Gorky Park (band)

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Gorky Park / Парк Горького
Origin Moscow, Russia
Genres Glam metal
Years active 1987–2001, 2005–present
Labels Mercury Records
Associated acts Aria, Tsvety
Members Alexander Minkov
Alexey Belov
Yan Yanenkov
Alexander Lvov
Past members Nikolai Noskov
Nikolai Kuzminykh †
Alexey Nelidov
Alexander Makin
Victor Khonkov
Sergey Okost

Gorky Park (international title) or Парк Горького (Russian title) is a Russian glam metal band, that gained mainstream popularity in the United States during Perestroika. Gorky Park is famous for its kitsch use of western stereotypes of Russians, such as pseudo-traditional clothing, balalaika-like guitar design and the hammer and sickle as their logo. It was the first Russian band to be aired on MTV.

History[edit]

In 1987 guitarist Alexey Belov, vocalist Nikolay Noskov, bassist Alexander "Big Sasha" Minkov, guitarist Jan Ianenkov, and drummer Alexander Lvov (formerly from Aria) came together to form Gorky Park. Stas Namin, a famous 70's soviet musician, became the band's manager. Because Gorbachev lifted the censorship, many underground rock bands, including Gorky Park, became able to receive more widespread popularity. Later that year the band left Russia for the United States in search of a record deal.

In the U.S. the band soon made some connections in the record business. One of the first people to take notice was famous guitarist Frank Zappa. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora also helped them to secure a deal with Mercury Records.

The band released a self-titled debut album in 1989, featuring initials 'GP' stylized as a Hammer & Sickle on the cover. With the fall of the Iron Curtain and a growing interest in Soviets to western countries, Gorky Park soon became widely known. The band seemed to be a kind of symbol of American-Russian friendship. The band's first video, "Bang", received MTV rotation. Their next two singles, "Try to Find Me" and a collaboration with Bon Jovi, "Peace in Our Time", received rotation on mainstream radio stations.

Gorky Park participated on that year's Moscow Music Peace Festival alongside Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Cinderella, Ozzy Osbourne and Scorpions. Gorky Park joined the other acts from the Moscow Music Peace Festival in the compilation album Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell. Which included each of the bands performing one song from an artist who died from, or a band who lost a member to, drug problems. Gorky Park's contribution was a cover of The Who's My Generation.

The band continued into 1990 touring with Bon Jovi and performing at the Goodwill Games opening ceremony. Gorky Park live shows often featured the band dressed in traditional Russian style, waving Soviet and American flags. In 1991 the band received Scandinavian Grammy award as the best new international act.

As Perestroika era came to its end, the group's fame in America subsided rather quickly. Nikolai Noskov left the band in 1990 but Gorky Park remained active and kept releasing albums in the '90s with Minkov taking over as lead vocalist. 1993's Moscow Calling, produced by Fee Waybill, sold 500,000 copies outside the US. Their next album, Stare, came out in 1996, released only in Russia, followed up by promotional tour of the former USSR states. In 1998, the band released Protivofazza. In 1999, Alexander Minkov left the band and started his solo career under the stage name Alexander Marshall. Gorky Park was never officially claimed to disband, but actually inactive since 2001. Belov and Yanenkov continue to perform Gorky Park songs in their band "Park Belova" (Belov Park).

Since then, Gorky Park made several brief re-unions in festivals. On September 12, 2007 the band headlined Bridge of Friendship and Warmth festival in Yerevan, Armenia. In 2008, Gorky Park received Muz-TV award for contribution to Rock music and performed Moscow Calling with Alexander Minkov.[citation needed]

Since the beginning of 2012, Gorky Park is on a Russian Tour featuring the original line-up (excluding only Noskov). On November 18, 2012 the band gave special show in Crocus City Hall in Moscow, celebrating their 25th anniversary. Nikolay Noskov joined the band on stage for the first time in more than 20 years, singing "Bang".

Members[edit]

Current line-up
  • Alexander "Big Sasha" Minkov-Marshal – lead vocals (1990-1999, 2012–present), bass guitar (1987–1999, 2012–present)
  • Alexey Belov – guitar, vocals, keyboards (1987–2001, 2005–present)
  • Yan Yanenkov – guitar, backing vocals (1987–2001, 2005–present)
  • Alexander "Sasha" Lvov – drums, percussion (1987–1999, 2012–present)
Past members
  • Nikolai Noskov – lead vocals (1987–1990)
  • Nikolai Kuzminykh – keyboards (1996–2001)
  • Alexey Nelidov – vocals, bass guitar (1999–2001)
  • Alexander Makin – drums, percussion (1999–2001, 2005–2006)
  • Victor Khonkov – drums, percussion (2006–2012)
  • Sergey Okost – vocals, bass guitar (2007–2012)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label US Release
1989 Gorky Park Mercury Records 80[1] Europe
USA
Russia
1993 Moscow Calling BMG International, N.V. -
1996 Stare Nox -
1998 Protivofazza Nox - Russia

"-" – Album did not chart or was not released in country

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart Peaked Album
US
1989 "Bang" - Gorky Park
"Try to Find Me" 81[2]
"Peace in Our Time" -
1992 "Moscow Calling" - Moscow Calling
1996 "Stare" - Stare

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Charted albums in Billboard 200". Allmusic.com. 2006. Retrieved 18 мая 2010. 
  2. ^ "Singles Charted in Billboard Hot 100". Allmusic.com. 2006. Retrieved 18 мая 2010.