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Van Der Graaf Generator - I Prophesy Disaster CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.30 | 55 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Maybe VDGG was just waiting for its real breakthrough in my musical history in '96 ('Plague' had impressed me already in '89 in a radio series on prog), but borrowing this compilation launched it anyway. Firstly, 'Lemmings' that I had 5 years earlier unsuccessfully tried to get into now simply amazed me ("what choice is there left but to try..." Goosebimples!), and I loved to catch again the rarity 'The Boat of Millions of Years' of which radio taping I had lost long ago.

The CD starts with two fantastic outtakes from the debut Aerosol Grey Machine: the whole album was a disappointment to me later that year, but 'Afterwards' is one of the finest soft & straight pop songs by Hammill, and 'Necromancer' has magic to match its name. Fresh, emotional ballad 'Refugees' (from Least We Can Do...) has nearly embarrassingly high thin vocals but is one of the best known VDGG songs.

'Arrow' was my introduction to Godbluff album: it has that manic singing style close to terrified screaming that I had disliked in Hammill (and partly still do), but to this thrilling piece it suits gorgeosly. David Jackson's unique saxophone playing shines here. 'W' is a low- key song with interesting lyrics - wait a minute, Hammill's lyrics are ALWAYS interesting, but this time they keep the song from being just boring.

'La Rossa' is the key(?) track from Still Life, aching with sore emotions. But nearing ten minutes, I don't consider it among the best long VDGG tracks. The closing track (from the live album Vital) combines parts of 'Plague' and 'Sleepwalkers' but I prefer studio versions of both: this is somehow blurry and has lost the deep atmosphere of 'Plague'.

Probably this compilation works well as an introduction to VDGG's world as it covers many periods and styles, but I'd rather recommend their originals to grace your prog collection (the new editions even have the rare tracks too).

Matti | 3/5 |


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