The album "Simple Things" as a fundamental branch in the work of the Sounds of Mu...
"Simple Things" is the debut, double studio album by the band Sounds of Moo, released in 1988. It is noteworthy that at the time of recording the band had already existed for about five years! However - no studio work was ever released... What's more! The initiator of the record "Simple Things" was the leader of "Centre" - another Moscow collective! Vasily Shumov not only provided his equipment, but also acted as a producer of the album. By the way: the tracks included in "Simple Things" were written by Mamonov several years before this significant event for the band and its fans...
The history of creation: the background and the idea...
Definitely, without "Sounds of Mu" the Moscow rock scene of the 80's would have been quite boring... The band led by the phenomenon of the Russian scene, Petr Mamonov, loudly announced itself, once and for all breaking the boundaries of the stable concept of a "rock band". One of the most unique and unusual Russian rock bands ever was founded in the mid-80s. Its face and voice for a long time was Mamonov, who, over time, turned to religion and adopted a quieter way of thinking... Fortunately, however, his contribution has remained. And he really deserves attention!
Why "Simple Things"? Why is this album so important for the band and its fans? And considering that the latter received it, to put it mildly, "coolly"... In fact, it is the fundamental record of the domestic new wave! "Simple Things" presented extraordinary compositions such as "Source of infection", "Leisure-boogie" and many, many others... What the famous "Lyulyaki-babe" alone is worth! And all these seemingly meaningless songs are timeless hits that have taken an important place in the history of Russian rock music.
"I haven't heard those songs in over ten years... But when Mamonov sang them, they reeked of wild power, energy... There's no such thing today. He was a real dinosaur! Mashina Vremeni was like hand elephants compared to him!" - said Artemy Troitsky in 2003.
Thanks to these songs and the originality of the leader of Sounds of Mu, the band became known to Brian Eno, who, in fact, brought it to the West! With these hits Mamonov gained cult status... A whole generation of Russian listeners grew up on them... But let's return to Simple Things.
Hardly can you find a single record of Russian rock that contains as many ideas of intoxication, depression, fantasies... And all this - in the first-class performance of Mamonov, with his wild shrieks and frenzied energy! No less surprising is the fact that at the moment of recording the album, Mamonov's lyrical masterpieces were in their second decade! The 37 year old leader had time to try on all kinds of images - from stoker to translator of poetry of Scandinavian countries! Probably, there were no such geniuses in the history of Russian rock, who made their debut in such a respectable age and with such a rich service record... In any case, no one has ever cut off his career so effectively and lightning fast! But that's another story...
Pavel Khotin, the band's keyboard player: "For several years we made attempts to record an album, but all of them were kind of semi-schizophrenic... Then Peter went on a binge, and we experienced failure, because we couldn't get together..."
After the album was released, the most interesting thing happened: both the members and the fans of the band and the general rock community received "Simple Things" rather coldly... And the only one who really "liked" the work was Pyotr Mamonov! At the same time he was against the album's release, so up to the winter of 1989 it was distributed by underground methods only... Mamonov was also dissatisfied with Shumov's production work and the content of the album in general! However, it was "Simple Things" that attracted the attention of Brian Eno, who subsequently undertook to produce the Moscow band. Many years later, in 2010, Sounds of Moo's debut won the 13th position in the "50 Best Russian Albums in History" rating by Afisha magazine.
"When listening to "Simple Things" you feel the mood of new wave, postpunk and much more! At the same time the album is really Russian. No matter how you look at it, the Sounds have their originality in the first place, unlike the prevailing majority of their colleagues in the rock scene..." - wrote Alexander Veselov, bassist for Illinois.
Full track list
The album "Simple Things" includes 20 songs, which had been performed by the band dozens (or maybe hundreds) of times during live performances before the album was released... Shumov took a risk by choosing not just the image of the Sounds, but the general state of the band before the writing of all these tracks... The most interesting thing is that the studio versions of the songs differed tremendously from what was happening on stage, live... The tracks do not reflect the exuberance, the drive... Mamonov's crazy dances and wild screams left behind all the famous rock giants, such as Jagger or Plant! On the album, however, his performance seemed to stagnate. Perhaps that's why the album was coldly received by the fans, who cannot be fooled.
One of the most famous songs from the album is the famous "Lyulyaki-Bab". For many years music lovers wondered if this song had a deeper philosophical meaning... Mamonov did not write the same "Source of Infection" about a fly. As Pyotr Nikolaevich himself admitted, his lyrics are an uncontrollable stream of consciousness, depicted in sometimes incomprehensible images... In fact, this is what really attracts his creativity... Mamonov has truly brilliant poetry: despite the simplicity of its presentation, it still has meaning. And each listener interprets it in his own way. As Pyotr himself said, in his songs he reflected the earthiness of his own life of those years, the despondency of his own soul...
"Shuba Duba Blues."
"A source of contagion."
"It's a good song."
"Elevator to Heaven."
"The Red Devil."
"Bottle of Vodka."
"Get up early."
Anyway, "Simple Things" eloquently conveyed Mamonov's mood and way of life... Even after the band disbanded, the artist repeatedly returned to his creations and played the same clinical post-punk in delirium... So... That is why "Simple Things" became a fundamental branch both in the work of the band and in the development of the Russian rock scene!