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Van der Graaf Generator: The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome

Album Notes

2 LPs on 1 CD.

Somehow this combination made sense: a revised band (with Nic Potter returning on bass and the addition of Graham Smith, formerly of String Driven Thing, on violin) with a shortened name, and an album that was named twice, with different cover art for each name. What also made sense was the focus on shorter songs and a change of musical attitude. While Hammill could never entirely shake off his approach to songwriting, he was able to modify it somewhat. Working with the new band, he was able to generate considerably more energy than on World Record. "Lizard Play" and "Cat's Eye/Yellow Fever (Running)" are wonderfully gymnastic songwriting exercises, yet remain engaging by dint of their forcefulness. Written and performed at the top of Hammill's game, this album is a delight. ~ Steven McDonald


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