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viernes, 7 de agosto de 2015

Van der Graaf Generator - World Record (1976)

Artista: Van der Graaf Generator
Álbum: World Record
Año: 1976
Género: Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 52:13
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra

Lista de Temas:
1. When She Comes
2. A Place to Survive
3. Masks
4. Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild
5. Wondering

- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitars, pianos
- Hugh Banton / organs, bass pedals and guitars, mellotron, piano
- Guy Evans / drums and percussion
- David Jackson / saxes, flute

Jorge nos manda algo que había surgido en el chat, no recuerdo si como pedido (creo que sí) o qué, pero sea como sea viene a engrosar nuestra colección vandergraftiana. Y siempre es un placer escucharlos y tener algo más de estos magníficos desgraciados.
No será su mejor disco, pero igual son unos genios y un grupazo. Espero sepan disfrutarlo.

The mid 70's era VAN DER GRAAF is my personal favourite and "World Record" is a clear mark of genuis from this dark progressive rock band. "World Record" is the third in the trilogy of 1975/1976 "come-back" VDGG albums (following both "Godbluff" and "Still Life") and still contains the classic line-up of HAMMILL-Banton-Evans-Jackson. Again this album is full of dark and deep melodies as told thru the slightly clogged vocals of Peter HAMMILL. The centerpiece of the album is the epic Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild) which stands today as stil one of my most beloved VDGG tracks. All tracks are great and I think HAMMILL's vocals are likely at his best here with even some electric guitar playing !. Some of the melodies on this album are the best they have recorded including the emotional track "Wondering" which concludes this album. I guess at 52 Mins and for vinyl this was a longer play... and well worth it... as I said a mark of genius.
James Unger

The first 3 tracks are pretty strong, but after that it starts to unravel.
"Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild)" would've benefitted from some MAJOR editing. The long reggae jam was NOT a good idea as it lapses into tedium very quickly, plus, Hammill should've never been allowed anywhere near an electric guitar (his lead playing is just AWFUL!). "Wondering" isn't bad, but really great either.
Phil McKenna

After two quickly succeeding masterpieces, VdGG went back in the studio, but this time, they would actually deny the "Never two without three" saying and head for the "Two out of three ain't bad". While still a worthy Graaf album, World Record (with a stunning artwork again on a single sleeve) is clearly a step away from the right direction.
Clearly (and quite unfortunately), it appears that Graaf's inventivity and inspiration had come to the end, and the quartet will once again go their separate ways after this album. The first side of the vinyl is filled with rather short tracks, none of which would've made the cut on the previous albums, but in no way are they fillers, I insist! Just tracks that fail to have as good ideas as before, like if all of them ideas had been used on the previous two albums.
However, on the second side of the vinyl, there stands a monster track Meurglys III (Hammill's guitar spirit) with an incredible descending crescendo, and clearly the highlight of the album. However, the track does overstay its welcome a bit too much as the reggae jam is simply a bit too long and highlights Hammill's (relative) weakness as an electric guitar player, but overall, if this track had been shorter by five minutes, it might have a been Graaf's crowning achievement (with Lighthouse). Please note Italian group Germinale will record an astounding cover, but more succinct) on their second album.
Still a typical VdGG album, just not as strong as the previous five albums, every with will still find this album a must-have. Unfortunately, the group will implode (due mostly to exhaustion), leaving Hammill to suppress the Generator part of their name and find old mate, Potter, keeping Evans and and enlisting Smith on violin, for a drastically different sound. But this isz another story
Sean Trane

World Record completed the last trio of the 'classic' Van Der Graaf Generator albums from the 70's although it's not quite up to pair with Pawn Hearts or Godbluff but still very good nevertheless. Musically, it continues the style that Godbluff and Still Life had though perhaps a bit more hit'n'miss unfortunately, but it's rarely boring and it contains several wonderful and typical VDGG hooks. Solid performance both technically and compositionally with the "Meurglys III" suite being a standout here despite it's reggae jam ending wich is not bad at all, just a bit out of place here. If you like either Godbluff or Still Life then pick this one up! 4/5
Björnar Lunde

