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Ukrainian rock band Vopli Vidopliassova and fans rediscover an old hit 

​​​​​​​In 1989, the Ukrainian punk rock band Vopli Vidopliassova released an album called “Tantsi” or “Dances.” In 2019, the original session tape was rediscovered, and in 2023, Tantsi was finally officially released.

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Oleksandr Pipa was the original bass player for the Ukrainian rock band, Vopli Vidopliassova, just as an underground rock scene was beginning to emerge in Kyiv in the 1980s. 

The band recorded hits like “Tantsi,” or “Dances,” the title track on a 1989 album. People would copy it, share it with friends or sell it on the black market.

Now, the album, “Tantsi,” is being rediscovered by a new generation of fans — it was rereleased last month

“Tantsi,” which was originally meant to be a demo tape and was mostly recorded in one night, is a time capsule from late Soviet Kyiv, as the Record Store Day website says. It’s also about rebelling against repressive rule from the Kremlin, and imagining new possibilities. 

Songs like “Politrok” and “There Were Days” poke fun at Soviet-era politics.

Another original member of Vopli Vidopliassova, Oleg Skrypka, who’s still the frontman, said the band’s popularity started with the song, “Tantsi.”

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Oleg Skrypka, lead singer of Vopli Vidopliassova.


Anastasia Vlasova/The World 

 “When we played this song, it was like [an] explosion, people [went] crazy.”

At the time, bands in Kyiv were imitating Russian bands.

“So, when we started to sing in Ukrainian, we instantly became legends and stars and it was time to record.”

Pipa, who now has his own band, Attraktor, said it came about because Maria Sonevytsky, a professor from Bard College, was working on a book in 2019 about “Tantsi,” called “Vopli Vidopliassova’s Tantsi.”

After she got in touch with Pipa, he said, he dug up the original recording.

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Oleksandr Pipa, original Vopli Vidopliassova bass player.


Daniel Ofman/The World 

“I gave it to Maria, she took it and flew to the United States, found the studio, and then, the master engineer really, he made it even better than it used to be.”

Pipa said that hearing those old recordings after so many years was a welcome distraction from the war in Ukraine.

“Kyiv was under constant missile attacks from Russia. On [the] one hand, there is this horrible war, and at the same time, some connection to normality; and it made me kind of feel that everything is going to be OK.”

Volodymyr Solohub contributed to this report.

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