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Punk, sex and religious obstructionism: A list of 38 “dangerous” Western bands banned in the USSR

What do Pink Floyd, the Stooges and the Village People have in common? They’re all propagators of punk, violence and distortion of Soviet foreign policy – at least according to a list of ‘foreign musical groups and artists whose repertoires contain ideologically harmful compositions’ released in the USSR in 1985.

banned bands

Check out this hilarious list of 38 Western bands that were flagged in the in the USSR because their repertoires contained “ideologically harmful compositions”.

As The Scotsman note, the list – which was meant to clamp down on playlists in clubs, discotheques and radio – was distributed to party officials in January 1985, two months before Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as the leader of the USSR.

It was drawn up by Komsomol, the Communist Party’s Youth Wing, and was written in the obscure Soviet bureaucratic jargon and riddled with Cold War paranoia.

The ‘blacklist’, as it’s come to be called, was titled The approximate list of foreign musical groups and artists, whose repertoires contain ideologically harmful compositions.

It flagged 38 Western bands as potentially dangerous, citing a broad range of reasons like ‘punk’ (Sex Pistols, duhh), ‘violence’ (The B-52s?), ‘religious obstructionism’ (Black Sabbath, fair enough) and distortion of Soviet foreign policy (Pink Floyd….right).

Its existence was uncovered by author Alexei Yurchak in his book, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More, which translated the original document (see below).

Check out the while hilarious list below via Open Culture:

Sex Pistols: punk, violence
B-52s: punk, violence
Madness: punk, violence
Clash: punk, violence
Stranglers: punk, violence
Kiss: neofascism, punk, violence
Crocus: violence, cult of strong personality
Styx: violence, vandalism
Iron Maiden: violence, religious obscuritanism
Judas Priest: anticommunism, racism
AC/DC: neofascism, violence
Sparks: neofascism, racism
Black Sabbath: violence, religious obscuritanism
Alice Cooper: violence, vandalism
Nazareth: violence, religious mysticism
Scorpions: violence
Gengis Khan: anticommunism, nationalism
UFO: violence
Pink Floyd (1983): distortion of Soviet foreign policy (“Soviet agression in Afghanistan”)***
Talking Heads: myth of the Soviet military threat
Perron: eroticism
Bohannon: eroticism
Originals: sex
Donna Summer: eroticism
Tina Turner: sex
Junior English: sex
Canned Heat: homosexuality
Munich Machine: eroticism
Ramones: punk
Van Halen: anti-soviet propaganda
Julio Iglesias: neofascism
Yazoo: punk, violence
Depeche Mode: punk, violence
Village People: violence
Ten CC: neofascism
Stooges: violence
Boys: punk, violence
Blondie: punk, violence

[via The Scotsman / Boing Boing]