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File:Victor Tsoi 1986 cropped 1627.jpg

Viktor Robertovich Tsoi (1962 to 1990) was a Soviet singer and actor of Korean, Kazakh, and Russian ancestry. He grew up in Leningrad, and became interested in music in his teens. He wanted to sing rock songs about life on the streets of Leningrad, but was frustrated that the Soviet government favored the happy pop singers of Moscow. He then led the band Kino and became a leading member of the underground rock scene of Leningrad, where he made his stage debut singing "Elektrichka," a song about a man who does not want to go where his train is taking him. This metaphor for the frustration Soviet youth had with their lives propelled Tsoi, and Kino, to fame. His music was immediately banned from live performances, but he and his fans didn't mind, and he gave secret concerts.

He married Marianna in 1985, and later that year their son Sasha was born. In 1986, as Mikhail Gorbachev was beginning to liberalize the Soviet Union, Tsoi and Kino were allowed to perform in concerts. He released a song called "(We demand) change!" This activist sentiment was carried over into 1987, when his album Blood Type unleashed "Kinomania," and Tsoi and Kino went on tours for the next three years. His biggest concert was in 1990, when he sang to 62,000 fans in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Sadly, he died in August 1990 in a car crash in Latvia, just as he had finished recording an album. He was remembered as the pioneer of Russian rock music, and a wall on Moscow's Arbat Street is covered with graffiti dedicated to him. His fans' motto is "Цой жив!" ("Tsoi lives!").


  • 45 (1982)
  • 46 (1984)
  • The Manager of Kamchatka (1984)
  • This Is Not Love (1985)
  • Night (1986)
  • Blood Type (1988)
  • The Last Hero (1989)
  • A Star Called the Sun (1989)
  • Black Album (1990)


  • End of Vacations (1986)
  • Assa (1988)
  • The Needle (1988) as Moro.
  • Sex and Perestroika (1990)


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