Aрхив, that is—not to be confused with Arkhi, Mongolian death-vodka made from distilled marmots, which Dzhrew once drank and promptly un-drank into the filthiest toilet in all Mongolia. These are, for the most part, "anthology" albums of older Akvarium material performed in one era and gathered and/or immortalized in another. Unlike the "greatest hits" and such-like compilations found under the Collections heading, these albums (with the exception of White Album) need to be considered primary source material—an Archive—nay, a treasure trove—of alternate versions of classics and songs that, for one reason or another, never made it onto the cannonical albums of the 80's.
Notoriously elusive compilation, containing studio versions of "-30" and "Marina," among other gems, which are otherwise only available in wigged-out live versions. For over two years we had the following challenge on this site: "The first person who gets a copy of this record in the hands of a Guru will receive a crappy 'BG With Skull' bookmark. Let the games begin!" Dubbear won by submitting a review and sending CDs to various Gurus. That's devotion.
Long the holiest and most elusive of Grails, Dzhrew demonstrated his ruthlessness and savvy in a last-second bidding coup on ebay in 2002 to acquire this important, jewel-encrusted artifact—The (Mostly) White Album, so called, decorated with the haunting text, "Ensemble Akvarium." It's a compilation album of songs recorded at the Leningrad City Rock Club for the albums Silver Day in 1984 and December's Children in 1985. All hail Dzhrew's acquisition (for the greater glory of his own lingham and) for the worshipful contemplation of Bodhisattvas everywhere!
A post-Akvarium I breakup, pre-"B.G. Band" collection of previously-unreleased-on-disc tunes. Offbeat, and sometimes disappointing, but by no means a throwaway. Could easily and weirdly be "someone's" favorite album. Memorize the song about drinking at work ("Alternative"). Practice singing it while you're drinking at work.
Of the "Archive" albums, Library of Babylon probably comes the closest to being a "must-have." Contains a number of popular favorites from Akvarium's live shows that never made it onto the studio albums of the 80's (e.g. "Sister," "Silver of My Lord," "Assholes," "Jungles") as well as lesser-known (but still excellent) songs in a dazzling, dizzying array of styles.
Low-key. Hints at the "mature rock icon" tendencies of Lilith, but without the spark of the godhead. Dzhrew intones: Sands of Petersburg is bigger than you. It's bigger than me. It scares me a little with its magnitude. But there's still something wrong in it somewhere. The non-organicness?" Dzhrew used to think the title had something to do with puppy dogs. Guff! Guff!
If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? Consider this koan, as BG & Co. sing you some stories from times gone by.
Do you need to study the secret history? Nikrond sticks his head in the hive and comes out to share his bee-stung visions.