When one thinks of music in the Soviet Union, the first thing to come to mind might be the Red Army Choir belting out the national anthem. Or it might be Tro Lo Lo Man, also known as Eduard Khil, the 1970′s crooner who became a smash web hit both at home and abroad last year as an internet meme.
However, the man who was arguably the biggest rock/pop star of the USSR is still little known in the west. Today marks what would have been the 49th birthday of Viktor Robertovich Tsoi, frontman for 80′s rock band Kino. Born in Leningrad on June 21st, 1962, Tsoi rose to fame in the early 80′s writing songs about love, loafing and dissatisfaction in the Brezhnev era. In the mid-80′s his music turned from apathetic to political, giving a voice to a new generation thirsting for change. He died tragically in a car accident in Lithuania in 1990, but as often happens with young musicians, his early death only increased his reputation as a once in a generation artist.