Tag Archives: Records

The Strange History of Soviet X-Ray Records

Hips don’t lie. But a hip x-ray in the Soviet Union of the 1950s might not have been what it appeared to be. In fact, if it was round, it was likely a record. Let us explain. At a time when the Soviet government strictly forbade western music from the likes of hip shaker Elvis and jazz great Charlie Parker, people found a creative way around the restriction. They turned x-rays of rib cages, fingers and other body parts into records—yes, actual audio recordings—that they exchanged on the sly. Stephen Coates of London’s Bureau of Lost Culture tells us about the ingenious scheme to create and distribute the bootleg audio recordings.