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Visokosnoe Leto picture
Visokosnoe Leto biography
VISOKOSNOE LETO was formed in the summer of 1972 (hence the name of the band, which means "The Leap Summer"). After having started playing Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple covers, the musicians (Alexander Sitkovetsky - vocals and guitar, Kris Kelmi - kybds, Yuriy Titov (then Anatoly Abramov and later Valery Efremov) - drums) turned to composing their own music - an original mixture of Art and Hard Rock (close to early Uriah Heep/Kansas stuff).

Reinforced by MASHINA VREMENI's (a legendary Russian rock-band) bassist and vocalist Alexander Kutikov, who was obsessed with the idea of creating a national rock music culture, VISOKOSNOE LETO began its triumphal performing activity in the Soviet underground (rock music was still prohibited in that time). They were one of the first groups in the USSR who experimented with stage scenery, using disguises and theatrical elements during their shows. In 1978 they recorded an amateur tape version of their legendary prog-rock opera, "Prometheus the Imprisoned"(sadly never re-released on CD), and a number of other songs and epics. A few months later they disbanded, at the very peak of their popularity.

Kutikov and Efremov returned to MASHINA, with whom they're still playing, while Sitkovetsky and Kelmi formed AVTOGRAF, another legendary Art-Rock band from the Soviet Union, more popular and professional, though sadly no longer active.

In 1995 some tape recordings (featuring such classics as "The Slumberthief" and "The Store ,of Wonders") and tracks from the rock opera were released on CD as "The Store of Wonders: 1972-1979". Almost out-of-print now, it gives you a unique chance to experience the music of one of the earliest Art-Rock bands from USSR. Enjoy the classics!

See also Russian band AUTOGRAF, for an additional understanding of what had been done in the former USSR, in terms of prog-rock.

Igor (Prog-jester) - January 2007

Why this artist must be listed in :
VISONOSKOE LETO were one of the first prog bands to have been formed in Soviet Russia, whose output clearly shows the influence of the British prog and hard rock groups of the early Seventies.

Prometheus the Imprisoned (1978 - recorded on tape, never released as CD)
The Store of Wonders: 1972-79 (1995 - compilation)

Related bands on PA: AUTOGRAPH

VISOKOSNOE LETO Videos (YouTube and more)

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VISOKOSNOE LETO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 4 ratings
Prometheus the Imprisoned

VISOKOSNOE LETO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

VISOKOSNOE LETO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

VISOKOSNOE LETO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 9 ratings
The Store of Wonders: 1972-1979

VISOKOSNOE LETO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Store of Wonders: 1972-1979 by VISOKOSNOE LETO album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
3.75 | 9 ratings

The Store of Wonders: 1972-1979
Visokosnoe Leto Eclectic Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4 stars only because of quality. The material itself is wonderful. BTW, check the Russian Prog Thread and Free Legal Prog Music Downloads thread as well - you can listen to these songs if you LEGALLY download them from the proposed links.

To give an impression, imagine a mixture of DEEP PURPLE, URIAH HEEP and ELP - band's keyboardist Kris Kelmi deeply shared guitarist's (Alexander Sitkovetsky - later he'll form AUTOGRAF, another Russian Prog legend) views on composing and performing their material. Being one of the first Prog-Rock bands in USSR, VISOKOSNOE LETO composed hard-rock songs supplying them with fiery keyboard passages and complex signatures.Their magnum opus , "PROMETHEUS THE IMRISONED" ,never saw the light as a CD (despite the fact that it is avalaible on some half-legal sites...oops, I'm silent!)...Sadly, now nobody from the former members has no interest to their past activity (though Sitkovetsky did a self-cover of "Satan's Hop" for his recent solo-album). I wish "PROMETHEUS ..." will be released someday as a CD - I even could wrote a story for inlay booklet...

OK, down to the music. Boxset opens with "Overture" - instrumental composition in a manner of "ELP's Toccata meets KANSAS".Astonishing one, and a frequent live number. The following one is probably one of the most known works band ever did - "The Slumberthief" (Pokhetitel Snov),a 8-minute opus about the magic person who steals dreams and slumbers. It begans with a nervous solo, and only on 4th minute Alexander starts singing. Haunting and even frightening track, that represents LETO's best (IMHO). Another hit follows - "The Store of Wonders" (Lavka Tchudes)! Imagine BLACK SABBATH mixed with PINK FLOYD - heavy verse changes into dreamy chorus with background voices...The mid-part reminds of DEEP PURPLE's most mature works with legendary Blackmore/Lord interplays... "Mona Lisa" is a simply and enjoyable pop-rock-song, very memorable and catchy. "Rondo outside the Tone"(Rondo vne tonalnosti) is again a dark and heavy instrumental, confirming band's reputation as one of the best in USSR in 70s. "Mirrors" (Zerkala) is a short and unusual acoustic song, leding to another public's favourite - "The Song about the Rioter" (Pesnya o Buntare), very good lyrically and musically...ironic and even cynical view on rioter's life . "Paradox" is the same way paradoxical (excusance for calambour) - "Hail to the enemies - they're sometimes more frankly than friends"(and the whole lyrical concept of the song is based on related sayings). "The World of Trees" is actually a part of "PROMETHEUS..." opera ,not the best one, but the most melodical and ballad-like. Closing "Satan's Hop" is again nervous and complex instrumental track in best LETO's traditions.

In summing I must admit that we have no opportunity to witness LETO's activity anymore.This is said.On the other hand, we can listen to their music and recommed it to others (as I do right now). If you have any questions or interested in English translation of LETO's lyrics - just PM me.

Thanks to Ghost Rider for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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