Vladimir Vysotsky is a big deal in Russia, but hardly a word is spoken of him in North America. Much of this is likely to do his career consisting of Russian language songs, many having to do with the hardships of life in the Soviet Union, both factors making hard for North Americans to relate to his work. However, I don't know a blasted word of Russian, but I've come to hold Vysotsky in very high regard. Even without understanding the exact words he says, it is impossible not to feel something with his handsome voice growling along to his acoustic guitar. Not small part is likely my enjoyment of the story of his life, which did end tragically young due to alcoholism. yet during his life he was one of Russia's foremost actors, entering into music as parallel career. Morever, he succeeded in getting his music allowed by the Soviet censors despite the dissenting attiude displayed within. From what I read he is often included as one of the "bard" musicians, but this was a title he personally shunned during his lifetime. Anyway one slices it, it is some damned neat folk music.
To be had here:
Vladimir Vysotsky - Self-Protrait [256 VBR kbps]