Thursday, 23 August 2007

Muslim Magomaev - Tu Mi Piaci

Normally not my type, but we can't have a Chirayliq blog without Muslim Magomaev, the celebrated Azeri singer who held the whole of the USSR enthralled with his dandyish charm in the 1960's and 1970's. He was a baritone operatic singer, but also interested in pop music, jazz and *Italy*, as evident in this clip. In 1973, he was awarded the title "People's Artist of the USSR" - he was only 31! Magomayev also worked as an actor, tv and radio host, as well as a composer. His grandfather, also named Muslim Magomaev, was one of the founders of Azeri classical composition. (Lots of video clips here:

Here, Muslim sings "My Azerbaijan" in Russian and Azeri. If you listen closely to the melody, it does remind a little bit of some Tatar folk and art melodies.


Tinet said...

"... it does remind a little bit of some Tatar folk and art melodies."

Oh no, are you propagating Tatar-dominated pan-turanism?

I think his looks are "below average" - for an Azeri! - and maybe that could be one reason for why he could become so popular in all of the USSR? Men of other ethnicities didn't feel threatened by him ...

Another nice music video of his is "Город мой Баку" ("My city Baku"), which features interesting and nostalgic scenes from the city in the 1960's.
He's also recorded a song promoting local patriotism for Moscow - "Лучший город Земли" ("The best city in the world") ... from 1988. The video features many of the Stalinist skyscrapers in the city. Argh, it made me cry.

ainur said...

Yeah, I'd guess it's the same phenomenon as in the history of Hollywood, where too "ethnic-looking" male actors are rare in romantic roles. Sessue Hayakawa and Rudolf Valentino were exceptions to the rule, and of course Sessue's sexiest roles were as a villain, while Rudy was sceptically received by critics and got a lot of bad press because he appealed to women.
Other "ethnic" actors (a Spanish name was enough to make you "exotic") like Ramon Novarro and Antonio Moreno looked much more like the ideal WASP male (slightly tanned, big chin, small nose). Their names just added a bit of spice to their otherwise "safe" image.