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WORLD RECORD

Van Der Graaf Generator

Eclectic Prog


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Van Der Graaf Generator World Record album cover
3.80 | 520 ratings | 44 reviews | 30% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. When She Comes (7:58)
2. A Place to Survive (10:00)
3. Masks (6:55)
4. Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild (20:47)
5. Wondering (6:33)

Total Time: 52:13

Bonus tracks on remaster (2005):
6. When She Comes (8:10) *
7. Masks (7:24) *

* - Live at the John Peel Show, 11th November 1976

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitars, pianos
- Hugh Banton / organs, bass pedals and guitars, mellotron, piano
- Guy Evans / drums and percussion
- David Jackson / saxes, flute

Releases information

LP Charisma CAS 1120 (Distribution Germany: Phonogram) (1976)
CD Charisma (Virgin / EMI) CASCD 1120 (1988)
CD Charisma (Virgin / EMI) CASCDR 1120 (2005 remaster)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR World Record ratings distribution


3.80
(520 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
30%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
45%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR World Record reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Owl
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The first 3 tracks are pretty strong, but after that it starts to unravel.

"Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild)" would've benefitted from some MAJOR editing. The long reggae jam was NOT a good idea as it lapses into tedium very quickly, plus, Hammill should've never been allowed anywhere near an electric guitar (his lead playing is just AWFUL!). "Wondering" isn't bad, but really great either.

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Send comments to The Owl (BETA) | Report this review (#8000) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 Stars really!!!

After two quickly succeeding masterpieces, VdGG went back in the studio, but this time, they would actually deny the "Never two without three" saying and head for the "Two out of three ain't bad". While still a worthy Graaf album, World Record (with a stunning artwork again on a single sleeve) is clearly a step away from the right direction.

Clearly (and quite unfortunately), it appears that Graaf's inventivity and inspiration had come to the end, and the quartet will once again go their separate ways after this album. The first side of the vinyl is filled with rather short tracks, none of which would've made the cut on the previous albums, but in no way are they fillers, I insist! Just tracks that fail to have as good ideas as before, like if all of them ideas had been used on the previous two albums.

However, on the second side of the vinyl, there stands a monster track Meurglys III (Hammill's guitar spirit) with an incredible descending crescendo, and clearly the highlight of the album. However, the track does overstay its welcome a bit too much as the reggae jam is simply a bit too long and highlights Hammill's (relative) weakness as an electric guitar player, but overall, if this track had been shorter by five minutes, it might have a been Graaf's crowning achievement (with Lighthouse). Please note Italian group Germinale will record an astounding cover, but more succinct) on their second album.

Still a typical VdGG album, just not as strong as the previous five albums, every with will still find this album a must-have. Unfortunately, the group will implode (due mostly to exhaustion), leaving Hammill to suppress the Generator part of their name and find old mate, Potter, keeping Evans and and enlisting Smith on violin, for a drastically different sound. But this isz anot§her story

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#8002) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The mid 70's era VAN DER GRAAF is my personal favourite and "World Record" is a clear mark of genuis from this dark progressive rock band. "World Record" is the third in the trilogy of 1975/1976 "come-back" VDGG albums (following both "Godbluff" and "Still Life") and still contains the classic line-up of HAMMILL-Banton-Evans-Jackson. Again this album is full of dark and deep melodies as told thru the slightly clogged vocals of Peter HAMMILL. The centerpiece of the album is the epic Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild) which stands today as stil one of my most beloved VDGG tracks. All tracks are great and I think HAMMILL's vocals are likely at his best here with even some electric guitar playing !. Some of the melodies on this album are the best they have recorded including the emotional track "Wondering" which concludes this album. I guess at 52 Mins and for vinyl this was a longer play... and well worth it... as I said a mark of genius.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#8009) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 23, 2004

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars World Record completed the last trio of the 'classic' Van Der Graaf Generator albums from the 70's although it's not quite up to pair with Pawn Hearts or Godbluff but still very good nevertheless. Musically, it continues the style that Godbluff and Still Life had though perhaps a bit more hit'n'miss unfortunately, but it's rarely boring and it contains several wonderful and typical VDGG hooks. Solid performance both technically and compositionally with the "Meurglys III" suite being a standout here despite it's reggae jam ending wich is not bad at all, just a bit out of place here. If you like either Godbluff or Still Life then pick this one up! 4/5

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#8022) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 22, 2005

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This record sounds a bit like "Godbluff", with the always VERY, VERY, VERY irritating voice of Peter Hamill: he just kills the music with his monolithic, too loud & angry voice. This record reminds me Jethro Tull circa "Passsion Play" and Gentle Giant circa "Three friends". "Meurglys 3" is very long, maybe too long (20 minutes), but it contains some interesting prog-jazz parts. Many sax parts are well played too, although sometimes irritating. The record ends with the good "Wondering" song, which is among the best VDGG's tracks. The keyboards mainly consist in organ, piano and rare mellotron parts. I prefer "Godbluff".

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#39476) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2005

Review by Peter Pan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a review of remastered version of "World Record".

The mood of this record is dark and melancholy. Every single song reminds me of November (the birth month of Peter Hammill), though incomprehensible it was recorded in the month of May (my birth month). The dominating mood is farewell here. The forthcoming third split of Van der Graaf Generator and the forthcoming separation of Peter from his longtime girl-friend already show up on the horizon.

The remastering of the record is most pleasing, though in some savage passages Peter's roaring voice couldn't be made as clear as the instruments out of technical reasons.

The most interesting two songs are "When She Comes", which I see as a kind of follow-up to "La Rossa" in Peter's personal love affair, and the over 20 minutes long "Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild", a perfect fusion between Rock, Blues and Jazz. Peter excels on electric lead guitar here. (Funny, but "Meurglys III" always reminded me of "I want you / She's so heavy" by The Beatles.)

The year 1976 was incredible creative for Peter Hammill. He wrote the songs for "World Record", each one of high quality. In the same year he wrote and produced his stunning solo album "Over".

Comparing the two albums I always found the mood of "World Record" depressing and the mood of "Over" liberating.

