Aquarium (band)

Aquarium (band)

:"Akvarium" redirects here. It is also a nickname for a building at the headquarters of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, or that secret service as an organization."Infobox musical artist
Name = Aquarium (Аквариум)

Img_capt = Aquarium live (2004)
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = USSR, Russia
Genre = Fusion, Russian rock etc.
Years_active = 1972–present
Label = Magnitizdat by Andrei Tropillo, Melodia, Solyd, Soyuz
Associated_acts =
Current_members = Boris Grebenshchikov (vocals, guitars),
Sergey Kuryokhin (keyboards, piano),
and many others
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Aquarium ( _ru. Аква́риум) is a Russian rock group, formed in Leningrad in 1972 by Boris Grebenshchikov, then a student of Applied Mathematics at Leningrad State University, and Anatoly (George) Gunitsky, then a playwright and absurdist poet.


In the 1970s and early 1980's, rock and roll was strictly regulated in the Soviet Union and,only a few artists managed to be approved and signed by the government record label Melodiya, and Aquarium's usual concert venues were private apartments while facing many years of fierce competition to land a spot in the label. These "apartment concerts" ("квартирники") were a unique Soviet phenomenon, created by underground musicians. They were usually "unplugged", as noise would cause the neighbors to alert the authorities. The limited space fostered an atmosphere of intimacy between the group and its audience, listening with bated breath, with perhaps someone recording it on a simple tape recorder. This was similar to the concepts of the Russian bards, however Aquarium were admittedly much more influenced by Western rock music, particularly by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, David Bowie,T.Rex, progressive rock acts Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Roxy Music and also new wave and reggae artists. Thus their compositions were considerably more complex and their lyrics covered a broader range of topics, showcasing Grebenshchikov's notable erudition in Celtic and Indian cultures, among other things.

Until 1987 Aquarium recorded all of their albums in live concerts and in a self-assembled underground studio (several members had engineering education) disguised as a "Young Technicians Club" (for the album "Radio Africa" (1983) a government-owned mobile studio was secretly used, after bribing a technician). Despite those hard conditions, the recording quality was rather high and Aquarium's albums between 1980 and 1987 are considered by most fans as their best.

The advent of Glasnost in 1985 brought many underground Russian rock musicians to public recognition and Aquarium became one of the most popular acts. They were allowed to play in large concert halls, appeared on the state-owned television and recorded soundtracks for several films, most notably "ASSA" [] . In 1987 they recorded their first album for the state-owned Melodiya record label. With official backing and legalized distribution the album was a huge hit in USSR, selling well over a million copies within a few months. This was, however, the last album recorded by this Aquarium line-up and the band broke-up shortly afterward. Grebenshchikov released two albums in English and toured with several different backing bands. In 1991 after the break-up of the Soviet Union he released under the name BG-Band "The Russian Album", a collection of melancholic folk songs influenced by his travels all over Russia and demonstrating a return to his Russian roots. Shortly afterwards BG-Band was renamed Aquarium although most of the musicians were different. This band continued to release more albums and touring extensively all over the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and also appearing in front of Russian-speaking immigrant communities in Germany, Israel and United States.

Although often criticized for departure from their original style and constant line-up changes which make the later incarnations of Aquarium essentially a Grebenshchikov solo project, the group still enjoys huge success in Russia -- their old and new songs get a lot of airplay, their albums sell well, and they tour constantly. Aquarium today consists of Boris Grebenshchikov, Boris Rubekin (keyboards), Andrey Surotdinov (violin), Igor Timofeyev (guitars, saxophones and flutes), Alexander Titov (bass), Oleg "Shar" Shavkunov (percussion) and Albert Potapkin (drums).


