Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tales from the Progressive Oceans Part.2

               VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR: STILL LIFE (1976)
   I'm sure that VDGG fans will propably disagree with me as they would prefere one of the first period's albums. But for me the second period (that starts with 'Godbluff' and finishes with the live album 'Vital'), is more mature, less experimental, and contains some of the band's finest moments.
 Van Der Graaf  is a difficult band to listen to, if you are not 'well trained' with Progressive Rock. Their music is dark, based more on piano/organ and saxophones, and with Peter Hammil's unique voice which at some parts is melodic and soft, while other times it is flirting with cacophony. (Many times that happens during the same song).
 Still Life was released on 1976 a few months after Godbluff and a few months before World Record.
(The band actually released these 3 albums in a 13 month period).
 It didn't become success, it didn't sell particularly, (only in Italy became kind of a success), but it is a very strong album, that if you get used to it you will discover the magic of VDGG in all its glory.
Songs like Pilgrims, Still Life and Childlike Faith in Childhood's End are, in my opinion, among the greatest synthetic moments of VDGG.
                  My personal rating: 4.5 (out of 5.0) Stars
If you click on the following YT links you will be able to listen to a couple of songs from that album:
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR: Pilgrims
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR: Still Life