Both have the same topics: split, leave-taking and wrench. In some of the songs of "World Record" Peter Hammill tries to generalize these themes into reflections of typical human behaviour, above all in "Masks" and in "A Place to Survive". Peter explained that from time to time he wrote songs that suited the band. These couldn't be about his own traumata in a too personal way.

On the other hand the solo album is uncompromising personal and though pain and hurt are even more obvious and in some songs nearly unbearable, it has a more optimistic feeling. Because it's "Over". "I'll see you on the wedding / I'll see you on the other side".

The two bonus tracks bring "When She Comes" and "Masks" again - this time from the BBC Peel sessions. Deripped from even the small overdubs of the official production these tracks show the wonderful structures of the music of Van der Graaf Generator.

The booklet is again extensive and of high quality but to fifty percent redundant with the booklets of "Godbluff" and "Still Life". -

IMO the last "real" Van der Graaf album of their classical period in the 70s.

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Send comments to Peter Pan (BETA) | Report this review (#42548) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars What happened?

That's what I'd like to know. For all the detractors out there against VDGG, this is the one album I would point to and say, rip this one all you want. Hammill's guitar overdrive and style are questionable at best and the sax and organ have almost no connection and intriguing interplay as found on previous albums.

When She comes somewhat reminds me of Gentle Giant and a tune I might hear on Acquiring the Taste. Some of the organ choices are nice hear and it's already clearly a step down from Still Life or Godbluff, not too bad. Unfortunately, it would get worse.

The awful guitar tone comes into place on A Place to Survive, which I suppose attempts to be exotic and chaotic like some of King Crimson's material, but only serves to be a big mess. Hammill should leave the guitar playing to someone else, or at least find a better tone.

Masks is more guitar I can't stand, an error that might easily be fixed by having the traditional VDGG sax used instead, but I suppose the band wanted to branch out, however this was a branch that was doomed to fall off.

The Songwriters Guild is a dense piece of music that is too artsy. Some parts fit in well, and it has a reggae quality to most of the middle section through to the end, although this could have easily been cut in half and we would have a much more cohesive and enjoyable song. It's fairly clear here that Hammill is really unsure of himself with the guitar.

By the time I get to Wondering, I'm wondering why I have this album. I love VDGG, but this just doesn't do it. The track itself is actually fairly majestic, and might fit well as the ending to a fantasy movie. It's really a fantasy if I'm to put this album alongside the ranks of other classic VDGG works.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#101625) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars VDGG was a very prolific band in those days : three albums in less than two years (previous two being masterpieces IMO); so can they go on like this ? My answer is that although it is a good album, it is pretty much sub-par to "Godbluff" and "Still Life".

The opener "When She Comes" is a clone of "Sleepwalkers" but not as strong as the original. Weird atmosphere, this track combines Peter's emotional voice and the strenght of the band (Jackson being again in great shape - as usual I should say). It is the best track of side one and probably of the whole. Peter seems to have some problems though with his voice during the finale (starting around minute six). The track ends up in a chaotic maelstrom of great sax and keys. I really like this song.

"A Place to Survive" is a standard VDGG track : more related to their first generation output, though. This long track (over ten minutes) intends to recreate some of their previous highlights but rather fails. No harmony, no feeling. The instrumental last part sounds more to a jam than anything else. "Masks" starts promising with a slow pace and melodious sax intro (sounds a bit like "Us & Them" for a minute). Peter's vocal part is better than on the two previous track. The instrumental middle part is quite jazzy and the finale is again very good : this is a VDGG trademark. Full of emotion. A good track.

B side starts with their second epic : "A Plague ... "being the first one. Almost 21 minutes. Aside the lenght, this track has little to do with its predecessor : it is more accessible and more melodious at times, more consistent and less unrestrained but still complex enough to make this one a true VDDG song like we like. The off-beat rythm is rather catchy.

After a very good intro, there is a very quite passage in which one can hardly hear the vocals and the instruments. Next instrumental part, is again a bit similar to the Floyd sound and turns then into a kind of Spanish inspired tempo : bizarre but interesting combination. After this break, the traditional VDGG sound comes back for a while : torrid Jackson, Banton and Evans before a last vocal intervention full of subtlety.

VDGG will also surprise their fans with the inclusion of a quite lenghty (over seven minutes) instrumental and repetitive reggae section at the end. Lots of bands will be influenced by this music in those days : reggae was really booming since 1976 (at least in Europe). But when 10 CC does it is quite alright. I'm not too much convinced that VDGG needed that (definitely not that long).

All in all this track is good and various (but could be reduced to fifteen minutes) but lacks probably of true great emotional moments (like we had on "A Plague ..."). Vocal moments are also shorter than what they used to be, so the band can expand more its instrumental side and kind of jamming (Hammill joining at the end to play the guitar). I agree with my fellow countryman - Belgian - Hughes Chantraine (I will stick to his first name) about the very good cover version from Germinale in 1995 (on "E Il Suo Respiro Ancora Agitata le Onde" - this album being a very good one in its entirety, but this is another story). Actually I even prefer their version than the original : it is cut from the unnecessary parts and the Italian flavour added to their rendition has more feeling and emotion.

The album closes with the shortest song (still over 6'30") : "Wondering". It is a very nice ballad, full of lyricism and melody, a bit mellowish though (some orchestrations do not really deserves this track). A good closing number.

