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Band History compiled by Jeremy Toomey, Discography by Jeremy Toomey and Pawel Malinowski
Grazhdanskaya Oborona ("Civil Defense") started in 1985 in Omsk, Siberia, after their previous band, Posev ("Sowing"), were forced to stop by the KBG. They were led by Yegor Letov, who's something of a living legend in Russia (a "punk messiah" so to speak), and were the most explicitly political band of their day. Of course, songs like "I Hate the Red Color", "Necrophilia" and "Good Tsar and the Familiar Stink" caused problems with the authorities, so stories could be told of Yegor's time spent in the state-run mental hospital, or having to go underground to avoid detection by the KGB. But musically, they released quite a few albums on cassette in the mid- to late-80's (which were later reissued on CD). Also, their last concert (recorded live in Tallinn, Estonia in April of 1990) has been issued as an album.
There are a few related bands in playing in different, yet similar styles: Egor I Opizdanevshiye ("Egor and the Fuckups", a short lived project with 2 2xLPs in 1990 and 1992, respectively titled Hop-Jump (Children's songs) and 100 Years of Solitude), Communism (bizzare, avant-garde music - it is satirical weirdness using communist songs and imagery), Great October (folkie stuff playing the songs of Yanka Dyagileva, Egor's common-law wife) and solo projects.
Here's the sad part: around 1993, Grazhdanskaya Oborona reformed and have now achieved commercial success as a virulent nationalist/right-wing/communist band. It's disgusting. It's pathetic. And now even the actual music sucks! Hmmm... I guess after the fall of communism, they sort of lost their reason to exist, and started to miss the system they always sang about hating...
POGANAYA MOLODEJ tape (1985)
OPTIMIZM tape (1985)
IGRA V BISER PERED SVINYAMI tape (1986)
KRASNIY ALBOM tape (1987)
MISHELOVKA tape (1987)
HOROSHO! tape (1987)
TOTALITARIZM tape (1987)
NEKROFILIYA tape (1987)
NSYO IDYOT PO PLANU tape (1988)
TOUR DE FARCE #3 LP (Empty Records, 1989)
DON'T FORGET THE PUNKS OF BANGKOK! 12" (Gothic Gospel Records, 1990)