Revisiting the Awful State-Approve Pop of the USSR

Back in the USSR, western pop and rock music was considered to be nothing more than tools of capitalist stooges. Good Soviets did not listen to this trash; those who did might enjoy a nighttime visit from the KGB.

As a substitute, the government commissioned something called Vocal-Instrumental Ensembles. Even the name sounds like that came out of a factory somewhere east of Minsk. Their output was closely monitored for anything that might be considered anti-Soviet, anti-party or in any way subversive.

Boing Boing has unearthed this link to some of these groups. And be forewarned: they’re truly awful. Read the whole story here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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