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The Long Hello - The Long Hello CD (album) cover


The Long Hello

Eclectic Prog

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars This is the group/project created by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR members when Hammill was busy with his own solo carreer . Jackson, Potter and Evans being the pillars of this and Banton joining here and there. Unfortunately , do not expect this to sound anything like VDGG. The first number gives you hope and although the following numbers are not bad , your interest is not to be maintained . The Banton number being , if my memory serves me right (last listen : 8 years ago) is the worst track on here. The album ( CD ) I had seemed to have a diiferent track listing and a plain white cover. VDGG amateurs , beware of this. I don't know how the other album sound , but beware of this.
Report this review (#31667)
Posted Monday, June 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars -Historical Information

After Van der graaf generator's fourth studio release "Pawn hearts" the band toured extensively in Italy from 1970 to 1972 (they did three Italian tours in six months). Pawn hearts, which among fans is considered to be the best Vdgg release, was really popular in Italy and held number 1 for 12 weeks in 1972. However, many factors such as the bad financial condition of the members, the lack of support from the record company as well as rioting audiences by different extremist organisations, from Red Brigade to neo-fascists lead Hammill to leave the band and continue his solo career.

The other Vdgg members (Guy Evans, David Jackson and Hugh Banton) would appear as session musicians in his solo records before Vdgg's reunion in 1975. Moreover drummer Guy Evans, organist Hugh Banton and saxophonist David Jackson started a project named "The long hello". They released an album in1974 featuring among other musicians the ex-Vdgg member, bassist Nic Potter. The project was put on hold when Vdgg reunited and was resumed when Vdgg split again in 1978.

-The music

The music is nothing great really. It's an instrumental album that can be listened when you invite people to your house. Most characteristics that made Vdgg such an amazing band are missing here like first of all Peter Hammill himself. Moreover the music is not like what Vdgg where doing. The dark dominant compositions are missing here and are replaced with meaningless compositions which are not that bad but compared with Vdgg's they seem weak, unemotional and uninspiring. Compared to Vdgg releases this one is very easy to digest. It's like jazzy-rock improvisations. Not that bad overall but nothing really worth listening many times. If you are a Vdgg fan and find this somewhere (I don't really think you will anyway) buy it! Good but not even close to Vdgg or even Peter Hammill's solo work. 3 stars!

Report this review (#93754)
Posted Sunday, October 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Members of VdGG? Yes; Music like VdGG? No

The Long Hello comes to us as an instrumental side project of current and one-time Van der Graff Generator members David Jackson, Hugh Banton, Guy Evans and Nic Potter; however that is where the association with VdGG music stops. This is not a VdGG side project; the output bears no resemblance to the work of VdGG whatsoever; nor does it pretend to. Any expectations of a VdGG-style album based on knowing who the players are is all our own.

That said, what have we got with this project? Some pretty cool grooves often in a jazzy style, at other times the feel is very Canterbury, then for moments here and there a symphonic sound comes to the fore. The musicianship is excellent - exactly what you would expect from this calibre of musician - although you may feel this group of prog heavyweights is playing well within itself.

Overall the music is light and bright with very minimal dark soundscapes. Put simply 'The Long Hello' is very pleasant music. It is something that can be put on as a prog background to a dinner party where guests can enjoy the music or their conversation as takes their fancy, or equally enjoyable to break the silence while beavering away on the computer or reading a book.

Is 'The Long Hello' essential to a collection? No. Am I happy to have this album in my collection? Yes. Is this an excellent addition to a collection? Yes, as long as you are not buying this album on the premise it as a VdGG wannabe. Four stars from me.

Report this review (#1140413)
Posted Sunday, March 2, 2014 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars You say goodbye, I say hello

I'm not a big fan on Van Der Graaf Generator, where some of these guys have played together. But I was very impressed by David Jackson's contributions on flute and sax to the albums of The Rome Pro(g)ject recently, so I became curious about what else he had done and came across The Long Hello.

As the title gives away, this is the group's first album, originally released in 1974. The album exists in two different versions with different covers. The one shown here is plain white with a band logo, and is quite dull. The other version features a fantasy landscape with hills and mountains and on the sleeve the album is credited to David Jackson, Guy Evans, Hugh Banton & friends, rather than to The Long Hello (which is just the title of the album). The running order of the tracks is different as well on the two different versions.

I found this a charming instrumental, folky, jazzy album with some light symphonic elements. At places, it actually reminds me a bit of Focus in their lighter moments. The album went rather unnoticed at the time, probably due to the overwhelming amount of great music to come out of the mid-70's. But it is rather pleasant, enjoyable stuff that might appeal to people beyond the followers of Van Der Graaf Generator.

Report this review (#1884667)
Posted Monday, February 12, 2018 | Review Permalink

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