Rock came to the USSR in 1957, with the World Festival of Youth, held early in the Khrushchev Thaw. Early Soviet rock was influenced heavily by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. As it developed, it was also influenced by local bardic and folk traditions. By the 1970s, small amounts of select western rock were published by Melodia, the official music press of the USSR. Local bands, however, were largely relegated to self-publishing, although some were featured at Soviet youth and folk music festivals. In the 1980s, particularly after the Moscow Olympic Games, metal and punk established themselves. The soviet government, through “rock clubs” and other means, then attempted to better control rock movements. Some bands active at this time maintain their popularity, many forming the core of what can now be considered “classic rock” for the region. With perestroika and the fall of the USSR, Russian rock developed at an exceedingly rapid pace, including into various alternative, pop, and indie forms.

Languages: Search for rock music performed in Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, or Belarusian, or in Baltic, Turkic, Caucasian, or Other languages.


NAIV (НАИВ) is an internationally known and politically outspoken Russian punk band formed by army friends Maksim Kochetkov and Aleksandr Ivanov. In Russian, their name is an acronym for “New Harlequins and Voltigeurs” (НАИВ: Новые арлекины и вольтижёры). After putting out a DIY demo tape, NAIV’s first studio album, Switch-Blade-Knaife, titled in English and featuring […]

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