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viernes, 22 de mayo de 2015

Van der Graaf Generator - Maida Vale. The BBC Sessions 1971-1976 (1994)


Artista: Van der Graaf Generator
Álbum: Maida Vale - The BBC Sessions 1971-1976
Año: 1994
Género: Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 71:09
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. Darkness
2. Man-Erg
3. Scorched Earth
4. Sleepwalkers
5. Still Life
6. La Rossa
7. When She Comes
8. Masks

Alineación:
- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitars, keyboards
- Guy Evans / drums
- Hugh Banton / organ, bass pedals and guitar
- David Jackson / saxes, flutes


Ahora con un disco en vivo, no en un racial sino en diferentes sesiones, un sonido en vivo grabado entre diferentes sesiones que van desde 1971 hasta 1976 en el estudio de la BBC, quizás no tiene el mejor sonido pero podemos ver la faceta en directo del grupo, que sonaba más rockero y agresivo que en los discos. No existieron muchos registros de las presentaciones en vivo de las ésta época de VDGG y por lo tanto éste es uno de los pocos ejemplos de como sonaban en vivo.


Como culminacion a la carrera del grupo, apareció este doble en directo. Se trata de un disco muy diferente de los albumes en estudio, producto de la capacidad improvisatoria y de evolución de Hammill, y del salvajismo de la interpretación en concierto. Todos los temas son mas sucios y tienen un espíritu más rockero, punk y garajero, un sonido algo así como más cercano al de los King Crimson época Lark’s Tongues in Aspic-Starless in Bible Black-Red, pero con canciones rock más directas. La calidad del sonido podria ser mejor.
El grupo está formado por Hammill a la voz, guitarra y piano, Graham Smith al violin, Guy Evans a la batería, Nic Potter al bajo, Charles Dickie al cello, piano eléctrico y sintetizador, y David Jackson, que no colabora en todo el album, al saxo y flauta.
El repertorio está formado por los temas de VDGG: Still Life, Last Frame, un Medley de A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers y The Sleepwalker, y finalmente Pioneers Over C. Los temas de Hammill en solitario: Mirror Images (que no se grabaria en estudio hasta el proximo anyo en el album PH7), y Nadir’s Big Chance del album del mismo titulo del 75. Y también temas inéditos: Ship of Fools, Sci-Finance, Door y Urban.
En Still Life el órgano de Banton queda substituido por el violín de Smith, y para mi gusto no queda tan bien, además es una versión mucho mas sucia y agresiva. Lo mismo ocurre con Last Frame, también más sucia y distorsionante.
A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers esta en una versión muy reducida, y de The Sleepwalkers se incluye más o menos la segunda mitad, la que corresponde al climax y conclusión del tema.
Pioneers Over C es una versión también mucho mas violenta, como todo el álbum en general, y con fragmentos que no estan en la original.
La prueba definitiva del enfoque que tiene el grupo en esta grabación, es la inclusión de Nadir’s Big Chance, tal vez el tema mas punk de Hammill, que aquí esta en su salsa. Mirror Images es una de las versiones más cercanas a la original. Los cuatro temas inéditos son todos en la línea del resto del álbum, bastante rockeros y sucios, y no parecen de VDGG. Urban incluye un fragmento de Killer.
Un álbum en vivo, para nada representativo de los discos en estudio, y que sin duda podria haber estado mejor.
Ferran Lizana


"Maida Vaile" se compone de canciones de distintas épocas, con temas sonando bastante diferentes a los que aparecen en los discos. No sé si le recomendaría el disco a todo el mundo, ya que en definitiva es un disco con material que nunca fue pensado lanzar al mercado y con temas que al parecer en el momento de la grabación estaban aún cocinando. Pero no deja de ser una buena adición para los amantes de la banda.

