“Kino” – the legend of the Russian rock of the 1980s

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“Kino” (in Russian – Кино, which means “movie”, “cinema”) is one of the most popular Soviet rock bands of the 80s. The leader of the group and the author of almost all the texts and music was Viktor Tsoi.

“Kino” – the legend of the Russian rock of the 1980s
Source: 24smi.org

At first, the musicians played only on “home” concerts and were subjected to severe criticism from both the official and underground press. Until the mid-80s, their repertoire was rather lyrical and romantic, but in 1987 the direction of the group’s creativity changed, it was filled with notes of heroism, the compositions acquired steel stiffness, and the musical accompaniment shifted towards minimalism.

Viktor Tsoi
Viktor Tsoi. Source: russiainphoto.ru.

At that time, the musicians collaborated with the American singer Joanna Stingray. In the United States, she released a double disc one side of which was fully dedicated to “Kino” and also donated a studio to the band and recorded clips for the songs “Saw the Night” and “Films”. Thanks to Joanna, the group became known abroad.

Kino and Joanna Stingray
Kino and Joanna Stingray. Source: 24smi.org.

In 1987, the album “Blood Group” was released, which is called a breakthrough in the work of the band and one of the best creations in the history of the Russian rock. A new producer for the group at that time arranged tours over the cities of the USSR and abroad – the band was warmly welcomed in America, Germany, and France.

In 1988, “Kino” was already popular throughout the Union. The movie “Assa”, which ended with the song “Changes!”, added even more popularity — after the premiere, Viktor Tsoi became a superstar.

A year later, rock fans enjoyed the compositions from the album “A Star Called Sun”.

The tragic death of Tsoi in a car accident on August 15, 1990 put an end to the band’s activities. The death of the idol shook the Russian fans so much that after the funeral there were recorded several suicides related to this event.

Shortly before his death, Victor recorded an album, which his colleagues finished and released at the end of 1990 under the name “Black Album”. A month later they announced the closure of the group.

The group spawned the phenomenon of “kinomania”, intensified after the tragic death of Viktor Tsoi and existing to this day – the place of work of the musician became the object of pilgrimage for many fans from all countries of the former Soviet Union. quotes from the songs and declarations of love for the group. In Krivoarbatsky Lane (Moscow), the so-called “Tsoi Wall” appeared, covered with quotations from songs and declarations of love for the band’s creativity.

Tsoi Wall in Moscow
Tsoi Wall in Moscow. Source: 24smi.org.

“Kino” is often reflected in popular culture, the legacy left by them is highly valued by today’s observers and musicologists. Being one of the brightest Soviet groups of the second half of the 1980s, Kino had a great influence on the formation of many young bands, and, to a certain extent, continues to exert influence until now. The musicians, who knew Viktor Tsoi personally or simply were fans of the band, showed their respect not only in interviews, but also directly in their work.

Russian Pod 101

If you are a rock fan, we’d like to offer to your attention a collection of the best songs of the band:

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