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Van Der Graaf Generator - Real Time CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.08 | 193 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a review I haven't been looking forward to which might seem strange considering i'm such a huge VDGG fan. It had been almost 30 years since the classic lineup had played to the public like this,and instead of waiting until after the "Present" tour, they would record the very first concert they did warts and all. They had just released "Present" the month before this and if there's one thing that is clear with this recording it's that the people in the audience were hanging on every note and cheering wildly after every track. Something is missing though. It's hard for me to put a finger on it. I love that "Present" album and so it's not like I think they've gone downhill or anything. It's just that these versions of the old seventies classics for the most part do not stand up well to the original studio versions. I'm sure we all wish they had released this same live album back then but they didn't. And this is a "one off" as it were because after this they would focus more on their new material and as "Trisector" then "A Grounding In Numbers" would be released we would see the band play less and less of these classics. So for that reason alone this is a special album.

It's weird but i've been listening to this all of last week on and off and it has many highlights but also many average moments. Of course when we're talking a double cd recording with almost 129 minutes of music you might expect this, but not when you look at the song titles. And it's not like this has the possibility to grow on me, I know these songs very well and in fact if anything the oposite is happening. The band i'm sure practised these songs often before this concert and they've chosen more songs off of "Godbluff" than any other album. Cool to see two tracks from "Present" which are two of my favourites on here. Only one from "H To He Who..." unfortunately. Interesting that we get a track from one of Hammill's solo albums in "(In The) Black Room" from "Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night".

When I was down South in March I took several VDGG albums and my appreciation for them just got higher after listening to those old classics, but this experience has not had the same affect at all sadly. I hate not giving this 4 stars but 3.5 stars it is, and i'm going to come back to this in the future just to see if I still feel the same way.I'd still recommend this to VDGG fans but i've noticed around the internet that opinions are mixed.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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