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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Van der Graaf Generator's most accessible albums - excellent!
"The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome" is Van der Graaf Generator's seventh studio album and was originally released in 1977, nearly 30 years before they were to return with an eighth, 2005's "Present".

Of all of the band's albums, it has a very unique soundscape: Hugh Banton (keyboards etc) and David Jackson (saxes, flutes etc) had left in 1976 due to family...
Published on 15 Mar 2008 by alextorres

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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not "vital"
if you really want an album by this rather heterodox VdG lineup, don' t get this. instead, buy "vital", which is an absolute stonker.

if you're new to VdG, and want a classic, go for H to He
Published on 23 Jun 2008 by dickie


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Van der Graaf Generator's most accessible albums - excellent!, 15 Mar 2008
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This review is from: The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome (Audio CD)
"The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome" is Van der Graaf Generator's seventh studio album and was originally released in 1977, nearly 30 years before they were to return with an eighth, 2005's "Present".

Of all of the band's albums, it has a very unique soundscape: Hugh Banton (keyboards etc) and David Jackson (saxes, flutes etc) had left in 1976 due to family pressures and had been replaced by Nic Potter, who had previously played on a number of the band's albums, and Graham Smith, the ex-String Driven Thing violinist who had been helping Peter Hammill record his latest solo album. Graham's violin playing in particular gave this album a very distinctive sound. In addition to these sound changes forced by the alterations of the band`s members there were also significant compositional changes - perhaps as a result of the punk revolution, or for some other reason, the album contained 9 short (well, short for VDGG anyway!) songs, as opposed to their previous compositional style of fewer extended pieces. Perhaps because of these changes the band shortened their name to Van der Graaf for this album only (and its associated live tour, by which time Jackson had rejoined).

The result, for me at least, is one of their most pleasing and most accessible albums. It is rockier and punchier and the musical textures brought by Graham Smith suit the style of the music to perfection. There is plenty of melody that shines through both in Graham's playing and in Hammill's singing. I think that they brought in these changes without losing the essence of the VDGG sound though and pieces such as "The Habit of the Broken Heart" and "The Siren Song" would have graced any VDGG album under the "normal" line-up. However, my favourite piece from the album is "Cat's Eye/ Yellow Fever" where Graham's violin playing raises the song to perfection.

For me, it is a shame is that the band split up soon after this and we were to hear no more of Graham's brilliant playing integrated with the VDGG sound.

Excellent album!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punk-friendly prog, 29 Dec 2006
This review is from: The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome (Audio CD)
1977 was an annus horribilis for progressive rock. Punk raged through the streets with a public declaration to `Kill All Hippies', a discomforting prospect for anyone still in a greatcoat. Many rock acts were to fall in the cull.

A notable exception was Van Der Graaf Generator, whose mainman Peter Hammill observes in the notes accompanying this re-mastered, extended reissue of their 20th century swansong: "I was a member of a mad, adrenalin-fuelled aggressive group ... we'd always been that way and made a scary noise."

John 'Rotten' Lydon cites these 70s' pioneers as an influence and the passion and confidence inherent in their work still shines through today.

'The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome' differs from predecessors from the decade. Personnel changes saw exits from Hugh Banton and David Jackson, the return of bassist Nic Potter, the introduction of String Driven thing violinist Graham Smith (both of whom had guested on Hammill's 6th solo album, `Over', the preceding year), and Hammill on guitar duties.

With 9 original tracks here, this line-up delivered tauter, shorter punches than previous VdGG albums (famed for their sprawling content) with more conventional structures on offer.

This was not to detriment the creativity nor reach of Hammill as a song-writer.

Yet the loss of Banton and Jackson changed the dynamics of the sound, notwithstanding Smith's gallant efforts to fill. The band changed its name, as if to mark the moment, to Van Der Graaf - the Generator switched off.

Expanded with feisty rock out, `Door', a rare B-side in `Ship of Fools' and a demo version of the album's, `The Wave', this remains class entertainment from an original act which kept content `king'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really pleasant surprise, 13 Jun 2011
By 
T. Braddick (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome (Audio CD)
My first introduction to VDGG was via the 'Vital' live double LP soon after it's release. From that, I got a liking for their extended tracks and never bothered with this LP (I was at school, so couldn't buy much). I decided to buy this CD more to complete the set rather than out of any expectation, but I got a big surprise. Limiting each song in time seems to have kept the band more focussed and tracks like 'Door' and 'Ship of Fools' which I was familiar with from Vital are excellent.

Sound quality is magnificent - so clear and listening on headphones, it's almost as if you are in the studio with them as it sounds so clean (reproduction on Amazon gives a sense of the tracks without necessarily capturing the sound quality). The booklet with notes from the time plus lyrics is excellent, as are all in this series. For the price, you would be silly not to buy this.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the rest, believe me..., 4 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome (Audio CD)
This album's popularity may well have suffered down the years from its neither being a Peter Hammill solo effort, nor one recorded by the classic line-up of VdGG. The previous album, "World Record", had seen organist Hugh Banton and saxophonist David Jackson depart in its wake, to be replaced by bassist Nic Potter and violinist Graham Smith. The resultant stylistic shift seems to have been a cul-de-sac in the band's sound (and ultimately an end to the band itself)... but WHAT a cul-de-sac!!! I ADORE this album. Somehow perfect for a warm September day down at the coast...
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS THE ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 5 Aug 2005
By 
Victor F. Tripaldi (Planet Earth) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome (Audio CD)
REMASTERED AND ENHANCED FOR 2005 THIS IS THE BEST VDGG lp EVER! A bold statement yes, but in 1977 after the departure of Banton & Jackson, and the return of now a more mature Potter & Evans still on drums Hammill seems to has reversed to a style more adapt to his solo efforts than a VDGG one. That is why being a Van Der Graff record this one for me is the best. I loved evrything else but the writing on this record and the way it is presented is amazing! A MUST FOR ALL PETER HAMMILLL FANS QUITE POSSIBLE HIS BEST EFFORT!
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not "vital", 23 Jun 2008
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This review is from: The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome (Audio CD)
if you really want an album by this rather heterodox VdG lineup, don' t get this. instead, buy "vital", which is an absolute stonker.

if you're new to VdG, and want a classic, go for H to He
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The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome
The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome by Van Der Graaf (Audio CD - 2005)
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