Don’t take off those schoolgirl uniforms just yet.
Back in November, legendary Russian duo t.A.T.u. celebrated the 10 year anniversary of their debut studio album 200 KM/H In The Wrong Lane with a special re-release of the album, including two new remixes and the previously unreleased track “A Simple Motion,” which premiered Excluusively on MuuMuse.
Today, the endlessly ferocious Miss Julia Volkova went ahead and posted two brand new remixes of the long-lost English ballad out of nowhere–and both they’re major.
Last month, Julia Volkova and Lena Katina–the lovely ladies of t.A.T.u.–told MuuMuse that there was “a chance” they could reunite once again. Welp, hang onto your schoolgirl skirts, y’all–’cause it just happened.
Next week, Cherrytree Records and Universal Russia will be releasing the 10 Year Anniversary Edition of t.A.T.u‘s debut record, 200 km/h In The Wrong Lane. And to help celebrate the re-release, I interviewed the girls.
But that’s not all.
Included in the re-release–along with two new remixes (including one by Fernando Garibay)–is a brand new, never-before-heard track: “A Simple Motion.” The long-awaited song is the English version of their Russian track “Prostye Dvizheniya,” and as Lena revealed during the interview, it’s a ballad version.
The track was co-produced by Martin “Cherry Cherry Boom Boom” Kierszenbaum and Robert Orton, who went on to mix “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” for Gaga, as well as “Good Time” by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Now, for the first time ever, MuuMuse is proud to Excluusively premiere the full version of “A Simple Motion.”
5 years before Katy Perry was batting her fake eyelashes and singing coquettishly about the oh-so-taboo indulgence of a same-sex kiss, two underage Russian pop stars stormed the stage of the MTV Movie Awards with a fleet of girls dressed in schoolgirl uniforms, throwing their fists up in the air riotously and engaging in a massive girl-on-girl make-out session.
“I Kissed A Girl,” scandalous? Oh, how quickly we forget.
When t.A.T.u burst into the American pop scene back in 2002, their dark, brooding dance-pop gems like “All The Things She Said” provided a sharp contrast to what was then a largely R&B-dominated pop landscape. That, and their Sapphic lyricism and controversial on-stage antics (the MTV Movie Awards performance predated the iconic Britney/Madonna/Christina trifecta kiss at the 2003 VMA’s by a few months), which inspired both delight and outrage alike.
Upon Julia’s pregnancy with her first child in 2004, when it was quickly “revealed” that the love between the members of t.A.T.u. was an act–or as some would argue, a performance piece–rather than two girls actually in love (despite the fact that they never claimed to be in their personal lives), critics scowled and wrote them off as fake, predating the arguments that now drone on endlessly on the blogosphere about the “authenticity” of artists like Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey.
Others charged that the act was nothing more than a quick way to sell records in the form of fulfilling girl-on-girl fantasies. But as opposed to the sugarcoated, guilty-as-charged wink-wink of Katy Perry, there was never anything cheeky about t.A.T.u’s music: Rebellious anthems like “Not Gonna Get Us” and “All The Things She Said” provide an earnest charge for two lovers against the world, while songs like the utterly chilling “30 Minutes,” “Stars” and “Show Me Love” capture the anguish and alienation involved in a more forbidden kind of love. Even one of their most upbeat offerings, “Malchik Gay”–a song about falling in love with a gay man–is far more devastating than the bouncy beats might imply (“I try to keep on hoping for a way, a reason for us both to come in close/I long for you to hold me like your boyfriend does.”)
Though their popularity in America was ultimately short-lived, the band still made an impressive mark with their debut–and in the process, won themselves legions of dedicated fans that found solace in their music.
10 years later, as Top 40 radio in America has moved away from R&B and become increasingly saturated with Euro-infused club-pop anthems, t.A.T.u’s musical legacy has never felt quite so relevant. And perhaps even more important than their music, their message: Across the world, tension continues to mount in t.A.T.u’s homeland, where leaders have only shown themselves to be increasingly intolerant of LGBT equality in their policies, including a recent ban of pro-LGBT speech in St. Petersburg (which Madonna recently protested during her MDNA Tour stop in the city.)
