Igor Vladimirovich Talkov (Russian: И́горь Влади́мирович Талько́в; 4 November 1956 – 6 October 1991), was a Soviet Russian rock singer-songwriter and film actor.[1] His breakthrough came in 1987 with the David Tukhmanov-composed song Clean Ponds which was an instant hit. Talkov's lyrics are mostly about love, but also contain social critique of the Soviet regime.[2] He was shot dead in 1991.[3]

Igor Talkov
Игорь Тальков
Stamp of Russia, devoted to Igor Talkov, 1999, 2 rub. (Scott № 6549)
Stamp of Russia, devoted to Igor Talkov, 1999, 2 rub. (Scott № 6549)
Background information
Birth nameIgor Vladimirovich Talkov
Born(1956-11-04)4 November 1956
Gretsovka, Shchyokinsky District, Tula Oblast, RSFSR, Soviet Union
Died6 October 1991(1991-10-06) (aged 34)
Leningrad, Soviet Union
Occupation(s)singer-songwriter, film actor
  • Vocals
  • Guitar
  • Bass guitar
  • Accordion
  • Piano
  • Drum kit
Years active1973–1991

Early life and careerEdit

Igor Talkov was born in Gretsovka, Tula Oblast, Soviet Union on 4 November 1956.[4] He grew up in Shchyokino.[5] After leaving the army, Talkov started singing in the restaurants of Moscow and Sochi.[5]

Igor Talkov has joined to Electroclub band in 1986. Talkov's breakthrough came in 1987 with the David Tukhmanov-composed song Clean Ponds which was an instant hit.[4] While he is mostly remembered for songs about love and fate, most of his work held a clearly political message against the Soviet regime, calling for change. This is one of the reasons why Talkov was never popular with the Soviet government; even as a performer renowned and loved throughout the whole Soviet Union, he lived in a small two-room apartment with his wife and son, composing his lyrics and music "on top of the washing machine in the bathroom", according to the rumours.[6] He was not satisfied with Perestroika, claiming it to be nothing but the same regime under a different guise.[7] In his post-Perestroika songs, he openly mocked the changes, calling them a ruse.[8] Talkov was an avid reader of pre-revolutionary Russian history, which served as the inspiration for many of his songs. He even guaranteed at his last concert that he was willing to "back up" his lyrics with historical facts.[9]

Talkov also made a brief presence in the cinema, acting in the films Behind the Last Line and Tsar Ivan the Terrible . The latter film he disliked, apologizing to a preview audience for participating in the film.[10] Since Talkov refused to complete post-production sound on the film, his character was voiced by another actor.[11][12]

Talkov's songs also have much in common – particularly from a lyrical perspective – with Russian bard music.[13][14][15]


According to Talkov's wife Tatyana and son Igor Jr., the last months of the singer's life he received threats.[16]

Many performers performed at the concert, which took place on 6 October 1991 in St. Petersburg at the Yubileiny Sports Palace. A friend of the singer Aziza, at her request, asked Igor Talkov to perform first, since Aziza did not have time to prepare for the exit. Talkov called the singer's guard Igor Malakhov to his dressing room, and a verbal conflict occurred between them. After that, two guards Igor Talkov took Igor Malakhov out of the dressing room. Talkov began to prepare for his performance, but a few minutes later the administrator of his Lifebuoy group, Valery Shlyafman, ran up to him, shouting that Malakhov had taken out a revolver. Talkov pulled out a gas pistol from his bag, which he had acquired for self-defense, ran into the corridor and, seeing that his guards were at gunpoint of Igor Malakhov, fired three shots at him. Malakhov bent down, and the guards, taking advantage of this delay, began to neutralize him. Then he fired two shots, but one bullet hit the floor, and the second - into the box with the equipment. The guards began to beat the shooter, and, covering his head, he dropped his revolver. A few moments later, another shot rang out, which hit Igor Talkov in the chest. An hour later, when the ambulance team arrived, the doctors immediately stated biological death.[citation needed]

The prosecutor's office opened a criminal case. Igor Malakhov, who was put on the all-Union wanted list, voluntarily came to confess 10 days later. In December 1991, the charge of premeditated murder was dropped. After conducting examinations in April 1992, the investigation established that the last shot was made by Valery Schlyafman, Talkov's one time manager.[17] However, in February 1992, the defendant left for Israel, with which Russia did not have an extradition agreement at the time, and the murder case was suspended. In November 2018, the Investigative Committee resumed its investigation into the singer's murder.[18]


While Valery Schlyafman was suspected of the murder by a Russian court in 1992, he fled through Ukraine to Israel before he could be arrested.[4][19] He remains in Israel to this day, insisting he is not guilty of the crime while Israel refuses to extradite him. Schlyafman and his supporters have claimed that the KGB orchestrated the murder.[20]

In 1999 Talkov was honoured with his image portrayed on a Russian postage stamp. There is an Igor Talkov Museum in Moscow.[11][21]

Popular SongsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Igor Talkov – rock musician". Russian Personalities (in Russian). 1 February 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  2. ^ Памяти Игоря Талькова посвящается… Статьи
  3. ^ Воскрешение поверженного в бою
  4. ^ a b c "Igor Talkov Popular singer, poet, composer, and film actor :: people :: Russia-InfoCentre". russia-ic.com. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Russian culture". Russian culture (in Russian). 17 August 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  6. ^ Russia Pain of My Soul Igor Talkov (interview)
  7. ^ Сделал дело — и пой смело!
  8. ^ Крестный путь Игоря Тальков
  9. ^ "Игорь Тальков — гений XX века". Retrieved 7 June 2008.
  10. ^ stihiya. "Тальков о фильме «Князь Серебряный»". YouTube. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Игорь Тальков-младший: «Отец был бы спортивным, успешным и счастливым»". Амурская Правда. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ Расследование убийства Игоря Талькова. Факты
  13. ^ Игорь Тальков. Поверженный в бою
  14. ^ Подробности убийства Игоря Талькова
  15. ^ Отечественная бардовская и рок-поэзия с точки зрения её национальных особенностей
  16. ^ Игорь Тальков-младший: «Незадолго до смерти отец жутко ругался по телефону»
  17. ^ "Потому что Шляфман". Archived from the original on 31 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  18. ^ Виталий Кропман (13 November 2018). "В Санкт-Петербурге возобновили расследование убийства Игоря Талькова". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Who covered up the murderer of Igor Talkov". rucriminal.info. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  20. ^ Обвиняемый в убийстве Игоря Талькова прервал молчание
  21. ^ "Dedicated to memory of Igor Talkov... The museum". talkov.info. Retrieved 31 October 2019.

External linksEdit