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Van Der Graaf Generator - Theme One / W CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.39 | 34 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The contents of this single are not VDGG at their very best (hardly anyone expects them to be!), but my good rating has a lot to do with the fact that both tracks are outside main albums and also pretty good ones.

'Theme One' is familiar to me from the compilation covering the "first generation" of VDGG (1969-1971). Originally written by George Martin for BBC Radio One (sadly I haven't heard that tune), it's been transformed into a killer VDGG track, captivating all the power possibly available in a short instrumental. David Jackson's saxes and Hugh Banton's organ are in the focus. The melody is gorgeous and catchy in a good way - that is, if it happens to linger in my mind after listening, it's not a nasty ear-worm but just continues to spread its energy. And it sounds genuinely classic VDGG!

'W' (> "double-you", referring to the Hammillesque lyrics dealing identity problems) is a slow, low-key song with an improvisatory, wandering atmosphere and a tiny, accessible touch of avant-garde or free jazz. Not melodic or emotionally strong but still quite interesting. Hardly it was a given a faintest chance to be included on the superb Pawn Hearts album. But as single B-side tracks these curiosities nearing the throwaway category are always more justified than filling singles with album material. (Maybe I should give a minus for the nazi-like gestures found also in the inner sleeve of Pawn Hearts.)

Matti | 4/5 |


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