Using Soviet terminology, the entire song mainstream of that time (minus bards, blatnyak and underground rock) could be divided into two powerful layers - a pop song and a mass song. "Estrada" is, consider, Soviet pop music: entertaining, dancing, sentimental. She, in turn, was divided into two thematic areas - the so-called "lyrical songs" and the so-called "comic songs".
"Lyrical" are songs about love; as a rule, minor and at a medium or slow tempo:
“I waited and believed,
Against the heart
You and I are two shores
By one river.
"There are so many single guys,
And I love a married ... "
"Comic" songs are much more fun, faster and go not only to vodka, but also to dances:
And a smile, no doubt,
Suddenly touches your eyes
And good mood
Will not leave you again!
"How not to have fun now,
Do not be sad from various troubles -
Settled in our house
A pop song was allowed to be absolutely unprincipled and even contain a "fig in your pocket" - let's recall the brilliant songs from Gaidai's comedies. But these songs certainly had to give the stuffed Soviet people a good mood and bright warm feelings. Sometimes a pop song, voluntarily or involuntarily, came into contact with the second bank of the same river - the "mass" song. For example, in this famous "lyrical" case:
"Someone came down the hill -
Probably my dear is coming:
He has a protective gymnast,
She drives me crazy.
He has golden shoulder straps
And the scarlet order on the chest ...
Why, why did I meet
Him on the path of life?!”
A variation on the theme “and I love a married man”, but with a clear military-patriotic bias.
“Mass song” is a long forgotten but working term. So in the Ministry of Culture and the Union of Composers of the USSR they called the musical material of "socio-political and ideological topics." In fact, sung propaganda to the glory of Lenin, the revolution, the army, Victory, and so on, which inherits the rich traditions of revolutionary songs, songs of the Civil War, hymns and marches of the Stalin period, songs of the Great Patriotic War. Relatively speaking, "Varshavyanka" - "We will boldly go into battle" - "Dark Night" - the most powerful songs.
In the Soviet Union, which I found at a conscious age (60-80s), the mass song was imposed on the people as actively as possible. Even in purely entertaining programs such as "Song of the Year" there was a quota for "works of socially significant repertoire." It seems that only in the festive midnight "Blue Lights" people were not tormented by song propaganda. A mass song was performed both en masse (that is, by choirs) and by soloists. Unsophisticated pop stars (Pugacheva, Piekha, Rotaru) were not entrusted with this responsible mission - there were specialists for such a thing. The most popular of them was Kobzon, Zykina, Magomaev and Leshchenko were exploited less often. But most of the state singers have already been completely forgotten - well, who today will remember, for example, Ivan Bunchikov, the hero of the meme "Chorus of Boys and Bunchikov"?
The "Party stage" was great, self-confident and unshakable, but collapsed and dissipated as rapidly as the CPSU and the USSR. The political order for pop propaganda collapsed, and first the Russian rock "Time Machine", "Aquarium" and "Kino", and then the pop music "Tender May" completely ousted the mass song from the air and mass consciousness, respectively. Its authors and performers have either sunk into obscurity, or, like Kobzon, have taken up completely different things. And for almost two decades, it seemed like forever.
In the 2000s, the first attempts to revive the propaganda song took place. In 2002, the girl group “Singing Together” recorded the song “Such as Putin” (words and music by Alexander Yelin):
“[I want] someone like Putin, full of strength,
Such as Putin - so as not to drink,
Such as Putin - so as not to offend,
Someone like Putin, so that he doesn’t run away.”
The song did not cause any positive resonance, only a flurry of mockery. The AP (or who did it?) probably decided that the experiment had failed, and for some time the youth were no longer teased. In the spring of 2005, after the first Kyiv Maidan, where Ukrainian musicians played an important role, an alarmed Surkov organized a gathering of Russian rockers on Staraya Square to listen to the wishes and make sure they were loyal to the regime. Wishes, as far as I know, were fulfilled, loyalty was confirmed, but, fortunately, this did not result in new songs for the glory of Putin and United Russia.
There were several more loyal visits from artists of different styles and calibers. In 2018, a strange composition - Kormukhina, Maidanov, Sklyar, Kharatyan - recorded the song "I'm hammering a pile" in honor of the Crimean bridge. Zero public attention, 60 thousand views. In September 2019, lured rapper Timati, on the eve of the Moscow City Duma elections, made public a musical offering to Sobyanin, as a result of which he got a record one and a half million dislikes for Russia on YouTube and deleted the clip. Again "double"!