Actually very few live recordings of VDGG exists because on the group's own admittance , they were horrible on 40% of their gigs and bearble on 30% of the others. This left only 30% of the gigs were they could've recorded (given that they knew in advance they would smoke and that conditions allowed the recording) and this explains that the only real live album was Vital under the VDG monicker. So are we thankfull that the Beeb existed. While not really live recordings per se , the sessions made that they played together some of those real classic tracks . Unfortunately most of the tracks are from the second era (I said unfortunately but I like that one better than the first) so the early stuff is not well represented here as well. I think the material from Pawnheart or The Least is most interesting to hear live.
Nevertheless we have some kind of live recordings and it should please all unconditional fans.
Sean Trane

For reasons unknown, experimentalists Van Der Graaf Generator released only a single live album during their tenure as a band (and it didn't feature their most well-known and popular lineup). Of course, plenty of bootlegs of the classic four-man lineup (Peter Hammill -- vocals/piano/guitar, Hugh Banton -- organ/bass, Guy Evans -- drums, David Jackson -- sax/flute) have circulated, but no official live releases until now. The folks at Band of Joy have compiled eight tracks performed on BBC Radio from 1971 through 1976 by the above-mentioned lineup, and VDGG fans couldn't have asked for a better compilation. Although all the tracks on Maida Vale are long, thereby meeting "prog-rock" criteria, VDGG's music helped influence the whole late-'70s electronic movement (i.e., David Bowie, Brian Eno). VDGG stresses texture in the sound, as heard on the album's best tracks, "Darkness," "La Rossa," and "Masks." A worthy purchase for any music fan interested in hearing '70s experimental music at its most interesting. [Liner notes are done by VDGG founder Peter Hammill.]
Greg Prato

Very few live performances of VDGG were officially released. One of the reason has been already mentioned on this site (thanks Hughes) : the band was not a too great live performer. I saw them live at the Cirque Royal in Brussels in 76 but I only have a vague souvenir about it.
"Maida Vaile" consists of songs from different eras : the origin with "Darkness" and "Man-Erg" and then the Mark II period with songs from "Godbluff", "Still Life" and "World Record". What is really interesting with this album is the overall quality of the recording, and this is sufficiently important to mention.
Forget about the disgusting renditions from "Vital" and jump happily into this one. This is by far the best official VDGG live release (in terms of boots, you should try and get hold of their 2005 reunion concerts from either London or Milan). This effort also sounds more as a studio live effort (no audience participation at all).
The highlight is "Still Life" : even if Peter is not the greatest singer of the prog rock history, his rendition here is truly emotional and deserves the deepest consideration. Another one is "La Rossa" : although it is not one of my preferred song from the band, this live performance is really great.
If you should consider to buy only one live album from Van Der Graaf, this is the one and only (even if "When She Comes" and "Masks" are a bit weaker - they should have put "The Undercover Man" and "Pilgrims" instead).
Daniel

This is a fantastic live album with a rare performance of Van Der Graaf Generator live and in fine form. It sounds very different than Vital that had a booming bass. This concert was clearer recorded with good equipment from the BBC and the set list is terrific classic VDGG.
'Darkness' is the perfect opening, an incredible eerie track with Jackson brilliant on sax, followed by quintessential 'Man-Erg' from "Pawn Hearts" and dark and brooding 'Scorched Earth' from "Godbluff". All three are killer classics and never bettered live. The version of 'Sleepwalkers' is a 10 minute zombie outbreak of prog with epic proportions. 'Still Life' may be the best live version available, so powerfully moving and Hammill convicting and emotional. 'La Rossa' is a colossal beast of 10 minutes with pounding drums and killer guitar. Hammill's piano cries in agony and this is a definitive highlight with a tour de force of Evans and Banton's rhythms. 'When She Comes' is a strange choice but still good to hear and we end with a wonderful version of 'Masks'. I would have preferred 'Killer', 'Pioneers Over C' or 'Arrow' but it was interesting to hear these live versions.
The Maida Vale BBC Radio One Sessions is a must for Hammill and VDGG fanatics that never fails to please and is of the highest quality. The crowd are low key, and it is more like a Radio session than a concert. And it is all the more enjoyable as a result. Hammill, Evans, Banton and Jackson are a force to be reckoned with and here they are captured in all their glory at the peak of their powers.
Scott Tuffnell

