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Back in the USSR: The True Story of Rock in Russia Paperback – October, 1988

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (October 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571129978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571129973
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book was written during the Gorbachev era, by an author who worked as a sometime critic, band musician, and music promoter. He does acknowledge at one point that he probably is biased in his selection of bands on which to focus. Still, there isn't a lot available in print in English on the subject.

Troistky definitely provides some fun anecdotes (like the band member who had to climb into the performance hall through a second story window because the auditorium was so packed he couldn't get through to the stage)!

If you are interested in Russian rock, this can be a useful guide.
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Format: Paperback
Written by whom I would consider the soviet Dick Clark, Mr Troitsy takes you on a fascinating voyage thru the history of rock musicians in the former USSR. As the other reviewer pointed out, the author was certainly biased, seeing that he often referred to a member of Time Machine in many places thruout the book. He has a well-rounded kmowledge of both the international scene as well as his fellow soviets, and can rel;ate well to American readers poiting out Russian equivalents to our own stars and major acts. In addition to the main text is a photo section providing interesting pics of major soviet music acts, mostly of the 'unofficial' catagory.
Last but not least, this first of a kind guide also ends with a thorough glossary of all notable russian recrding artist's releases by the official "Melodia" record company up to about 1987.
I found the book very informative and absorbing, being a longtime observer of the global music scene, and proud owner of many Soviet lp imports, many of which are described in the book.
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