Russia vs the U.S.A. – Music’s Take On The 80’s Cold War


sting russiansThe Evil Empire, Communism vs Democracy, Reagan & Gorbachev, two Superpower countries in a battle for world supremacy. The Soviet Union was the largest country in the world with most armed forces. The United States spends more money on their military than another country. The struggle to force their will on each other reached an apex in the 80’s. the fear of nuclear war was a prevalent theme in movies and music. Sting made a political statement on his solo debut album by asking if either side would actually strike knowing that retaliation would kill their people in return.

In Europe and America there’s a growing feeling of hysteria.
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets.
Mister Krushchev said, “We will bury you.”
I don’t subscribe to this point of view.
It’d be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too.

The song concluded with:
We share the same biology, regardless of ideology.
But what might save us, me and you,
Is if the Russians love their children too


leningradDuring the Cold War, some musicians performed in the Soviet Union at the height of the conflict. Billy Joel’s angry young man lyrics struck a cord with Russian fans. Billy sold out multiple shows in the USSR and during this time while walking with his daughter through the streets of Moscow, they ran into a Russian clown. As the song states,
“He made my daughter laugh
“Then we embraced
We never knew what friends we had
Until we came to Leningrad.”

Both sides learned that despite political differences in opinions, we share so many things in common including the need to find happiness and contentment in our life. Political propaganda is a strong force that divides us. Billy Joel’s historic song reminds us that inside we all share the same hopes and dreams for our family.


scorpions wind of changeKlaus Meine wrote the song in 1991 after the destruction of the Berlin Wall. The universal call for unity and acceptance was recorded in English, Russian, and Spanish. The song celebrates Glasnost, the end of the Communist domination of Eastern Europe. Not only were physical walls tore down, changes in thinking unified people worldwide. The Scorpions sing of the beauty of Russia overpowering the distant memories of the Cold War conflict.

Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever
I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change