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Peter Hammill - Nadir's Big Chance CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 291 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Well this album seems to divide prog lovers, is it really prog? Well if you just pigeonhole progressive rock as having 20 minute epics with widdly keyboard solos and tricky time signatures well then it wouldn't be "progressive".

This album is progressive in many ways, as along with other some other artists of the time (i.e. Bowie, Wire) they were progressing from the early '70s sound into something new and more energetic, but enough of that how about the album itself.

"Nadirs Big Chance" starts of with balls and just keeps going, punky some people say? Well yes, but in a good way, not the punk of tuneless thrashing, but anger at what was going on around at the time within the music industry and other corporate bigwigs.

"Institute of Mental Health (Burning)" is a change of direction from the anger and angry music of Nadir... but still has a message, about peoples readiness to close away their problems and yes the mentally ill being locked away and forgotten about, a great tune with a military style beat, I especially like the repeated "burning, burning burning" at the end.

"Open Your Eyes" is a great song, greatly under appreciated and undervalued when Hammill's music is talked about, its a bit of "Northern Soul Stomper" (google it if you don't know) with great keyboards and sax accompaniments.

"Nobody's Business" another punky style song, about peoples vanities..."she used to care about her smile and not her face...that's before it was her fortune and took over her soul's place" wonder if its based on personal feelings?

The next four tracks take the pace down considerably "Been Alone So Long" is a gorgeous love song written by Chris Judge Smith, with mournful sax playing by Jaxon. "Pompeii" is another song of Hammill's I think is undervalued has a lovely shuffling beat, maybe about the duality of time, looking back reflecting at what you see today. "Airport" and "Shingle Song" seem interconnected with each other somebody you love leaves, standing on the tarmac of the runway, or on the beach looking out to sea after the boats departed.

"People You Were Going To" is an old VDGG song reinvigorated for this album, sort of darkly humourous lyrics, upping the tempo slightly from the previous four tracks.

"Birthday Special" really ups the pace again superb lyrics, a cautionary tale of a girl on her eighteenth birthday dabbling in drugs, with drug references interspersed throughout, cleverly hidden within the lyrics.

Finally "Two or Three Spectres" all I can say about this song is SUPERB, a wordy, stinging vitriolic attack on the music industry, with Hammill exclaiming "Oh, whaddya say, more Stevie Wonder, ha, ha" at the start, his lyrical zenith. Probably the hardest song to get into on the album as the melody is not as immediately apparent but well worth listening to a few times, and a rousing false live ending. (10,000 arms are raised just like the Hitler Youth...) goosebumps everytime.

Nadir? certainly NOT a low point.

So prog? Yes

4.5 of your universal stars!

| 4/5 |


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