An interesting list from back in the day has recently surfaced, showcasing artists banned in the Soviet Union for different reasons. Its existence has been revealed in a book, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More, by Russian emigre and author Alexei Yurchak.
The Soviet government had a reputation of being extremely strict in those days, but the reasons why the musicians got banned from the radio is what will surprise you the most.
|AC/DC got banned in Soviet Union for spreading Neofascism; Sabbath, Priest, Maiden also among banned acts. Apparently, Julio Iglesias was also a neofascist and Van Halen were anti-Soviets, full list inside.|
The blacklist, titled ‘The Approximate List of Foreign Musical Groups and Artists, Whose Repertoires Contain Ideologically Harmful Compositions’, was drawn up by Komsomol, the Communist Party’s Youth Wing. It was written in the obscure and verbose language of Soviet bureaucracy and riddled with classic Cold War paranoia.
Despite their left-wing street-cred in the West, the Clash were banned for “punk and violence”, as were, among others, the B-52s, the Stranglers and Blondie.
Heavy Metal acts such as Black Sabbath, Nazareth, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were blacklisted for supposed offences including religious obscurantism, violence, racism and anti-communism.
Talking Heads joined the list for “myth of the Soviet military threat” and Pink Floyd were blacklisted for “distortion of Soviet foreign policy.” But more mainstream acts also fell foul of the communist authorities. The Village People were deemed “violent,” Tina Turner was banned for “sex”, Summer for “eroticism” and several artists, including Iglesias and 10cc, for “neofascism.”
The document stated: “This information is recommended for the purpose of intensifying control over the activities of discotheques” and “must also be provided to all VIA [vocal instrument ensembles].”
Here’s the original memo:
(via The Scotsman)