80s and 90s in Azerbaijan and rest of the world were very different from each other – USSR recently liberalized her policies, rebellions and ethnic struggles broke up and kids back then had not much time to have fun. Nevertheless, they had their own way to contribute to art and subculture. Movies Drive, Neon Demon; TV Series like Cobra Kai, The Americans and Stranger Things brought 80s back to popularity in West. So as VarYox, we thought bringing back lost and forgotten 80s Azerbaijan music would be proper thing to do. Who knows, may be we have much to offer to the world of synthwave?
Xəlitə was one of early bands to manage have a music video shot. This particular song depicts two sides of Baku normal one and the one is underground and dark in its own way.
Here is another song by them in English.
Play Off was characterized with their unique dancing styles.
Charley ATL was an art rock band formed in 1987. Their one and only released album was “Dedicated to victims of Indian Cinema” in 1990 (Indian cinema was very popular back then in Baku. People would gather around in someone’s house, watch movies for hours). Their style were often compared to King Crimson, Dire Straits and Deep Purple by then in Azerbaijani rock magazine (samizdat) “Rokoko” which was founded itself by band member – Vahid Mustafayev. Their major appearance on stage was during “Rokoko” rock music festival which took place in September, 1991 in Green Theatre. Their first and only music video “Körpə” (Baby) was released in 1993 and was circulated in ANS TV till 1998. Whilst most of bands then sang in Russian, Charley ATL was singing in Azerbaijani. Their style derived from folk as well, tar was used as an instrument. Lyrics were heavily sarcastic. Band was eventually split up in 1995
Sci-fi was also an element in music. “Who are you robot?” was a hilarious music video by the band “Ozan” in 1987. No further explanation needed.
Aşıqlar was a band formed in 1973, but they mostly retained their style. Their music video has heavy 90s elements. Guy breaks up with his girlfriend on the car, while listening to jazz! Which motivates girl to go to a bar and force a band to play live.
RAST is not particularly 80s band, they started in 1992. Their hit “Kaş ki, mən dəniz olaydım” (Wish I was the sea) is important to show 90s Baku underground scene and clubs.
And a bonus! Watch full concert video by the band “Taj” which incorporated elements of rock and pop together.