Back in the USSR—which is to say before 1990—the authorities were not only suspicious of Western rock music, they were afraid of it. The sense of rebellion, rock’s power to motivate people and its anti-authoritarian messages moved them to release official cautions (if not outright bans) on what music could be played throughout the republic.
I have a list of “not recommended music” from 1985.
- Promotion of the Talking Heads was to be suppressed because their music promoted the “myth of Soviet military danger.”
- No Ramones simply because it was “punk” and all punk was bad.
- The B52s were cited as a band that encouraged “violence.”
- And get this: The Village People were suppressed not because of their openly gay image but because they, too, apparently encouraged violence.
It was a weird, weird time.