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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Van Der Graaf Generator - H To He, Who Am The Only One CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 1477 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars -Historical Information

As I've written in my review on Vdgg's previous release, "The least we can do is wave to each other", Nic Potter was very young and probably the "strange" atmosphere of the music combined with Vdgg's decision to continue without bass guitar lead to his departure. Hugh Banton replaced bass parts playing bass guitar on some songs during recordings or playing bass pedals. In this cd, apart from the classic Vdgg line-up (Hammill-Evans-Jackson-Banton), there is also King Crimson's Robert Fripp featured as a guest appearance on the third track, "The Emperor in his war room".

-About the cd

This cd was released the same year as "The least we can do is wave to each other" and thus they have many similarities. This cd is said to have several references to modern physics like for example the part of the title of the album, "H to He", refers to the fusion of hydrogen nuclei to form helium nuclei while "c" in "Pioneers over c" refers to the speed of light. This seems to be Hammill's ideas since he had done a degree in liberal studies in science in the Manchester University.

"H to He" is my favourite from Vdgg's first releases. A really representative album of Vdgg's sound that everyone with a respectful prog collection should have. A real masterpiece in which all Vdgg's distinctive elements are present. Vocals that are theatrical, emotional, powerful and unique at the same time and lyrics that seem more like poetry like for example those of second track, "house with no door" (Hammill wrote poems before he started writing lyrics). Peter Hammill was lucky enough to have amazing musicians in his side like Guy Evans, a true genius with an amazing sound and brilliant musical ideas, Hugh Banton who had to think not only about his powerful, dominating melodies of the organ but also about the bass parts and manages to do an amazing job showing how talented he is and finally, David Jackson, a master of both tenor and alto saxophone that this time has more space to improvise and lead playing melodies all the time.

This cd consists of five songs (without the bonus ones) all of which are amazing. Memorable, powerful, emotional, dark, dominating, haunting are few words that may describe the overall atmosphere of the album (and probably Vdgg's sound). Amazing musicianship, compositions, atmosphere, lyrics, music, vocals and a guest appearance from Robert Fripp. What else to we need to call an album a masterpiece?

sularetal | 5/5 |


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