When the twenty-year old guitar playing Michal Pavlícek arrived on the scene in the mid-1970s, he seemed to be a forerunner for a new generation with a broader view on music. Pavlíček still represents a specific type of musician who moves easily about the world's contemporary trends never ceasing to look for new ways of expression. He combines excellent guitar playing with an individual approach as a composer, moving about in rock and fusion as well as symphonic music for theatre and film projects (Pavlíček graduated from the famous Prague Film School).
In 1981 he recorded his debut album as a composer and performer with the trio Hot Breath (guitar, vocals and drums). One year later,with Michael Kocab, he founded the band Prazsky Vyber (Prague Selection), which soon became a legend. The band's first album "Straka v hrsti" (A magpie in the hand), comprised original music, which was hard to define, with elements of new wave and fusion. It was a bizarre caricature of, and reaction to,the political oppression which had became more intense after the foundation of Charter 77, an opposition movement, which many artists,writers and musicians associated with.
Two years later Prazsky Vyber was blacklisted and its debut album could not be released until 1988, the period of Perestrojka. Nevertheless, thousands of illegal copies on cassette circulated secretly among the band's fans as a sort of relic. After the collapse of the communist rule, critics awarded it with the title, "Second best album of the past thirty years." Pavlicek's role in Pražský Výběr was of no small importance - he composed and arranged a great deal of the music, he performed on lead guitar, as well as playing bass on several scores, sang and had his share of lyric writing. Pražský výběr became one of the symbols of the resistance to the totalitarian regime. Unlike the majority of other underground bands it not only sent out a very powerful message in the lyrics but also performed at a very high musical level keeping steadily at the head of modern fusion rock.
During the forced four year break, when Pražský Výběr and the members were individually blacklisted, Michal Pavlíček privately worked on various other projects. Among other things, he worked together with the singer, Zuzana Michnová, on a highly praised album called Rány (Wounds). When the ban on the individual members of Pražský Výběr was partly lifted in 1986, due to the arrival of glasnost, Pavlíček founded the band Stromboli which reflected his musical development to that date. The first quarter of Stromboli's double album is made up of live guitar recordings of his own, the following two parts include the band's essential repertoire made up of the unusual vocals of Bára Basiková with poems by Christian Morgenstern set to music, and the remaining quarter is a mixture of rock songs sung by various singers. Stromboli is Pavlíček's musical reflection - a crucial album disclosing the very basis of his work. Later, after recording the album Shutdown, in English, Stromboli, Pavlíček and Basiková went their own ways.
In 1987 Pražský Výběr made a long awaited comeback which was documented by its very successful second album, recorded after the comeback tour and paradoxically released before the first album. The shooting of a feature film on the band´s unusual history started in early 1989 - but the crazy movie called Pražákům, těm je tu hej (The Pragers Are in Clover) was completed only after the "Velvet Revolution", in which Pavlíček's partner Michael Kocáb played a significant part. As one of Havel´s main advisers and a member of Parliament, Kocáb helped organise the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia in the fastest pull-out operation of all of the former Soviet satellite states. To celebrate this significant event, Pražský výběr launched a tour whose climax was a huge concert called Adieu CA (Adieu Soviet Army), which was attended by President Havel, a dedicated fan of the group, and had a guest performance by Frank Zappa.
Pavlíček also engaged in various projects as a composer. His name appears in the credits of many short and feature-length films (eg. director Smyczek's Proč (Why) about soccer hooligans). He composed and recorded, with well-known contrabassist Miroslav Vitouš, the music for the ballet The Minotaur, based on a story by Friedrich Durrenmatt and performed by the Laterna Magika theatre company (1989) and a year later he finished experimental music for the ballet Zvláštní radost žít (The strange pleasure of living) for the National Slovak theatre. Both projects are on CD. In the same year he released an album of improvisational music with Michal Kocáb, Černé světlo (Black light). He also composed the performance music for the World Exhibition Expo 1992 in Seville (CD Imagination).
1993 saw the release of the first album by the instrumental trio Big Heads. Headed by Pavlíček it was an interesting composition of fusion built around Pavlíček´s gifts as a composer and outstanding guitarist. In 1994 he finished the music for a six part television play "The End of the Great Vacation". The soundtrack is evidence of his development as an authentic symphonic composer. He was involved in two albums of the poprock ensemble B.S.P. - one of the albums made it to the Top Twenty and his song Země vzdálená (A Distant Land) became one of the most successful Czech hits of the 1990s. Pavlíček also composed, in co-operation with Tadun, and produced an album for singer Monika Načeva entitled Možnosti tu sou, 1995 (There are possibilities) where Pavlíček, Načeva and Tadun put to music the poems of the Czech underground writer Jáchym Topol.
Since 1995 he has presented his own television show called Na Kloboučku where prominent personalities of the Czech rock and jazz scene appear in live sessions. Pražský Výběr was revived in 1996. Its complete discography was released and the band launched a major national tour - it sold out Prague's largest indoor stadium, a unique event in Czech rock history.
Michal Pavlíček, admired guitar virtuoso, composer of unusual musical tricks yet also introvert rock opuses and impressive ballads, possessor of an original imagination, sought-after producer and mentor to many young musicians is a generally well-respected personality; a fact well proven by the number of awards bestowed on him by professional critics. He is still developing and expanding his talents end bit by bit one can see the makings of an outstanding composer of symphonies and music for ballets as well a continuing career as a rock musician.