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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van der Graaf Generator: Do Not Disturb

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You can't have a serious conversation about the infancy of progressive rock without citing Van der Graff Generator (VdGG) as one of the genre's driving forces amid its influence back in the '70s and beyond. They may not have been as widely known or sold as many records as King Crimson, Yes or Emerson, Lake & Palmer, but VdGG's singular imprint stands tall amongst the upper echelon of bands that sparked a re-imagination of the tried and true, namely conventional ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Van der Graaf Generator: Merlin Atmos (Deluxe Edition)

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For a group that has released only three studio albums since reforming in 2005 after a quarter-century hiatus--longer when considering the “classic" lineup with singer/pianist/guitarist Peter Hammill, keyboardist Hugh Banton and drummer Guy Evans was last heard on World Record (Charisma, 1976), and forgetting about 2012's atypical ALT (Esoteric), an album of improvisation-driven instrumentals--Van der Graaf Generator sure has released a lot of live albums in the past few years. Since the spectacular Real Time (Fie!, 2007)--which documented ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van der Graaf Generator: A Grounding in Numbers

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When, in 2005, Van Der Graaf Generator released its first album in over 25 years, the reunited group proved it was not only possible to go back, but that it could be done without sacrificing forward-thinking modernity. Inconsistent, perhaps, but Present (Charisma/Virgin) demonstrated, with “Every Bloody Emperor," a group still capable of soaring majesty and nightmare-inducing maelstroms. The subsequent tour, documented on the breathtaking Real Time (Fie, 2007), provided even clearer notice that VdGG was back, and with a vengeance. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van Der Graaf Generator: Real Time

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Van Der Graaf Generator was always different than its '70s progressive rock contemporaries. Groups like Yes continued to record new material despite considerable acrimony and comings and goings amongst their classic lineups, but on tour they almost exclusively emphasized their '70s repertoire. VDGG dissolved in the late '70s--the result of the rigors of touring and bad finances--but everyone remained in touch, often showing up on singer/primary songwriter Peter Hammill's subsequent solo albums.

The group reconvened in 2004 to see if ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van Der Graaf Generator: Present

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Progressive rock--that bastion of early '70s music which lost its dominance with the advent of punk in the middle of the decade--has seen a recent resurgence of interest. And so it's no surprise that bands which have long since disbanded are returning for another kick at the can. Some, like Yes, never actually went away; but despite all attempts to the contrary, the group continues to maintain its viability through live performances that are heavily focused on '70s classics like ...


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