After reading about the return of Vladimir Putin, I've been in a distinctly Russian mood. I was going to listen to Shostakovich and eat borsch, but ended up getting waylaid by some Soviet disco hits from the late 1970s, including this gem:
I had no idea that disco fever spread beyond the Iron Curtain, but you'd never get bands this big in the West (with the possible exception of the Love Unlimited Orchestra). It's overmanning. No wonder the Soviet economy collapsed.
Beyond the wah-wah guitars and dodgy afros, it's a good old-fashioned gloomy Russian ballad. I can't see the Bee Gees covering this track.
It's strange to think that a whole generation have been born and reached adulthood since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The USSR, with its Mayday parades, geriatric politicians and five-year plans feels recent to me, but I've read that many Russian teenagers and children are woefully ignorant about the period.
This will tell them all they need to know:
Returning to music, I found another gloomy Russian ballad - a wonderful song called Виски (Whisky) by a contemporary singer called Елена Ваенга (Elena Vaenga). I can't understand a word she's saying apart from viski and boogie woogie, but I'm completely mesmerised by her beautiful voice: