Posts Tagged ‘Peter Hammill’

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One of the pioneers of Progressive Music – or Prog Rock as it’s more widely known – is a UK band from the early years of Rock’s infancy. Their name is Van der Graaf Generator. This band still works together with their last album, Do Not Disturb, released back in 2016. Overall, this influential band released thirteen albums from 1968 through 2016 (thus far).  Their first album, “The Aerosol Grey Machine”, welcomed the band to the public.

The album was originally intended as a solo album by the band’s lead singer and main songwriter, Peter Hammill. When the band signed with Charisma Records, a deal was worked out whereby The Aerosol Grey Machine would be released under the Van der Graaf Generator name, in return for Mercury Records releasing Hammill from his earlier contract with it.

The Aerosol Grey Machine. Originally issued in 1969, The Aerosol Grey Machine adequately sets the stage for the great Van der Graaf Generator classics to follow. This 50th Anniversary Edition of this debut will feature new remastering and the addition of rare and previously unreleased bonus tracks to round out the  planned 2CD reissue.

For this reissue, eight extra tracks that include two previously unreleased 1967 demos, two single issues, and four BBC Sessions live performance tracks from a November 1968 session. A booklet with photos, notes, credits, an essay, and a new Pete Hammill interview.  Also included will be a replica Pete Hammill-designed poster from 1968.

A 180g-weight vinyl LP is also planned for reissue that will include the new remaster of the classic debut. It will come with a packed in 7″ vinyl single of the rare and withdrawn “People You Were Going To” with a B-side of “Firebrand”. The LP will be presented in a classic gateway sleeve with the UK artwork that was unissued.

Esoteric Recordings proudly announcing the release of a new re-mastered 50th Anniversary Limited Edition boxed set of the classic debut album ‘Aerosol Grey Machine’ – available for order now, and to be released April 26th via Esoteric Recordings.
Features the re-mastered album, an additional CD of rare & previously unreleased tracks, demos & BBC sessions, a facsimile 180g vinyl LP of ‘The Aerosol Grey Machine’ (cut at Abbey Road Studios), housed in the impossibly rare unreleased British gatefold sleeve design, a 7-inch single of the very rare withdrawn release ‘People You Were Going To’ b/w ‘Firebrand’, a lavish book with an essay by Sid Smith & exclusive interview with Peter Hammill, and a replica 1968 poster designed by Peter Hammill.

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A double-album sampler of the Charisma label’s 1971-1972 output, “Charisma Disturbance” is a veritable behemoth and no mistake. Just a glance at the participating artists renders further comment all but superfluous  Genesis, Peter Hammill, the Nice, Rare Bird, Van Der Graaf Generator, and the Incredible String Band are more than mere giants of the U.K. underground of the age; they also represent peaks to which British prog has been attempting to return ever since. This album’s unstinting trawl through some of their most adventurous pages — “Return of the Giant Hogweed,” “Killer,” “Sympathy,” and so on — is simply the icing on the hyperbolic cake.

Charisma Records itself was never less than the consuming passion of one man, founder Tony Stratton Smith, but it is to his unending credit that he neither tried to mold his artists toward any single vision, nor impress upon them the need to shift more product. Several of the artists here would go on to enjoy huge success Genesis, of course, but also Lindisfarne and Clifford T Ward — but “The Money Game,” as one of the album’s highlights calls it, was never the be-all and end-all of the label’s release policy. And so 20 tracks rattle past with an idiosyncrasy and imagination that shares no common ground beyond the Mad Hatter who so aptly dominates the label design itself, and if you don’t discover at least a handful of bands to run out and discover — even all these decades after the fact — then you deserve to listen to track seven for the rest of your life. Altogether now, “Spam spam spam spam, spam spam spam spam.”

Side 1

Sinfonia Of London* Conducted By Joseph Eger Sonata Pian E Forte
John Neville -The Unanswered Question
The Nice -Intermezzo ‘Karelia Suite’
Peter Hammill -German Overalls
Side 2 –

Alan Hull -Money Game
Bell & Arc -She Belongs To Me
Monty Python -Spam Song
Lindisfarne -Lady Eleanor
Bo Hansson -Flight To The Ford
Lindisfarne- Fog On The Tyne
Side 3 –

Capability Brown -No Range
Rare Bird -Sympathy
Audience – I Had A Dream
Clifford T. Ward -Home Thoughts
Van Der Graaf Generator -Killer
Side 4-

Music From Free Creek -Getting Back To Molly
Graham Bell -Too Many People
Jo’Burg Hawk- Dark Side Of The Moon
String Driven Thing -Regent Street Incident
Genesis -Return Of The Giant Hogweed