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Van Der Graaf Generator - H To He, Who Am The Only One CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 1486 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This moment had to come. I had to review this album, for it has a history for me. When I was 15 years old and I started listening to my first prog (Arena, wich I downloaded by accedent), I started to look for more of this new kind. I downloaded classics with completely no knowledge about what to expect. I had The Court of the Crimson King and this strange Who am the Only one. The first I started to like after some time, the latter I thought what awfull. I wasn't read yet I guess. Somehow I had always remembered the lyric "There's a House with no Door...". It felt so totally strange back then. Five years later I've gathered this vinyl collection of 120 progrecords, most of them from the seventies it was time again to give this Van der Graaf Genetor a new trie. And... succes!

I have all there important recordings (The Least to World Record) and I realy think this one is their absolute masterpiece! The lyrical concept of the album is about desolation, confusion and loneliness and what time is when you're completely isolated. The latter I fiend very interesting from an philosophical point of view. It made me think a lot about the subject. Because the Van der Graaf Generator sound is very known to a lot of people I will mostly talk about the lyrical content of the songs.

In the first song Killers we are told about a fish that eats all other fish around him, so he's very lonely. In the end of the song the link to a emotional live of someone who's a killer in social relations. Stange thought, but it works very well! Good opener, not to extreme.

House with no Door grew on me a lot. I now can even play it on the piano! What is left of one if he live totally isolated. "Now nothing is revealed but time", sings Hammil. Again a sort of link to an social/emotinal perspective. Great ballad!

The Emperer in his War-room. The main theme of this song was also something I could remember very well from five years ago... this theme touches my very soul. As the title suggest it's again a song about some lonely figur who makes discisions for his own to protect his people. This is one of the best epics written by Van der Graaf Generator. It has a lot of themes, but they sound a bit apart. Like songs within the songs. It took me some time, but I realy enjoy this!

Lost is another great song, but it feels not as special as the other, so I won't talk about it too much.

And then my alltime favourite, the hardest song on the album, the most philosophical progsong I know. THE PIONEERS OVER C. I have no good words to discribe this song. Musically it's good, but the power lies in the perfect balance and cooperation between words and notes. The song is about someone who goes into space to explore with the knowlegde that he well never come back. During the song this person begins to feel more lonely and enstranged from his human nature, replace be an unsure dark being that has no control over his reality anymore. "No-one knows where we are, they can't feel us precisely..." sings Hammel. After this a great sax solo comes in wich you will here the confusion and the strangness of the one so isolated from al living. "There is no fear here, how could such a thing exist in a place where living and knowing and being have never been heard of? After this we hear some more interesting lyrics on the main themes and then the final sentence sung in desperation by Hammil: "I am the one who crossed to space, or stayed where I was, or didn't exist in the first place". This sentence has been very important for me. What are with no other around us? What are we in total isolation, who are we without touch? What will become of are awareness? All philosophical questions arising from this one epic. A true masterpiece. I trie to inspire a lot of people around me with this great song.

Well... one of my favourite records of all time. The music's good, the lyrics perfect. The philosophical feel perfect, the atmospheres devine. I could never have unsterstood this record when I was 15 years old.... but now.. Solid five stars!

friso | 5/5 |


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