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Russian Rocks Too (part 5)

3: 1980--1991

By 1979, it's become apparent that sticking to art and progressive rock traditions has become a creative dead finish for Soviet rock. The arrival of punk rock was initially failed to received with enthusiasm by the Soviet rock community. Soviet rock musicians had no tradition of taking part in loud, dissonant, ‘dirty’ music not primarily based on engaging melodies. They were still enamored of a ‘clean’ sound, melodic tunes and elaborate arrangements, and striving for a chic musical palette. The liberating power of punk wasn't evident to them initially.

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Andrey Panov aka Svin

With some exceptions, punk rock as such wasn't picked up within the Soviet Union and Russia. There have been only a few punk bands. Leningrad punk rocker Svin (Swine) -- aka Andrey Panov -- and his Sex Pistols-like -- though way less energetic -- band Avtomaticheskie Udovletvoriteli (Automatic Satisfiers) were one in all the few exceptions. What happened instead was that punk’s influence became evident and necessary within the perspective that rock musicians displayed towards their music, their audiences and life - not the music itself. ‘Punkish’ tendencies began to manifest themselves within the outfits that musicians wore, in hooligan-like antics on stage, in ‘absurd,’ nihilist and socially crucial lyrics, and in an exceedingly ‘careless’ manner of taking part in - not within the music as such.  At a similar time, bands typically continued to play heavy metal, electropop, folks and pop rock, even though they were thinking of themselves as ‘punk’ attributable to their new perspective.

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Avtomaticheskie Udovletvoriteli

The appearance of this paradoxical phenomenon is closely related to Leningrad rocker Boris Grebenshchikov and Akvarium. As Alexander Gradsky was the music guru of Soviet rock through the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, Boris Grebenshchikov became the new guru for the Eighties and therefore the most influential and recognizable voice of Soviet rock of that amount. In 1979, at the Noginsk II festival in Moscow and in 1980 at the Tbilisi-80 festival in Georgia, Akvarium introduced Soviet audiences to new wave, setting off a Soviet new wave explosion. If ‘pure punk’ was alien to the musical sensibilities of Soviet rock musicians, then new wave became a replacement liberating vogue embraced by several bands that came onto the scene within the Eighties. Closest to punk by the majority of Soviet bands ever came. Akvarium’s groundbreaking role was in introducing Soviet audiences to an eclectic sort of rock influences, like Lou Reed and Velvet Underground among others. Actually Akvarium itself wasn't a typical rock band, as its customary lineup consisted of Grebenshchikov’s masterful guitar, a rhythm section, cello, flute and bassoon. With their rough-edged lyrics and ‘punkishly’ loose stage manner -- along with occasional hooligan-like antics -- they became fresh air among the rigid and conservative Soviet rock milieu.

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Boris Grebenshchikov

The first 5 years of the last decade weren't a simple time for Soviet rock musicians in terms of the ideological management and therefore the endless restrictions that the Party cultural equipment imposed upon them. In 1984, Kostantin Chernenko come to power as the culturally conservative General Secretary of the Communist Party. Chernenko short reign was most likely the foremost brutal within the history of Soviet rock. The persecutions of rock musicians reached an all time high throughout this era. In 1985, Chernenko was succeeded by reformer Michail Gorbachev, and therefore the method of the liberation of Soviet culture began. Rock music benefited from this liberalization more than any other as it contributed to the ultimate ideological disintegration of Soviet doctrine and therefore the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Gorbachev, for some people is Rock Freer in Russia

Despite the restrictions on and persecution of rock music that occurred throughout the Brezhnev-Andropov-Chernenko amount -- or presumably attributable to this -- Soviet rock experienced an enormously artistic amount throughout the first Eighties. now there are 2 major 'school' of Soviet rock were born: Leningrad where major Soviet new wave bands, and Moscow became famous for its idiosyncratic and ‘quirky’ bands, mixing national musical traditions with Western influences.
Since the principles of the rock ‘game’ underneath Soviet rule demanded a degree of constant management over the burgeoning music scene in each cities, the rock musicians, so as to be able to perform publicly in the least, voluntarily joined city-ran organizations created by the authorities as nativees for local amateur rock bands. Thus, in 1981, the Leningrad Rock Club was established. It united the bulk of Leningrad amateur bands, giving them a legal venue during which to perform. The Leningrad Rock Club was known within the Soviet Union for its spirited atmosphere, relative liberalism and made and varied rock scene. for several bands it became a vehicle towards professionalism, giving them an area during which to apply and polish their skills. Slower to react to new trends and a lot of ideologically controlled, Moscow followed in 1985 by establishing the Moscow Rock Laboratory, that from the start suffered from a dubious name, being perceived by several independent-minded rock musicians -- who treated it with suspicion -- as an instrument of management and subversion. it had been a lot of less spirited than Leningrad’s vibrant Club, however nevertheless provided a venue for several of Moscow bands.

( be continued)