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Van Der Graaf Generator - I Prophesy Disaster CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.30 | 55 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The third VDGG compilation in a row. This one covers the period from "The Aerosol Grey Machine" to "The Quiet Zone". Quite difficult to summarize on one CD. As for the previous two compils, I will compile this review as well, taking excerpts of my reviews for each individual album.

We get two numbers from their first release : "Afterwards" sounds a bit psychedelic but na´ve. Peter's voice is already the one we all know. Quite in the mood of the era I must say. This song announces great ones like "Refugees". Good piano from Banton. This is a nice, relaxing song (VDGG will not produce a lot of this type throughout the years).

I'm not that found of "Necromancer" : this is a very bizarre track with scary lyrics (as Peter will write an awful lot - I wonder where he got such a dark inspiration, although ...). The Necromancer says : "I live in the black woods, where you dare not even Speak my name, If there is evil in your heart and you will come near to me, You will lose your sane". There will be a better version available in "The Box".

Two other ones from "The Least..." sessions : "Refugees" and "The Boat" (a studio leftover). "Regugees" was already present on "First Generation". Since it is my preferred VDGG one I will not complain.

Two from the "Pawn Hearts" sessions : "Lemmings". Do you know these animals that follow each other until they fall into the precipice and die ? Peter will start the song in this way :

"I stood alone upon the highest cliff-top, looked down, around, and all that I could see were those that I would dearly love to share with crashing on quite blindly to the sea..." and "What course is there left but to die ?". We are again into the darkest themes in which death is very welcome.

This song is average. Not very powerful (at times very, very quiet : like KC in "Moonchild"), somewhat jam-oriented and jazzy. A bit disappointing. Second one is : "W" (another studio leftover).

"Arrow" from "Godbluff" : is a very complex song, wild at times and difficult to enter into. Great drumming from Evans and very strong sax from Dave (this guy is really great). This is the most reminiscent track of their first era.

"La Rossa"from "Still Life" : is a more classic VDGG, harder and darker with a very powerful band supporting Peter. It is the first song in which he seems tortured as he used to be. More keys than usual and Jackson more in a background mode (but this is valid for the whole of "Still Life"). It works pretty well, though. The finale is extremely powerful : the band being really strong. A great track but the less accessible of the album.

One song from "The Quiet Zone" sessions ("Ship Of Fools" - the third leftover here). Then the live Medley "A Plague..." from their "Vital" effort.

As you have noticed, except "Refugees" which is IMO the best VDGG song (and one of the most emotional all time, all genres) the track selection is not so rich as in both "Generation" efforts. They could have added songs as "White Hammer" or "After The Flood" from "The Least..." as well as "House With No Door", "The Emperor" for "Lost" form "H To He"to replace existing ones.

I would not highly recommend to buy this one (I did not - just compile it from their original catalogue). Not that it is a bad album, but the occasional fan for which this has been released should better stick to the very good "Scenes From First and Second Generation".

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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