Van der Graaf Generator

Time Vaults

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AllMusic Review by

Since bootleggers were fetching high prices for Van Der Graaf Generator rarities compilations from fans, VDGG leader Peter Hammill decided to compile ten of the best tracks and give them an official release. Since some of the tracks were never even completed, some present-day overdubbing was required, but according to Hammill in the liner notes, "all dubbing was completed in nine hours, in order to stay true to the spirit of the venture." And although the listener is warned that these are not studio quality recordings, the overall sound is consistently good. Besides, most of the people who would buy this album in the first place are the VDGG fanatics, who will be happy just to acquire this material. Most of the material is worthwhile and deserves to be heard, such as "The Liquidator," "Rift Valley," and "Coil Night" (why these strong compositions were never put on an album is a mystery). But a few tracks will test casual fans' patience, such as the overly long title song, which quotes musical phrases from the Christmas standard "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."

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