Back in the USSR: The True Story of Rock in Russia

Artemy Troitsky, Author, Martin Walker, Designed by, A. Troitskii, Author Faber & Faber $9.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-571-12997-3
Soviet rock music was catalyzed by the Beatles, and many of the first Soviet groups were actually ``live jukeboxes'' performing the material of Western rock bands as closely as possible to the original. ``After the Beatles broke up, hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath . . . were the provisional favourites among Soviet rock fans,'' maintains Troitsky, a Soviet rock critic and promoter. Finally, there appeared a band that sang something originalTime Machine. Although there is little in the music itself that differentiates Soviet rock from its Western counterpart, the lyrics reflect the lexical and stylistic heritage of the Russian poetic tradition, explains Troitsky, and the name ``bard rock'' was coined for Time Machine. In the early years, pre- glastnost , rock was officially and sometimes severely discouraged, existing only underground. The work `rok' in Russian means bad fate, and ``it really seemed that rock music was doomed.'' But the genre has survived even the suppression elicited by punk rock, and under Gorbachev may yet flourish. The author takes readers on a magical, enlightening tour of Russian rock, offering a tantalizing view of Soviet society as well. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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