U.S.S.R. - Eddy Huntington - 80sneverend - The Great Mother

The Great Mother

Eddy Huntington – U.S.S.R.

Time can go by
But the Russian girls don't ever seem to leave my mind
Fine, don't see why
I should even try to leave my heart behind
U.S.S.R, I'm back into the U.S.S.R
#EddyHuntington #USSR #80s

In the 80s many songs talked about more or less exotic, distant, fascinating, mysterious places, or simply places to celebrate. We could go on for hours mentioning London Calling by The Clash and Vienna Calling by Falco, Murray Head’s One night in Bangkok, Mike Oldfield’s To France, Big in Japan by Alphaville, People from Ibiza by Sandy Marton and many others.

However, perhaps the place that was mentioned with the most hesitation, given the Cold War political climate, was Russia, also as Soviet Union, a name that in the English abbreviation becomes more accessible to lyrics. The “great mother”, as Russians often call their country, was truly the stone guest (to quote Pushkin) of international pop music.

Yet, we must not think that the great mother was completely absent, on the contrary! I believe that the relationship between pop and Russia began in 1968, when the Beatles composed a song as a joke response to two songs about America, Back in the U.S.A. by Chuck Berry and California Girls by the Beach Boys (later covered by David Lee Roth in 1984). In a short time Back to the U.S.S.R. caused an uproar and some associated a political connotation with the Beatles, for having written a song talking about Ukrainian girls, balalaikas, and “Georgia on my mind”, obviously the Georgia located in the Caucasus.

Towards the end of the 70s Russia was trendy again in songs like Rasputin by Boney M, or Moskau by the German group Dschinghis Khan (the song was obviously called Moscow in the English version), and above all with one of the masterpieces of electronic dance, a song that I really wish was part of the 80s but it came out just before, and I’m talking about Moskow Diskow by the Belgian group Telex. Naturally, these songs also mention the kasachok dance, vodka, and all the other clichés.

Then, after years of silence, Russia appears again in lyrics in 1985 thanks to two sacred monsters, Sting, who with his unforgettable Russians exorcised the nightmare of the nuclear holocaust, and Elton John, who fell in love with a border guard named Nikita. Actually, Nikita is a male name, and Elton John’s video is set in East Berlin, but the appearance and uniform of the beautiful Nikita certainly recall the imagery of Russia.

The last song that will talk about Russia will naturally be Wind of Change by Scorpions, a real curtain on the 80s, with the wind of change blowing over Moskva and Gorki Park after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In September 1986, however, the world of Italo-disco also mentioned Russia in a song, naturally in a light-hearted and fun tone. The song is composed by three stars of Italo-disco, Italian producers Roberto Turatti and Miki Chieregato, and the great Tom Hooker, who is famous as the singer of Looking for Love, but was also a great author (as well as one of the voices of Den Harrow). The three authors entrust the song, which is simply titled U.S.S.R., to a smiling, good-looking twenty-year-old Englishman, Eddy Huntington, who interprets it with the lightness and carefreeness of Italo-disco.

The text is very simple, and in addition to leveraging again all the repertoire of snowy and frozen landscapes, balalaikas, vodka and the omnipresent Gorki Park, it naturally focuses on Russian girls, who can’t leave good Eddy’s mind, as he essentially leaves his heart behind in that country.

The video is simple but cute. At the beginning we have the sensation of witnessing an attempted kidnapping, when two blonde girls enter Eddy’s room, but he wakes up at that moment, and the girls have to hide without him obviously realizing anything. Shortly afterwards a mysterious car arrives to pick him up, driven by a mysterious girl, but we discover that Eddy’s manager is on the car, who accompanies him on a busy day.

And in fact in the rest of the video we see him busy recording the song, shooting parts of the video, and holding interviews, always naturally surrounded by beautiful girls. And when at the end of the day Eddy is finally alone in the swimming pool of his villa, he discovers that the girls have secretly followed him there, and without too much convinction he even dares to exclaim “Oh, no!”

A comment on the video: at a certain point the song stops, and following some comments from the director the music starts again after a few seconds. We had already seen at least one great video where the music stopped and even started again, and it was Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes.

In short, good Eddy still remained fond of the country that gave the title to his greatest success, and in the 2000s he participated several times in a very famous revival TV show that took place in Moscow on New Year’s Eve organized by a Russian radio.

U.S.S.R. was very successful throughout continental Europe, much less in England, where Italo-Disco always found less fertile ground. And of course it was a great success in Russia, where Eddy was always seen with great affection and sympathy. In short, returning to Russia often and willingly was clearly in the destiny of good Eddy Huntington!

Eddy Huntington on Wikipedia

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