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The Masters

a Compilation/Boxed-Set release
Van der Graaf Generator

Release Year: 1998

Date Label Catalog # Comments
CD - Eagle Records, EAB CD 085 (UK, 98)
This album features 7 tracks from Van der Graaf Time Vaults and 3 from 1986's Jackson/Banton/Evans Gentlemen Prefere Blues (Track 9 It All Went Red, was on Time Vaults under the name It All Went Up).
Tracks 'Ronceveaux' and 'It All Went Red' (both 1972) and 'Rift Valley' and 'Faint and Forsaken' (1975) are band versions of solo compositions which were not previously release offically by VDGG
Added To Proggnosis Database on: 2/23/2002 12:00:00 AM
Entry Last Updated on: 6/12/2012 8:36:00 AM by: DBSilver
  1. Saigon Roulette (4:43)
  2. Gentlemen Prefer Blues (2:58)
  3. Tropic of Conversation (7:19)
  4. Tarzan (2:13)
  5. Rift Valley (4:41)
  6. Liquidator (5:27)
  7. Coil Night (4:15)
  8. Roncevaux (6:55)
  9. It All Went Red (4:00)
  10. Faint and Forsaken (2:55)
Guy Evans
drums, percussion, baliphones
Hugh Banton
keyboards, drum programmes
David Jackson
saxes, flutes, keyboards
Peter Hammill
vocals, piano

Reviewed by Nuno on 19 Apr 2002

I am a big Van Der Graaf Generator fan, and I really like all of their albums, all?…well, not quite!
Ok, fortunately this is not an official VDGG release, nor could it be. This is a collection of what the band should never have recorded. At least this is exactly what I feel about it.
To start the role of complaints, I only understand the joining of this collection of “things that should not be” by choosing 2 of the next three reasons:
1. Those who have released it were purely aiming for the extra bucks by cheating the fans.
2. Those who have released it don’t really like the band and were trying to harm their good image by killing the legend.
3. Those who have released it thought that the true fans would buy this record just for the fact it has collector’s items.
Whatever the true reasons are, I just cannot patch with it and I feel obligated to give my honest opinion about it.
The big majority of the album has a recording sound of the worst quality you can find in a CD. The songs are uninteresting, almost unbearable, boring and without the flair and emotion that we are used to feel while listening to this great band’s work.
Except for Roncevaux, almost all other songs are so weak that it becomes obvious why they stood outside VDGG curriculum. I can only imagine that the main reason for that was that the band members themselves found these songs to be non-releasable items. And that is really how they should have stayed for ever.
I am not known for making this sort of massacre reviews, but this time I suppose there was something driving me to write it, in order to prevent first time listeners, who might start by this album, to curse forever the band without ever listening to the real deal, the supreme art-rock albums that they have done.
So even if you are the biggest Van Der Graaf Generator fan, you will do better in running away from the shelves where this CD may rest and save your money for a rainy day. Or… you are a die-hard collector and want to have all...even the dispensable…
Now that I have reviewed it, it will go back to my CD deposit and rest there for ever!

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