"Belladonna": How a British ballad became a hit of the domestic VIA "Merry Guys"

This foreign hit became popular in the USSR and brought fame to the local musicians, while UFO rejected it because of the album's low success. But "No Heavy Petting", in the opinion of many rock fans, is one of the best works of the band! And it is a pity that the record did not manage to break through the charts...

The Story of a Song: How UFO's "Belladonna" made its way into the repertoire of the Merry Folks

"Belladonna." - Such an elegant name was given to a very powerful balladwhich, alas, did not help the British rock band UFO to achieve success. At the same time, she became the calling card of the domestic ensemble "Funny boys"! And in the original English language! Performed it Alexander Barykinand this version became a golden hit! Listeners were even divided into two camps: many believe that Barykin's version outperforms the original!

In fact, both compositions are beautiful. It's just that it's the Jolly Fellows launched the popularity track, while UFO was upset by the low score in the charts and for many years refused perform the song at their concerts... We suggest that you plunge into the history of creation and fully enjoy the beautiful composition, as well as get acquainted with the truly Russian Mono Lisa!

History of creation

The album "No Heavy Petting" by UFO
The album "No Heavy Petting" by UFO

The stunning "Belladonna" was written by the leader of UFO. Or rather, Phil Mogg composed only textbut melody belongs to the German musician To Michael Schenker - little brother Rudolf SchenkerThe founder of Scorpions. At first glance - the title of the track refers us to the dangerous plantwhich was at the peak of popularity among fashionistas RenaissanceThe juice of belladonna was actively dripped into the eyes in order to dilate the pupils and give the gaze a special depth and penetration. However, these risks in the name of beauty turned out to have terrible consequences... However - in those days girls did not care much about it. But let's get back to the song: in fact, the name consists of two Italian words - "bella." and "donna."which mean "beautiful lady".

The lyrics fully justify the title: the song sings about a beautiful girl, about whom the lyrical hero daydream. The romanticized composition was a fitting addition to the fifth studio album "No Heavy Petting."However, it was never released as an independent single. The record itself, in spite of the rich track list, was not a success: 169 line in the American Billboard 200 and 38th position in Sweden.

UFO in its youth
UFO in its youth

UFO were so upset that they wouldn't even perform "Belladonna" at their live shows, only with 2014 of the year she is on their set list! However, in the Soviet Union The song was loved by the audience, and as sung by our national artist!

The Jolly Fellows Version

"Musical Globe", VIA "Merry Guys" album
"Musical Globe", VIA "Merry Guys" album

As strange as it may sound, in the USSR "Belladonna was. more popularthan abroad! And VIA "Merry guys" performed it on the original English language! The only thing that has been changed is title songs: "Belladonna" was replaced by "Mono Lisa." - The famous mistress from Leonardo da Vinci's portrait seemed to the musicians a much more feminine and attractive model than the dangerous plant. The song was very penetratingIt's no wonder she quickly fell into the hearts of her listeners.

A version of "Jolly Fellows" was included in the album "Musical Globe": consisting of covers to popular foreign hits, he had wild success! To this day, this 1979 record remains one of the favorites among domestic music lovers. And the presence in it "Lisa's Mono. played, of course, not the least of roles.

The original Russian "Mono Lisa"

Alexander Barykin
Alexander Barykin

In fact, the fact that "Mono Lisa" was performed by the Alexander Barykin - an absolute fluke! It was during that period that the artist, who had been with the ensemble for three years until 1976He was briefly back in the lineup. He also performed "What do you want to tell me?"But for some reason his name is not on the record.

Unlike his foreign colleagues, Barykin loved a romantic ballad, and he never missed an opportunity to perform it at concerts! You could say it became his calling card! And later in his repertoire appeared the second "Mono Lisa."But this time in Russian and with a different tune! The music was written by David Tukhmanov, and the words Igor Kokhanovsky.

That's it. foreign hit gained popularity in the the USSRIt brought fame to domestic musicians, while UFO rejected it because of the album's low success. And yet "No Heavy Petting.", according to many rock admirers, one of the best of the band's work! And it's a pity that the record didn't manage to break through the charts...


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