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Van Der Graaf Generator - Godbluff CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.48 | 1998 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Van der Graaf Generator- Godbluff (1975)

After the short brake-up of VDGG Godbluff came to be in 1975. The style of the band had changed a bit at the time the record was recorded. The vocals are less dominant on the foreground (Hammill is still screaming and growling from the back) and the compositions got 'mature'. No random sounds any-more, no out of key disturbances (I used to like..) and no psycho wind jams like on H to He and The Least. Instead VdGG is more concentrated, dosed and a bit distant. The whole album feels like a cold Sunday morning in November. Still VdGG is recognisable for it's anger moments, the subtle lyrics and vocals of Hammill, the great drums by Guy Evans and the wind-section by David Jackson (family?). The album has four tracks of seven to ten minutes.

The Undercover Man is an intimate theatrical opening with mainly vocals by Hammil and devoted chord progressions. The feel is very strong here and the tension in the song is strong. The moment of release is however in the great follow-up Scorched Earth. This is VdGG striking in the living room! Your family flees and you pets hide. The vocals of Hammill are extremely intense, but not very beautiful. At these moments the recording lacks the quality of Pawn Hearts. The great instrumental sections on the last part of the songs are great. This might be one of my favourite VdGG tracks, but the recording is not really helping here. Arrow has elements of the first two tracks of the album, though is also has a lot of silent moments. The Sleepwalkers is a also a very intense track. The main theme is as strong as it can get and the composition is very high throughout. In the ending the recording is again not very helpfull during the intense moments with powerfull vocals of Peter Hammill.

Conclusion. An album with four great progressive epics with only one real problem: the recording of the vocals and the intense moments of the music in general. Still this is one of the most important VdGG albums. It is an excellent addition to any prog collection, although it's not very accessible like most VdGG albums. INMHO it's less good then Pawn Hearts and H to HE, so I'll rate it four stars. 4.3 that is!

* I've listened a lot to this album lately and I must say this must be one of THE masterpieces of progressive rock. It is such an intense experience. Five stars.

friso | 5/5 |


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