Page 2 of 11 FirstFirst 1234567891011 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 262

Thread: FEATURED CD - Van Der Graaf Generator : Pawn Hearts

  1. #26
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Redding,Ca
    Posts
    119
    There's a section in A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers that sounds a whole lot like Steve Hackett's Slogans from Defender. I have always wondered what Peter and the boys thought about that?

  2. #27
    Member thedunno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    898
    It is one of my all time favourite records. In fact I would rate this at second place (after Cardiacs Sing to God).

    It wasn't love at first hearing though. I was a kid and a HUGE Marillion fan. When Fugazi came out i wanted to know which records were printed on the album sleeve. Two were easy (the wall and a marillion EP). the other two turned out to be Peter Hammill records. Never heared of the guy. A friend of my brother gave me a tape with Pawn hearts on it. What the fuck was that???? I didn't like it and put the tape away. A year later I listen again and started to discover some enjoyable vocal pieces which made me return to the tape again and again.

    A couple of years later I was a hopeless Hammill addict. I own all his official releases and saw the man perform live probably about 40/50 times

    Pawn hearts is stil my favorite. I can still listen to it and discover something new. The Pinnacle of VDGG and 70ies prog rock in general.

  3. #28
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Redding,Ca
    Posts
    119
    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    It is one of my all time favourite records. In fact I would rate this at second place (after Cardiacs Sing to God).

    It wasn't love at first hearing though. I was a kid and a HUGE Marillion fan. When Fugazi came out i wanted to know which records were printed on the album sleeve. Two were easy (the wall and a marillion EP). the other two turned out to be Peter Hammill records. Never heared of the guy. A friend of my brother gave me a tape with Pawn hearts on it. What the fuck was that???? I didn't like it and put the tape away. A year later I listen again and started to discover some enjoyable vocal pieces which made me return to the tape again and again.

    A couple of years later I was a hopeless Hammill addict. I own all his official releases and saw the man perform live probably about 40/50 times

    Pawn hearts is stil my favorite. I can still listen to it and discover something new. The Pinnacle of VDGG and 70ies prog rock in general.
    I agree with you 100%. https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...fHCoWK51M#t=22

  4. #29
    One of my top 2 or 3 as well. It's been a privilege to see all of it played live since the reunion (though not at the same gig)

  5. #30
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    La Florida
    Posts
    3,791
    Has it ever been remastered? The CD I bought was 12-13 years ago.

  6. #31
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    3,597
    I've got the 6 first, and this is my favorite.
    Fripp is on it, dunno how much that means.

  7. #32
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    southern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,803
    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    Has it ever been remastered? The CD I bought was 12-13 years ago.
    Yes, all of the VDGG titles (and many of the PH as well) were remastered a few years back. But keep the ones you have.
    Prog, Metal and Classic rock reviews/interviews - www.velvetthunder.co.uk

  8. #33
    Member Adrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle-ish
    Posts
    15
    This album holds a special place for me because of how it eventually came to life for me. I bought Pawn Hearts years ago after reading great things about VDGG and learning about Fripp's contributions ... but I tried and tried, and I just couldn't get into it. I shelved it and came back to it occasionally, but it still didn't work for me.

    A few years went by and I decided to put it in the CD player again. I don't know if it was just my mood that evening, or my tastes had changed, or I'd developed an appreciation for more avant-garde styles of music, but suddenly it clicked, kind of like getting a Zen koan after meditating on it for years and not getting anywhere. It was such a revelation that I couldn't stop listening to it for weeks. It's now easily in my top 10 favorite records of all time.

  9. #34
    For as 'dark' and 'chaotic' as it is (and I've known of people who just can't stomach the album because of how unrelentingly dark/bleak it is, in their eyes) I find good amounts of humor in there as well. But, it's not any sort of overt humor (it's not the funny voices in Battle...Epping Forest, or the barbershop quartet of PG I). Rather, it's sort of "how much more fucked up can this be?", to the point of where you just start cracking up. Indeed, from all the interviews I did with the band, their producer, and album cover artist (who was hanging out at the sessions) for The Book, I learned that they would all listen during playback to some of the more (gloriously) screwed up passages and just suddenly all bust out laughing, and nearly pissing themselves, with an exasperated "what the fuck are people going to make of this?" sort of vibe. Humor in the absurd. John Anthony (producer) told me that his friends used to say to him, "That VdGG stuff is so dark and gloomy, don't you get depressed?" And he'd say, "No way, those are the most fun sessions of any bands I work with." They had a hoot, lots of laughs, and for all the gloominess, I think there is a real sense of joy in Pawn Hearts, like they're just totally into it and going for it with gusto. There are 'dark' albums by other bands that just sound joyless to me. This ain't one of them.

