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The Terrible State Approved Vocal-Instrumental Ensembles Of The USSR

The Kremlin wasn't big on personal freedoms, and while people across the globe were enjoying the great music that came out in the 60s, 70s and 80s people in the USSR were stuck listening to these bland bands.

(YouTube Link)

The Soviet state had strict rules in place to battle the aspects of Western society they considered decadent and reprehensibly capitalist, and popular music was one of the Kremlin's main enemies.

They banned the sale, play and ownership of many Western groups including KISS, Pink Floyd and the Village People, so the people were stuck listening to Disco Pop created by Vocal Instrumental Ensembles.

(YouTube Link)

The Vocal Instrumental Ensembles, or VIAs, were state approved musical acts, and their music was overseen by "artistic directors" (political commissars) to ensure compliance with the state's ideology.

VIAs provided a sanctioned alternative to the state’s more overtly propagandistic efforts to cultivate and win over a new generation of Soviet youth. In the absence of broadly disseminated alternatives, VIAs were hugely popular, selling millions of albums and becoming the de facto soundtrack to late socialism.

The VIAs were monitored by political commissars (euphemistically called "artistic directors") who monitored their sound and appearance to ensure that it stayed within the bounds set by the state's ideological bosses.
The VIAs were monitored by political commissars (euphemistically called "artistic directors") who monitored their sound and appearance to ensure that it stayed within the bounds set by the state's ideological bosses.

-Via Boing Boing


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