is currently owned by Maksa Ćatović's Komuna record label, and in early 2008 he indicated that they might release it.
Coming years brought more musical inactivity for Mandić, only briefly interrupted in 2002 when City Records decided to re-release the 1994's Best of compilation with a bonus track - previously unheard and unreleased "Ako lažem tu me seci". After almost fifteen years, Mandić even shot a video to accompany the song, appearing in traditional Serbian attire with Ksenija Pajčin as dancing eye candy. The song failed to make much of a splash in Serbia.
In early 2008, Mandić made another partial comeback with a song "Vreme za ljubav ističe" featuring Ceca. The song was already recorded during the 1995-1996 period for Mandić's eventually unreleased album Kad ljubav ubije. For his latest comeback, Mandić originally wanted to come up with a brand new song, but in the end decided to use the updated version of the unreleased track - the only difference being that Ceca now appears in the re-recorded chorus line. Promoting the release of "Vreme za ljubav ističe" on January 24, 2008 in Belgrade's Ruski car restaurant, Mandić made it clear that this does not mean he's returning to a full singing career that ended in 1985. Among other things he also touched on the unreleased album: "I've got people like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Freddie Hubbard, and Michael Baker playing on that album - the absolute cream of the crop in the world of jazz - however I can't make any dough with them. The only person I can do that with is Ceca".Fortunately, we've found some rapidshare links that you might find useful:
1978 – Ljuljaj me nezno / Šuma (PGP RTB)
1978 – Sutra imam prazan stan / Osloni se na mene (PGP RTB)
1981 – Probaj me (PGPT RTB)
1982 – Zbog tebe bih tucao kamen (Jugoton)
1985 – Dodje mi da vrisnem tvoje ime (Jugoton)
1997 - Kad ljubav ubije (jos uvek ne izdat)
2002 - Ako lazem tu me seci (singl)