Честно говоря

Цветы Честно говоря 7" (Melodiya, 1974)

Headed by Stas Namin (nom de musique of Anastas Mikoyan, Jr.), son of an Armenian Soviet official, Tsvety was one of the few official rock bands. While at first they sound a bit like some stunted Sgt Pepper's wannabe, listen close and the music warps in a rather strange way. The backing vocals are almost too straight. Folkish parts just appear. Are the anomalies instances of state interference or were they because Soviet musicians only had access to so much Western rock and roll?

What is most important about Tsvesty is that they were Stas Namin's wedge into both the counter culture and the official Soviet art & entertainment establishment. Using his cred in both camps, he was able to pull of the USSR's first arena rock concert in 1981. Hugely successful, Namin was able to arrange tours of the USSR by Western rock acts. When the USSR fell apart, Namin was in just the right place to become Russia's biggest concert promoter, producer, and art & theater patron. Nowadays he is worth billions.

Честно говоря (Chestno Govorya)
Ты и я (Teh I Ya)
Больше жизни (Bolshe Zheizni)
Колыбельная (Kolehbelnaya)

...there is a bit of info on 'stas Mikoyan (and his famous family) in Montefiore's Stalin biography...
The story is that this guy Stas just had lotsa instruments (being such a rich kid), which he couldn't play, but had them cause it was so cool to have, since the soviet youth had to build most of instruments and equipment by themselves. So the people were found to play those instruments and then there was this band Zvety (Flowers). I heard this tape and it sounds like an early Yes ripoff. But what they were famous for is their live shows. They just couldn't record/release what they played live cause it was "too hot", the anti-soviet approach in music. You couldn't be like Genesis at that time, it'd mean you're a freak and mentally ill.
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