Borya-blessed live albums. That is, those released on disc.
For others, less sanctioned, see Bootlegs & Bobina.
Features rocking live versions (you know it, baby) of early songs, while giving an aural lesson in what a great thing it would have been to see an early live show. Recorded on June 4, 1982 in the Conference Hall of the Main Moscow Architecture-Planning Division, this show is not vital, but it gives you that drugged-out-in-the-post-Brezhnev-era feeling without all the wear & tear on your body & wallet. Buy Aroks i Shtyor first, though.
Get all the power of early live Akvarium with none of the fluff. Great photo on the disk (legitimate copies only) of Lyapin playing guitar with his teeth and Boris doing something zany in the background. Go, Russkii rockerboys, go! In the book Songs, Boris identifies this as the first "realistically-electric Akvarium concert, with Lyapin and Pyotr." This is realistic; this is electric; this is liver than live.
Live from the "soon to be Akvarium but not yet renamed" period. There is a second title right under the "Letters…," but it's in such a wacky stylized font that the venue of the concert baffled the Bodhisattvas for years until Dzhon the Dzhorneyman got fall-down drunk there on Christmas Eve, 1999. "It says Concert in Vyatka," he groans, "which is the old name for the city of Kirov. But almost nobody besides BG calls it that. It's the only city in Russia where the residents actually voted to retain the Soviet name rather than revert to the historical Russian one. You have to love it just for that."
Live recordings—74 minutes of them—made at Moscow's famous Taganka Theater between 1982 and 1986. Lots and lots of guitar, voice & cello, some odd but beautiful song choices, and a tiny bit of goofing around make this a joy. The wacky slow "Molodaya shpana" (a.k.a. "Rock-n-Roll Hero"), in particular, is an interesting retake on an old classic. Guitarists! This is your source for solo guitar "Mochalkin Blues" in F (capo recommended).
Live album and video (PC video, not DVD) taken from a Kostroma, mon Amour period concert in Moscow. This packaging combo—album with PC video—is a recent development, with both Navigator and Snow Lion now available in the same format. We at the Bodhisattvas of Babylon endorse any and all marketing techniques which a) provide value and b) pay Akvarium to make more music—therefore we endorse this trend.
The live album to accompany the 25 History video. Angrily hurling thunderbolts at my Mandala, Dzhon says "It has great sound quality as far as I'm concerned, and unlike a lot of their live stuff includes crowd noise and BG saying things like 'Ох, любим мы вас!' It also includes some genius songs—"Minus 30," "Pigs in the Ears Blues"—that are otherwise difficult to come by." Note the heavy-duty marketing on this: film, CD, multimedia CD-ROM. Yet still no traditional rock paraphernalia (see our Wish List).