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Van Der Graaf Generator - I Prophesy Disaster CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.30 | 55 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Good Introduction of VdGG to Newbies

This is a classic band which I had not paid enough attention with for quite long until I found their "Still Life" album. I knew that the band was great & unique in which they tried to replace the wild and distorted sounds of electric guitar with Hammond organ. Wow! What a fabulous idea, don't you think? They proved to be successful with their musical philosophy and approach. The sound of organ not just make a replacement of guitar but it then became the trademark of Van der Graaf music in addition to Hammil s voice.

As the CD sleeve puts it, this compilation is complimentary to previous Virgin s compilation under First Generation and Second Generation titles - as an alternative for newbie on VdGG music. It starts from the band s initial effort Afterwards which appeared in the band s debut album "The Aerosol Grey Machine" in 1969. The opening track blends nicely poetry, music and unique vocal quality. This song represents the era where at late sixties the psychedelic music swept the pop music in UK with bands like "Pink Floyd" under Syd Barett era. The sound of piano makes it so clear. It flows to Necromancer from the same album. Each song provided here represents the music of its era. My favorites include "Arrow", "La Rossa", and "Ship of Fools".

The key of VdGG music is probably the emotional and theatrical voice of Peter Hammil, combined beautifully with soaring and jaw-dropping work of Hammond organ played skillfully by Hugh Banton and dynamic sax work by David Jackson. Look at "Ship of Fools" which I think it's the best track of this compilation. The way Hammil sings at the opening part is truly awesome because he can wonderfully combine his baritone voice and tenor at the same time. It's not just that! He can bring his voice with great accentuation and nice flow combining high and low points skillfully. This track is the best to demonstrate Hammil's vocal virtuosity. Banton provides his shots beautifully throughout the song through making fills as well as providing rhythm section when Hammil sings. David Jackson's role is more on providing harmonies with organ as well as music fills with his sax work. I also love how drum is being performed in this track.

Overall, I would say that this compilation serves its purposes for introduction to VdGG for newbies as well as a summary of VdGG musical journey for die hard fans of VdGG. Because the content stems from the band s initial efforts and various eras, please get prepared with differing sonic quality from one track to another. It is typical in any compilation CD, isnt it? Keep on proggin ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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