“Mum, can I go join The Red Army?”
“I suppose, why?”
“They have awesome music.”
“Why don’t you just join a choir or something?”
“I can’t sing.”
One thing you’ll learn about me is that I have this peculiar OCD when it comes to music. If I hear a good backing track to an advert, or a TV show (At the moment, I would have to say my favourite ‘genre’ of music is in fact official Anime soundtracks, I’ve acquired a few now), or even a game, I won’t rest until I’ve found it. I also have a separate thing where I just listen to the same song over and over again on repeat, but that’s not relevant here.
My latest OCD-fuelled search revolved around one of the opening cinematics for World in Conflict: Soviet Assault. I’d only purchased this recently, having known about it but not really bothering to check it out until it was going cheap on Steam. I’d always heard though that despite its flaws as a strategy game it was actually well balanced, and the online especially helped promote a lot of teamwork.
Anyway, upon starting the campaign, here’s what confronted me during the first mission**:
Honest to god, I almost went and joined the Red Army there and then… well, you know, if it had still existed. You could say I’m easily swayed by a stirring scene or a good piece of music, but I really do a feel a certain buzz when the right combination of sound, visuals and atmosphere is presented to me – always sends a shiver down my spine. This video in particular I think can help you appreciate concepts like Propaganda, National Pride, even how people used sheer charisma to manipulate a crowd. Naturally, having seen this I had to go and find out what the song was called that was playing in the background.
Turns out it wasn’t a song created for the game (as it wasn’t on the official WiC: SA soundtrack) but rather an actual song made in the 1930’s called Polyushko Polye, which translates as O Field, My Field*. There’s a few versions I found, the original acoustic version, and then the version the Soviet Army used post-World War 2, this one and this one being the best (I think the latter is the one that’s used in the video).
It’s rather sad though, reading through the comments in these videos, that more people argued about the likely hood of the USSR invading Europe and America (As that’s what happens in WiC) then just appreciated how excellent the song was. But yeah… that’s what I’ve been doing this weekend – any backing tracks you’ve found that have really struck you? Feel free to share!
Until next time…
* I think, anyway. Don’t quote me on that.
** The lip-sync is off with my version of the game for some reason. Not sure why but I tried to clean my capture up as much as possible in Premier Pro, although it’s still not perfect and I also ended up cutting off the edges. What can I say? I’m rusty. A better version of the scene can be seen here, although it’s in French.