It seems that the steam has lost power, but honestly I admit that it pretty impossible to write three studio masterpieces in less than two years. Seven out of ten would be the most accurate rating. I will downgrade it to three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#108431) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 22, 2007

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars So here it comes, the album that completed the trilogy of Van der Graaf Generator's second era. The main virtue of "World Record" lies in the instrumentation, which bears a more powerful vibe than on any of the two preceding gems ("Godbluff" and "Still Life"), but the main shortcoming comes as a real handicap for the opportunity to make a third masterpiece in a row. That shortcoming is the unevenness of the material - yes, the material is not as strong as to comply the VdGG standards regarding energy, drama and sonic adventure. It is not that the material is terrible or mediocre per se, but you cn tell that there is an exhaustion in the musical vision generated in Hammill's mind and portrayed by the band as a unit. Once again, the unit works very well as an ensemble, but definitely it is very obvious that their instrumental interactions are more robust than most of the musical ideas that are perfomed and delivered. The delivery outdoes the delivered item. 'When She Comes' kiccks off the album with a weird intensity built on a crescendo that gets to its first pinnacle for the first chorus, and onwards, we can feel a reasonable yet not especially amazing set of arrangements around the main motifs. The follower 'A Place to Survive' is a real rocker, seasoned with a slight yet noticeable touch of R'n'B: it is a very pleasant number, following a trend not too common for VdGG standards, that is, an energetic rocker based on dual riffs of guitar and organ and expanding on a constant tempo. Sure Hammill did stuff like this in his solo albums, but this is the first time that VdGG patently approaches a less complex side of avant prog. Actually, less complex doesn't mean comfortable, and the guys can really stir things up in a creative wy while the track goes on and on until its final fade-out, 9+ minutes later. The album's first half finds its apex with 'Masks', a typical Hammillesque angry ballad regarding the limitations of the ego - this track wouldn't have been out of place in any of the two preceding albums, with its ceremonious main motif, magical sax flourishes and a nice shift of tempo and ambience in the interlude. 'Meurglys III' is the album's monster track, but unlike other very long VdGG pieces, this one drags and meanders for too long: had it included more lyrics and had the instrumental sections been more concise, VdGG wouldn't have needed to take 20 minutes to say whatever they intended to. The long reggae coda is only a symptom of the band's overall exhaustion: by the time the listener gets here, they can already tell that this suite lacks something big. But tha tdoesn't happen at all with 'Wondering', which has to be one of the most beautiful VdGG songs ever. Originally composed by Banton and with added religious lyrics by Hammill, this powerful, moving manifesto of clever agnosticism at the gates of death delivers an eerie mixture of Gothic-like organ textures and classy adornments on flutes and saxes, giving a proper mood for Hammill's expressions. A great ending for a not so great album - still, "World Record" deserves a good place in a good prog collection.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#111628) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 11, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It is really evident from the lyrics and mood of this record that Hammill had been going through some personel trauma (relationship). This album is angry, sarcastic, helpless and melancholic, all of which convey Peter's state at the time, but I like the optimistic way in which it ends. That fighting spirit that is found in "Wondering".

The album opens with "When She Comes" a song that lyrically seems to relate to how unstable and unpredictable relationships are. No guarantees. Definitley some sarcasm here in the lyrics. The song opens with dissonant sax as drums and vocals come in. I like the way the dissonant sax conveys the confusion that our subject is experiencing as the lyrics state "...you think she's eternal, that you think she is everything..." Yes and they are going to live happily ever after right ? Not ! A nice full sound 1 1/2 minutes in. The organ is prominant,and some relaxing sax comes in after 3 1/2 minutes. The original melody is back 5 minutes in. Very aggressive vocals late that certainly suit the lyrics. "A Place To Survive" is about being in that lowest possible place after the breakup of a relationship and trying to fight through it and survive. Again the lyrics are brilliant. I'd like to write down the whole song, it's worth reading them if you have them. The song is mid-paced with the vocals and sax standing out early. The organ arrives and is incredible ! Hammill spits out the words on this toe tapper. This has such a great sound to it, a real instrumental workout for the band. "Masks" is lyrically about being someone you aren't, and so fooling the people you are around. More beautiful sax and organ in this fairly mellow tune. The song gets a little more aggressive after 3 minutes before calming back down after 5 1/2 minutes. Check out the organ late.

"Meurglys III,The Songwriter's Guild" is over 20 minutes in length. Meurglys III is Hammill's guitar, and he reveals in the song that after this breakup that the guitar "...he's my friend, the only one I can trust to let it be without pretense, there's no one else but my guitar...I suppose he'll have to do." I know people complain about the reggae section and Hammill's guitar playing but I think both are perfect for this song. Did I mention that I think Hammill is brilliant ? I'm not the only one who feels this way, and i'll always give him the benefit of the doubt because he's the musical genius. The intro of this song is sort of dark and solemn before we get a full sound. I like it. A pastoral passage of sax, drums and organ continues until the song starts to build 7 1/2 minutes in.The passionate vocals are back after 9 minutes. A crazy uptempo section 11 1/2 minutes in before the reggae melody after 13 minutes arrives. I know people find that this last part goes on too long, but I could listen to it all day. To me it convey's Peter's emotions. That trippy sound reveals the careless attitude of escape, while the raw Neil Young-like guitar is the release that helps in the escape. "Wondering" again features incredible lyrics like "I will arise:in the depths, I will open my eyes; as my breath almost fails me, survive." He's so theatrical here. And later "I will return: as I live, as I breathe, as I burn, I swear I will come through, with my hands stretching out in the dark, with my eye pressed up tight to the glass, wondering if it's all been true." An optimistic song with some mellotron and flute ends this fantastic record.

Another excellent VDGG album.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#151042) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007

Review by laplace
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars We sometimes forget that there are people out there (and even in our forums!) that haven't devoured the back catalogue of Van der Graaf Generator, so here's a review aimed at newcomers to the band.

World Record, at fifty-three minutes of slightly overstuffed LP, isn't a good example of strong song-writing and is more of a jam album, putting the spotlight on Banton's majestic church organs and Jaxon's octaving sax-play - both shine in an unegotistical manner, playing in ways you barely thought were possible on a rock record but never battling for attention. At the least, you'll appreciate their musicianship, but just as likely, you'll understand why Van der Graaf Generator work; they operate on trust and ensemble play, each musician struggling to provide as solid a base as possible so that the songs don't fall apart for lack of rock instrumentation. This orchestral mood is further developed when Robert Fripp, the Crimson King himself, adds a lengthy guitar solo to Meurglys III (in itself a song about Hammill's guitar, superficially or otherwise...) yet plays it at a volume slightly below the other band-mates so as not to swamp the song.