That the group managed to find worldwide popularity a decade prior now seems nothing less than revolutionary.
A few weeks ago, Cherrytree Records announced that the group’s acclaimed debut, 200 km/h In The Wrong Lane, would be getting a full re-release this November in honor of the album’s 10th anniversary, including new remixes and a previously unheard track (“A Simple Motion.”) I had the opportunity to talk to the girls about their debut, the recording process, the music industry, and looking forward at what lies ahead. As a massive t.A.T.u. fan (to nearly embarrassing levels), it was a major treat.
And now, without further ado, a few words with t.A.T.u.
It’s been a full decade since Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova first joined forces as Russian pop sensation t.A.T.u., sparking controversy and outrage for their lolita looks, Sapphic lyricism and schoolgirl uniforms.
Now, to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the duo’s debut record, Cherrytree Records and Universal Russia are teaming up to issue a re-release of 2002′s 200 km/h In The Wrong Lane.
The album spawned several brooding, rock-tinged dance-pop classics, including “All The Things She Said,” “Not Gonna Get Us,” “30 Minutes” and their brilliant cover of The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?” and remains one of the best pop albums (and certainly one of my favorites!) from the past decade.
The re-release will include an unreleased track from the sessions (“A Simple Motion,” the long-awaited English version of the Russian “Prostye Dvizheniya” that’s never seen the light of day), a remix of “All The Things She Said” by Fernando Garibay, remastered tracks and all new artwork.
It’s a t.A.T.u. fan boy (or girl) dream come true.
And now, the full press release from Cherrytree:
October 2nd, 2012 – Los Angeles, California – In 2002, the unforgettable duo of Julia Volkova and Lena Katina – known to the entire world as t.A.T.u. – drove a dark-pop semi-truck through the musical landscape with their multi-platinum debut album “200 km/h in the Wrong Lane.” To commemorate the 10th year anniversary of this seminal pop album, Cherrytree Records and Universal Russia are issuing a special re-release of t.A.T.u’s “200 km/h in the Wrong Lane.” The album – which spawned the hits ‘All The Things She Said’ and ‘Not Gonna Get Us’ – was first released on December 10th, 2002.
t.A.T.u.’s irresistible first single, ‘All The Things She Said’ topped the charts around the globe and included a 4-week stint at number 1 in the UK. The album was produced by Trevor Horn (producer of Grace Jones, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Seal), Martin “Cherry Cherry Boom Boom” Kierszenbaum (Cherrytree Records label head and producer of Lady Gaga, Far East Movement, Natalia Kills) and Robert Orton (mixer for Jennifer Lopez, Carly Rae Jepsen, Lana del Rey).
Following the original release of “200km/h in the Wrong Lane,” t.A.T.u. became the first-ever eastern European group to achieve platinum status in any language. To this day, t.A.T.u. remain Russia’s most successful musical export with over 6 million units sold and their “200 km/h in the Wrong Lane” debut album is still cited by music journalists as one of the best pop albums.
The “10th Year Anniversary Gold Edition will feature all new artwork, a never-before-released song from the 2002 sessions, “A Simple Motion,” a brand new remix of “All The Things She Said” from producer Fernando Garibay (Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Shakira), special remix in addition to newly-mastered songs.
“200km/h in the Wrong Lane” – 10th Anniversary Edition will be released by Cherrytree Records/Universal Russia on November 12th, 2012.
Amazing, amazing, amazing news. And given what a major t.A.T.u. fan I am, you should probably keep your eyes peeled on MuuMuse for all the latest on the re-release.
Who knows? You might see some Excluusives coming ’round in the near future…
200 km/h In The Wrong Lane was released on December 10, 2002. (iTunes)