The Best Russian Books in English

Forget War and Peace: this blog offers reviews of fun and interesting Russian books in English, links to their Amazon pages, interviews with new and upcoming Russian authors, with the emphasis on Russian genre fiction: LitRPG, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, romance, mystery and other popular reads.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back in the USSR! A 1985 confidential list of banned Western bands

It's common knowledge that the Soviet leaders made sure that no Western propaganda crossed the Russian borders in any shape or form... and that included Western music first and foremost. Here's a copy of an authentic confidential document, dated January 10, 1985, issued by a local regional committee of Ukraine's (then part of the USSR) Young Communists' League for office use only.

In it, the committee secretary P. Grishin lists several Western bands and performers whose influence he believes to be corrupting and "recommends" (read: commands) to "consider" (read: ban). Well, he's not the first culture censor in history and definitely not the last... but I have a funny feeling that neither he nor his aides who had actually compiled the list for him had any idea what they were talking about...

I attach the copy of the list below, and here're just a few samples of the Western artists' utterly corrupting influence:

Pink Floyd - distorts the Soviet foreign policy, "Soviet aggression in Afghanistan"  
Julio Iglesias - neo-Nazism (eh?) 
Village People - violence (I have another name for it, but whatever turns him on...) 
Talking Heads - they spread the myth of the Soviet military threat  
10cc - neo-Nazism (eh?) 
Blondie - violence
Tina Turner - sex
Donna Summer - eroticism (I have a funny feeling his aides didn't know the difference... RIP, dear Donna...) 
Canned Heat - homosexuality (what? (Looks back up the list) But... I thought that... Ah, whatever.)

The list also includes most classic heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath and Nazareth for "violence, sadism, vandalism, neo-Nazism and religious superstition".

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