The Banton/Jaxon/Evans framework opens up a lot of songwriting space, so despite being played on what you could imagine as a rather limited set of instruments, and even though each song drives on at a similar low-to-mid-tempo pace, they all have their own identity, ranging from ballads to reggae-tinged jamathons to Wondering which is unique in the band's repertoire as a sort of alternative English anthem, very solemn and self-effacing in its remarkable refrain.

Although each track is verbose, Hammill seems in a contrary and harsh mood, delivering most of his lines in a uniquely over-enunciating crow-like rasp, exuberantly spilling over into refined punky-goth territory, not even usually deigning to provide a sane melody unless it's a key moment (the chorus of When She Comes retains a little tunefulness, while Masks and Wondering are softer songs that call for the band's restraint and co-operation) at which times he sounds prideful, often zooming up into the upper registers in a glorious and unabashed falsetto. He has an astonishing range together with great composure, but the places he likes to sing most are in between the notes we love.

Hammill's voice may just be the key to enjoying the band's work, or at least its majority - try their reformation double album Present if you want to hear more of their jamming and less of his singing. Still, you'll be missing out on his lyrics, one of the major attractions to VdGG's music. Each song is a poetic excursion into some area of murky human philosophical quandary, whether it be fate, love, loss or isolation and Hammill always seems to find a new angle or lexicon to express them and so never becomes all that repetitive.

While we have a good album here, it isn't considered by many to be the band's finest moment, so if your first impressions of World Record are favourable, you might consider looking into their H to He album if you'd like to hear them rock more, Godbluff if you want them at their wordiest, or Pawn Hearts if you're itching to hear a seminal and ludicrous prog-rock explosion.

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Send comments to laplace (BETA) | Report this review (#165124) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 27, 2008

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Any energy left in the Generator?

After the absolutely amazing masterpieces Godbluff and Still Life Van Der Graaf Generator [VdGG] quickly came out with a third album to complete their unofficial trilogy after their reuniting. Sporting a slick cover, the classic line-up and a 20+ minute long track this is an album which will no doubt get a lot of attention just from looking at it. But a follow up to two of the band's most renowned albums is going to be something difficult to do, and even though he's considered by many to be a musical mastermind/madman, will Hammil be able to pull it off?

Not quite. While the album does still carry all the trademarks of the VdGG sound but something is missing. What that something is exactly is not really noticeable on the first spin but it becomes painfully obvious with each subsequent listen - this album sounds very tired. Very lackluster. While prior albums (especially Still Life) go from great to amazing thanks to their emotional delivery and electric playing this one just doesn't have that. Indeed, when listening to the album you wonder if the band was really ''into it'' those days when they were in the studio. Hammil muses over the tracks instead of using is bloodthirsty scream and the other band members lull around behind him. While it's not fair to compare this album to prior albums from the band, if every VdGG album were like this they'd be quite the boring group, and indeed, if this were the first album I'd heard by them I probably wouldn't have dug to much further into their discography.

Now, that ranting aside, the album isn't bad, it just isn't exceptional. What we have here is a very average album. Not sub par, but not amazing. Some of the tracks are quite fine indeed, and while they may not be quite so spine chilling as the band is so easily capable of reaching it still manages to make for a pleasant listen. When She Comes is a song that almost makes good use of Hammil's voice, his screaming coming in for a few moments at a time - but he sounds, for some reason, drowned out by the rest of the band his voice not quite accentuated enough to have great impact. Because let's face it - if you're going to be spinning a VdGG album you want to hear Hammil's scream.

Likely the standout of the album is the song that comes closest to achieving what VdGG normally do and that song is Masks. It starts like a kind of twisted lounge song before Jackson steps in to take it for a twist with his sax, Hammil not far behind. Very well done and this is where Hammil actually gets to exercise his voice that we're more used to. A Place To Survive is worth noting because of it's funky pace and sax section while the first half of Wondering has quite the melody but is unfortunately somewhat spoiled by the over repetition of ''wondering...'' coming into the end.

Now everyone is likely wondering (no pun intended) about the longest composition on the album, the monstrous Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild). What we have here is one of VdGG's strongest tracks that could have been made a lot better at points seeing as it feels thrown together sometimes. Still a wonderful song that is 15-minutes of very good VdGG and 5 or 6 minutes of Bob Marley reggae instrumental at the end. While this is a feature that many people often complain about I'll say this: it's good and it's fun if you're not going anywhere. However, if you want the song to simply finish (which you might the fourth or fifth time you hear the song) the ending section gets very tiring very fast.

In the end this one gets a 3. Quite good, but it shouldn't be your start into the VdGG waters. Fans will still find a lot to love in the compositions - perhaps not as much as prior albums, but a lot none the less. A very good record that is not quite as good as we know VdGG to be capable of, this one is also the end of an era where the band (by some miracle) managed to stay together for a string of albums. 3 Earth-sized records out of 5. Not only for fans, but they'll likely appreciate it more.

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#172899) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 02, 2008

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The most uneven of VDGG's albums, 'World Record' is an uneasy amalgam of three strong songs and two poor efforts. The sheer surprise of HAMMILL and company being responsible for any composition of such low quality makes this album a difficult listen.

The first three songs, however, continue their strong tradition of songwriting. While not quite up with their brave experiments of the early 1970s, 'When She Comes', 'A Place To Survive' and 'Masks' are excellent compositions, played with finesse and passion. In particular the first and third of these tracks are stellar additions to the VDGG canon.

However, the monstrously overlong 'Meurglys III' is a jumbled mess, spare parts soldered together with seemingly no regard for the shape of the song. Chief among the offending parts is the seven minute reggae jam that concludes the song. It is not foreshadowed in the previous thirteen minutes, and sits on the song like a gerbil grafted to a dog's back. Playful, perhaps? It just seems so inappropriate. These musicians make a passable stab at the reggae sound, but it's borderline cultural appropriation for no visible reason makes me cringe. One should not be forced to press the 'skip' button on a VDGG CD. But I skip the entire song, as even the first thirteen minutes are the sort of foolishness I thought VDGG to be above indulging in. Who needs an ill-conceived song named after one of HAMMILL's guitars? No wonder there was tension in the band, leading to their breakup immediately after this album.

