LubehLyube (Russian: Любэ, with the stress on the last syllable; also romanized as Ljube or Lube) is a Russian rock band from Lubertsy, a suburb of Moscow. Lyube’s music is a mixture of several genres, with influences from both Russian folk music, rock, Russian chanson, and Soviet military songs. The band was founded in 1989, and since then have released 16 albums. Lyube’s producer and main songwriter is Igor Matvienko.

Igor Matvienko was a music producer and composer working at the Soviet music studio SPM Record when he came up with the idea to start Lyube in 1988. His goal was to put together a band with patriotic themed songs and a strong male vocal. After devoting time to finding the right frontman, Matvienko chose Nikolay Rastorguyev, a People’s Artist of Russia, with whom he had worked earlier in the band “Leysia, pesnia” (Russian: Лейся, песня).

Rastorguyev came up with the band’s name. “Lyube” has two simultaneous derivations. It is a nickname for the Moscow suburb of Lyubertsy, which is where Rastorguyev lived. It is also a slang word meaning “any” and signifies a diversity of choices or views.

Initially, the band had Aleksandr Nikolayev on bass, Vyacheslav Tereshenok on guitar, Rinat Bakhteev on drums, and Aleksandr Davydov on keyboard, with Rastorguyev as the lead vocalist. Over time, only Rastorguyev remained of the original group. Lyube’s first tour took place in 1989, with the band giving concerts in the Russian cities of Pyatigorsk and Zheleznovodsk. These initial concerts were poorly attended. The band’s first real break took place in December 1989 when they were invited to perform in a series of concerts sponsored by Alla Pugacheva. Rastorguyev wore an old-style military uniform for the performance. After that, the uniform became a part of the singer’s image for many years.

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