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Old 08-08-2008, 11:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lucifer_sam View Post
And by that you mean, "next to AMLOR and the final cut that thing is the biggest piece of shit they made." Seriously boo, Meddle was where it all started. Even Nick Mason agrees with me. And that's a GOOD album, worth paying at least $10 for anyways.
It was a huge improvement over Ummagumma at least.

And Meddle is a great album, though that may be a bit of a generous thing to say for an album with a track like Seamus.

Still not quite sure which album I should do next.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:07 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Still not quite sure which album I should do next.
Do one i've actually heard


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Old 08-09-2008, 06:22 AM   #23 (permalink)
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^^^^^^^

Good call on that one and then maybe this one:

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Old 08-09-2008, 08:40 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Finish your KC thread, I wanna see your Thrak review.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:57 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Ok, I'll do those two next but I'm doing this one first, and I'm sure both of you guys have heard it.



H to He, Who Am The Only One - Van Der Graaf Generator - 1970

Personell:
Peter Hammill - Lead vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano.
Hugh Banton - Organ, Oscillator, Piano, Bass, Backing vocals.
Guy Evans - Drums, Tympani, Percussion.
David Johnson - Saxes, Flute, Backing vocals.
Robert Fripp - Electric Guitar.
Nic Potter - Bass.

Even avid prog hater (and pretty much the embodiment of Satan to most prog fans) Johnny Rotten confessed to being a fan of these guys. Van Der Graaf Generator were one of the very first true prog bands, they had established their progressive sound before Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis found theirs.

This is the first VDGG album I've heard and it's still my favorite. Their sound is rather hard to describe, VDGG don't put much emphasis on flashy solos like most prog bands do and almost all of their compositions are epics, mood is the real essential key to their sound. Guitar dosen't play much of a role in their sound, though Fripp makes a guest apperance. The organ, sax and flute combined with Hammills powerful vocals (he may very well be the best singer in prog) and his rather specific (and dark) lyrical imagery give the band it's unique indentity. This is really the bands first great prog album, which is somewhat of a concept album with death being the main theme, it's one of their most accessible albums so it's a good place to start.

Killer: An amazing opener, with rather odd lyrics about murder, loneliness and...fish. It's hard to explain. Overall a really great piece, with a catchy riff and some freaky sax and electronic effects.

House With No Door: A rather depressing ballad, a bit sappy, but a good piece, some great flute and piano work.

Emperor In His War Room: This is easly my favorite song, it's about a war criminal, amazing buildup and brilliant performances all around, including a guitar solo from Robert Fripp.

Lost: A very moody and spacey song, a song about lost love and heartbreak, a very common theme in rock music for sure, though it's never been done quite like this. This song is all over the place, going through many different moods, and Hammills vocals get downright scary at times, this song shows just how truly remarkable a singer he is in addition to being a great songwriter.

Pioneers Over C: This song tells the tale of astronauts who go mad from the loneliness in outer space, which explains this albums cover art. The music itself is very spacey and psychedelic, some great sax work. Reminds me a lot of early Syd era Floyd.

With lyrics about death and loneliness and rather violent imagery, this album alone makes it pretty clear that VDGG were a bit more emo than your usual prog band. They are about as theatrical as a prog band can possibly get. Not for everybody, but if you like early Crimson and Gabriel era Genesis, this is certainly worth checking out.



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Old 08-11-2008, 09:13 AM   #26 (permalink)
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^ Awesome album!
Godbluff is prolly my favorite from VDGG.
Peter Hammill is definitely one of the best prog. vocalist from the 70s. He brings this 'Dark mood' about their music with his voice alone.
Don't know why they didn't gain much recognition during their period. A bit too complex like Gentle giant?
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:07 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Actually, VDGG enjoyed a decent amount of popularity for their time.

They were huge in Italy believe it or not, Pawn Hearts charted at number 1 there for 12 weeks.

