Tuesday, March 20, 2012


"VIA" in Russian stands for "Vokalnoe instrumental ansambl." That's right, you officially couldn't call your group a "rock band" in the Soviet Union. This was because the Communist Party didn't like most things that were influenced by the West. They didn't like hard rock (heavy metal and punk only surfaced in the Soviet Union in the mid and late 80s), and you won't see many guys with long hair on Soviet album covers. The party preferred a clean-cut image; kind of like the Beatles in their early days. Looks such as the style the Rolling Stones favored were out. It was considered too bourgeoisie for the Soviet Union. Soviet rock was a little different too; some Western influence was allowed as songs from the West were appreciated by the Soviet youth and were covered, but the music generally sounded a bit watered-down and softer. Also, the non-Russian Soviet groups often liked to incorporate their native sounds into a rock beat. Here are some Soviet VIA and their tunes:

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