3/13/2009

Van der Graaf - The Least We Can Do...(1969)(Remaster Edit 2005)

Van der Graaf - The Least We Can Do...(1969)(Remaster Edit 2005)

Peter Hammill has always had an abiding interest, it seems, in the blurred boundary between the mystical and the scientific, and between the rational and magical mind; this is certainly evident on the debut Van Der Graaf Generator album, even though Hammill had yet to really begin focusing himself on what it was that was driving him (despite the fact that the band's very name referenced a device that resembles a bastard mix of scientific apparatus and shamanic totem). The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other brings those concerns to the fore with ferocity, with time out for a couple of more personal pieces ("Refugees" and "Out of Our Book"). Hammill's lyrics, delivered with all the passion and intent he can muster, reference mysticism, numerology, astrology, various religious pantheons, the Malleus Maleficarum (leading Hammill to conclude, a bit too hopefully, that magic needs to be gray to be balanced), Robert van deGraaf himself (in "Whatever Would Robert Have Said?"), the future of humanity, and surviving ecological catastrophe. This being the start of the 1970s, the hopeful notes are drowned out by the tidal wave of fear, sadness, and despair, despite which, the music does tend to be rather uplifting, thanks to the undercurrent of barely restrained majesty VDGG tended to have (possibly thanks to Hugh Banton, who had been rather used to communicating with God via church and cathedral organs; he brought that expertise to a position more normally occupied by determined B-3 thumpers engaged in battle with show-horse guitarists). [The 2005 remastered edition of the album contains two bonus tracks: the single version of "Refugees" and "Boat of Millions of Years."]...S. McDonald

320 @
122 MB

Tracklist:

01 Darkness (11/11) 7:30
02 Refugees 6:25
03 White Hammer 8:18
04 Whatever Would Robert Have Said? 6:09
05 Out of My Book 4:06
06 After the Flood 11:36
07 Boat of Millions of Years( Bonus) 3:54
08 Refugees (Bonus / Single Version) 5:18

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