The Soviet Union Banned These Bands in 1985
Julio Iglesias singled out for neofascist tendencies, alongside Talking Heads, Tina Turner, more
Putin wouldn’t want you to see this list. It proves that his beloved Soviets were completely terrified of the West’s “violent,” “fascist,” “racist,” and, dare we say, “erotic” music.
The year is 1985, the Cold War is in full swing and Donna Summer’s eroticism is totally a weapon of war. Don’t believe us? Believe Komsomol, the Youth Wing of the Communist Party, who put together this blacklist of bands to be banned from proletariat society. The translated list above (and in full below) is from Alexei Yurchak’s new book, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More. The purported original Russian-language list, via Boing Boing opens with:
“We recommend using these findings to more strongly control what happens in discoteks.”
If you were a Russian who wanted to slow dance with your high school sweetheart to the tender croonings of Julio Iglesias (a neofacist, as you’ll see below), you were flat out of luck. Pretty ironic, considering when this writer lived in St. Petersburg in 2011, you couldn’t buy groceries without hearing a little Iglesias whispering in your ear. No, those Soviets probably had to settle for some quality Alla Pugacheva instead, who is kind of like Russia’s Barbra Streisand.
Who knows? Maybe the Tina Turner and AC/DC really did pose a threat to the Soviets. Madness’ Chas Smash joked with The Scotsman that the band’s song “Baggy Trousers” was really about “a scheme to smuggle out of the U.S.S.R. as many dissidents as possible hidden in the trousers of sympathetic Cossacks.” I mean, c’mon, with lyrics like these —
Lots of girls and lots of boys
Lots of smells and lots of noise
Playing football in the park
Kicking pushbikes after dark
— who would argue that this isn’t a direct afront by the bourgeois to the containment of a fair and equal communist society?