Van Der Graaf Generator: Peter Hammill (vocals, pianos, guitars), David Jackson (saxophones, flute), Hugh Banton (organs, bass), Guy Evans (drums, percussion).
Following the release of Pawn Hearts, bandleader Peter Hammill took time out to develop a solo career, choosing to focus his energy on darkly introspective works that seemed to be intended to examine the personal consequences of his life. When it came time for reuniting the members of Van Der Graaf, this change in direction had its effect on the band's post-1975 music. While the musical structures continued to be complex and dense, there seemed to be far less accent on the demonstration of musical skill than had formerly been the case. Indeed, the album opened with daring quietness, with David Jackson's flute echoing across the stereo space, joined by Hammill's voice as he whispered the opening lines. There was sturm und drang to come, but the music had been opened up and the lyrics had developed more focus, often abandoning metaphor in favor of statement. Godbluff was a bravura comeback -- only four cuts, but all were classics. ~ Steven McDonald