I have always been a fan of Session Albums like this one, they offer a very unique look at what a band was really like in their prime. This collection of VDGG recorded at the BBC with the classic line-up offers in my opinion the definitive experience of Van Der Graaf Generator at their peek of performance. With songs from each of the classic albums performed flawlessly you do get a real feel of a band in full motion.
It showcases both the simple ballad-esque songs that Hammill made famous such as Man-Erg aswell as the heavier songs like Darkness and Sleepwalkers performed flawlessly. After hearing this it is almost impossible to resist exploring the bands studio albums which may often be daunting if you are a first time listener to VDGG, such as H to He and Still Life which can be more difficult to get into on first listen.
For anyone wanting to hear VDGG live in full flow this collection is perfect, and anybody wishing to buy their first VDGG this is the perfect starting point.
Mark Hall

On lead-off track 'Darkness' it sounds like the dangerous-to-know Pawn Hearts-era group were going out of their way to first chill then outright terrify the listener; it certainly puts goosebumps on me. Many of their contemporaries impressed; these guys could also intimidate and this is I think a rare ability both then and now. Fans of 'The Least We Can Do...' need this as it leaves the LP version in its dust! 'Man-Erg' from the same session has bizarre tom-tom overdubs and clumsy changes, perhaps it was still in development at the time? The remaining tracks by the Second Generation group are strong, fired-up performances from 75-76, intriguing companions to the studio versions with great sound courtesy of those BBC whitecoat techs and their hulking machinery. Track 1 just towers though.
playitstrange

BBC tends to deliver good prog rock live albums. The CARAVAN live recordings through BBC is excellent. BBC has given VDGG the same treatment. Which has enhanced VDGG's discography and reputation in my view.
The album opens with a haunting version of Darkness. Classics like Man-Erg, Scorched Earth and Sleepwalkers follows. The track selection is a bit strange after that. This is certainly not a "Best Off" compiliation. But VDGG pulls it off with gutso bravado. The songs are dark, haunting and beautiful. In other words; this album is pretty much hard-core VDGG. It showcase their sound and their live delivery of their material at it's best, despite of some sorely missed tracks here. VDGG is an enigma and they manage to bring the enigma across in this recording. I guess those not familiar with VDGG will like this album.
It is also my view that this is the best ever VDGG live album. This despite of having no public reactions or live feeling (no audience in the studio). It is a good addition to anyone's record collection. This is a much played and loved album in my home.
toroddfuglesteg

Work announced in 1994 "Maida Vale(The BBC Radio One Sessions)". Live album that collected sound source of live in BBC studio spent between 1971 and 1976. All tunes collected to this album are collected to the original album. This album might be the highest in a live sound source of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR that can be listened now.
braindamage

This is the closest thing we can get to a live VDGG album by the classic line-up of Hammill, Banton, Jackson, Evans (OK, there are live tracks at "The Box", but a box-set does not count as a live album - except King Crimson's "The Great Deceiver". In fact, as the songs here were culled from BBC Sessions, this is actually a "live in the studio" album. That said, let's face the facts: this is a great album, with a fantastic song selection and good recording quality (the first two tracks, recorded in 1971, are slightly poorer than the others in terms of recording). From 8 tracks, six comes from VDGG's "second generation" (two from each album recorded by the classic line-up during this period). So this album also serves as a satisfactory introduction to the second generation, but not to their full career. Another BBC sessions can be found at the aforementioned "The Box", and maybe this album should have been re-released as a 2-CD set to fans who cannot afford to the more expensive box set. Highlights: "Darkness", "Scorched Earth", "La Rossa" and "When She Comes" (the last two are actually better than the studio versions). Recommended to all VDGG fans and to all prog-rock lovers.
Marcello B. Zapelini

Vamos a ir con más VDGG hoy viernes, para que tengan para escucher en este fin de semana largo.




4 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac + CUE + Log + Scans)
    http://pastebin.com/mS6sj7Nk

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  2. Demoledora versión de Still Life. Lloré.

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    Respuestas
    1. Que bueno que mi trabajo sirva para que sucedan estas cosas... Gracias por comentar

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