16 Songs, 1 Hour 12 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

International rock artists rarely played in the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War. Billy Joel's 1987 tour there was a big deal, and it's said he lost more than a million dollars of his own money on the venture. But the chance to be part of history in the making: priceless. Russian audiences were mild, unaccustomed to bright lights, and fearful of expressing themselves in public (security removed fans who acted out). Joel infamously kicked his piano and broke a microphone stand in frustration. Despite this cultural learning curve, Joel's symbolic gesture was one in good faith, and he provided fans with a look at his catalog (though with an emphasis on his more recent albums). "Goodnight Saigon" is chilling. His cover of The Beatles' "Back in the U.S.S.R." was practically a requirement and done in good fun. Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" is another near-mandatory tune here, with its central truth about to manifest through the U.S.S.R.

EDITORS’ NOTES

International rock artists rarely played in the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War. Billy Joel's 1987 tour there was a big deal, and it's said he lost more than a million dollars of his own money on the venture. But the chance to be part of history in the making: priceless. Russian audiences were mild, unaccustomed to bright lights, and fearful of expressing themselves in public (security removed fans who acted out). Joel infamously kicked his piano and broke a microphone stand in frustration. Despite this cultural learning curve, Joel's symbolic gesture was one in good faith, and he provided fans with a look at his catalog (though with an emphasis on his more recent albums). "Goodnight Saigon" is chilling. His cover of The Beatles' "Back in the U.S.S.R." was practically a requirement and done in good fun. Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" is another near-mandatory tune here, with its central truth about to manifest through the U.S.S.R.

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