Sergei Minaev - Margarita

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Sergei Yurevich Minaev (°1962) was born in Moscow and would become known with cover versions, often with an ironic undertone, of well-known foreign hit songs from the 80s and 90s, including the Steve Miller Band, Modern Talking, Michael Jackson and Deep Purple.

He studied at the Moscow theatre faculty GITIS, where he graduated in 1987. In the meantime he had also learned to play the violin at the music school and he became the singer of the local band Gorod.


His breakthrough came in 1986 with the song Margarita, especially written for him by the Russian composer of popular tunes Yuri Aleksandrovich Chernavsky (°1947). An old friend of Yuri Chernavsky, the sound engineer Vladimir Shirkin, had taken him to the disco club Novorossiysk in Moscow, to make him listen to the young singer Minaev.

Chernavsky decided to write a song for him for a big show which he wanted to organise for the record company SPM Records at the Luzhinsky Sports Palace in Moscow. His partner in this project was the later politician Sergey Fyodorovich Lisovsky (°1960). It was the first disco show with more than 10,000 spectators in the former Soviet Union. It was at the beginning of the period of glasnost and perestroika under president Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev (°1931). The text of the song was written by the poet Alexander Markevich and was inspired by Margarita's flight on the broom.

The recording was made in 1986 in the home studio of Yuri Chernavsky. For the background vocals, he had convinced a number of known singers to work with him. They were all prepared to help the then young and unknown artists.

The song was not yet released on an album though. When it became possible to set up private companies in the Soviet Union in 1987, Yuri Chernavsky and Sergey Lisovsky had privatized SPM Records and stopped working with Minaev. It didn’t keep Minaev from becoming extremely popular in the Moscow disco clubs. This popularity was mainly due to the huge number of Магнитоальбоми [magnitoalbomi] or illegal amateur recordings on compact tape cartridges which circulated in the Soviet Union. In the 70s and 80s such tapes were distributed through the thousands of small sales stalls which existed everywhere in the country, often in the neighbourhood of subway stations or large markets.

Since the original recordings were considered as lost, it would take until 2002 before Minaev's version of Margarita would be released on his compilation CD Назад в будущее [Nazad v budushchee] or Back to the Future.

Meanwhile, another Russian singer, Valery Yakovlevich Leontev (°1949), had «hijacked» it. You can read more about that with the following link.

Click here to read more about the version of Valery Leontev


Technical details

Sergei Minaev - Margarita

Nazad v budushchee

Sergei Minaev

Misteria Zvuka

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