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Peter Hammill

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Peter Hammill Everyone You Hold album cover
3.43 | 103 ratings | 8 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Everyone You Hold (5:59)
2. Personality (6:04)
3. Nothing Comes (3:56)
4. From the Safe House (6:13)
5. Phosphorescence (5:12)
6. Falling Open (6:14)
7. Bubble (6:30)
8. Can Do (6:49)
9. Tenderness (4:51)

Total Time: 51:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, arranger & producer

- Hugh Banton / organ (2,7)
- David Lord / keyboards (1)
- Stuart Gordon / violin (3,5)
- Manny Elias / drums & percussion (2,5,8,9)
- Holly Hammill / soprano backing vocals
- Beatrice Hammill / soprano backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Paul Ridout with Leo Vaca (photo)

CD Fie! Records - FIE 9117 (1997, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PETER HAMMILL Everyone You Hold ratings distribution

(103 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

PETER HAMMILL Everyone You Hold reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by slipperman
3 stars Peter Hammill's '70s solo albums were usually a big hit with Van Der Graaf Generator fans, as they often shared membership and overall approach with what VDGG was doing. But then in the '80s, into the present day, he turned out three-zillion or so albums that rarely mirror his old band's more eccentric ways. He went through a weak period in the '80s, when the thin, digital, too-slick production values of the time robbed his music of the more human, earthy elements that Hammill's music thrives in. In the '90s and into the 2000s, Hammill has been on a hit or miss streak. Thankfully his voice has maintained its warm, emotive, sometimes bitter quality.

'Everyone You Hold' is one of his better '90s albums, adorned with spare instrumentation (mostly keyboards, very few beats) and a warm recording approach that highlights the more grandiose aspects of his compositions. The way it drifts and floats without ever becoming tiresome makes for some satisfying listening, though it's not an album you can pull out on a regular basis. As much as I enjoy it, I'm usually relieved when it's over, as it is quite heavy-not sonically heavy, but with such emotional gravity that it can be a bit trying. There is no standout track, yet no weak track either. If pressed, I'd put "From The Safe House" and the title track at the top of the must-hear list, and would consider "Phosphorescence" a non-highlight. There's a wonderful David Gilmour-esque guitar bit in "Personality" (by Hammill himself) and even Van Der Graaf bandmate Hugh Banton appears on "Personality" and the dramatic "Bubble". If you've ever listened to more than a couple Hammill albums, you'll know he lays his barest emotions on tape, and it sometimes feels like you're watching a man in some difficult private moments. It feels wrong sometimes, but if you want music that will move you profoundly, Hammill delivers like no other. He offers this sort of telescopic survey of his most introspective moments on 'Everyone You Hold'. If you've ever loved his voice and his overall approach, it deserves your attention.

Review by Matti
4 stars This one was a real positive surprise after rather boring Hammill albums. With the news of even a new VDGG release in mind I believe here starts a fine strong Hammill period which I'm willing to hear more of. This is mostly calm and peaceful work (notice there's no drummer), but not in that too-clean, lighthearted way of X My Heart. This is calm in a very atmospheric way - and to me the color of this music is black or dark-blue like a night sky. Slow songs such as 'Nothing Comes' and 'Falling Open' take me deep into emotions and inner pictures, and I love the sound that has a lot of open space without being hollow. Thanks to melancholic tone it's not TOO calm album. 'Bubble' (that is going to burst) has that psychological tension you find only in Hammill's music. Only couple of less interesting songs take my fifth star. One of my favourite PH albums definitely. And that is quite a lot to say.
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars During his prolific career, Peter released some experimental albums, some minimalists efforts, some personal (or intimate) ones and some VDGG oriented ones. Each fan loving one (or more) category more than another.

I would place this one into the third category (intimate) and even if the great man can be touching and passionate, I can't feel it so much during "Everyone You Hold". The overall mood is rather monotonous. Most songs sounding too similar to each other.

It is very hard to get concentrated from the title & opening song up to "Tenderness".

Even if a whole band is surrounding him, this album offers little variety. The only very good song which offers all the characteristics I like in his work is "Bubble". Somewhat "Still Life" oriented. The passion of the voice, the global quietness and the excellent organ play are an excellent combination for this great song.

But this is really the one and only moment during which I was vibrating while listening to this album. There are no bad tracks as such, but just too many of the same vein which offers little variety to the work. Each song taken apart might have its good value, "Personality" is such one, but the whole is not really impressive.

Two stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Everyone You Hold continues the series of calm ballad albums that started with As Close As This in 1986 and was carried on in the 90's with Out Of Water and Fireships.

It kicks off with the wondrous title track and continues at the same high level with songs such as Personality, Nothing Comes and From The Safe House. Don't expect any of Hammill's harsh shouts and rough energy here. This is a romantic album that sits closer to David Sylvian's musings then to anything Hammill did in the 70's. The performance is very touching tough, but in a subtle and understated way.

Another positive point to mark is that Hammill has finally shed the cold and stale midi sounds of the preceding 10 years. The album is mainly build around gentle piano playing and soft layers of ambient atmospherics.

