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Van Der Graaf Generator - The Aerosol Grey Machine CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 623 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars -Historical information

In 1967, Peter Hammill attended Manchester University to do a degree in liberal studies in science. There he met Judge Smith (drums and wind instruments) and with organist Nick Pearne they formed a band. A year later Mercury Records offered them a recording contract. With Hugh Banton instead of Nick Pearne, and with Guy Evans (drums) and Keith Ellis (bass) introduced to the band by their manager, Tony Stratton- Smith (who would later form Charisma Records), they release a single in 1969 on Polydor Records. For obvious reasons, within a week of its release, contractual problems lead to it being withdrawn. Days later , their equipment is stolen forcing them to borrow equipment to fulfill their gigging commitments and this combined with Mercury's refusal to let Hammill out of his solo contract lead the band's break. In July of 1969 Peter Hammill records what was firstly intended to be a solo work of his with Banton, Evans and Ellis as session musicians. Aerosol grey machine was released under the band name, Van der graaf generator.

-About the cd

Many people do not consider The Aerosol Grey Machine as Vdgg's debut album. Reasons may be David Jackson's absence, the variety of different sounding songs or even that it was intended to be Peter Hammill's solo album. In my opinion those are not enough to make The Aerosol Grey Machine not be recognized as Vdgg's first "real" release because dark melodies, Guy Evan's jazzy influenced drums, Banton's powerful organ sound, Hammill's distinctive voice, interesting and sophisticated lyrics are all over the album. You can tell that this is Van der graaf generator. The overall mood and the feeling you get from this album is very much like Vdgg's later albums.

What makes The Aerosol Grey Machine sound different from Vdgg's later releases is that its like a collection of Hammill's songs. What is missing here is a connection between the songs either in terms of lyrics or in terms of music. Every song is very different from each other and that's why it's very difficult to get used to this cd. Surely not a good starting point for people not into Vdgg. It's very experimental. It's a point where the band needs to do this. They need to get an identity. Strangely enough, they manage to do all that and at the same time create a masterpiece of progressive music. It's not as complex as their later works but that shouldn't be taken as a defect. In my opinion this cd has amazing compositions and ideas and it sounds really honest. Of course not as good as Vdgg's later works or Peter Hammill's solo career but I'm sure that if this cd was released by another band it would have been considered as a masterpiece! The fact that they released much better albums doesn't change the fact it's a masterpiece so I'll give 5 stars.

In my opinion this cd should be in the collection of every progressive rock fan. If you are new to Van der graaf avoid this cd for now. It will be very hard to get into...

sularetal | 5/5 |


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