Perhaps 'Wondering' suffers because of its proximity to the awful 'Meurglys', or it might be the oddly ineffective ending. Both, probably. It's perfectly acceptable, but doesn't make side 2 of this record worth playing.

Certainly not essential, this album is barely of interest to anyone but a VDGG fan, and that only for the first three tracks.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#175016) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 23, 2008

Review by TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars World Record, Van Der Graaf Generator

World Record is where a lot of casual VDGG fans seem to get off, and while it certainly isn't as masterful as the previous four albums, and contains noticeably weak moments without all the psychological satisfaction of working out why sounds, lines and choices had been included, it's not at all bad. Despite a couple of feeble moments in the middles of A Place To Survive and Masks, the lyrics are still excellent, the masterful Banton-Evans team is still on top form, and the band hasn't let up on the experimental, exploratory side of their music. An excellent progressive rock album, but not quite a masterpiece.

The jazzy noodlings of a Jaxon flute and a thumping Evans beat introduce When She Comes, a quirky, vicious and highly musical creature, including some very 'bright' and disjointed organ, a smoky Jaxon riff and a bit of rhythmic insanity. The big feature of this one isn't the neat set of lyrics referencing various intellectual figures, but the absolutely riveting harmonies pulled off by Hammill, whether the clever hook of the opening 'slow' or the ferocious, exuberant, block vocals of 'easy targets, easy crosswords, easy life!' The music is fairly cleverly composed, determined to surprise the listener every time they think they know exactly what will happen, and Evans in particular holds down a unique-to-this-album drum sound. Excellent opener, and really quite cleverly done.

A Place To Survive is a rarity. A VDGG song which doesn't have first rate vocals. Regardless, it comes off fairly well because of the gritty organ, occasionally supplemented by a weird sort of bend thing and the sheer tension that the band is able to contain when all focusing on doing that. Hammill's vocals are clearly on the crazed side here, but really, they only occasionally blow away (perhaps if they were mixed a bit more stridently?). A bit of unfortunately aimless jamming hamstrings the middle of the song, and much as the band, especially Jaxon and Hammill, pulls off a lot of cool sounds and some rather interesting organ licks towards the end, the rest of the song has mixed impact. I have mixed feelings on the lyrics too, some rather neat touches, but a few of the word choices are frankly baffling. One of those songs that gets slightly better towards the end (yes, bass pedal solos for everyone + Schizoid Man warbling), wouldn't be hurt by a mix that placed less ubiquitous emphasis on the organ, and a noticeable weak point in the album.

Masks is probably the most songish piece here, with a very distinct riff within which Jaxon gets to throw his various ethereal saxophone stylings, and Banton and Hammill create some absolutely insane block sounds to enforce the basic content of the song. However, here the music, though excellent, is second to Hammill's vocal, a daring, rapidly sung creature, with all sorts of, often hilarious, flourishes. The lyrics, too, are top notch. Jaxon, for once in this album, lays down some of his scraily sax, and the band both manages to create real tension and expectation as well as put down some chaotic everyone-is-doing-something moments. A marked return to form, even if a couple of the tempo changes come across as obligatory and a bit too abrupt.

So far, by and large not at the standard VDGG had been at for the four preceding albums, but the 'epic' (it's a personal song, and containing a lot of jamming, so it doesn't really count) Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild) redeems it almost single-handedly, with a searching Hammill lyric, superb lines (Where I trade cigarettes in return for songs/The deal's made harder the longer I go on!) and a continued musical interest throughout, whether from dark, 'typically VDGG' sections with manic piano, fuzzy guitar and upside-down Banton organ or careful crescendos following a lonely vocal, with accentuating sax. Everyone seems particularly stricken by the reggae section, but it doesn't really 'feel' like one, in that it remains dark and unresolved and fits in perfectly with the rest of the song (goes on too long? Pfeh, it's about a search! It's got to go on too long!). Here, Hammill's guitar is particularly marked, with self-destructive, played-into-the-ground lines, over the absolutely fantastic Banton organ-beat and alongside Jaxon's colourful flourishes. As always, Evans has a unique sound and feel, and fits into the reggae vibe very effectively. An absolute masterpiece of a song, and proof that Van Der Graaf Generator really didn't stop at Still Life. Essential for any fan of Hammill.

Wondering is where the melody really comes back after the warbling guitar rounding off Meurglys III. The song is positive, gradually rises with a swelling, immaculately tasteful Banton organ part and a dreamy Hammill vocal complimented by celestial saxophone runs. The irrationality becomes a part of the reason, a part of the meaning, a part of the joy. It truly is amazing once you get it, albeit emotionally indescribable, a sort of sad elation, reminiscent of Kerouak's 'beat' idea.

Apologies for the rather scattered and not particularly amazing review here, but it's awkward to do. The oddities here are provided by textures and effects as much as by the actual ideas of the songs, and I simply don't have the musical knowledge to express what I'm thinking Banton's doing every time he (in particularly) does something interesting with his organ part. Credit to the bonus tracks, both worthy inclusions, and, in some ways, better than the originals. Anyway, four stars, comfortably, but it lacks the total absorbtion which other VDGG albums achieved.

Rating: Four stars, 11/15 Favourite Track: Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild)

Edit: With rating enharshenigung going on, I thought that probably my least favourite of what I consider the classic phase of Van Der Graaf Generator's offerings would be a worthwhile ceremonial sheep. It's still a great album, I really love large bits of it and overall it really moves me, but, unlike its predecessors and successors, there are noteworthy moments I don't particularly like. Given I'm a serious fan, anyway, I thought maybe a three would be more appropriate.

