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Van Der Graaf Generator - World Record CD (album) cover

WORLD RECORD

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 675 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars World Record is the seventh full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Van Der Graaf Generator. After releasing what I perceive as the best albums of their career in Godbluff (1975) and Still Life (1976) I was very interested to learn if the band could continue their very inspired period and follow those albums up with another stunning album. Still Life was released in April 1976 and World Record was released about six months later in October of 1976. A pretty short time interval between albums and knowing that World Record was actually recorded in May of 1976 it seems even stranger. Who would record an album just one month after releasing your last one? well the story is that some of Still Life was actually recorded during the Godbluff sessions and it was finished in January of 1976, so it seems a bit more sensible knowing that IMO. Van Der Graaf Generator was a busy band in those days though and in between relentless touring their recording schedule was busy and it took its toll on the members of the band and World Record was to be the last album in almost 30 years with the classic lineup of Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton, Guy Evans and David Jackson.

The music on the album is dark ( even aggressive at times) and complex in structure. Organ, saxophone, flute, excellent drumming and Peter Hammillīs theatrical vocal style are the features that make up this album. As a new thing on World Record, when compared to earlier albums by the band, Peter Hammillīs otherwise sparse guitar playing is very present and at times even a dominant feature in the sound. There are only five songs on the album but it has a total playing time that says 52:13 minutes. The songs are as usual pretty long and Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild is actually 20:47 minutes long. There are two bonus tracks on the 2005 CD remaster which are When She Comes and Masks recorded live at the John Peel Show on the 11th of November 1976. The five regular songs are all strong and intriguing like weīre used to from the band. Thereīs not a moment of wasted time on the album. Expect dark and emotional music all the way through the albumīs playing time but with a little light at the end of the tunnel in the ending Wondering.

The musicianship is outstanding as ever. A great and pationate vocal performance by Peter Hammill and while his guitar playing leaves a bit to desire it shines through that he loves what he does and thatīs sometimes more important than technical skill. Itīs always easy to praise Peter Hammill for his performance on any Van Der Graaf Generator album but the rest of the band is also doing an excellent job too. Beautiful dark moments are created by Hugh Bantonīs organ and David Jacksonīs saxophone while drummer Guy Evans is the glue that keeps things together. A solid and adventurous drummer that one.

The production isnīt as full and warm as on the two previous albums by the band by itīs still a good sound for the songs and I enjoy it greatly.

World Record took me a while to get into like all Van Der Graaf Generator albums have. This is not an easy listening experience ( itīs not avant garde though) but if you like dark and sombre progressive rock this is highly recommendable. This is another unique album by the band and it fully deserves a 5 star rating from me.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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