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Thread: VDGG - World Record

  1. #1
    Member zravkapt's Avatar
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    VDGG - World Record

    An underrated album IMO, but still nowhere near one of their best. I like the use of synth although it's not used a whole lot. Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Huge VdGG-fan here, but not of this one. It followed on Godbluff and Still Life, and just sounded utterly dull next to those. Lack of spark, some dodgy decisions as to arrangements and dispositions; have to say I very rarely return to this, and when I do I'm always disappointed at how little my perception has changed.
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    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I really LOVE this. From beginning to end. Even infamous reggae-part and raw guitar playing by Hammill. When She Comes is my favourite song on this. Tremendous stuff!

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    For me World Record and Still Life kind of blur together. I like 'em both but I'd rank 'em below Pawn Hearts and Godbluff. I really like Meurglys III despite the cringe-worthy guitar solo. The cringe-inducing guitar doesn't ruin the song but one wonders why the producer or other band members didn't talk Peter out of doing that solo. It doesn't even have a little bit of that "it's so bad it's good" charm .

    World Record was the second VDGG album I bought after Pawn Hearts so I'd rank it slightly higher than Still Life. I really should get H to He at some point.

  5. #5
    Agree pn when she comes. Together with Wondering they make the album for me. But it is a mixed effort tbh and Meurglys shows it eloquently. It's my last VDGG album.
    On a side note I believe that the boots of this tour still show a very good live band.

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    Member zravkapt's Avatar
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    I don't mind the guitar solo. It's not great but I don't see what turns people off (I'm not a guitarist so maybe that's it).
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  7. #7
    The first of theirs that I bought, age 15 back in 1979. Wanted to like it but found it a struggle - the titles (for all I knew there was a Songwriters Guild, which might or might not be called Meurglys), the lyrics (I always imagined PH surrounded by plants, handing over cartons of cigarettes in exchange for songs. Seriously.), and the song structures, which I found awkward and edgy. I sensed there was a lot of substance here because it was like nothing else I'd heard, and not 'getting it' it didn't stop me buying 'The least we can do' (which I didn't really like either). I didn't have too many records, so it did get played every now and again, and some years later it finally clicked. There are better albums - Still Life, Godbluff and Pawn Hearts, but I have a much deeper love for this, and I sense that even after 36 years it still has more to reveal. Still not sure what 'Wondering' is about, but that didn't stop it being the perfect closer for their reunion show in 2005. 'I will return; as I live, as I breathe, as I burn I swear I will come through with my hands stretching out in the dark with my eye pressed up tight to the glass, wondering if it's all been true.' Fuck.
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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zravkapt View Post
    It's not great but I don't see what turns people off (I'm not a guitarist so maybe that's it).
    I'm not a professional musician but I do have a good ear and I do have some musical training. I think in this case it's a situation where you can overlook how horrible the guitar sounds because one accepts that Peter Hammill is a brilliant artist. I don't know, to me that guitar solo is like a wart on the Mona Lisa. Hell of a great, epic track. I like how it changes into that reggae thing. I've never heard reggae in prog until I heard this track. The tone of the guitar, more than anything is what makes it sound like fingernails across a blackboard.

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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Huge VdGG-fan here, but not of this one. It followed on Godbluff and Still Life, and just sounded utterly dull next to those. Lack of spark, some dodgy decisions as to arrangements and dispositions; have to say I very rarely return to this, and when I do I'm always disappointed at how little my perception has changed.
    I basically agree with this.

    I thought Godbluff was (and is) pretty amazing for a 'return', Still Life was pretty decent but nowhere near as good, World Record went down a lot from Still Life's 'pretty decent'.

    The good news was the gigantic return to great form on Quiet Zone.
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  10. #10
    When She Comes is in the top 5 VdGG tunes ever
    A Place To Survive rocks out and has some killer crunchy Hammond from Banton (Banks could never funk it up like that - brilliant). Great chorus as well
    Masks is okay. Not one of the classice, but a good tune
    M3 is fantastic and the guitar solo is hilarious
    Wondering is my least fave and with the dated synths sounds very of its time, which is a criticism that VdGG mostly manages to escape.

    I love this album but will agree that it's not up there with Godbluff or Still Life. It was meant to be a more jamming, stretching out disc at any rate, which is not what Godbluff and Still Life were about.

  11. #11
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    From The Least We Can Do... through Godbluff is an amazing string of albums, all in the 9.5-10/10 range for me (and I don't throw around such high numbers lightly). Still Life comes close, but I've never warmed to "My Room". World Record is a great album, but loses a point for the second half of "Meurglys III" (I love the first half of course). "Wondering" is another that is a good track, but not great... the band set an awfully high bar with the earlier albums I mentioned.
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    Always wanted to love it, but... Basically, I agree w Scrot on this.
    I do like the production, though, and Banton sounds great. Love the Spanish bullfighting section, too.
    But Meurglys is terrible. Boo!

    When She Comes is great, with Masks and Survive strongly in the Good category.

    I also think Still Life is every bit the masterpiece that Godbluff is, just less edgy or immediate. QZ/PZ gets more spins than World Record around here because (most of) the songs are better!

