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Van Der Graaf Generator - World Record CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 691 ratings

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Peter Pan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is a review of remastered version of "World Record".

The mood of this record is dark and melancholy. Every single song reminds me of November (the birth month of Peter Hammill), though incomprehensible it was recorded in the month of May (my birth month). The dominating mood is farewell here. The forthcoming third split of Van der Graaf Generator and the forthcoming separation of Peter from his longtime girl-friend already show up on the horizon.

The remastering of the record is most pleasing, though in some savage passages Peter's roaring voice couldn't be made as clear as the instruments out of technical reasons.

The most interesting two songs are "When She Comes", which I see as a kind of follow-up to "La Rossa" in Peter's personal love affair, and the over 20 minutes long "Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild", a perfect fusion between Rock, Blues and Jazz. Peter excels on electric lead guitar here. (Funny, but "Meurglys III" always reminded me of "I want you / She's so heavy" by The Beatles.)

The year 1976 was incredible creative for Peter Hammill. He wrote the songs for "World Record", each one of high quality. In the same year he wrote and produced his stunning solo album "Over".

Comparing the two albums I always found the mood of "World Record" depressing and the mood of "Over" liberating.

Both have the same topics: split, leave-taking and wrench. In some of the songs of "World Record" Peter Hammill tries to generalize these themes into reflections of typical human behaviour, above all in "Masks" and in "A Place to Survive". Peter explained that from time to time he wrote songs that suited the band. These couldn't be about his own traumata in a too personal way.

On the other hand the solo album is uncompromising personal and though pain and hurt are even more obvious and in some songs nearly unbearable, it has a more optimistic feeling. Because it's "Over". "I'll see you on the wedding / I'll see you on the other side".

The two bonus tracks bring "When She Comes" and "Masks" again - this time from the BBC Peel sessions. Deripped from even the small overdubs of the official production these tracks show the wonderful structures of the music of Van der Graaf Generator.

The booklet is again extensive and of high quality but to fifty percent redundant with the booklets of "Godbluff" and "Still Life". -

IMO the last "real" Van der Graaf album of their classical period in the 70s.

Peter Pan | 4/5 |


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