Red Elvises - 30 Greatest Hits

by Richard Davis

The other day I was going through my music collection and came to the section reserved for Siberian surf rock and found nothing but cobwebs and candy wrappers. Luckily my local music dealer had just what I was looking for: Red Elvises 30 Greatest Hits.

Question: What do you get when you cross band members of the former Soviet Union with musicians from countries like the United States, Israel, Puerto Rico and Bulgaria? I don’t know, but if they’re playing at a club (or street) nearby, I’d go have a listen. This is a musical melting pot that’s boiling over with talent, cultural nuances and a lot of fun. And although band members and instruments are constantly in flux, one thing remains unchanged: Band creator Igor Yuzov’s sense of humor and talented guitar-based rock'n'roll.

Yuzov, who was born in Germany, grew up in the former Soviet Union at a time when American rock and roll was outlawed, which of course made it irresistible. Igor’s adventure began when he and his folk band Limpopo left Russia for the U.S.A. where they met Ronald Reagan and won Ed McMahon’s Star Search. Not for meeting the late president, but for the band’s performance on the show.

30 Greatest Hits is an eclectic collection of tunes built on a single strand of “don’t take yourself too seriously” DNA. That’s quite a feat for such a talented group that could easily excel at any of the styles it mimics, twists but never bends. Notable notables include “Love Rocket,” “200 lb. of Pure Love” and “Everybody Disco.”

From “sold-out” performances on the streets of Santa Monica (they were finally shut down by the city by court order) the band is constantly on tour. Look for them in your neighborhood soon. And don’t forget to buy the CD.

Published in Car Kulture Deluxe issue #38, Feb. 2010

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