    Jerry Gordon was the head of Evidence Records in Philadelphia (they released the whole Sun Ra catalog and tons of blues and jazz recordings). He had the hip record shop in Philly back in the 70s (the local head shop with the cool import section). He told me that he sold a lot of VdGG and specifically remembered the Godbluff album moving a lot of units to the 'heads.' He's the one who told me that VdGG separated the men from the boys. I know that's the sort of elitist inflammatory comment that one shouldn't make... but I can't help it, I agree with him! Against my better judgement, I still stand by that ;-)

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
    or I'd developed an appreciation for more avant-garde styles of music
    This was certainly what happened in my case. Having acquianted myself with Beefheart, Zappa, Magma, Hatfield and the North, Wyatt-era Soft Machine, Henry Cow etc., going back and finally rediscovering VdGG was a most natural task. And there's melody in abundance, as well as dissonance on different principles than what you'd find with other vocal-heavy "symphonic" rock groups.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  11. #36
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,489
    I gravitated more towards VdGG Mach II (Godbluff and onward) so I'm probably not as blown away by this one as most are. Of course, I haven't so much as listened to a single VdGG album in years. I prefer the version of 'Plague' that is on the DVD than the original version, and prefer the Maida Vale version of "Man-Erg". Live is where it's at with this band!
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

    -Cozy 3:16-

  12. #37
    Member Staun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,427
    I bleed for more.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  13. #38
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    166
    I can understand how some people can't get into this band, but I feel a little bit sorry for them because for those of us that are fans, it is an immeasureable pleasure that they are missing.
    "The woods would be very silent if the only birds that sang were those who sang best..." - Henry David Thoreau

  14. #39
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    443
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucka001 View Post
    For as 'dark' and 'chaotic' as it is (and I've known of people who just can't stomach the album because of how unrelentingly dark/bleak it is, in their eyes) I find good amounts of humor in there as well. But, it's not any sort of overt humor (it's not the funny voices in Battle...Epping Forest, or the barbershop quartet of PG I). Rather, it's sort of "how much more fucked up can this be?", to the point of where you just start cracking up. Indeed, from all the interviews I did with the band, their producer, and album cover artist (who was hanging out at the sessions) for The Book, I learned that they would all listen during playback to some of the more (gloriously) screwed up passages and just suddenly all bust out laughing, and nearly pissing themselves, with an exasperated "what the fuck are people going to make of this?" sort of vibe. Humor in the absurd. John Anthony (producer) told me that his friends used to say to him, "That VdGG stuff is so dark and gloomy, don't you get depressed?" And he'd say, "No way, those are the most fun sessions of any bands I work with." They had a hoot, lots of laughs, and for all the gloominess, I think there is a real sense of joy in Pawn Hearts, like they're just totally into it and going for it with gusto. There are 'dark' albums by other bands that just sound joyless to me. This ain't one of them.

    Jerry Gordon was the head of Evidence Records in Philadelphia (they released the whole Sun Ra catalog and tons of blues and jazz recordings). He had the hip record shop in Philly back in the 70s (the local head shop with the cool import section). He told me that he sold a lot of VdGG and specifically remembered the Godbluff album moving a lot of units to the 'heads.' He's the one who told me that VdGG separated the men from the boys. I know that's the sort of elitist inflammatory comment that one shouldn't make... but I can't help it, I agree with him! Against my better judgement, I still stand by that ;-)
    I totally buy this - to me the "overly serious" complaint is just another way to say you don't like something in prog. Regardless of complexity, gloominess, or pretentiousness, a lot of this music still comes down to "does it groove?" "are the melodies good?" "is it powerful?" which for VdGG is yes, yes, and hell yes. There's a band out there called Future Islands (that are getting fairly popular right now) in which the singer has the same sort of overly dramatic, theatrical delivery that is rather similar to what Hammill does. To me both those guys sound like they're having a lot of fun doing it. I often think of the bands that pride themselves on having a singer that's "just another instrument", well...not these guys
    Critter Jams "album of the week" blog: http://critterjams.wordpress.com

  15. #40
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    723
    Quote Originally Posted by LighthouseKeeper View Post
    Absolutely, from the first I heard it 40+ years ago this remains my favorite release by anyone, period. Some other albums from the past haven't aged and my interest has waned over the years. Not this one. I revisit it often. Heck I still do a VdGG marathon about once a year! Just never gets old. Godbluff was a great release, probably their most consistent, but Pawn Hearts has a certain rawness that pushes it over the to.
    Woulda never guessed it, from your screen name

    LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    It is one of my all time favourite records. In fact I would rate this at second place (after Cardiacs Sing to God).
    Interesting comment. I'll have to re-visit the Cardiacs.
    Regards,

    Duncan

    This place has become the "Cheers" of the Internet.
    -- Rushfan

  16. #41
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    723
    Interesting to hear so many say that this album grew on them over a long time period.