In the new military era, propaganda was ordered to be tackled totally, brutally - and the music front was also remembered
In the new military era, propaganda was ordered to be tackled totally, brutally - and the music front was also remembered. Moreover, most of the leading fighters of the microphone-guitar army left the country. To begin with, rockers of the middle generation and the middle class were mobilized, who, under the leadership of Garik Sukachev, recorded the song of the late Anatoly Krupnov "I'm staying." Krupnov in the early 90s did not write about emigration, but who cares - the message in the title is simple and understandable. 750 thousand views, only 22 thousand likes, carefully cleaned comments. Still better than the loser Timati, but sluggishly. The big-budget concert tours of the “remaining” rockers-unshorn under the Colorado letter did not arouse the expected interest from the public either. It was urgently necessary to find something new, zaboristoe — and it was found!
The stewardess was dug up to her full height, dreadlocks were woven, and now all the hopes of patriotic producers are connected with a new face. This is the singer Yaroslav Dronov, 31 years old, urged Shaman - for some reason, in Latin letters. First, the song “I’m Russian” thundered through all channels, and then he also led the team of stale Russian pop songs (minus Kirkorov, which is mysterious), who sang “Let's get up!” in chorus.
The choir, by the way, is very correct and in tradition: what is a mass song without a choir?! Quantitative indicators are not bad: 19.7 million views and 740 thousand likes for "Russian"; 3.2 million and 236 thousand from "Stand up".
Just for comparison: the clip "Death is no more" of the banned group IC3PEAK has 136 million views and 3.2 million likes. The difference is significant, but, nevertheless, there was a lot of noise around the next “rising Russians”. In fact, the first spiritually uplifting state hit after many jambs and unsuccessful attempts! Shaman is Kobzon today? Mass song is back? No and no. No matter how hard we try. And there are several reasons for that.
Firstly, all Soviet "mass" hits were written by outstanding (no irony!) composers. Pakhmutova, Ostrovsky, Fradkin, Tukhmanov - you can list for quite a long time - especially the classics - Alexandrov, Dunaevsky, Solovyov-Sedoy ... I remembered from adolescence:
And the fight continues again
And the heart is anxious in the chest,
And Lenin is so young!
And young October is ahead.
I remember it only because these idiotic lines were set to an amazing melody by Pakhmutova. And there are a dime a dozen such melodies in the Soviet sound archive. And today's mediocrities - Matvienko-cool-shots - do not have even a thousandth of that talent and musical appeal. I'm not talking about graphomaniacs like Maidanov. Of course, all the current pop militarism will be generously paid for, but in six months these songs will be completely and deservedly forgotten.
Secondly, the Soviet mass song - far from all, but its “modified” fraction - at the very least reached the youth. Moreover, in many ways it was only addressed to her. These are Tukhmanov's songs, and all kinds of peppy VIA, and "sports" hits, and the theme of BAM / construction teams. However, with all the Komsomol attempts, all this could not compete with either Western rock and disco, or with the domestic underground (in the 80s). With the current patriotic repertoire, the music technologists can't get through to conscripts and their girlfriends, not only because of its "sucky" quality, but also because they don't listen to music from a TV box.
With the current patriotic repertoire, music technologists can’t get through to conscripts and their girlfriends - and not only because of its “sucky” quality, but also because they listen to music not from a TV box
Thirdly, for all the hypocrisy of the Soviet government, it was impossible not to agree with part of its rhetoric - not in deeds, but in words. Thus, the propaganda songs insistently talked about the inadmissibility of war, the friendship of peoples, humanism, freedom and solidarity. For example, the content of the pacifist hymns "Let there always be sunshine" and "Do Russians want war?" does not cause any objections in a normal person. What can not be said about the paranoid declarations of the same Shaman: "I am Russian - to spite the whole world!" Very typical, or rather, symptomatic of today's Russian sentiment-resentment. Resentment for the whole world, anger, aggression. And in a boarding school for the violently depressive. But if we hope that the mental health of the nation is not completely undermined and remission is possible, this misanthropic narrative, along with its carriers, should also disappear with time.
What will happen to them - popso-shamans of war? But nothing. If Russia gets bogged down and finally mutates into North Korea stretched across 11 time zones, new kobzons will pursue a routine career, absorbing honorary titles, broadcasts and corporate parties. The only obvious cost is no more apartments in Miami and no more shopping in Milan. Even Dubai is in question. Well, if in Russia, God forbid, changes are coming, these guys will refer to Kolchak's well-known formula: "Do not touch cabbies, prostitutes and artists - they serve any authority." It is completely useless to discuss questions of guilt, responsibility and conscience with an unfailingly helpful contingent. They are unlikely to be stripped of their titles. Ethers will be driven into niche channels. Only with corporate parties there will be problems.