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Van Der Graaf Generator - Pawn Hearts CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.43 | 2197 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Remastered CD (2005) with Bonus Tracks: 4. Theme One (original mix) (3:15) 5. W (first version) (5:04) 6. Angle of Incidents (4:48) 7. Ponker's Theme (1:28) 8. Diminutions (6:00)

Already in its well deserved place in TOP20, the album itself needs no further introducing. It's either LOVE or HATE, or maybe for some brave listeners uncomfort turning into love? Especially 'Plague' and 'Man Erg' deal so strongly with dark emotions that also the reception is very intimate and personal. Played loud in a record store most likely makes 90% of customers walk out. 'Lemmings' is for me harder to interpret but musically it's as amazing as the others. A definite 5-star masterpiece. OK, now let me introduce the bonuses.

The text reveals that originally it was planned to be a double, extended with band members' solo contributions and live versions of existent songs. (Luckily the record company vetoed.) Guy Evans' 'Angle of Incidents' is an avant-garde instrumental involving drums recorded backwards, and the sound of crashing lightbulb. To me it falls into the same category as the second disc of Present (VDGG 2005), I'm unmotivated to hear it many times. David Jackson's (sax) short 'Ponker's Theme' is free jazz; could be Coltrane or something. Organist Hugh Banton's 'Diminutions' is experimental multi- organ track. These and the original mix of 'Theme One' (composed by George Martin for BBC Radio One) and the first version of 'W' are not reason enough on their own to buy the edition, I think. But, with the good text on band's history of the time, this is an excellent moment to get this wonderful album if you don't yet have it.

Matti | 5/5 |


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