••• Van der Graaf Generator albums poll 1970–2012•••

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dave Gilmour's Cat, Sep 20, 2016.

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  1. Dave Gilmour's Cat

    Dave Gilmour's Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Excludes live albums and the new album, Do Not Disturb, which isn't out yet. Which three are your favourites?
    (Couldn't see an existing poll, but if it's there somewhere feel free to kill this one.)
  2. CybrKhatru

    CybrKhatru Music is life.

    Los Angeles
    I don't feel like it's fair for me to vote, because the only VDGG records I've heard are H to He, Pawn Hearts,m and World Record, thus far... I love Pawn Hearts but it took me years to fully appreciate.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  3. SirNoseDVoid

    SirNoseDVoid Forum Resident

    I like Pawn Hearts and Godbluff best, but I haven't heard any of the reunion albums.
  4. Rodney Toady

    Rodney Toady Waste of cyberspace

    Godbluff is my favourite. The other two contenders for my top 3 would most likely be Still Life and World Record, but I really love all the early albums. Most of the reunion stuff is very good, too (song-based material).
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  5. mx20

    mx20 Enthusiast

    Raleigh, NC
    Close call for me between Godbluff, H to He and Still Life, but I went with Godbluff. Pawnhearts is incredibly good and important, too, but doesn't hit me the same way as the songs on those other three LPs. Quiet Zone/Pleasure Dome and A Grounding In Numbers are also first tier VdG(G) albums in my book.
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  6. LadderFilter

    LadderFilter Member

    Pawn Hearts, a truly fascinating voyage in the dark realms of prog rock!
  7. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA.
    "H To He.." got my vote.

    "Pioneers Over C" is mind-blowing.
  8. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Planet Earth
    Ups.... I thought I could only choose ONE album and went with "H To He" because of "Killer". Love the sinister vibe this albums has, not unlike "Love It To Death", "Master Of Reality" or "An Electric Storm". Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and The White Noise.
  9. Flaming Torch

    Flaming Torch Forum Resident

    The like of all the albums up to World Record will not be seen again. Also unbelievably there are Japan sacd mini sleeves of the first 6. Just need a vinyl reissue programme like King Crimson.
    I voted for Godbluff.
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  10. AlmostHeavenWV

    AlmostHeavenWV The poster formerly known as AlmostHeavenWV

    Lancaster UK
    I bought them all in order, as they were released, so the first three listed are all very special to me, having first heard them as a teenager, when I was devouring music. Really don't want to pick one before any of the others, as I can't fault anything on those first three.
  11. bRETT

    bRETT Senior Member

    Boston MA
    Vital really needs to be included-- first because it has a full album's worth of new material, second because it sounds like no other VDG album-- extreme, punkish and vital indeed! To my mind it is the greatest thing Hammill has ever done.

    Apparently the forthcoming "Do Not Disturb" is real good, tho.
  12. kendo

    kendo Forum Resident

    Wot, no "The Aerosol Grey Machine"? :)

    "Pawn Hearts" got my vote.
  13. A tough call for me between H to He and Pawn Hearts. Killer is my absolute favorite song by them, but I think Pawn Hearts is a more consistent album so it got my vote.
  14. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Senior Member

    Looks like we can only pick one. I went with "Pawn Hearts". It was my first VDGG and still my favorite. I never found it as difficult as others seem to. I took to it pretty much right away. My second favorite VDGG is "Silent Corner and the Empty Stage". :D
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  15. Between God Bluff and Pawn Hearts. A funny aside...when I first purchased Pawn hearts I thought it said Prawn Hearts. I wondered why they would name the album after the heart of shrimp.
  16. bhazen

    bhazen Yes, this IS a Beatles forum.

    An amazing band, and run of albums.

    Most bands whose work ends up filed under 'prog', I simply struggle to listen to anymore; but Van der Graaf (and King Crimson; maybe one or two others) are somehow immune to this issue ... is it because they stayed true to their initial impulses/values*, or something else? ... All I know is, VdGG (and Peter's solo stuff) still speaks to me.

    I picked Pawn Hearts, probably for its outsized impact on my young self. But the amazing thing is, I think that their albums done since reuniting in the new millennium are, if anything, their best work yet; something I cannot say about the mighty (and beloved) Crimso or, in fact, anyone else in that genre. And I can't wait for their new album.

    *Not gonna name names, but so many proggy titans abandoned ship when the opportunity (or financial need) arose, to dilute their aims to go corporate ca. 1978 or after; Peter & co. were unwilling (or perhaps constitutionally unable?) to participate in this fall from grace, and put in some hard work to get by more as an independent cottage industry (Robert Fripp has famously chronicled the dedication and struggles of this path.)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  17. Dave Gilmour's Cat

    Dave Gilmour's Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    H to He, Who Am the Only One for me. Who else could follow the punk power of 'Killer' with the unbearable poignancy of 'House with No Door'?
  18. Tristero

    Tristero Touching from a distance

    VdGG had a really strong run of albums in the 70s and they managed to maintain their creative edge where some of their peers seemed to lose their way as the decade wore on. My vote here goes to the enigmatically titled H to He Who Am The Only One. It goes straight for the jugular right out of the gate, one of their most direct, visceral statements. (I could have easily voted for Pawn Hearts as well, though it took me a while longer to penetrate that one.). Each track is a masterpiece in its way. "Emperor In His War Room" offers an penetrating character study, demonstrating why Hammill is regarded as one of the sharpest lyricists of his day, and it features a searing cameo from his friend, R. Fripp. I also have to give a special endorsement to the haunting "Pioneers Over C". As someone who is partial to a little science fiction, this multi-segmented epic captures my imagination, creatively conveying a sense of space travel as successfully as any rock track I can think of. There's a point about nine minutes in where it seems to go "through the monolith" 2001-style, very effective. I like what the band went on to do in the second half of the 70s, including the rather underrated Quiet Zone/Pleasure Dome album, but H to He remains their high water mark for me.
  19. jay.dee

    jay.dee Forum Resident

    Barcelona, Spain
    I had to vote like the majority, but the single-vote poll does a big disservice to their other fabulous albums from the 70s.
  20. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA.
    H To He hooked me like no other of their releases has, thus far. I do like parts of The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other, especially the apocalyptic "After The Flood" (I really need to listen to Pawn Hearts more).

    But yeah, "Pioneers Over C"--what an amazing track. Very 2001. Might be one of the most underrated songs ever in prog rock.
  21. Seagull

    Seagull Seabird flavour member

    Pawn Hearts for me. I have never heard anything remotely like it. Lemmings and Man Erg have been live staples but on the last tour, the trio took on Lighthouse Keepers. Superb.

    Godbluff comes next, the rest of the 70s albums not far behind.

    That run of albums in the 70s (together with Peter Hammill's solo albums) is unmatched by anyone IMHO.

    One week to go till the next one.
  22. Martyn

    Martyn Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ
    A easy choice for me, Pawn Hearts. H to HE is a nice prequel.
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  23. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    godbluff, captures their essence.
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  24. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    I need to get more VdG eventually. Right now I only have Pawn Hearts and World Record. Very unique band. Have to be in the right mood to enjoy them though.
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  25. D.H.

    D.H. Forum Resident

    Malmö, Sweden
    Where's Aerosol Grey Machine?

    My favorite is H to He.
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