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Send comments to TGM: Orb (BETA) | Report this review (#203046) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 16, 2009

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars World Record is the seventh full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Van Der Graaf Generator. After releasing what I perceive as the best albums of their career in Godbluff (1975) and Still Life (1976) I was very interested to learn if the band could continue their very inspired period and follow those albums up with another stunning album. Still Life was released in April 1976 and World Record was released about six months later in October of 1976. A pretty short time interval between albums and knowing that World Record was actually recorded in May of 1976 it seems even stranger. Who would record an album just one month after releasing your last one? well the story is that some of Still Life was actually recorded during the Godbluff sessions and it was finished in January of 1976, so it seems a bit more sensible knowing that IMO. Van Der Graaf Generator was a busy band in those days though and in between relentless touring their recording schedule was busy and it took its toll on the members of the band and World Record was to be the last album in almost 30 years with the classic lineup of Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton, Guy Evans and David Jackson.

The music on the album is dark ( even aggressive at times) and complex in structure. Organ, saxophone, flute, excellent drumming and Peter Hammillīs theatrical vocal style are the features that make up this album. As a new thing on World Record, when compared to earlier albums by the band, Peter Hammillīs otherwise sparse guitar playing is very present and at times even a dominant feature in the sound. There are only five songs on the album but it has a total playing time that says 52:13 minutes. The songs are as usual pretty long and Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild is actually 20:47 minutes long. There are two bonus tracks on the 2005 CD remaster which are When She Comes and Masks recorded live at the John Peel Show on the 11th of November 1976. The five regular songs are all strong and intriguing like weīre used to from the band. Thereīs not a moment of wasted time on the album. Expect dark and emotional music all the way through the albumīs playing time but with a little light at the end of the tunnel in the ending Wondering.

The musicianship is outstanding as ever. A great and pationate vocal performance by Peter Hammill and while his guitar playing leaves a bit to desire it shines through that he loves what he does and thatīs sometimes more important than technical skill. Itīs always easy to praise Peter Hammill for his performance on any Van Der Graaf Generator album but the rest of the band is also doing an excellent job too. Beautiful dark moments are created by Hugh Bantonīs organ and David Jacksonīs saxophone while drummer Guy Evans is the glue that keeps things together. A solid and adventurous drummer that one.

The production isnīt as full and warm as on the two previous albums by the band by itīs still a good sound for the songs and I enjoy it greatly.

World Record took me a while to get into like all Van Der Graaf Generator albums have. This is not an easy listening experience ( itīs not avant garde though) but if you like dark and sombre progressive rock this is highly recommendable. This is another unique album by the band and it fully deserves a 5 star rating from me.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#212556) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 27, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
5 stars World Record did not get the general appreciation that the previous VDGG albums received. Not even with the fan base. Nevertheless, apart from Wondering, I still find them at the top of their game here.

One of the reasons for the lack of success might be that this must be their roughest album of all. "When She Comes" sound so bleak that you'd certainly wouldn't want to be around when that happens. "A Place To Survive" is without doubt the most brutal track they ever recorded and the 20 minute Meurglys III epic borders on the insane, with it's atonal interludes, crunching rhythms and, (depending on your point of view) possibly the most irritating, but certainly the weirdest and unpolished guitar solo in prog rock history.

"Masks" is maybe the most pleasing track on the album, though that remains a relative thing here. Only "Wondering" can't convince me much but by the time it begins we've already had 47 minutes of VDGG intensity so that's a minor flaw.

Listening to this album again for this review I realized that this is the VDGG album that I have always played the most. So highly recommended to all other lovers of the dark side of the force!

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#236926) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 03, 2009

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Van der Graaf Generator - World Record (1976)

The progressive party was kind of over in 1976 and most bands were looking for some sort of adeption to the new age. VdGG continued with a more simplistic approach with less psychedelics and more songlike structures. Still present are the dark Hammil vocals and the windsection with extended solo's of David Jackson. Drummer Guy Evans could have done better on this album, his drums aren't very noticable. This is quite strange, because his drums were great on previous records.

The first two tracks of the album are low-paced, yet energetic rock tracks with fierce vocals of Peter Hammill and long solo's by Jackson. Perhaps the style of these songs is a bit minimalistic, but the songs do work if you listen to them more often. Masks is however the first track to stand out. A great melodic song with nice vocals and a bit more progressive then the previous two songs. Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild is one of VdGG least known epics, but especially the first 15 minutes are very strong! This is the real classic VdGG with intelligent song-writing, outstanding theatric performance and some nice avant-garde influences. The ending section with the reagge like improvision is a bit dull though. Peter Hammill's guitar solo is very strange (perhaps a bit amateurish) and I don't wonder anymore why VdGG never had many guitarsolo's. Wondering, the last of the album is however one of my favourite VdGG songs of all time. This heroic song with gentle classical chord progressions reminds a bit of the nice parts of Man-Erg, though Wondering is more concetraed on the majestic heroic celebration kind of thing.

Recently I changed my oppinion about this VdGG album. It was my first album of the band and it's much easier now to understand this album, now I know most other albums of them. World Record might be perceived as a letdown, but with some extra spins there's a lot to be found under the dust. The dust being the bit bleak recording sound and perhaps the minimalistic opening-tracks. The performance of the band itself is very strong and somehow this album is a bit more relaxing then their other albums. On Masks and side two of the record the band shows it can still right some masterfull material, with the first two songs falling the 'just good' cathegory. Three and a halve stars for this one.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#241869) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 28, 2009

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars VDGG World Record - Mediocre and forgettable.

This is the last album I got hold of to complete the VDGG collection and I must admit it is not one of my favourites, having no standout tracks and is quite forgettable. Perhaps it is being unfair to expect exceptional quality on an album during VDGG's difficult years, but they are capable of brilliance and 'World Record' simply never measures up, the bar is lowered considerably. Certainly 'Wondering' is the set piece that makes this a worthy purchase, a single that is more accessible than the average VDGG track. Hammill's vocal style is as full of conviction as ever with existentialist lyrical power, but the music is sub standard.

It begins with the flute driven 'When She Comes' with some inspirational lyrics and a great saxophone motif. The time sig is quirky and fun, but it did not hold my interest as I am so used to with other VDGG tracks.

