Thursday, January 7, 2016

Арніка - live bootleg [1975]

Artist: Арніка
Title: (N/A)
Genre: Pop-Rock, Folk-Rock
Country: Ukrainian SSR
Release date: 1975

Track List:
  1. Вступ
  2. Весна
  3. Весняні варіації
  4. Лиш тільки раз цвіте любов
  5. Колиска вітру
  6. Sugar Baby Love (The Rubettes)
  7. Як заридала моя гітара
  8. Чия то верба
  9. Мила моя, мила
  10. Прощай
  11. О, панно Інно
  12. Осінь
  13. Ballroom Blitz
  14. Sticks and Stones
Арніка/Arnica wasn't an underground band (they released an official vinyl LP in 1974, as well as several singles/EPs, while the underground Soviet rock bands released only demo tapes at that time), but this live bootleg is interesting and rare, so I decided to post it here. It was originally posted on this blog, and I just re-uploaded it to a better file host without changing anything.

This is their only known live recording, made with a portable tape recorder on their live show somewhere in Lviv region (possibly Truskavets) in 1975. Unfortunately the tape was in a very bad state when it was discovered, so the quality of sound remained very poor even after the restoration. It's still listenable, though, and I hope you'll enjoy the awesome voice of Victoria Vradij. It's hard to believe that she was only 14 years old when these songs were recorded! Later (circa 1985) she lived on my city for some time, and later moved to USA in July 1993. She won the title of Miss Rock Europe in January 1992.

The tracks with male vocals are quite enjoyable too, including The Rubettes cover. In general, it's a good example of mid-70s Soviet pop rock which was very popular back then. Amateur bands of this kind, mostly inspired by The Beatles, started to appear in numbers since the second half of 1960s, but very few of them did any recordings (here's some of the earliest known ones, made in 1969 - see the MP3 links in the right column). A lot of people who played in such bands became professional musicians later. During the first half of 1970s, more serious rock bands start to appear (the earliest known recordings of Soviet psychedelic rock pioneers - Yuri Morozov and Aquarium - were made in 1972-73), but the lack of adequate recording equipment was still a problem. Only very few of them were lucky to have access to good equipment until late 70s (roughly 1977 in Moscow), when good semi-professional tape recorders became more or less available, and the independent Soviet rock scene finally became a thing.

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