Evgenii Margulis (Евгений Шулимович Маргулис) is a prolific Russian rock musician, singer, songwriter, composer, and one of Russia’s most famous blues composers.  He is known as a founding member of one of Russia’s most important classic rock bands, Time Machine (Машина времени), as well as a founder and on-again-off-again participant in Voskresenie (Воскресение), also a long-influential band on Russia’s rock scene.

Margulis was born in Moscow in 1955. From a young age he became enamored with American and Russian rock ’n’ roll music such as Chubby Checker and Aleksandr Galich. At age 19 Margulis quit medical school to become a full-time musician. The next year he formed Time Machine along with Andrei Makarevich and Sergei Kavaroe. In 1979 Margulis left Time Machine for Voskresenie, and then a year later joined Araksa (Аракса), which he considers to be his first experience as a professional musician.

Throughout the 1980s and 90s Margulis continued to play in various rock bands, and also started his own group called Shanghai (Шанхай). Margulis also released several solo blues albums during this time, and participated in Yurii Antonov’s music ensemble Aerobus (Аэробус).

From 2001 onward Margulis has composed songs to accompany his own poetry. In 2004 he wrote the lyrics for the Russian version of the Queen musical We Will Rock You. Some of his more famous compositions include “Shanghai Blues” (“Шанхай блюз”), “I’ll Let You Know” (“Я дам тебе знать”), “Sometimes I Sing” (“Иногда я пою”), and “When You Leave” (“Когда ты уйдёшь”).

In his personal life, Margulis is married to a psychotherapist and has a son, Daniil, who works as a finance analyst in Moscow. Interestingly, Daniil also played the role of his young father (also a musician) in the film House of the Sun (Дом солнца).

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Here is a live jazzy piece from Margulis, entitled “Jazz” (“Джаз”):

Lyrics for “Джаз”:

Я в этот раз, глядя на вас,
Слушаю джаз, впадая в экстаз.
Мир не погас и ясно сознанье.
Да, да, да, до свиданья.

Запах травы, шорох колес.
С тобою на “Вы” – по коже мороз,
Я слушаю джаз, теряя сознанье.
Да, да, да, до свиданья.

Я не хочу быть с тобой сейчас.
Я где-то очень далеко.
Я здесь один уже не первый раз,
Мне так легко, мне так легко сказать “До свиданья”.

Мой полет по небу из нот,
Аккорды из звезд, и внизу только лед,
И я остаюсь в остатке сознанья.
Да, да, да, до свиданья.

Я не хочу быть с тобой сейчас.
Я где-то очень далеко.
Я здесь один уже не первый раз,
Мне так легко, мне так легко сказать “До свиданья”.

 

Here is another live track from Margulis, this time for the upbeat “Old Songs” (“Старые песни”):

Lyrics for “Старые песни”:

Стаpые песни, хипповые сны,
Hезаживший след битлов, поpтвейна и весны.
Все, что мы любили жило в той поpе,

Там где мы застыли, словно мухи в янтаpе.

Стаpые песни – дpугое кино.
С каждим годом лучше, словно стаpое вино.
И эти песни дышат духом тех ночей,
И если кто услышит – вспомнит все до мелочей.
Распусти свои клеши,
Hаливай в стакан “Кавказ”.
В этих стаpых песнях – часть твоей души.
В этих тpех аккоpдах,
В этих стаpых аккоpдах,
Hо они звучат, словно, в пеpвый pаз.

Стаpые песни – вpемя не одолеть.
Я увеpен, наши дети их не будут петь.
Все, что мы любили, остается тут,
Вместе с нами жили, вместе с нами и умpут.

Распусти свои клеши,
Hаливай в стакан “Кавказ”.
В этих стаpых песнях – часть твоей души.
В этих тpех аккоpдах,
В этих стаpых аккоpдах,
Hо они звучат, словно, в пеpвый pаз.

 

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Zach Hicks is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. He is currently participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad scholarship program. His main areas of interest are twentieth-century Russian and Soviet literature, socialist modernism, and critical theory. Outside of academics his major interests are martial arts, the outdoors, and music. In Russia, he plans to continue to increase his language proficiency, to learn as much as possible about the Russian underground music scene, its tattoo culture, and to become a student of Russia’s native martial art, SAMBO.