Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back to the 80s: Shona Laing "Soviet Snow"


To be truthful, there isn't much I know about Shona Laing other than what I've been able to glean from the internet.

She's fairly well-known in her native country of New Zealand. And has had several hits there, including a song I've never heard (and will in no way include this week) "Glad I'm Not a Kennedy." She also worked with Manfred Mann Band's 1983 political statement, Somewhere in Afrika.

Truth is, Laing is like a whole bunch of artists most of us encountered during the 80s. They put out one killer song. And were either never heard from again or never put out anything nearly as good as that first record.

In the case of Laing, that song was "Soviet Snow."

Remember that the 80s were during the waning days of the USSR. Despite glasnost, the country was still seen as mysterious and somewhat threatening. You could do a whole mix tape of ominous songs associated with a country that many people (mostly Americans) thought could wake up one day and decide to bomb the United States: Kim Wilde's "Suburbs of Moscow," the Beatles' "Back in the USSR," Renaissance's "Mother Russia," Sting's "Russians," among others.

One of the best of the lot, however, was this song – which was quite danceable, once you got past its disquieting lyrics about "radiation over Red Square." Another thing you have to get past: The song's way-too-long orchestral introduction, which takes up 1:40 of the song's 5:37 length. Keep your finger pressed on your Ipod's right arrow. You will be amply rewarded.

Play "Soviet Snow" by Shona Laing


And as usual, here is the video, courtesy of those 80s fanatics at YouTube.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

listen to "glad I'm not a kennedy"
this was pretty big in its day.

Hanna said...

quite agree with above. "Glad I'm not a kennedy" is what I remember Shona Laing for. Chillingly beautiful song.