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Cuckoo (1991) - Viktor Tsoi (Cinema) - All about the song ...

Over time, many cover versions were recorded for the song "Cuckoo" - both by famous musicians and performers, and by ordinary people, fans of the work of Viktor Tsoi and his group ...

The story of Viktor Tsoi's last song (Cuckoo, 1991)

"Cuckoo" - that's how, concisely and modestly, the cult song of the Kino group is called. The composition, which can rightfully be called the anthem of several generations, was written from the first to the last word by the leader of the rock band, Viktor Tsoi. She became his latest creation ...

"Cuckoo" was released after the death of the legend of Russian rock, as part of the "Black Album". How was one of the main hymns of Russian rock created? This is what we have to find out today...

A little about the song...

A rather interesting tradition has long been established in the music business: as a rule, it is the last work in the career of one or another significant character that becomes a cult hit for all time ... Why is that? Well ... To briefly and clearly answer this question, it is enough to cite Guy Ritchie's catchphrase as an example: "A dead rocker is more valuable than a living one ..."

It’s a pity, but unlike the on-screen hero, Viktor Tsoi did not stage his death ... However, according to the tradition mentioned above, the “Black Album” published after his death, exactly like the work unpublished during the lifetime of a number of other great authors, gained great popularity. Let it be with the help of rather low PR tricks, but the record was sold in an impressive circulation ... Namely, more than one million copies! And it was the composition “Cuckoo” that became the main pearl and worthy decoration of the release, as well as a vivid personification of the outgoing era in the person of one person ... It is not for nothing that it is included in all lists of the best songs of Russian rock. And even though hundreds of other performers have covered it with endless cover versions, it is in the performance of Tsoi that she is able to melt the ice in the hearts of listeners.

History of creation

Viktor Tsoi
Viktor Tsoi

And now let's move on to the most interesting - to the history of how one of the cult anthems of Russian rock was created ...

The timeless hit, which, by the way, was destined to receive a second round of fame performed by the magnificent Polina Gagarina, was written in a small studio, not far from Jurmala (Latvia). It was here that Viktor Tsoi spent his last summer. And although this place is considered a resort corner, the muse did not leave the legend of Russian rock even there ... According to the memoirs of Yuri Kasparyan, Tsoi donated the whole day to write this song:

“Cuckoo” is a very personal song, over which he spent the whole day ... He locked himself in a small shed - the studio was located there - and kept writing and writing ... And it was clear on an intuitive level that something serious was happening behind the doors of this building ... »

 

“...Before the performance in Jurmala, I had never heard this song. The fact is that Vitya composed songs alone, alone with himself. In the studio, he always brought already completely finished material. So… I think that was the only time I caught him writing a song…”

Yuri Kasparyan and Viktor Tsoi
Yuri Kasparyan and Viktor Tsoi

Like the text, almost the entire arrangement was made by Viktor Tsoi himself. His band members only made the minor adjustments that were necessary for the official release.

After the release of the single, the audience, touched to the core by its greatness, had a reasonable question: “What, in fact, is this song about?” There is no answer, since its author himself preferred not to disclose his intentions ... The members of the Kino group also did not know the true meaning of the composition. Well, or they didn’t want to talk about it ... Who knows, now?

Release

The premiere of the cult composition took place in 1990, during a concert in memory of Viktor Tsoi, held at the Luzhniki Palace of Sports in the capital. The work was performed in a draft version, which was not released for a long time ... However, the listeners, or rather the audience, were lucky to hear it at the end of the film called "The Man in Black".

Later, the draft version was nevertheless included in the so-called "White Album", consisting of the latest recordings of "Kino".

The further fate of the song...

Until 1994, this song did not have an official title. And if we talk about the early editions of the Black Album, then not a single composition from it as such had a name. The musicians themselves from the Kino group, as well as the publisher, claimed that Tsoi did not give names to his creations. They evolved over time...

Subsequently, this insightful composition became a worthy soundtrack for two films: "House under the Starry Sky" (1991) and "Sisters" (2001).

Successful covers

Over time, many cover versions were recorded for the song "Cuckoo" - both by famous musicians and performers, and by ordinary people, fans of the work of Viktor Tsoi and his group ... All of them are performed in a different manner and sustained in different genres. We will mention the most successful of them.

The most successful and probably the most penetrating version was released by Polina Gagarina. By the way: its variation became the soundtrack for the film "Battle for Sevastopol":

An equally successful cover for the tribute album "Kinoproby" was made by Zemfira:

Many listeners liked the Bi-2 version:

And also Olga Kormukhina's version:

“Cuckoo” sounded worthy and performed by Yuri Shevchuk:

You can not ignore the version of Alina Orlova:

Of course, none of these versions can be compared with the unique sound of Viktor Tsoi ... However, each of them has the right to exist and respond among the listener!

Interesting Facts

  • When recording a "black" album, the group resorted to the sound of a drum machine, which was considered "bad form" in the domestic rock industry ... However, the members of "Kino" were not afraid to go against the grain!
  • The official title of the album is "Kino". Why? Everything is very simple: the album cover is completely black. And only the name of the group, written in white type, flaunts on it ...
  • Even before the official presentation of the album, at least 10,000 copies of it were stolen!
  • Despite the high price, the vinyl record was scattered in huge numbers ... In many ways - thanks to the "black" PR move of Yuri Aizenshpis: the producer spread a beautiful but low legend that allegedly a cassette with unreleased recordings was found in Tsoi's broken car, and then restored.
  • Aizenshpis did not miss the opportunity to make a stir around the presentation of the album: the cosmic price tag of 150 rubles at that time was set by the organizer because, according to him, it was not some kind of “mass event”, but a real “secular reception” ...

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