This is a review of remastered version of "World Record".
The mood of this record is dark and melancholy. Every single song reminds me of November (the birth month of Peter Hammill), though incomprehensible it was recorded in the month of May (my birth month). The dominating mood is farewell here. The forthcoming third split of Van der Graaf Generator and the forthcoming separation of Peter from his longtime girl-friend already show up on the horizon.
The remastering of the record is most pleasing, though in some savage passages Peter's roaring voice couldn't be made as clear as the instruments out of technical reasons.
The most interesting two songs are "When She Comes", which I see as a kind of follow-up to "La Rossa" in Peter's personal love affair, and the over 20 minutes long "Meurglys III, The Songwriter's Guild", a perfect fusion between Rock, Blues and Jazz. Peter excels on electric lead guitar here. (Funny, but "Meurglys III" always reminded me of "I want you / She's so heavy" by The Beatles.)
The year 1976 was incredible creative for Peter Hammill. He wrote the songs for "World Record", each one of high quality. In the same year he wrote and produced his stunning solo album "Over".
Comparing the two albums I always found the mood of "World Record" depressing and the mood of "Over" liberating.
Both have the same topics: split, leave-taking and wrench. In some of the songs of "World Record" Peter Hammill tries to generalize these themes into reflections of typical human behaviour, above all in "Masks" and in "A Place to Survive". Peter explained that from time to time he wrote songs that suited the band. These couldn't be about his own traumata in a too personal way.
On the other hand the solo album is uncompromising personal and though pain and hurt are even more obvious and in some songs nearly unbearable, it has a more optimistic feeling. Because it's "Over". "I'll see you on the wedding / I'll see you on the other side".
The two bonus tracks bring "When She Comes" and "Masks" again - this time from the BBC Peel sessions. Deripped from even the small overdubs of the official production these tracks show the wonderful structures of the music of Van der Graaf Generator.
The booklet is again extensive and of high quality but to fifty percent redundant with the booklets of "Godbluff" and "Still Life". -
IMO the last "real" Van der Graaf album of their classical period in the 70s.
Peter Eisenburger

So here it comes, the album that completed the trilogy of Van der Graaf Generator's second era. The main virtue of "World Record" lies in the instrumentation, which bears a more powerful vibe than on any of the two preceding gems ("Godbluff" and "Still Life"), but the main shortcoming comes as a real handicap for the opportunity to make a third masterpiece in a row. That shortcoming is the unevenness of the material - yes, the material is not as strong as to comply the VdGG standards regarding energy, drama and sonic adventure. It is not that the material is terrible or mediocre per se, but you cn tell that there is an exhaustion in the musical vision generated in Hammill's mind and portrayed by the band as a unit. Once again, the unit works very well as an ensemble, but definitely it is very obvious that their instrumental interactions are more robust than most of the musical ideas that are perfomed and delivered. The delivery outdoes the delivered item. 'When She Comes' kiccks off the album with a weird intensity built on a crescendo that gets to its first pinnacle for the first chorus, and onwards, we can feel a reasonable yet not especially amazing set of arrangements around the main motifs. The follower 'A Place to Survive' is a real rocker, seasoned with a slight yet noticeable touch of R'n'B: it is a very pleasant number, following a trend not too common for VdGG standards, that is, an energetic rocker based on dual riffs of guitar and organ and expanding on a constant tempo. Sure Hammill did stuff like this in his solo albums, but this is the first time that VdGG patently approaches a less complex side of avant prog. Actually, less complex doesn't mean comfortable, and the guys can really stir things up in a creative wy while the track goes on and on until its final fade-out, 9+ minutes later. The album's first half finds its apex with 'Masks', a typical Hammillesque angry ballad regarding the limitations of the ego - this track wouldn't have been out of place in any of the two preceding albums, with its ceremonious main motif, magical sax flourishes and a nice shift of tempo and ambience in the interlude. 'Meurglys III' is the album's monster track, but unlike other very long VdGG pieces, this one drags and meanders for too long: had it included more lyrics and had the instrumental sections been more concise, VdGG wouldn't have needed to take 20 minutes to say whatever they intended to. The long reggae coda is only a symptom of the band's overall exhaustion: by the time the listener gets here, they can already tell that this suite lacks something big. But tha tdoesn't happen at all with 'Wondering', which has to be one of the most beautiful VdGG songs ever. Originally composed by Banton and with added religious lyrics by Hammill, this powerful, moving manifesto of clever agnosticism at the gates of death delivers an eerie mixture of Gothic-like organ textures and classy adornments on flutes and saxes, giving a proper mood for Hammill's expressions. A great ending for a not so great album - still, "World Record" deserves a good place in a good prog collection.
César Inca

Habría muchos otros comentarios, pero ni caso, estos tipos son inigualables por más que digan lo que quieran. Gracias Jorge por permitirnos disfrutar de este gran disco.

3 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac - No CUE - No Log + Scans)

  2. Buenisimo, el unico que me faltaba. Muchas gracias.

  3. Simplemente maravilloso!! me voy a emocionar mucho cuando escriba la reseña y revisión disco por disco de VDGG en mi futura página. Un año después de World Record, Peter deja al mundo otra obra maestra que es Over, su sexto disco solista y un álbum brillante hasta decir basta.


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Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).