'Masks' features oboe that is well played and some organ chord stabs are effective. It is a slow track until the guitar riff changes and the melody is reminiscent of other VDGG I have heard. There is nothing new here but this is still a better track than others on this album.

'A Place to Survive' begins with a rhythmic drum beat and a very interesting melody from organ and sax. This is another one of the better tracks with some rasping Hammill vocals and a great instrumental break with scorching blasts of sax and grinding organ.

The epic 'Meurglys III' is indulgent and disappointing, and nowhere near the standard of VDGG epics such as 'Plague of Lighthouse Keepers' which is now my favourite, don't miss this one. 'Meurglys III' goes on and on and on and loses its power midway through. Like the back end of a hospital gown, something is missing, and it feels more repetitive filler than a great multi-movement suite. There are moments but as a whole it doesn't hang together. In particular the instrumental section at the end is great VDGG but it is too little too late.

The album is satisfactory as far as that goes but there is little on offer here that can be recommended over classic albums such as 'Pawn Hearts', 'H to He...', 'The least we can do...' and 'Godbluff'. Indeed even the latest two albums bury this mediocre attempt.

However, here it is, take it or leave it, and if you are a completist you will no doubt need to get this, but it is not a good starting point by any means. I can recommend just about any other VDGG over this. It is a shame that the band were lowered down to this level after such a promising start. They are better than good but I am sorry, although I am addicted to these progenitors of prog, I just could not get into 'World Record'.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#272679) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 18, 2010

Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars When World Record was released, 1976, Hammill was already very occupied with his solo career, so as a consequence, this is one of his and the band's worst albums. Also in this album Hammill seems to be losing a bit of his magical and fascinating voice that haunted all the previous VDGG albums. Even all the other members don't seem to be so good.

The first two songs are pretty good, they kind of reminded me of their old days, but the other three tracks are mediocre; even he twenty minute piece tends to be boring and flat. The song I hated was the final one, "Wandering"; I found it very annoying and completely useless, I guess because I didn't like Hammill's work at all.

An album of medium level, and easily forgettable. It could have been much better.

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Posted Friday, April 23, 2010

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For many years I thought "World Record" was the weakest VDGG album. After two previous masterpieces ("Godbluff" and "Still Life") it seemed to me that the band ran out of ideas leading finally to the second break-up of the 4-piece group. But from the present perspective and having re-visited it for several times, it seems that I have not duly listened to this record!

First three songs on the A side of the vinyl are all excellent, ranking among the Hammill's best, with recognizable yet a bit bold sound and more tight performance than on previous records. "A Place to Survive" even survived to this date being a part of the concert set of the 3-piece VDGG reformation of the 21st century.

More problematic aspect of the album can be found on B side, with the epic "Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild)" and the closing "Wondering". The former contains one of Hammill's signature lyrics of a lonely, isolated and misanthropic artist whose only true friend is his guitar while there are some groundbreaking musical achievements like the unexpected closing reggae jam or some odd avant-garde jazz elements, but overall the piece is definitely too stretched (20 minutes) and sometimes repetitive. "Wondering" is a lush symphonic ballad which although not too bad is somehow watering down and spoiling the album, delaying unnecessarily its closure for the last several minutes.

Still, there is one important element that separates "World Record" from all previous albums ? prominent use of electric guitar, the instrument that was never a part of VDGG standard musical set! Of course, Hammill never tries to play lead, feeling safer in providing rhythm and percussive elements of guitar but in some moments during "Masks" and "Meurglys III" in particular you can hear some really unexpected guitar noise coming from Hammill's fingers. All in all, even not on par with their classic albums, "World Record" is a worthy listening experience, proving once again that this band cannot really produce bad record.

PERSONAL RATING: 3,5/5

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#505555) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 19, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A transitional album for Van der Graaf Generator, this one, with Hammill's electric guitar playing more of a presence than on any previous album (the album's longest track, Meurglys III, is even named after his guitar!) and his personal issues seep through into the lyrics to an occasionally uncomfortable extent. Recorded extremely soon after Still Life - to the point where the band don't really seem to have had time to nail down the tracks to the extent they usually would - the album was of course completed in the midst of the events that Hammill would later explore overtly on his solo album Over, and the lyrics to songs like Masks suggest a certain amount of personal turmoil.

This would be the last VdGG album until Present to feature the classic lineup, Banton and Jackson leaving after its completion, and I have to say that it's probably a good thing the band got that shakeup when it did - although it's still an album I have a lot of time for, I have to confess that those who are not as much of a VdGG fan as I am may find it significantly less than essential. Aside from the transitional nature of the album, the production has sounded rather off on all the versions I've heard (Guy Evans' drum sound is particularly thin), and there's a sense fatigue about the music which suggests that the punishing recording and touring schedule that VdGG had adopted from Godbluff onwards had taken its toll. Still, though the reconvened VdGG didn't burn all that long, you can't say it didn't burn brightly.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#550201) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 14, 2011

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars For some reason, I rarely pick up this album when I want to listen to Van Der Graaf Generator. And I'm not sure why. It isn't bad. In fact, it has some great music on it. When She Comes ranks up there with some of the finest VDGG songs. A Place To Survive and Masks are also fine pieces.

But something happens during Muerglys III (The Songwriters Guild). It begins amazingly. It could have been one of this band's finest songs. It even stays intriguing as it morphs into a Pink Floyd- like extended solo section. Then they make a mistake. As a former member of a band, I understand just how easy it can be to lapse into an extended reggae rhythm. And when you extend it too long, as is done here, it can get boring. And to top it off, Hammill plays a simply dreadful guitar solo doring this section.

And all of this probably detracts from Wondering, which on any other VDGG album would probably fit better. But after the previous debacle, it just comes across as pompous.

