"I'd like to say a few words about these songs of mine. Many years ago, I was with my closest friends. From my various travels I have brought back for them... well, impressions, impressions in verse set to a sort of rhythm. So I took my guitar in hand and began to strum away. And what emerged was something like a song. But it was not a song. It was, the way I see it, poetry recited with musical accompaniment. In short, poetry set to rhythm. I remember the atmosphere then. It was the atmosphere of trust and unconstrained freedom, and, what's more important, friendship."
Admired by all circles of Soviet society, a voice of dissent, but not a dissident, accepted by the Soviet government as an actor, but never as a poet and singer, Vysotsky held no office, no titles. "He was simply a son of his country, he was very Russian. He did play a very political role, because in his songs he came out against evil force, against the ugly system under which he was born" (Mikhail Chemiakin, emigre artist, Vysotsky's close friend).
Read Vysotsky's biography
Check out translations of Vysotsky's songs
Vysotsky as Hamlet
Musical based on Vysotsky's life
To get more information in English, visit other sites, such as Little Russia.