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AFTER THE FLOOD: AT THE BBC 1968-1977

Van Der Graaf Generator

Eclectic Prog


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Van Der Graaf Generator After the Flood: At the BBC 1968-1977 album cover
4.11 | 53 ratings | 3 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (78:29)
1. People You Were Going To (3:29)
2. Afterwards (4:41)
3. Necromancer (4:08)
4. Darkness (6:49)
5. After the Flood (10:56)
6. Man-Erg (11:08)
7. Theme One (2:56)
8. Vision (3:13)
9. Darkness (7:15)
10. Man-Erg (10:37)
11. W (5:08)
12. Killer (8:09)

CD 2 (78:27)
1. Refugees (6:17)
2. Scorched Earth (9:40)
3. Sleepwalkers (9:59)
4. Still Life (7:19)
5. La Rossa (9:56)
6. When She Comes (8:09)
7. Masks (7:23)
8. Cat's Eye / Yellow Fever (4:44)
9. The Sphinx in the Face (5:32)
10. (Fragments of) A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers / Sleepwalkers (9:28)

Total Time 156:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Van der Graaf Generator / all instruments & vocals

Releases information

Double CD release containing live BBC recordings from 1968 to 1977.

2CD Virgin EMI Records 472 210-3 (2015 Europe)

Thanks to Glimpse for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR After the Flood: At the BBC 1968-1977 ratings distribution


4.11
(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
43%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (15%)
15%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR After the Flood: At the BBC 1968-1977 reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This double-disc collection of archival material presents VdGG "live in the studio" performances for several notable BBC Radio shows from 1968 to 1977, thus covering their entire original career prior to 2005 reunion. Several of the tracks were previously unreleased so this is the opportunity for the band's hard-core fans and completists to add them to their precious collections. Sound quality varies considerably from session to session, but it is generally accepted for this type of archival release.

Some key VdGG songs such as "Darkness" and "Man-Erg" are included in two versions, which may sound overwhelming and frustrating to casual listeners. Still, the VdGG experts will rejoice in comparing the sound of "Darkness" with a bass guitar (Top Gear Session 1970) and without it (Sounds of the Seventies Session 1971). And since "Man-Erg" is one of the best and most important songs, not only of VdGG career, but also of entire progressive rock era and beyond, I don't mind hearing it twice in this set. It is particularly interesting to listen to the band in their earliest incarnation of 1968 playing three songs in rudimentary arrangements, that sound quite different from their later officially released versions on a single and the first album.

Another oddity is the inclusion of both songs from the rare single "Theme One/W" of 1971, as well as "Vision" that was released on the Hammill's debut solo LP "Fool's Mate" the same year. In terms of sound quality and production the second disc is much better. Performances from the latter days of 1976-77, such as "La Rossa", "When She Comes" and "Cat's Eye", are simply amazing; they could match perfectly their released studio versions.

In the absence of official live albums prior to the farewell release of 1978 "Vital", "After the Flood" serves the purpose well in order to present stage power of this seminal band, who for the most part of their career before 1976 rocked hard and heavy on saxophone and organ, without bothering to include guitars in their line-up. However, the uninitiated are advised to study the original eight studio albums first before buying this quite extended and at moments not very nicely mixed set of historically important radio performances.

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars One of the biggest disappointments in progressive rock is that we don't have a definitive Van der Graaf Generator live album from their peak period in the 1970s. That isn't in any way a knock against the excellent Vital live set, which captured the roar and snarling of the band's final 1970s incarnation as the ship was going down - but at the same time, I would argue that Vital's harsh energy isn't really representative of what the band had been doing during the preceding ten years or so - it's really its own unique beast. We do have other live snippets of the band from here and there, but they're universally of pretty awful quality - nowhere near the standards of, say, a Yessongs or a Seconds Out.

We're lucky, then, that we have the next best thing - a collection of "live in the studio" sessions performed for the BBC ranging from 1968 all the way to 1977. Some bits and pieces from this set have seen the light of day elsewhere; a truncated collection emerged as Maida Vale some years back, and selections on here were also used to provide most of the alternate versions and non-album tracks to be found on The Box. After the Flood, however, is well and truly the most complete collection of BBC sessions from VdGG to date - in particular, it includes a September 1971 John Peel session which had previously been thought to be lost to the ages.

What you get here, then, is a nice collection of alternate takes on well-known tracks, as well as a brace of rarities - Theme One, W, and a version of People You Were Going To which on balance is actually nicer than the original single. It's not a live album as such, but it's close to one in spirit, and captures the varying lineups of the band from 1968 to 1977 in buoyant mood. If you're a VdGG fan, this will be an essential pick, and if you want a two-CD overview of their original run then you could do a lot worse than this.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a compilation of live VDGG music recorded from 1968 to 1977 the year they released their final studio album before the breakup, reuniting again for 2005's "Present". So a great cross section of music is presented here with eight studio albums to draw on and they do it chronologically which I like. So the first three tracks are from 1968 and from the Top Gear Sessions. They have Keith Ellis on bass and there's no David Jackson yet. Favourite of the three would be "Afterwards" for the organ and vocals. "Darkness" and "After The Flood" are also from Top Gear but in 1970 and the latter makes my top three for disc one. The other top three is "Darkness" yes again but a different version from 1971 and this is powerful with those theatrical Hammill vocals to boot. "Theme One" is from this session as well and is a George Martin composition and a catchy instrumental. The final three tracks from disc one are from a John Peel concert also from 1971. "Killer" from this group makes my final top three for disc one. Stuck in my head too much though last week. Disc two features all tracks from the John Peel Sessions from 1971 to 1977. It opens with my first top three from disc two "Refugees" which is so moving. Love "Masks" from a 1976 session along with "(Fragments Of)A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers/Sleepwalkers" from 1977. There is so much amazing music on here and I'm surprised at how good Hammill's voice sounds throughout.

This is such an important piece of VDGG's history that has been unearthed for us from the BBC. Considering "Vital" was the only previous live recording from this era this is a real find.

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