Had the quality of the first 23 minutes been maintained, this could have been a worthy 4 star, but halfway in, the repetitive nature of the songs and the unchanging sound palette makes the album go down into an amorphous blur of mellow tracks, undistinguishable from one another. Phosphorescence and Falling Open are typical examples. They don't differ in approach but lack the quality of the first string of songs.

Bubble and Tenderness are better again but the damage is done. The album has lost its momentum and can't restore the enchanting effect of its first 25 minutes. 3.5 stars

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Hammill captivates us with quiet introspection and solitude

'Everyone You Hold' is Peter Hammill's solo album released in 1997. He seems to bring an album out every year during the 90s or every second year. This solo album begins quietly with very soft vocals and beautiful harmonies on the title track.

The album as always features some accomplished musicians and in this case Hammill is joined by Stuart Gordon on violin once again, and also from the van der Graaf days it is a welcome return from Hugh Banton, a wizard on organ. On keyboards backing Hammill is David Lord, but the real delight here is the soprano vocals from Hammill's family Holly and Beatrice Hammill. Their beautiful voices balance Hammill's starker tones on many occasions.

'Personality' has some unusual musicianship in the intro, dissonant violins scraping and then a rather upbeat keyboard motif chimes in. The lyrics are reflecting on the inner man; 'if the truth be told, all the plots will unfold, we've as many lives as we have friends, all acquaintances'. Hammill builds into a more confused state of mind, 'of fractured personalities, I don't remember your name', and there is a very cool lead break followed by sweet harmonies. One of the better tracks on the album.

'Nothing Comes' is a tour de force for Gordon's violin and Hammill is a concentration of reflection. The melancholy air of dejection is echoed in the lyrics; 'it's all downhill from here, with no sense of feeling, nothing comes as a shock, you remind me of the girlfriend I never had, never fitted the equation, I was never quite one of the lads.' This is a song to sink into after hearing sad news or experiencing despair. Hammill is the master of reflection on sad times and exudes down hearted emotions.

'From the Safe House' is patiently minimalist with quiet piano and a low vocal; 'this is not the final call and this is not a ghostly guide, still we're glued to the headsets while the world's collapsed outside.' The atmosphere of seclusion is strong as we hear Hammill's private thoughts. Sparse instrumentation is the key of drawing in the listener deeper into his mind without distraction with clever intricate time sigs or effects.

Each song contains the same mellow soft introspection and therefore becomes rather repetitive. It would have been better to hear some louder Hammill or more inventive music at times to break the monotony. Although it is uplifting to hear Hammill's ladies singing 'Phosphorescence' with him, and Gordon's violin sweeps are majestic. 'Falling Open' has some esoteric atmospheres with the scant musical figures and in your face vocals. The existential lyrics are always a drawcard; 'the book slips through my fingers, all the pages falling open.'

The album has a showstopper with 'Bubble' which is one of the more inventive songs, full of Hammill's brooding vocals and dripping with the cold starkness of Hugh Banton's cathedral organ, whose presence on this augments the atmosphere. Hammill's lyrics are as aloof as ever; 'can't go back, can't reverse, no one here really quite believes the bubble's going to burst.' Hammill gets more intense on this song that builds with piano, organ and harmonies at the end; 'and our bones become the coral of the future, and we slake the lifelong thirst, with the pin prick on a reef like a razor, the bubble's going to burst.'

The album finishes with 'Can Do', a showcase for Banton's organ, and 'Tenderness', both very moderate in tempo. 'Tenderness' opens with Hammill alone at his piano. It builds gradually with some stark percussion and keyboards. The song reflects on coping after a relationship breakdown. It is surprisingly creative after the straight forward melancholica of previous songs. After the quiet opening the music becomes alarmingly unsettling. 'Remember and let go,' Hammill's voice seems to warn as electronic sounds begins to crawl in to the cold silence.

This Hammill album is certainly a quiet personal one and has some innovative moments with Hammill always excellent on vocals prepared to lay his soul bare before us. His songwriting is to be commended as, on each of his albums, he always manages to captivate the listener with the sheer reflective poetry of his craft.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I've been listening to Peter Hammill's compositions for some 30 years now. I've always found them to be fascinating and extremely well made. "Everyone You Hold" is no exception. Thank you, Peter, for sharing with us your unwavering love for your music. Thank you for continuing to create new an ... (read more)

Report this review (#66518) | Posted by | Tuesday, January 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars X My Heart, the previous album was hailed as one of his best, so how does this follow-up compare? Some of the songs were recorded about the same time and are as lyrically intriguing. The usual PH topics prevail - life circumstances, the gains and losses along the way... generally though this c ... (read more)

Report this review (#62894) | Posted by | Monday, January 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well.............what can I say about a live legend?????? The better you'll do is buy THE ENTIRE COLLECTION of Peter Hammill's cds... The real only and one father of the modern progressive music... You know... every album you listen take a piece of you away.....after you listen to Peter Hammill ... (read more)

Report this review (#18767) | Posted by | Sunday, November 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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