Rocking the State: Rock Music and Politics in Eastern Europe and Russia


"Of the many avenues for expressing dissident viewpoints in communist societies, rock music - with its broad appeal among young people - was one of the most effective. Although there were rock groups that sang the praises of communism, other groups struck the pose of "rock rebels," assailing the system through their ribald lyrics and raucous music. Communist regimes generally had a difficult time adjusting to rock music, and some, such as those in Czechoslovakia and Romania, never did accept the new genre. Others, such as the East German government, tried to control and monitor rock by requiring musicians and DJs alike to pass tests on Marxist ideology. Other strategies included censoring lyrics, record covers, and attire; insisting on haircuts for band members; and fussing about jewelry and other adornments worn by rockers. The authorities knew that although these bands could not overthrow the state, they could sing up a storm, and, indeed, rock the state. Bringing together some of the world's leading authorities on rock music under communism, this book analyzes the rise of specific rock groups throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, examining the broader social culture in which they operated and evaluating the political ramifications of their popularity." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Sabrina Petra Ramet
  • Olaf Leitner
  • Alex Kan
  • Nick Hayes
  • László Kürti
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boulder, CO
Publication year:
  • 1994


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