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Peter Hammill - The Peel Sessions CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.67 | 31 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars In between the uneven albums released by Hammill during the 90s this came as a rather nice suprise. The (late) Peel sessions! The first session (74) contains 2 songs from In Camera (Faint-Heart and Submariner) and one song from VDGG's H to He (The Emperor). They are all played solo on a piano and this gives them a whole new dimension. Peter's voice is crystal clear like a diamond, and although there are some mistakes on the piano, the delivery is far superior than the original songs. Essential gems! The second session (77) has 2 songs from "Over" one of my favourite albums (Betrayed and Autumn), and one song from VDGG's "Aerosol grey Machine" (Afterwards). Betrayed is played on acoustic guitar like the original but has different violin playing by Graham Smith , and the vocal delivery is also different, slightly more resigned and hurt and less angry than the original. However it is still an essential gem. Afterwards is played on acoustic guitar and violin and can fit perfectly as a Hammill solo piece. I also prefer this version over the original. Autumn (about parents letting their children go) is as dark and sad as the original, albeit slightly more angry. The Third session (79) has 3 songs from PH7 (MrX, Faculty X, and Time for a change) and one song from "Future Now" (Mediaevil). MrX doesn't have the mad drums nor the sound effects and is delivered with one piano only, giving it a more reserved but rawer feel. Faculty X is also stripped bare with only the piano, which somehow lessens the madness provided on the original by the flutes and saxes. Mediaevil is an acapella song with full chorus provided by Hammill himself. It is different from the original, the chorus is more like a church choir than the original and the vocals are more edgy. Time for a change is sung as if he's doing characters from a play which is different than the original. The fourth session (88) has 4 songs from "In a foreign town" which is not an essential album in itself. The play's the thing (about Shakespear), "Auto" (about...well.. driving), "Invisible ink" and "Time to burn". Although this session is of lesser importance than the first three, the album is an absolute gem of alternative versions.
| 4/5 |


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