(NOTE: While no amount of column space could possibly contain all the most pertinent updates about t.A.T.u. – the greatest band in the world – I’ve tried my best to highlight some of the more pressing news.)
After t.A.T.u. – the greatest band in the world – split with their former manager Ivan Shapovalov and their “teen lesbian” image in 2004, and singer Yulia Volkova gave birth to her daughter Viktoria later on in the same year, many felt this was the end for the duo. Not so! Last October, they released their second album, Dangerous and Moving (Lyudi Invalidy [Invalid People] in Russian), featuring the musical assistance of Dave Stewart, Richard Carpenter and Sting.
How has it been faring so far?
Dangerous and Moving peaked on the Billboard 500 at #131, but the band is still maintaining a strong following in Poland, where listeners of the wildly popular Polish radio station Eska rated them #2 out of a possible 100 “hot acts” of 2005 – despite having only released Dangerous and Moving in the last two months of that year. Also, the latest single, Friend or Foe, is still in the Top 30 for world rankings of singles, while the first single, All About Us, remains in the Top 20 for the same list. All About Us’ ranking may have something to do with the video, which – true to form – has sparked a great deal of controversy. MTV refused to air it without substantial scene cuts, due to violent content, and the uncensored version has been circulating the Internet in heavy rotation. So Yulia gets beaten nearly to death and ends up shooting her attacker in the face at point-blank range before kicking his headless corpse – is that really any worse than anything Will Smith has made us suffer through?
In other news, the girls have a global tour coming up, and won an Italian TRL award last month for Best Group, an award that is voted for online. Prior to this writing, fans on the message board of t.A.T.u.’s official website were giving each other instructions on how to vote anonymously multiple times to ensure a win for t.A.T.u. – not that they needed the help! – which is a testament to just how devoted t.A.T.u. fans are.
It looks like the girls might be extending their greatness and awesomeness into other genres as well. Yulia wrote in her online diary that she’s pulling together ideas for a movie script. In her own words: “Yes, I started to write a script for the movie I want to shoot. I don’t know how to write scripts at all, I have so many thoughts, how to organise them?… I want to write everything at once. The movie is going to be about young people, about life, about dangerous, extreme moments… But it will not be just about guys and gangs, like Svolochi or Brigada [Russian movies about young people]. A different kind. I have an idea about the opening scene: a girl opens her eyes and realises that she’s alive.” I got chills!
As a testament to t.A.T.u.’s greatness and universalness, hip-hop act Flipsyde have sampled the aforementioned Gomensai for their single Happy Birthday, a song about a man who deeply regrets the “murder” of his unborn child. Anti-choice propaganda from the hip-hop world? Possibly. A song vastly improved because there’s a bit of t.A.T.u. in it? Definitely!
The last time this paper reported on t.A.T.u., we told you where you could download their material for free on their official site. As the page we referred to has been updated and no longer features music downloads, I’m sure a number of you have been frustrated and disappointed. Fret no more! You can download nearly their entire back catalogue at http://eng.tatysite.net/music and videos can be found at http://eng.tatysite.net/video. Documentaries and interviews can still be found at http://tatu.ru/kino.html, which may entail having some knowledge in Russian, but learning a few words in a new language is hardly too much to ask in order to get more on the greatest band in the world, t.A.T.u.!
Stay tuned for more updates!