  13. #13
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx20 View Post

    When She Comes is great, with Masks and Survive strongly in the Good category.
    When She Comes IS great. I forgot that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by mx20 View Post
    QZ/PZ gets more spins than World Record around here because (most of) the songs are better!
    I agree. The songs are better. It isn't the performances as much as the songs.
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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

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    Also... This is a really interesting time for the band, IMO; line-up disintegrating, first North American gigs, Canadian success looming (right?), Charisma actually promoting World Record... But it wasn't enough. Too bad there couldn't have been a successful single off of World Record. Could've made things easier for Hammill & Co. and (perhaps?) more exciting for us. Maybe if they hadn't been under such pressure to be prolific, WR could've contained a bit more greatness?

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    The weakest of their Charisma albums IMHO. By no means a disaster- 'When She Comes', 'Masks' and 'Wondering' ensure that- but there's a lethargy at times, as they resort to long soloing which is not really their forte.

    'A Place To Survive' is a track I personally have not really warmed to. 'Meurglys III' is good until you get to that cod-reggae jam at the end, what were they thinking here?

  16. #16
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Weakest of the classic era LPs. "Meurglys" is tedious; Hammill should be tasered whenever he reaches for an electric guitar. I dig the anthemic "Wondering," however.
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    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx20 View Post
    Canadian success looming (right?)
    In Québec, yes. They played six gigs throughout the province in 1976, and then one show at Massey Hall in Toronto.
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  18. #18
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogrooves View Post
    Hammill should be tasered whenever he reaches for an electric guitar.


    At first I thought the "reggae jam" was just plain odd. Why would they do that? Well, why not? We complain when prog is too predictable. But I agree that Hammill should not be allowed near an electric guitar. I understand that guitar is his main instrument now, so I have to believe he's improved. I'm okay with VDGG without any guitar at all. Hugh Banton, Jax on saxos, and Peter's singing are what I dig about this band.

  19. #19
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    didn't we discuss this album a few months ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I basically agree with this.

    I thought Godbluff was (and is) pretty amazing for a 'return', Still Life was pretty decent but nowhere near as good, World Record went down a lot from Still Life's 'pretty decent'.
    Yes, though at first I tended to prefer Still life, but now GB is way ahead

    The good news was the gigantic return to great form on Quiet Zone.
    mmmmhhh!!!... never could get into that one... except for that un-VdGG instrumental track

    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post


    At first I thought the "reggae jam" was just plain odd. Why would they do that? Well, why not? We complain when prog is too predictable. But I agree that Hammill should not be allowed near an electric guitar. I understand that guitar is his main instrument now, so I have to believe he's improved. I'm okay with VDGG without any guitar at all. Hugh Banton, Jax on saxos, and Peter's singing are what I dig about this band.
    Actually since I enjoy reggae (and enjoyed GG's Interview album much better that TP&TG and FH), I have no qualms against Meurglys , which has a terrific descending riff... Ok, guitar solo is no Page or Blackmore or Fripp or.... My only gripe is that it does tend to overstay its welcome by about 5 minutes.
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  20. #20
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    I basically agree with this.

    I thought Godbluff was (and is) pretty amazing for a 'return', Still Life was pretty decent but nowhere near as good, World Record went down a lot from Still Life's 'pretty decent'.

    The good news was the gigantic return to great form on Quiet Zone.
    I agree with this, though I'd take World Record over Still Life. I never warmed to that record at all, while WR at least has "When She Comes".
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  21. #21
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    mmmmhhh!!!... never could get into that one... except for that un-VdGG instrumental track
    re: QZ/PD

    maybe try it again. It's a really, really strong one. Certainly in my top 5 VDGG albums and maybe even in my top 3.
    Steve F.

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    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  22. #22
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    QZ/PD is very disappointing for me. Does not feel VdGG at all. Because it is not VdGG! Peter Hammill solo albums from the same era are much more satisfying.
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    I think The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome is tighter, yes.

  24. #24
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    re: QZ/PD

    maybe try it again. It's a really, really strong one. Certainly in my top 5 VDGG albums and maybe even in my top 3.
    I guess I will someday, but I enjoy Vital more

    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    QZ/PD is very disappointing for me. Does not feel VdGG at all. Because it is not VdGG!

    Yup, not a VdGG.... it's a VdG

    Peter Hammill solo albums from the same era are much more satisfying.
    Mmmhhh!!!... very much hit & miss

    Nadir is 50/50
    Over is 50/50 (but the good 50 is awesome)

    and the trilogy of Future Now, Ph7 and Black Box is somewhere between 50/50 to 60/40

    YMMV though.
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  25. #25
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    World Record was never one of my favorites. It seemed weak after the terrific albums that preceded it. They really cranked out those three reunion albums--they came out just six months apart--so it's not surprising that the third one runs a bit low on steam. Too much plodding, too much bloat. (And the latter isn't just "Meurglys"--"Wondering" also just seems to lather-rinse-repeat forever.) "When She Comes" is great, though, as is the main song part of "Meurglys." "A Place to Survive" is cool, although a bit of a potboiler, and a bit too screechy. Like Steve F. says, they came back with better songs on TQZ/TPD, but I could never really warm to that one either, as the loss of Banton and Jaxon left such a huge gap that just violin and bass couldn't fill. I've got to admit that it was ballsy of Hammill not to even try to maintain the signature VdGG sound. I wonder what it would have sounded like if they'd gone on to do a studio album as a quintet with Charles Dickie--I never thought he seemed like much of a presence on Vital.

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