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I know I've been wittering on about them a lot on here, but can we have a thread about how great they are/were?
Comaboy and AlphaDeluxe can play too.
They're probably my 2nd-favourite band behind Cardiacs - their depth and range is absolutely staggering and their ability to make what I'd term *rock compositions* is pretty much unparalleled (although Toby Driver of Kayo Dot is a fine young pretender). They're also one of a VERY few bands (Wire being another) who were able to blow my fucking head off with new music more than 35 years after formation.
I say we spend this thread linking one VdGG song at a time from Youtube and writing a paragraph below which conveys our love for it. I will start with...well, it'll have to be Man-Erg, really
The centrepiece of one of probably the 3 or 4 greatest albums ever recorded (closely followed by Godbluff and Still Life), this is in turns beautiful, crazed, mournful, demonic and ultimately apocalyptic in the fullest, most humbling sense. When those final chords spill from the wreckage of Hammill's soliloquy for the corrupted human spirit, it's genuinely spectacular - VdGG weren't all sepulchral grit - in fact they were (and are) a full-blown rock-band, freewheeling and fierce, but with the ability to fuse their Michael Bay pyrotechnics with songwriting of enormous complexity and depth. Oh, and you won't find a better showcase for saxophone's capabilities within the rock format ANYWHERE (ok, well, maybe if Colin Stetson teams up with a decent drummer) - it sounds like The Last Post, a flock of seagulls or The Machine That Will Chew Up The World at various points here
However this Peter Hammill solo song is one of the best things ever...
But wait till you hear Man Erg or The Sleepwalkers or A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers or Childlike Faith In Childhood's End! THEY WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!
(although Chemical World, Masks, Afterwards, Lemmings and of course After The Flood have a say in this debate too)
and one peter hammill solo album
they are prettty fantastic though, should probably get round to listening to others
You've convinced me, never heard a single one. Give me the entry level LP to check out purlease..
But none of the albums are especially hard to get into. Pawn Hearts is probably their best album IMO, but parts of it can be slightly intimidating at first.
I can't decide which is better.
it will make you want to hear everything else they did
but you might as well get the full experience up front
failing that, Still Life is an absolutely superb start-point, less demented than their other albums but if anything even more passionate, a seething ball of barely-restrained fury, lust, angst, hope, hopelessness and empathy for the universal human condition
Checking out Man Erg.
this has gone into another universe.
& it is mind fucking me
& hitting the G spot.
definite best band of the 70s, and top ten material for me, it sounds too stupid but I can't actually listen to the earlier albums by this band because they make me want to cry and punch things at the same time but their post-reformation stuff is surprisingly good, if a perhaps a bit less intense. AND I STILL NEED TO SEE THEM LIVE.
A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers is the predictable choice for best track, so my personal pick is Childlike Faith In Childhood's End:
for the simple reason that this track in particular helped me get through the first few weeks when I left home.
It's one of those bands that have always been on the periphary of my knowledge, but i've never been intrigued enough to bother giving them a spin. Given that UCA_coil says he is a massive Cardiacs fan and puts them a close second, I declare myself interested.
are both so ridiculously undervalued in this country. I think they get more love abroad certain places. But some amazing songs. And VDGG don't have the wishy washy nonsense of lots of Prog but it's Prog with fire in its belly. And this has to be one of the most cathartic songs ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkkTqrqVkAc
vdgg are def one of the best but i'll defend even yes and elp up to a point
Thank heavens their name popped up in that prog thread. Hadn't listened to this in about 10 years. Almost certainly going to have to put Still Life on straight after.
Their 2 best albums, yeah (and my 2 favourite albums of the 70s), although Godbluff is a gnat's pube off 'em
Confirmed they'll be playing a Peter Hammill solo piece reworked for the band, but more excitingly, A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers. I'll definitely be trying to go to one of these.
Van der Graaf Generator announce June 2013 European tour!
16th Prague, Archa Theatre
17th Berlin, Columbia Club
19th Hamburg, Fabrik
20th Darmstadt, Centralstation
21st Erfurt, Gewirkschaftshaus
22nd Dresden, Tante Ju
24th Amsterdam, Melkweg
26th Bilston, The Robin 2
27th Glasgow, ABC
28th Manchester, RNCM
30th London, Barbican
Please note that not all tickets are yet on sale
"VdGG will be performing a couple of long-form pieces at the core of their sets in their upcoming June dates.
"Flight", originally a PH solo/K group piece, has already been aired in North America and Japan last year. It's partly as a result of the reworking of this in the trio format that we've been tempted to go for something even more ambitious...or dangerous.
Our intention is to play "A Plague of Lighthouse-Keepers", from our 1972 album "Pawn Hearts" each night.
We will not be attempting to recreate the album version but hope to come up with a new, in-the-present approach to this important piece from our past, which has only been played live a handful of times before now.
It's a scary prospect, but very exciting!"
I got into them in the 80's so have the first 8 albums on vinyl and remember spending a lot of pocket money on the double live bootleg I Prophesy Disaster. I already had worked my way through Rush Yes and Genesis but VdGG were on a different level.
I 1983 I went to see Marillion (urghhh!!) just to see Hammill as support. He was ace.
front row. hope this means I can mosh
House with no Door from H To He, Who Am the only One (which is a really bad album title)
A little untypical VdGG track but it meant a lot to me as an early fan. Brilliant bass playing on it from Nic Potter who sadly died in January this year.