I'm not quite sure to the extent of how popular prog actually was in the 70s, but I can imagine that there were several commercially successful prog bands who have long since been forgotten by the general public.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:54 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Ok, I'm not sure how successful they were elsewhere during their time(other than the italian thing which I've read), but their name has definitely vanished a bit by now.
They do pop up every now and then on prog-archives, but outside that, I rarely or never see them being mentioned.
With quite a few top-notch releases, more ppl should check them out. I'm sure many might have heard about them, but listening to their music is another thing.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:55 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Yeh, that's a great album. Haven't listened in ages, but I got Pawn Hearts and loved maybe I'll dig this out.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:30 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Warior on the Edge of Time - Hawkwind - 1975

Personell:
Dave Brock - Lead vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer, Bass.
Nik Turner - Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax, Flute, Lead vocals.
Simon House - Electric Violin, Synthesizer, Mellotron.
Lemmy - Bass, Backing vocals, Lead vocals on "Motorhead".
Simon King - Drums, Percussion.
Alan Powell - Drums, Percussion.
Michael Moorcock - Lyrics, Spoken word vocals.

Some might not actually consider Hawkwind progressive rock, I do, but it depends on the material. Their earlier work is more along the lines of just plain hard rock with synthesizers. But after the departure of singer and lyricist Robert Calvert (with Brock taking over as lead vocalist, at least until Calverts eventual return) and the addition of Simon House (who brought violin and mellotron into the equation) their sound became increasingly progressive and structured, with not quite as much guitar. Hall of the Mountain Grill (74) marked this change, and this followup album is even more prog. It's also notable for being the last album to feature Lemmy, before he was fired for "doing the wrong drugs" and went on to form Motorhead.

Hawkwind are probably most notable for the science fiction and fantasy themes in their music, as well as their collaborations with famed science fiction writer Michael Moorcock (seriously that's his name). The whole thing about most prog bands writing songs about spaceships, wizards and dragons is just exagerated and untrue, but I can imagine that Hawkwind (and Uriah Heep) is probably where this stereotype originated. This album is basically a space opera, about what actually I don't know.

This is quite the favorite Hawkwind album among prog fans, and I have to agree, this is a defining space rock album, with all the little things proggers like but also cool and interesting enough that everybody should give it a listen.

Assault & Battery (part 1)/The Golden Void (part 2): Fantastic opener, an epic song divided by two parts. Great opening with mellotron and bass. The Golden Void is especially excellent and already sets a good example of how Hawkwind have improved as musicians and songwriters. Great combo of mellotron, moog, Lemmys very melodic bass parts and some excellent flute and sax work by Turner, pure space rock. This sets the tone for the rest of the album perfectly.

The Wizard Blew His Horn: Not really a song, just some weird poem by Moorc*ck accomplied by spacey keyboards and drums, about a wizard natrually.

Opa-Loca: Instrumental jam, a really odd one, with just a basic up-tempo beat that dosen't change during the whole song, along with psychedelic moog and flute. It's so simple, but I quite like it.

The Demented Man: One of my favorites, a great acoustic ballad by Brock and quite a change of pace for this album (and the band), love the interplay with the acoustic guitar and mellotron, quite gorgeous. Proof enough that the band has more range than you would think.

Magnu: Excellent, might be my favorite. I wonder how a song like this never became a classic rock radio staple. Great riff, one of Hawkwinds best hard rock songs. Love the psychedelic guitar and moog and Houses crazy violin playing.

Standing on the Edge: Another spoken word track, with weird delayed voice effects and moog. Even filler tracks like these are interesting just for the feel and weird things going on, thats what I love about this album.

Spiral Galaxy 28948: Another real highpoint here. Fantastic instrumental, a rare example of a Hawkwind song that is actually in odd time. Starts off with some really ugly sounding synth, but it kicks off into an amazing symphony of violin, flute, moog, mellotron and guitar, with a great drum and bass rhythm to go with it. Just gorgeous. And prog purists say these guys aren't good musicians, pfft.

Warriors: Yet another poem for this space opera. With distorted vocals, percussion and moog.

Dying Seas: God I love this one. Great bassline and a lot of ecco. Yet another masterwork of psychedelic rock n roll.

Kings of Speed: This closer for the album is a return to their more basic rock n roll sound. A lot more guitar than the rest of the album, Brock finally lets loose with a great psychedelic blues solo.

Motorhead: Bonus track that can be found on all the CD versions of this album. It's sung by none other than Lemmy, gee, I wonder where Motorhead got their name from, eh? Another great hard rock track, but Houses violin (which has a country flavor here) still makes it quite distinctive.

Once again I have to say that even if you're not a prog fan I still think you should try this one out. And for the prog fans this is certainly a must have for your collection. It's quite the grower.



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