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Van Der Graaf Generator - Vital CD (album) cover

VITAL

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

3.73 | 189 ratings

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burgersoft777
4 stars Although the remastered issue is still imperfect it is leaps and bounds better than the original dbl LP. The sound is raw maybe but its raw because it was played that way. Jaxons sax will never be completely restored as there was a fault in his line and so his one track on the original master tape had no sound on it. However Guy rescued his contribution by finding the passages were the sound bled onto other channels and working from there. I used not to like this LP to much mainly because VDG were not VDGG and because it seemed wrong that this line up was the only one to record a live record. However since Real Time I have started to see this set in a different light. When it says the most extreme live band release the most extreme live LP, they hit the nail on the head. VDG is a far more adrenalin fueled band than even VDGG. This set is also Historically very interesting as it captures a progressive band that is not intimidated by the new wave and punk but is in fact feeding that revolution in its own unique way. I have always liked Nic Potters bass playing and on this record he is absolutely wonderful. A real gritty and disturbing sound at times perhaps but he is almost always perfectly in time with Guy Evens. The Highlight is of course pioneers over c which is given a complete reworking, fantastically heavy at times it also has all of the subtleties of the original without being in any way a slavish copy. Potter really makes his mark on this track leaving me wondering what if ? The Violin and Cello doesnt leave much room for Jaxon which is a shame, as he seems to have been on top form for this concert never putting a foot wrong when you can make out what he is playing. Smith was always a fantastic musician, string driven thing being one of the great unsung heroes of the Charisma label. Peter is as always utterly brilliant with his operatic voice perfectly matched by this overblown but truly Vital sound. Finally I get it, and this has to be down in part to the excellent qualities of the remaster, but is also a testament to how far ahead of the pack VDG were. There are no bad tracks here , however mirror Image stands out as a great track. The version of Still life is even more harrowing than the original and when the Band thump in....well its one of the highlights of this surprisingly strong set. If you are a VDGG fan you will already have this but if you don't yet have the remastered CD I strongly recommend it to you as it is a vast improvement on the LP. I am really tempted to give this all 5 stars and but for the loss of Jaxon's sax Parts I would. However it is worth 4 stars without any problems at in. So there you go a 4.4 in reality. A must own record by a must own band. I suppose if VDG had survived a little longer some of these tracks would have made up their next LP we will of course never know what it would have been like but on the evidence here I suspect it would have been a real corker. The Encore restored for this release is the excellent Nadir's Big Chance One of the very first true British Punk rock tracks ever recorded. Utterly Vital !!
burgersoft777 | 4/5 |

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