A nice start, but a fumble at the end. 3 stars.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#563956) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 07, 2011

Latest members reviews

4 stars An oustanding record, its magic! I cant believe how good this album is.( Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild) is an ultimate VDGG song. I find my self gliding in their universe of music! Hammels singing is at its peak of performance in the song. A true gym to me since i always listened to them ... (read more)

Report this review (#1005829) | Posted by HereticEsoteric | Friday, July 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After the burst of creativity that created the two incredible works, "Still Life" and "Godbluff", the VDGG machine slows down. World Record is still a good album but two songs drag it down a bit. "A Place To Survive" and "Meurglys II.I"These aren't bad songs but you can certainly hear the strain of ... (read more)

Report this review (#871422) | Posted by ster | Tuesday, December 04, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Oh, this album is not considered as VdGG's top, despite it is for me. It's my cup of tea with milk, sugar and a chocolate bar on the plate. When She Comes could be not so interesting song, but the final part gripped me and I enjoy it every time. A Place to Survive is maybe the weakest song, however ... (read more)

Report this review (#772420) | Posted by Glucose | Saturday, June 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Van der Graaf Generator released World Record as the third album of their second period, within a year after Godbluff and Still Life, their two greatest masterpieces. The album opens with "When She Comes". This track starts with soft flute sounds and Peter Hammill's voice joining in. The track ... (read more)

Report this review (#408962) | Posted by someone_else | Sunday, February 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a very good record. Indeed, as the title of the record indicates it every people in the "world" should have this album. Anyway the latter is not true. The last theme is marvelous, it has a very nice guitar solo, this is very unusual in Van der Graaf Generator discography. The theme is rea ... (read more)

Report this review (#243666) | Posted by amontes | Thursday, October 08, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars After the brilliant Still Life, this album is less than remarkable. The whole band seem much less inspired. When She Comes is a decent Hard Rock opener and becomes quite heavy around the 6 1/2 minute mark (my favorite moment on the entire record). Overall the song feels too straight-forward thoug ... (read more)

Report this review (#201832) | Posted by AdamHearst | Thursday, February 05, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars World Record indeed. This is very unique album because Peter Hammill decided to write a piece of music that included quotes from wrold's folk music. So don't be surprised when you'll hear a bit of salsa here and there. There's also a bit of Balkan/Turkish stuff, Slavonic mountainmen sound, Jamai ... (read more)

Report this review (#178670) | Posted by LSDisease | Saturday, August 02, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Really impressed by some reviews concerning World Record , an excellent work of VDGG , and...... AS I PROMISED few months ago , i'll try to go through all this incredible band discography , and review what i find necessary in my opinion . World Record is not at all different from the two m ... (read more)

Report this review (#173341) | Posted by trackstoni | Monday, June 09, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album can scare people away. It is too much mad and repetitive in some parts, certainly too heavy and to rough in some moments. Hammil plays here electric guitar a bit more than anywhere else, but I am not impresed. Many people say that his voice is great, but I think that it is nothing spe ... (read more)

Report this review (#128127) | Posted by nisandzic | Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Again more of the same. For a lyricist of Hammill's caliber, I just wish that he'd gotten a band that could sound like they were alive. The more I've listened to VDGG, the more I had to look at the album covers to distinguish one from the other. Peter's lyrics, on the other hand, whenever they ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#115156) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 stars really! Having put this on recently after not hearing it for a while, I am confused about the low ratings this generally gets. Admittedly, I didn't like it much back when I first bought it. But I think that is down to the fact that I was discovering them chronologically (though I s ... (read more)

Report this review (#112728) | Posted by | Monday, February 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars By far the weakest of the VDGG LP's this has very little to commend it. The arrangements presented here sound tired and lacking. Strangely this material sounded much much better live. Hammills guitar playing is at times almost atonal and irritating. To me (a very big fan) this LP sounds like a ... (read more)

Report this review (#92032) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Itīs funny that a lot of prog-rock fans consider 1970-1974 the best years of this genre. But, in fact, when punk was about to come, some prog masterworks were being cooked: "Wind & Wuthering" (Genesis), "Going for the One" (Yes), "The Geese & the Ghost" (Anthony Phillips) or "World Record" (V ... (read more)

Report this review (#91485) | Posted by Jordi Planas | Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have to confes i was lamost a litle worried about this album before i bought it. but now when i finely have it in my hands i can finely take a deep breath and relax again. It seemed to me that this wuhld be a wake album from the mighty Generator. I yust culden belive it. And now when i heard ... (read more)

Report this review (#62339) | Posted by Zargus | Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars World Record introduced me to Van Der Graaf Generator, and is certainly a great start. Peter Hamill's vocals and the sax playing of David Jackson contain the weight of my attention throughout the album, while the piano/bass/organ/mellotron work of Hugh Banton and the percussion of Guy Evans pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#54068) | Posted by Saviorts | Sunday, October 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I seem to be in the minority, but I like this one better than the other two MkII albums, "Still Life" & "Godbluff." "Merg III" is quite the epic, arguably among the best of their epic tunes and certainly best of the 1975-76 period. "A Place To Survive" is also outstanding, one of their most ... (read more)

Report this review (#51024) | Posted by | Sunday, October 09, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Work announced in 1976 "World Record". Masterpiece that indicates new direction of group. It is an album of a violent style contrasting it with the work before it looks into oneself.The sound of the affection of the final tune is felt more beautiful by me for that. Album by which produced by g ... (read more)

Report this review (#47229) | Posted by braindamage | Sunday, September 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, I do love "World Record". In my opinion, this album isn't up to the standards of "Godbluff" (which is a truly masterpiece), but is better than "Still Life" - I would say that "World Record" has more memorable songs than "Still Life". "When She Comes" and "A Place to Survive" ranks with t ... (read more)

Report this review (#8016) | Posted by | Friday, April 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Was VdGG the first band to introduce World Music (i.e. Reggae) to the world of Progessive Music, a mere 10 years before King Crimson added some African Discipline? And does anybody really care as long as the outcome is slightly off of simply phenomenal? And while we are in 'off' Prog territora ... (read more)

Report this review (#8011) | Posted by | Thursday, December 16, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was my first introduction to the band and remains my favourite VDGG album. The entire trilogy of LP's which kicked off their second phase are all essential five star albums and any one of them would be a worthy introduction to the band. I think the inclusion of some guitar makes a welcome chang ... (read more)

Report this review (#8010) | Posted by | Thursday, November 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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