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Van Der Graaf Generator

Eclectic Prog

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Van Der Graaf Generator Inside Van Der Graaf Generator album cover
3.14 | 33 ratings | 2 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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DVD/Video, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Inside Van Der Graaf Generator

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitars, piano
- Hugh Banton / organ, bass
- Guy Evans / drums and percussion
- David Jackson / saxes, flute
- Nic Potter / bass, electric guitar
- Keith Ellis / bass, backing vocals
- Jeff Peach / flute

Releases information

Classic Rock Legends

Buy VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Inside Van Der Graaf Generator Music

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Inside Van Der Graaf Generator ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Inside Van Der Graaf Generator reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A plague of journalists, band members and producers

The Van Der Graaf Generator entry in the "Inside" series of rockumentaries covers the period from their formation in 1969 through to their "Godbluff" album of 1975. While the cut off point may seem arbitrary, it does mean that more time can be given to each of the 5 albums recorded during the period, and that the focus is firmly on what many consider to be the band's best years. That said, it would have made sense to have gone on for one more year to gather in "Still life", since it contained work started during the recording of "Godbluff", and is for many the band's best album.

The credibility of this set is boosted by the presence of former band members Judge Smith, Nic Potter and David Jackson, but this is offset to some extent by the absence of any commentary from three of the classic line up, Peter Hammill, Guy Evans and Hugh Banton.

The coverage of the various albums is somewhat uneven, with over 20 minutes being given over to "The least we can do.." but around three sufficing for the following "H to He.." (the same as for the "Theme one" single). The lack of footage of the band playing tracks from "H to He.." probably accounts for its curt coverage but Judge Smith correctly reminds us that despite his brief tenure with the band, he did co-write the fine "Killer" from that album.

"Pawn hearts" is represented only by VDGG playing "A plague of lighthouse keepers" for RTBF television, but the track did admittedly account for half the album. Archive footage of three tracks from "Godbluff" has been found and included, but as with all the clips on these productions the excerpts are short enough to avoid copyright violations.

The selected journalists etc., who include a rare appearance on these collections by Geoff Barton, know the band well and offer informed comment on both the recordings and contributions of the band members. Interestingly, this is one of the few in the series which is not produced and directed by Bob Carruthers, who is completely absent from the project.

In all, an interesting overview of the early years of one of prog's most enigmatic bands. It may not attract many new fans to wish to explore Van der Graaf generator's early albums, but those who are familiar with them should find this to be a worthwhile hour spent.

Interesting fact from the documentary; the song "Whatever would Robert have said" is a tribute to Robert van der Graaf, the inventor of the eponymous generator.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The inside series of DVDs are an interesting snapshot of prog history for the progressive rock fan. It is worth noting that there are a series of "Inside" DVDs available, including Pink Floyd, Yes, Supertramp, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and of course "Inside Van der Graaf Generator". Each DVD is in Dolby digital 5.1 and DTS so the sound is incomparable.

The Inside series is an independent critical review featuring rare archive footage much of which has been previously unavailable on DVD. VDGG clips from their golden years are always a sheer delight and there's a lot to indulge in from their early albums including "Pawn Hearts" gem A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers. I've seen many performances of this but here is a treat from the best version recorded. These performances have seen the light of day previously but I can never get enough of Hammill's voice and Jacksons' Saxophones.

Musicologists of varying backgrounds critically assess the music to discover the essence of the band. It is a very brief look at the band as are all of these DVDs of the "Inside" series, clocking just over one hour in length. Therefore it is more of a taster for those new to VDGG or for those who just want to look back at the golden years of this powerhouse prog rock band.

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