CHOBA B CCCP

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Снова в СССР
ChobaCover.jpg
Studio album by
Released31 October 1988 (1988-10-31)
Recorded20–21 July 1987
StudioHog Hill, Sussex
GenreRock and roll, garage rock
Length47:54
LabelMelodiya (Μелодия)
ProducerPaul McCartney
Paul McCartney chronology
All the Best!
(1987)
Снова в СССР
(1988)
Flowers in the Dirt
(1989)

CHOBA B CCCP (Russian: «Снова в СССР», [ˈsnovə fɛsɛsɛsˈɛr], Snova v SSSR, literally Back in the USSR Again; also known as The Russian Album) is the seventh solo studio album by Paul McCartney under his own name, originally released in 1988 exclusively in the Soviet Union. The album consists entirely of covers, mainly of rock and roll oldies (similar to John Lennon's 1975 album Rock 'n' Roll). With the addition of an extra track, it was released internationally in 1991.

Background and recording[edit]

Following the tepid reaction to his 1986 studio album Press to Play, McCartney spent much of the first half of 1987 plotting his next album. In March he recorded an album's worth of songs with producer Phil Ramone but those sessions only produced the single "Once Upon a Long Ago" backed with "Back on My Feet," released only in the United Kingdom that November.[1]

Following a series of jam sessions with various British musicians where they played some of his favourite songs from the 1950s, McCartney decided to record the songs live in the studio. Over the course of two days in July 1987, McCartney recorded twenty songs.[2]

Other tracks recorded during the sessions but not included on the Melodiya album were "I'm in Love Again" (though it was included on the subsequent international release) and "I Wanna Cry" (an original song) released on the B-side of McCartney's "This One" maxi-single in 1989, as well as "It's Now or Never" on the New Musical Express album The Last Temptation of Elvis in 1990.[3] A version of the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" was also recorded but remains unreleased.[4]

Album title and cover[edit]

The title «Снова в СССР» (Snova v SSSR) is Russian for "Back in the U.S.S.R.", the name of a 1968 Beatles song.[5] The album is also known as Back in the USSR and the Russian Album.[5] The first word of the album's title is often mispronounced by English speakers as "Cho-ba" rather than "Sno-va." (The Cyrillic alphabet has a different pronunciation for the characters "С" (before a consonant) and "В" than the English alphabet.)

The cover was designed by Michael Ross.[6] The Russian release includes liner notes written by Roy Carr of New Musical Express, translated into Russian.[3]

In the first year of release the album was sold more than 400 000 copies[7].

Release[edit]

McCartney originally wanted to release the album in the United Kingdom outside regular distribution channels, making it appear the album had been smuggled in from the Soviet Union. EMI turned down that idea. Nonetheless, McCartney's manager had a batch of LPs pressed, with Russian-language covers, as a Christmas present to McCartney. This gave McCartney the idea to release the album in the Soviet Union as a gesture of peace in the spirit of glasnost. An agreement was reached with the Soviet government-run record company Melodiya to license 400,000 copies of the album for release in the Soviet Union only with no exports.[8] The album was released in the Soviet Union on 31 October 1988. The first pressing of 50,000 copies contained 11 tracks and sold out almost immediately. A second pressing with two additional tracks was released about a month later.

Soon after its release, the album began appearing for sale outside the Soviet Union for prices ranging from $100 to $250 in the United States and up to £500 in the United Kingdom.[2] The album was eventually given a worldwide release in 1991, reaching number 63 in the UK and number 109 in the US. On this release, the title is misprinted as СНОВА Б СССР (Б is the Cyrillic equivalent of the letter B in the Latin alphabet, rather than the B, equivalent to V, of the original).

