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Van Der Graaf Generator - The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.09 | 1245 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars "Total Annihilation"

-Historical Information

Tony Stratton-Smith who was at that time a manager for The Nice, the Bonzo Dog Band and Van der graaf generator, formed Charisma records and signed Vdgg as his first act. Keith Ian Elis leaves while two new members, saxophonist and flutist David Jackson and bassist Nic Potter join the band. It's the first time that Guy Evans, Peter Hammill, David Jackson and Hugh Banton form the classic line-up that defined Vdgg. Only Nic Potter is an exception (on later cds High Banton will replace him playing bass guitar on the recordings and bass pedals on live performances). In 1970, Vdgg record their second album named "The least we can do is wave to each other".

-About the cd

The title of the cd was taken from Francis John Minton "We're all awash in a sea of blood, and the least we can do is wave to each other". What we have here is a true masterpice but also the first representative Vdgg album. The big difference from the debut album is that it has more a sense of an album rather than a colection of songs.

Peter Hammill's lyrics are really great on this album. His performance is outstanding and his compositions are much better than Vdgg's debut album. Hugh Banton with David Jackson's wind instruments combine together so well to create this scary, dark, chaotic atmosphere that characterizes Vdgg. Hugh Banton, a classicaly trained organist, creates a dominant sounds with his hammond organ that are enough to drive someone crazy while David Jackson playing both alto and tenor saxophone and flute has an amazingly unique and magical sound that varies from atmospheric to mind blowing sax screams. Nic Potter though less dominant than Elis seems to do a better job with the bass parts. Last but not least, Guy Evans, a unique drummer with a very jazzy sound that shows he is not just a part of the rythmic section but also a part of the music. An amazing line-up that consists of members who are really unique and have a distinctive sound. You can't go wrong with these guys.

The result is weird music that is new to the crowd. As Nic Potter said: "This music was entering territory that hadn't been touched". Even Hammill says : "The end of White Hammer is the scariest piece of music we ever played". David Jackson adds: "White Hammer is actually about the forces of good, but the end's pretty demonic". "I put down a flat 5th, which they call 'the Devil's interval'. C to F sharp -very unfriendly noise" he continues. Needless to say that if something like that was played a few decades before they would burn you for witchery. Mabye all these created an atmosphere rather unfriendly and scary for the young at Nic Potter who left before the next album was recorded.

Dark baroque, full of foreboding, grand gestures and menance this cd managed to reach number 47 and Top 10 in England. If you are new to Vdgg you may try this one. If you like it from the beging you're one of the few lucky people who managed to get hooked insatnly. Mostly, Vdgg need time. A true masterpiece from these amazing musicians, full of emotions. Five stars - everyone should have this cd!

sularetal | 5/5 |


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