Mirage (Russian band)

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This article is about the 1980s Russian group. For other bands with the same name, see Mirage (disambiguation).
Mirage (Mirazh)
Origin USSR, Russia
Genres Euro disco, Eurodance, Italo disco, Eurobeat, Hi-NRG
Years active 1986 – present
Labels Звук / Джем / Квадро-диск
Website mirage-vocal.ru, mirage.su

Mirage (Мираж, Mirazh) were a 1980s Russian pop group founded in Moscow in 1986 by Russian composer-keyboard player Andrey Litjagin.[1] The original lineup of Mirage included Litjagin, guitarist Sergey Proklov, lyricist Valery Sokolov, vocalist Natalia Gulkina and classically trained vocalist Margarita Suhankina. Their music came at a time when perestroika was radically changing the Soviet Union and their energetic disco sound captured the mood and feeling of their generation.[1]

Mirage, 2009

Mirage borrowed their musical style from other disco groups of the time such as Modern Talking and Bad Boys Blue.

Gulkina and Suhankina shared vocals on the debut album The Stars Await Us. The group toured without Suhankina, who was attempting a career as a professional opera singer, and using her pre-recorded vocals on the tour.[1]

Margarita Suhankina

The success of the first album increased the demand for live appearances of the band. Litjagin decided to create several "doubles" of Mirage to make simultaneously different tours of Russian cities performing to the studio session vocal recording done by Gulkina and Suhankina. Among the new performers on stage were guitarist Igor Ponomarev, keyboardist Roman Zhukov, drummer Sergei Solopov, dancer Svetlana Razina (also the girlfriend of Litjagin), and "vocalists" Tatiana Ovsiyenko and Irina Saltykova.[2]

Financial and creative disagreements led to Gulkina quitting the group in 1988. After the separation, Gulkina thought she entitled to perform under the name Mirage as she provided most of the vocals. Litjagin and Sokolov prevailed in the Mirage name use issue; Gulkina formed a new group called Stars.

Natalia Gulkina

The second album Together Again was released in 1988 with only Suhankina featured on lead vocals. The album had greater success than the first. The talent of guitarist, Alexey Gorbashov, helped the band project a more professional sound. The combination of Mirage's trademark Euro disco sound with the guitar rock style of Gorbashov produced in Soviet Russia a relative new style of music. The best known songs of the group were part of the album including Music has connected us and Together again The album tour featured the band performing to studio record vocals and the media made note of the fact.[3]

In 1991, Ekaterina Boldysheva joined the group. She was the first vocalist to perform live with the group having previous professional experience. Mirage song remixes were made of the group's then two albums that included Boldysheva's vocals and issued in 1994. She sang on what was to be the group's third studio album, Not for the first time, which was completed in 2004 but released in 2008 in view of the difficult economic climate of the time.

Litjagin revived Mirage in 2003 with three new females that performed to remixed versions of already released Mirage songs. The new project enjoyed limited success despite the release of several new remix albums.

In 2005, at an event at the "Olympic" arena in Moscow, all the ex-members of Mirage participated. Gulkina and Suhankina had never meet, and together performed live. They later intended to perform as Mirage but Litjagin took legal action to prevent the name use as he believed it would harm his version of Mirage that featured younger vocalists. Relations did improved that the three would collaborate in a poorly received fourth album, A Thousand Stars, released in 2009.

Litjagin later renamed the younger version of the group as Mirage Junior. In 2011 Litjagin ended his working relationship with Gulkina and she was briefly replaced by former Mirage vocalist Svetlana Razina.

In 2013, a fifth Mirage album, Let Me Go!, was released featuring Suhankina on vocals.[4][5]

In 2007, the members of Mirage, Andrey Litjagin, Boldysheva, Gorbashov were awarded medals and diplomas «Professional of Russia» for theie contribution to the culture and art of Russia.

Many of the former members of Mirage have gone on to have successful solo careers in Russia. Suhankina now performs as a classical singer.

Discography[edit]

  • 1987: Звёзды нас ждут (The Stars Await Us)
  • 1988: Снова вместе (Together Again)
  • 2008: Не в первый раз (Not For The First Time)
  • 2009: Тысяча звёзд (A Thousand Stars)
  • 2013: Отпусти меня! (Let Me Go!)

References[edit]

External links[edit]