SOVIET UNION: Rasputin Is In

Much ado about a sexy monk

"RaRa Rasputin, lover of the Russian Queen/ Russia's greatest love machine."

Those improbable lyrics, belted out by a Jamaican reggae-rock group called Boney M., are from the hottest pop tune in the Soviet Union. In restaurants and bars throughout the country last week, disc jockeys were spinning the group's recording of Rasputin, which has been issued by the government record company Melodiya. At the same time, curiously, the sellout novel of the year depicts Grigori Rasputin's sexual escapades, including boudoir frolics with Russia's last empress, the...

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