Nazareth “Love Hurts” (1975)
The Scots Nazareth performed a bit of operetta hard rock throughout their career and were in fact a discounted version of Deep Purple, whose member Roger Glover, in fact, produced the group.
More accessible than the flagships of the genre, the material reached the Soviet listener, even though local censorship did not really favor the group – Melodiya released its first records only after perestroika. The song “Love Hurts” from 1975 is a brutal abrasive rock ballad: when both the throat and the soul are torn. Coincidence or not: its notes can be heard in the canonical for the genre of such ballads “A glass of vodka on the table.”
In 1990, Nazareth, who had passed the peak of fame, came to the USSR and gave six sold-out concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg at once, subsequently becoming as frequent visitors as the legends of the Big in Russia Scorpions genre. The band still exists, albeit without “classic” vocalist Danny McCafferty, who left Nazareth in 2013 due to lung disease.
Al Bano and Romina Power “Felicita” (1982)
In 1982, Soviet television showed a fragment of the Italian festival “San Remo”: among other things, “Felicita” was performed by the family duet of the Italian Al Bano and the American Romina Power – she, in fact, became the first big Apennine hit in the USSR and conceived the fashion for Italian pop. What was unusual and exciting here? Baroque enthusiasm, a new language, the feeling of an endless Venetian carnival.
We will definitely devote a separate text to the San Remo phenomenon – the Union has probably never experienced such a strong musical invasion from outside. In 1984, the Central Television began to devote entire programs to the festival, and in 1986 the musicians, whom we began to call “sanitary repairmen”, came to Moscow for a combined concert.
Alas, the family and creative union of Al Bano and Romina Power survived a tragedy – in 1994, their daughter Ilenia disappeared without a trace in New Orleans. This destroyed the relationship between the spouses – in 1998 they stopped performing, and a year later they divorced. In 2013, the former spouses performed together for the first time after a long break and since then continue to periodically appear on stage together.
ABBA «Happy New Year» (1980)
ABBA 1980 in the USSR were so powerful that even “Head Over Heels” from the last before the collapse of the (controversial) album “The Visitors” tore discos in a village in the Kostroma region (the mother of the author of the text will confirm). But let this list include the canonical “Happy New Year”, given the special awe of the Soviet citizen for the New Year holidays.
Few of the inhabitants of the Union, who decorated the Christmas tree to this song, knew the drama that she was fraught with. Happy New Year takes place after the New Year. The atmosphere is gloomy: the champagne is drunk, the fireworks are extinguished, the characters are sad, confused and not very optimistic about the future together. Many believe that the song is not really about the New Year, but about the separation of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog, which took place two years before the release of the song.