Van der Graaf Generator

Now and Then

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This compilation, which originally appeared in 1985, contains some Van der Graaf Generator tracks that were cut between 1983-1984, along with others recorded nearly a decade earlier. While the band had split in 1984 and Peter Hammill had pursued a prolific solo career, the remaining members -- Guy Evans, Hugh Banton, and David Jackson -- recorded a number of tracks for reasons that remain unclear (perhaps to see if there was enough magic to continue without Hammill as a lightning-rod frontman). Whatever the reasons, it is clear from the sound of this music that little, if any of it, was seriously considered for release. The earlier-period cuts, “The Liquidator” and “Tarzan,” feature Hammill on vocals and guitar, and were recorded between the Pawn Hearts and Godbluff albums. They appeared previously on the Time Vaults compilation. The other six cuts, all instrumental, don't reflect VDGG at all; most contain more basic rhythmic and harmonic constructions with actual grooves and vamps. The exceptions are the Jackson piece “Gentlemen Prefer Blues,” which is effectively a sax solo, and the experimental improvisation "The Main Slide." The other tracks are throwaways. This one is for collectors only.

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