How Slade broke through the Iron Curtain and became the "people's band" for millions of Soviet listeners

One of the very first Western bands to appear in the Soviet Union was Slade. Today we will find out how the guys managed to win the hearts of Soviet rock fans and why the musicians themselves didn't find out about it right away.

Slade: History of Recognition in the USSR, Reaction to Success

Success is an incredibly complicated thing. You never know how it will come to you, but it came to the guys from Slade from where the rockers came from. didn't expect. The band went through many changes before becoming what it is today; the lineup of the band changed more than once at its very beginning, but even that did not prevent it from gaining popularity in the Country of the Soviets, where, it would seem, any music that does not pass through censorship, no room. Or is it eat?

Today in our article is a story that reverberates in our chests with the call of freedom. Today let's look at how British musicians brought such needed Soviet youth liberty in their gray everyday lives and whether it was by shock for the rockers themselves.

"Ooh La La in L.A." - the song that made Slade folk favorites in the USSR

Slade. 70-е
Slade. 70-е

Uncomplicated composition "Ooh La La in L.A." British hard rock band Slade was released in the summer of 1987 as the third single from their 14th studio album, You Boyz Make Big Noize. The lyrics themselves were written by the vocalist Noddy Holder in 1985 while working on the Rogues Gallery.

"Ooh La La in L.A." very autobiographicalas the band's guitarist admits Dave Hill. The musician notes that this is his favorite song from the 1987 album, the main feature of which becomes the life background of a seemingly frivolous song. The lyrics talk about the guys' experiences in America, where they promoted their album Run Runaway.

The song was released as a single in Germany and England, but nowhere was it as successful as in Soviet Union. What was of little value to the musicians became the most famous and iconic song in the USSR. Young people, who no longer believed in the Union, had a rebellious spirit, which they fueled by listening to foreign rockers.

How Slade's music penetrated behind the Iron Curtain

Slade in the 2000s
Slade in the 2000s

The success of British hard rockers grew in the USSR for several reasons. One of them is the overly strict censoredThe Soviet Union had a huge aversion to Western music, especially the Beatles, who at that time had become famous, and Soviet teenagers. On the wave of enormous dislike for Western music, especially for the Beatles, who had become famous by that time, Soviet teenagers banned to listen to, much less imitate, the legendary rockers. The wording of the ban on The Beatles was simple: such music makes young people think about distracted things, preventing them from focusing their attention on areas important to the state. ProtestThe idea that the young people had been growing in their minds since the mid-1980s was beginning to take a serious turn.

Slade appeared six years later than The Beatles. If at first the hard rock band played covers of more classic rock works, after a while their creativity began to show imitation "The Beatles.

Slade on Stage
Slade on Stage

Since the Beatles were a household name in the Soviet Union and the themes of their songs were not harmless to Soviet ideology, Slade and his "Ooh La La in L.A." became heroes for teenagers who wanted the kind of vivaciousness and carefree attitude undoubtedly present in this song. From beyond the borders of the Iron Curtain, the band brought a sense of freedomsto which it has long been ready young generation. Many Soviet teenagers were captivated by Slade's powerful, yet melodic music.

"We were in shock": how the band members reacted to their popularity in the Soviet Union

The most popular Western rock band in the USSR - Slade
The most popular Western rock band in the USSR - Slade

In his autobiography, Dave Hill, guitarist for Slade, says that they were very surprised their success in the Soviet Union. The band was not that popular in their homeland, so the musicians were genuinely shocked to learn that they had fans in the USSR. The rockers could only guess how their records got behind the Iron Curtain, as they had never officially were not published. Hill believes that Soviet youth could only get their music smuggling.

The fact that Slade's music was very popular in the Land of the Soviets was, as the guitarist points out, at least one reason: Soviet teenagers were forbidden to be flighty, to be unserious, to listen to music they liked, and to be different. This is why young people in the USSR were addicted to Western musicians - long-haired guys with guitars at their fingertips were like from another planet.

Slade on Stage. Early '70s
Slade on Stage. Early '70s

Slade gave the Soviet youth a feeling of freedoms and hope that someday such music would not come to the USSR on a "bird's-eye" basis. It is worth noting that it was with these guys that a keen interest in creating something similar to what Western musicians were doing began to emerge. Such love of Soviet youth for hard rock predetermines the emergence of a new milestone in the history of music: in the USSR the so-called "Russian rock".


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