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Igor Talkov

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Biography

Igor Vladimirovich Talkov (Игорь Владимирович Тальков) (November 4, 1956 – October 6, 1991) was a Russian singer-songwriter.

His music and beliefs were very reminiscent of the career of another Russian singer and songwriter of that time, Viktor Tsoi, who, according to Talkov’s diaries, was one of his best friends. Talkov’s songs also have much in common - particularly from a lyrical perspective - with Russian bard music. But while Talkov is mostly remembered for his beautiful songs above love and fate, most of his work had a clearly political message, directed against the Soviet regime. One song of his, for example, directly addressed the Communist Party (KPSS) with the refrain KPSS-SS.

The desperate call for change in his work was one of the reasons why Talkov was never popular with the Soviet government. Even as a performer renown and loved throughout the whole Soviet Union, he lived in a small two-room apartment with his wife and children, even composing his masterful lyrics and music “on top of the washing machine in the bathroom”, according to rumours.

Talkov sang to the defenders of the White House, the Russian Parliament, during the coup attempt in 1991, but curiously enough he had never been impressed by Perestroika, which he claimed was nothing but the same regime under a different guise. In his post-Perestroika songs, he openly mocked the changes, calling them a ruse.

Talkov was an avid reader of pre-revolutionary Russian history, which served as the inspiration for many of his songs.

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