From Unearthing The Music

Televizor logo

Televizor (Russian: Телевизор) is a Soviet/Russian gothic rock/industrial group formed in 1984[1] in Saint Petersburg by Mikhail Borzykin, who writes the band's music and lyrics.[2] They began to perform at the Leningrad Rock Club.[3] They are noted for their strong views against authoritarianism in Russian politics.[4] At the time the group first formed, it was one of comparatively few political rock bands in the Soviet Union.[5]


While studying at the English department of Leningrad University, Mikhail Borzykin played keyboards in a band called "Lake". Due to disagreements with the artistic direction of the band, Borzykin and two other musicians left Lake in order to create their own group. Finding like-minded musicians among the members of another local group, Ikar, they established the first Televizor line up: Mikhail Borzykin - keyboards, vocals, Alexander Belyaev and Igor "Pet" Petrov - guitars, Igor "Goga" Kopylov - bass, and Vyacheslav "Ara" Arkhipov - drums.

Televizor founder and leader Mikhail Borzykin at a concert in the club "B2" in 2009. Photo by Platonova Alina

In the spring of 1984, Televizor joined the Leningrad Rock Club[6] and quickly attracted attention with their original songs in a new wave style. In 1985. In the same year the group recorded their debut album "Procession of Fishes" at Andrey Tropillo's studio.

In the fall of 1985, Kopylov, Petrov and Arkhipov left Televizor. They were replaced by drummer Alexei Ratsen and keyboard player Igor Babanov (ex-Bad Boys).

By 1986, Televizor's music became increasingly anti-establishment. Their performance at the 4th festival of the rock club in June 1986 turned into a scandal - Borzykin openly opposed censorship by performing the songs “We're Going” and “Getting Out of Control”, which had not been previously approved for live performance. They were placed in a list of forbidden artists, and the group was banned for six months from concerts.

The following year the band returned to the festival with an even bolder stance, striking listeners with harsh social and political texts (“Three or Four Reptiles”, “Fish Rotting from the Head”, “Your Dad Is a Fascist”). The performance was awarded a special jury prize, and the song “Children are leaving” was recognized as the best composition of the festival.

Some time later, in Yalta , when the authorities banned the Televizor concert five minutes before it was due to start, Borzykin led a crowd of indignant spectators to the city committee and, through a megaphone, set forth his demands to the secretary of the city committee. Later, a similar situation occurred in Leningrad, after authorities banned a concert at the Winter Stadium.

Also in 1987, “Television” recorded the album "Fatherland of Illusions" and performed at the “Podolsk-87” festival. This performance is still considered by music critics to be one of the best concerts in the history of Russian rock[7]. The band went on to play at the "Rock Forum" in Vilnius, in Moscow, and to tour in Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg.

Televizor live in 2015. Photo by Wikipedia user OptimusView

Mikhail's songs and the Televizor music are influenced by Talking Heads,[9] The Cure,[9][10][11] Cocteau Twins,[9][10] The Beatles, Depeche Mode,[9][12] The Smiths,[9] philosophers Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as writers: Arkady and Boris Strugatsky,[5] Mikhail Bulgakov[13] and Hermann Hesse.[13][14].


Studio albums

  • 1985 — Шествие рыб
  • 1987 — Отечество иллюзий
  • 1989 — Отчуждение
  • 1990 — Мечта самоубийцы
  • 1992 — Дым-туман
  • 1995 — Двое
  • 2001 — Путь к успеху
  • 2004 — МегаМизантроп
  • 2005 — Отчуждение-2005
  • 2009 — Дежавю
  • 2016 — Ихтиозавр

Concert albums

  • 1984 — II фестиваль Ленинградского рок-клуба
  • 1985 — III фестиваль Ленинградского рок-клуба
  • 1987 — Музыка для мёртвых
  • 1990 — Концерт в Амстердаме
  • 1994 — Живой
  • 2002 — Перекрёсток
  • 2010 — XXV лет в одной лодке


  • Mikhail Borzykin — singing, keyboards, synthesizer, programming
  • Sergey Sivickiy — guitar
  • Sergey Rusanov — drums


  1. Происхождение названия группы ТЕЛЕВИЗОР. "Время Z"
  2. Андрей Бурлака (1990). Рок блиц (in Russian). Изд-во "Сов. композитор".
  3. Михаил Борзыкин: «Я не ухожу из протеста»
  4. Televizor. Dejavu
  5. Televizor. 100 Magnitoalbums of Soviet Rock
  6. Borzykin
  7. А. Кушнир Телевизор - Отечество иллюзий (1987)
  8. Russian Pop Stars Pay A Price For Speaking Out On Ukraine, NPR, December 10, 2014
  9. Петербургские рок-интервью: Михаил Борзыкин
  10. Михаил Борзыкин. «Претензии искусства на волшебную силу необоснованны»
  11. Михаил Борзыкин. Творческий вечер в клубе «ШУМ» (06.11.10)
  12. Михаил Борзыкин. Человек должен идти один... ″Rothmans Адреналин″ — стр. 4
  13. "Nашъ Драйвъ" №2, январь 1996 (М. Борзыкин и др.)
  14. Рок-музыка: Бог или Сатана? Интервью для журнала Fuzz
  15. "Російська рок-група написала пісню "Ти прости нас, Україно"" (in Ukrainian). Korrespondent. 14 May 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2018.

External links

Text adapted from Wikipedia.