КНИГА  1977-1991: WE LIVED WITH THIS MUSIC (Presentation of a new book about times before)

A book "100 Soviet Rock albums on a magnetic band" was presented to public on August, 26, in a "Respublika Beefeater" club in Moscow. Alexander Kushnir, the author, is well-known both as a...

A book "100 Soviet Rock albums on a magnetic band" was presented to public on August, 26, in a "Respublika Beefeater" club in Moscow. Alexander Kushnir, the author, is well-known both as a journalist and as a music fan. The book is dedicated to a phenomenon really hard to comprehend abroad the former USSR. 'Magnetic Band Album' is a very specific way of cultural resistance to repressive Soviet system. The authors and creators of so called "magnitoalbums" tried to prove to themselves and to potential listeners the possibility of open and frank expression of their views on life and reality. They overtly declared alternative to the system existent, non-totalitary ways of living and functioning in the society. They wanted to feel themselves members of a world without frontiers. And to make it real they produced and issued their music in the way which was common in all the world save USSR. This phenomenon is the focus of Alexander Kushnir's book. Working through hundreds of hours of tape-recorded interviews he created a book, which is not so much about the music, but to much more extent dedicated to a life of the generation. It is about resistance to a totalitarian society, society which turned people into plain indifferent subordinates to the will of communist authorities of any level.

The book includes reviews, interviews with musicians, reminiscences on how the albums were created. It covers the period from 1977 to 1991, the 15 years considered to be the golden years of underground magnetic band albums. These are 100 albums considered by author if not the best, then mostly representing the spirit and soul of the last 15 years of the Communist reign. The book shows life and work of rock groups and musicians who gained fame and recognition nowadays, and also of those who's names says nothing to most of today's music lovers.

It was planned beforehand to burn the scarecrow-like image of modern Russian pop music (despisely called 'Popsa') in the end of the event. But in the middle of press-conference the idea was considered to be not so original. So it was substituted by the 'Nails giveaway'. Every guest was given an ordinary constructing nail with the advise to think himself what to do with it.

The book seems to become a rarity even before it appears on the counters. Only 3500 copies are printed. And we join the author sayikng on the first page of the book: "I want to thank everybody who believed this book".

A web version of this book will be published at http://zvuki.ru/a100/ "100 SOVIET ROCK ALBUMS ON A MAGNETIC BAND". CD ROM of the same name is to be published soon. TBA on our server.

04.09.1999, Борис ЛАБКОВСКИЙ (ЗВУКИ РУ)