Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Back in the USSR

25 years ago, I could have bought this album for a fiver.   Paul McCartney released this album  CHOBA B CCCP (s'nova v sssr) on the Soviet Melodiya label as a special edition for release solely in the Soviet Union.  The Beatles were extremely popular in the Soviet Union (and continue to be in Russia) despite their recordings not being available from legitimate sources during communist times.  Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Choba B CCCP was given a worldwide release in 1991.

A black-marketeer (fartsovki, I think they were called) offered to sell a copy to me for £5 in a department store on Moskovskaya Prospekt not far from the Pulkovskaya hotel in St Petersburg. 

At the time, I considered McCartney to be a "talent-less has-been", declared him as such and refused the offer (saying to my mate "what do I want to buy that shite for?") .  Back in England, the album had become a collectors item and was being sold for up to £150!  What do I know?

I quite likes the Beatles now, and recognise their considerable talent and contribution to music. But back then, it was only 8 years after I had been hauled in front of the head teacher at school for a bollocking over my music exam paper.  They disliked my answer to the question "name two songwriters from the Beatles". My answer was "John Lop and Paul McCockroach". 

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