Top positive review
46 people found this helpful
Second batch of remasters starts with another classic
on 28 June 2005
This second batch of VDGG remasters starts off in glorious style with "Godbluff". After the magnificence of "Pawn Hearts" the band sort of imploded mostly due to gruelling tour schedules taking their toll. Peter Hammill went off to do some solo work, but eventually the band re-convened for 75's "Godbluff". While other progressive bands were faltering in the mid to late 70's, VDGG were making the best music of their career and some of the most vital music of the time. This is a different beast to that which recorded "Pawn Hearts". Sure, the same dark, menacing, gothic tones of the music is there, but this is a leaner and smoother machine. The original album is made up of just four lengthy tracks and each one is a triumph. It's impossible to pick stand outs from "The Undercover Man", "Scorched Earth", "Arrow" and "The Sleepwalkers". Each piece is a work of wonder and expertly executed by the band.
With this album, the next "Still Life" and his excellent solo work of the time, Hammill was on an unbelievably prolific, creative high. Musically and lyrically he was way out on his own compared to most others of the time.
This reissue sounds pretty good and the remastering deftly brings out the epic quality of the arrangements and production which I remember from the original vinyl LP. Added as bonus tracks are bootleg quality band recordings of the Hammill solo pieces, "Forsaken Gardens" and "A Louse is Not a Home". The sound quality may be a bit limited, but the power of the performances more than makes up for that. The sleeve notes and booklet are excellent as are all in this series.
I have not listened to VDGG for a while until recently picking up these remasters. Not only had I forgotten how powerful, original and exciting a band they were, but listening to these recordings again quickly brought back so many fond personal memories of growing up with this fantastic music. Such is the profound effect that VDGG has on the listener on a deeply personal level. You don't just listen to VDGG music, you experience it and that experience stays with you forever!