Despite the fact that the album was not initially released in western markets, half of the album worth of songs were released as singles' b-sides from 1987 to 1989: "Midnight Special", "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and "Kansas City" appeared on various versions of "Once Upon a Long Ago", "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday" and "Ain't That a Shame" on "My Brave Face" and edited version of "I'm in Love Again" on "This One" single.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2/5 stars[9]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[10]
The Essential Rock Discography4/10[11]
MusicHound4/5 stars[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[13]

Rhapsody praised the album, calling it one of their favourite cover albums.[14]

Track listing[edit]

11-track edition
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Kansas City"Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller4:02
2."Twenty Flight Rock"Eddie Cochran, Ned Fairchild3:03
3."Lawdy, Miss Clawdy"Lloyd Price3:17
4."Bring It On Home to Me"Sam Cooke3:14
5."Lucille"Richard Penniman, Albert Collins3:13
6."Don't Get Around Much Anymore"Duke Ellington, Bob Russell2:51
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
7."That's All Right Mama"Arthur Crudup3:47
8."Ain't That a Shame"Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew3:43
9."Crackin' Up"Ellas McDaniel3:55
10."Just Because"Bob Shelton, Joe Shelton, Sydney Robin3:34
11."Midnight Special"Traditional; arranged by Paul McCartney3:59
13-track edition
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Kansas City"Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller4:02
2."Twenty Flight Rock"Eddie Cochran, Ned Fairchild3:03
3."Lawdy, Miss Clawdy"Lloyd Price3:17
4."Bring It On Home to Me"Sam Cooke3:14
5."Lucille"Richard Penniman, Albert Collins3:13
6."Don't Get Around Much Anymore"Duke Ellington, Bob Russell2:51
7."I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday"Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, Roy Hayes4:12
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
8."That's All Right (Mama)"Arthur Crudup3:47
9."Summertime"George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Ira Gershwin4:57
10."Ain't That a Shame"Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew3:43
11."Crackin' Up"Ellas McDaniel3:55
12."Just Because"Bob Shelton, Joe Shelton, Sydney Robin3:34
13."Midnight Special"Traditional; arranged by Paul McCartney3:59
CD edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Kansas City"Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller4:02
2."Twenty Flight Rock"Eddie Cochran, Ned Fairchild3:03
3."Lawdy, Miss Clawdy"Lloyd Price3:17
4."I'm in Love Again" (Bonus track on 1991 international release)Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew2:58
5."Bring It On Home to Me"Sam Cooke3:14
6."Lucille"Richard Penniman, Albert Collins3:13
7."Don't Get Around Much Anymore"Duke Ellington, Bob Russell2:51
8."I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday"Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, Roy Hayes4:12
9."That's All Right Mama"Arthur Crudup3:47
10."Summertime"George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Ira Gershwin4:57
11."Ain't That a Shame"Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew3:43
12."Crackin' Up"Ellas McDaniel3:55
13."Just Because"Bob Shelton, Joe Shelton, Sydney Robin3:34
14."Midnight Special"Traditional; arranged by Paul McCartney3:59
Digital download edition

The digital download edition has the same track listing and running order as the original 11-track vinyl release.

Personnel[edit]

All tracks recorded 20 July 1987 except "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Ain't That a Shame" and "Crackin' Up," recorded on 21 July.

20 July
21 July

Chart positions[edit]

Year Country Chart Position
1991 Japan Oricon Weekly Albums Chart (Top 100)[15] 48
United Kingdom UK Albums Chart (Top 75)[16] 63
United States The Billboard 200[17] 109

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perasi, Luca. Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969–2013 (2013) p. 263
  2. ^ a b Kozinn, Allan. "Smuggling Pop LP's Out of the U.S.S.R., Thanks to McCartney" New York Times January 12, 1989: C19
  3. ^ a b Calkin, Graham. "Choba B CCCP". Jpgr.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  4. ^ Weiner, Allen. The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide (1992) p. 250
  5. ^ a b Womack, Kenneth (2014). The Beatles Encyclopedia, Volume 2. ABC-CLIO. p. 846. ISBN 0313391726.
  6. ^ CHOBA B CCCP (Album cover). Paul McCartney. Melodiya. 1988.
  7. ^ 50 культовых пластинок фирмы «Мелодия» // Серебряный дождь. 2014.
  8. ^ Henke, James. "Can Paul McCartney Get Back?" Rolling Stone June 15, 1989: 44
  9. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Choba B CCCP – Paul McCartney : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  10. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 1257. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
  11. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 696. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9.
  12. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 730. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  13. ^ Randall, Mac; Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 526. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  14. ^ "Rhapsody's Favorite Covers Albums". Archived from the original on 31 July 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Paul McCartney Japanese Album Chart listings". Original Confidence. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Paul McCartney UK Album Chart listings". UK Albums Chart. Archived from the original on 9 December 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  17. ^ "Paul McCartney – Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 10 March 2013.