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Van Der Graaf Generator - After the Flood: At The BBC 1968 - 1977 CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 41 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars One of the biggest disappointments in progressive rock is that we don't have a definitive Van der Graaf Generator live album from their peak period in the 1970s. That isn't in any way a knock against the excellent Vital live set, which captured the roar and snarling of the band's final 1970s incarnation as the ship was going down - but at the same time, I would argue that Vital's harsh energy isn't really representative of what the band had been doing during the preceding ten years or so - it's really its own unique beast. We do have other live snippets of the band from here and there, but they're universally of pretty awful quality - nowhere near the standards of, say, a Yessongs or a Seconds Out.

We're lucky, then, that we have the next best thing - a collection of "live in the studio" sessions performed for the BBC ranging from 1968 all the way to 1977. Some bits and pieces from this set have seen the light of day elsewhere; a truncated collection emerged as Maida Vale some years back, and selections on here were also used to provide most of the alternate versions and non-album tracks to be found on The Box. After the Flood, however, is well and truly the most complete collection of BBC sessions from VdGG to date - in particular, it includes a September 1971 John Peel session which had previously been thought to be lost to the ages.

What you get here, then, is a nice collection of alternate takes on well-known tracks, as well as a brace of rarities - Theme One, W, and a version of People You Were Going To which on balance is actually nicer than the original single. It's not a live album as such, but it's close to one in spirit, and captures the varying lineups of the band from 1968 to 1977 in buoyant mood. If you're a VdGG fan, this will be an essential pick, and if you want a two-CD overview of their original run then you could do a lot worse than this.

Warthur | 5/5 |


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