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Peter Hammill - Fool's Mate CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 392 ratings

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3 stars -Historical Information

Fool's Mate is the debut album of Peter Hammill in his solo career and was recorded while Van der graaf generator where still active in 1971. The same year, Vdgg had released two masterpieces like "The least we can do is wave to each other" and "H to He, who am the only one". In fact, "Fool's mate", was released shortly before what is considered to be Vdgg's best release, "Pawn hearts". The cd features all Vdgg members of that period as session musicians as well as guest appearances one of which is Robert Fripp (King Crimson) who had also appeared on "The least we can do is wave to each other".

-About the cd

It's really difficult to say it is different from what Vdgg did at the time because all members appear in this album while on the other hand Hammill is the one who wrote most stuff in Vdgg. I suppose we could call it "Vdgg B-sides". To say the truth, the music differs from Vdgg a lot. The songs are less complex and shorter. It seems like Hammill recorded songs that just were either too personal or too experimental to be part of Vdgg's work. I use the word experimental cause the overall feeling is not like the one in Vdgg. The music is not as dark. There are songs that have mixed emotions and can be considered even happy and optimistic (something that didn't happen with Vdgg. Listen to "white hammer" to get a good example).

If you really enjoy Vdgg you may like this side of Hammill that appears on Fool's Mate. If you've never listened to Vdgg you could try this one cause it will make it easier to get into. You could get used to Hammill's voice (even though it's not like what he did with Vdgg). Others however may be disappointed by this release. I recommend this album mostly to Vdgg and PH fans. A very good album but to me not really essential (compared to Vdgg's masterpieces). I would give it four stars but then I would have to give most Vdgg albums and other PH masterpieces more than six stars.

sularetal | 3/5 |


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