    Maybe I was some sort of a prodigy when I was a kid, or maybe I was just too dumb to question my own tastes, but I loved this one and "H to He, Who Am the Only One" from the get-go.
    Regards,

    Duncan

    This place has become the "Cheers" of the Internet.
    -- Rushfan

  17. #42
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    443
    Me too - I first heard about VdGG through the Web Reviewing Community (or WRC) who were rather down on them. I respect those guys but this album wasn't half as difficult and unlistenable as they made it sound.

    Seems to be a lot of overlap between the VdGG fanbase and the Cardiacs one. Quite different bands but they do sort of cross over into that Zolo-ish type of prog from time to time. I was listening to a lot of Magma when I first heard Godbluff and the composition styles felt quite similar to me. Sing to God is my all time favorite album as well.
    Critter Jams "album of the week" blog: http://critterjams.wordpress.com

  18. #43
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Frownland
    Posts
    863
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post
    Interesting to hear so many say that this album grew on them over a long time period.

    Maybe I was some sort of a prodigy when I was a kid, or maybe I was just too dumb to question my own tastes, but I loved this one and "H to He, Who Am the Only One" from the get-go.
    Ditto. When I first was getting into prog, after hearing KC, Genesis, Yes, etc...I sampled from this very album and it was instant love.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  19. #44
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2,819
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post
    Interesting to hear so many say that this album grew on them over a long time period.

    Maybe I was some sort of a prodigy when I was a kid, or maybe I was just too dumb to question my own tastes, but I loved this one and "H to He, Who Am the Only One" from the get-go.
    Same here, grew up hearing them though. Most of the so-called 'difficult' prog bands I never had much trouble with.

    Everything from 'The Least We Can Do' through and including 'Still Life' is 5-star worthy as far as I'm concerned.

  20. #45
    My first VDGG exposure was a pretty cheap vinyl compilation (68-71) which I bought second hand around '75. I only really remember Killer as one track that captured my imagination back then. I revisited this from time to time, and slowly their unique sound seeped into my psyche. When I finally heard Pawn Hearts a few years after, I was hooked from the start, though somehow I had an import copy, which I picked up in London, with Theme One stuck in the middle, and completely out of place with the mesmeric, dark menace of the three stellar tracks. I play this often still, and will never grow tired of hearing it. It's playing as I write now.

  21. #46
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    443
    yeah I think the whole idea of "difficulty" is often misunderstood. I had often heard that Trout Mask Replica was one of the most 'difficult' albums ever released, though myself and most of my friends really dug it from track 1 - you don't really need to analyze it to understand what the appeal is.
    Critter Jams "album of the week" blog: http://critterjams.wordpress.com

  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post
    Interesting to hear so many say that this album grew on them over a long time period.

    Maybe I was some sort of a prodigy when I was a kid, or maybe I was just too dumb to question my own tastes, but I loved this one and "H to He, Who Am the Only One" from the get-go.
    I'm with you, Duncan, I remember hearing the LP for the first time and raving about it to all my friends right away (*some agreed it was fantastic, but an equal number didn't get into it/probably thought I'd lost my mind). Loved H to He and "Least we can do" right away as well. I like that on my first listen, the LP included "Theme One" as well in between Lemmings and Man-Erg---I really like it as part of the album, but I realise most versions don't include it. I wonder if anyone else here heard Pawn Hearts as a 4 song album as well? I still think of it that way even though my CD version doesn't have "Theme One"

  23. #48
    Irritated Lawn Guy Klonk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Rockland, NY
    Posts
    1,253
    I've tried s handful of VDGG including this one because I really like the music, but as long as Hammill sings (or whatever that sound is that comes out of his mouth ), it just won't work for me.
    "Who would have thought a whale would be so heavy?" - Moe

  24. #49
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    southern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,803
    Quote Originally Posted by gryphs also View Post
    I can understand how some people can't get into this band, but I feel a little bit sorry for them because for those of us that are fans, it is an immeasureable pleasure that they are missing.
    Totally agree with this.
    Prog, Metal and Classic rock reviews/interviews - www.velvetthunder.co.uk

  25. #50
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Left Coast
    Posts
    1,243
    I think what also makes VdGG fascinating and unique (and what might turn some people off) is how they combined the singer-songwriter ethos with symphonic prog... two tracks that shouldn't really work together. The way Hammill can just go off on his own thing while the rest of the band create this amazing sound around him is extraordinary.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •