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 weird voice which at some parts is melodic and soft, while other times it is flirting with cacophony. (many times that happens in the same song).
 'Still life' 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 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: 8 out of 10

In the following videos you can listen 2 songs from this record: 'Still Life' and the epic 'Childlike Faith in Childhood's End'...