Studio albums:
*Sinii Albom (The Blue Album), 1981
*Treugolnik (Triangle), 1981
*Elektrichestvo (Electricity): History of Aquarium, Vol. 2, 1981
*Akustika (Acoustics): History of Aquarium, Vol. 1, 1982
*Tabu (Taboo), 1982
*Radio Africa, 1983
*Ikhtiologia (Ichthyology), 1984
*Den’ Serebra (The Day of Silver), 1984
*Deti Dekabrya (The Children of December), 1985
*Desyat’ Strel (Ten Arrows), 1986
*Ravnodenstvie (Equinox), 1987
*Archive: History of Aquarium, Vol. 3, 1991
*Russkii Albom (Russian Album), 1991 (under the name "BG-Band")
*Lyubimie Pesni Ramzesa IV (Favorite Songs of Rameses the IV), 1993
*Library of Babylon: History of Aquarium, Vol. 4, 1993
*Kostroma Mon Amour, 1994
*Peski Peterburga (Sands of Petersburg), 1994
*Navigator, 1995
*Snezhnii Lev (Snow Lion), 1996
*Hyperborea, 1997
*Kunstcamera, 1998
*Lilit (Lilith), 1997 (under the name "BG and The Band" - several members of The Band played on the album; released in the United States under the name "Black Moon")
*Psi, 1999
*Akvarium. Territoriya (Aquarium. Territory), 2000
*Sestra Haos (Sister Chaos), 2002
*Pesni Ribaka (Fisherman's Songs), 2003
*Zoom Zoom Zoom, 2005
*Bespechny Russkiy Brodyaga (Carefree Russian Tramp), 2006

Live albums:
*Aroks & Shter, 1982
*Desyat Let (Ten Years), 1982
*Electroshock, 1982
*BG (BG ), 1984
*Pis'ma Kapitana Voronina (Letters of Captain Voronin), 1993
*Vizit v Moskvu (Visit to Moscow), 1993
*Akvarium na Taganke (Aquarium at Taganka), 1994
*Tsentr Tsiklona (Center of the Cyclone), 1995
*Sezon dlya Zmey (Snake Season), 1996
*Dvadtsat Let Spustya (Twenty Years Later), 1996
*Akvarium-25, Istoriya (Aquarium-25. History), 1997
*Molitva i Post (Prayer and Fasting), 1998

Songs performed by Aquarium Incognito:
*Anna Karenina Quartet, 1994
*Russian-Abyssinian Orchestra “Bardo”, 1997
*Terrarium. "Pyatiugilnii Grekh" (Terrarium. "Pentangular Sin"), 2000

Albums recorded independently by BG:
*Songs by Alexander Vertinskii, 1994
*Chubchik, 1996
*Refuge, 1998
*Songs by Bulat Okudzhava, 1999
*Bardo, 2002

Grebenshchikov's solo albums in English:
*Radio Silence, 1989
*Radio London, 1990

Albums (pre-historical) from the 1970's:
*Iskushenie Svyatogo Akvariuma (Temptation of St.Aquarium), 1973
*Menuet Zemledeltsu (Farmer's Minuet), 1973
*Pritchi Grafa Diffuzora (Parables of Count Diffusor), 1974
*S Toy Storony Zerkalnogo Stekla (From The Other Side of Mirror Glass), 1976
*Vse Bratya-Sestry (All Brothers-Sisters), 1978

*Red Wave, 1986 []


Documentary films about "Akvarium" and Grebenshchikov

*Rok (Rock, 1987), dir. Alexei Uchitel, USSR
*The Long Way Home (1989), dir. Michael Apted, USA

oundtracks by "Akvarium"

*Ivanov (1981), dir. A. Nekhoroshev, A. Ilkhovsky
*Assa (1987), dir. Sergei Solovyov
*Zolotoy Son (Golden Dream, 1989), dir. Sergey Debizhev
*Chernaya roza - emblema pechali, krasnaya roza - emblema lyubvi (The Black rose..., 1989), dir. Sergei Solovyov
*Dva kapitana - 2 (Two captains - 2, 1992), dir. S. Debizhev

External links

* [ The official multilingual site of Akvarium (in Russian, English, French, German and Esperanto)]
* [ Official Russian Akvarium web-site]
*musicbrainz artist|id=8d741103-d319-4cc8-9f4f-9926b5bf112a|name=Aquarium
* [ Semi-official site with lots of information]
* [ The Bodhisattvas of Babylon, an English-language fan site]
* [ Aquarium-related search]
* [ Akvarium on RussMus.Net: English translations of lyrics, full discography and more]

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