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The Aerosol Grey Machine

a Studio release
Van der Graaf Generator

Release Year: 1969

Date Label Catalog # Comments
01 Sep 1969 Mercury SR 61238 LP
1997 Fie! Records FIE 9116 CD (Remastered)
This was a U.S.-only debut album, which took six years before securing a British release.
Added To Proggnosis Database on: 12/1/2000 12:00:00 AM
Entry Last Updated on: 6/11/2021 7:01:00 AM by: DBSilver
  1. Afterwards (4:55)
  2. Orthenthian St., Part 1 & 2 (6:18)
  3. Running Back (6:35)
  4. Into a Game (6:57)
  5. Aerosol Grey Machine (:47)
  6. Black Smoke Yen (1:26)
  7. Aguarian (8:22)
  8. Necromancer (3:38)
  9. Octopus (8:00)
  10. People You Were Going To (2:44)
  11. Firebrand (4:08)

Peter Hammill
Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals

Hugh Banton
Organ, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals

Keith Ellis
Bass, Vocals, Wah Wah Bass

Guy Evans
Drums, Talking Drum


Jeff Peach: Flute
Andrew Hammill: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Peter Joseph: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals

Reviewed by Nuno on 04 Dec 2002

1968’s Aerosol Grey Machine was the first official release by one of the most notable bands in Progressive Rock History - Van Der Graaf Generator.
Though the album shows a somehow raw and non-precise quality, it is also true that it unfolds the characteristics that the band would later evolve. The young Hammill already shows a tremendous ability to emotionally expose poetic inner thoughts with his one-in-a-kind vocalizations, and an extraordinary sense of melody. The drums and keyboards are slightly oriented to psychedelic venues, but the overall music escapes by a finger nail this genre’s grasp by moving in another directions, more symphonic for instance.
Like I said, its still one raw album, but the experimentation and the paths that this band would later sulk begun taking shape and form right from the beginning.
Also, the absence of David Jackson on the sax is quite noticed here. He would become an essential key in this bands plot.
While inferior when compared to the following releases, Aerosol Grey Machine still holds some precious moments within its molding body.
For a die hard fan of this band, like I am, every VDGG album is essential in its own purpose. This one is so because it started the career of a truly fabulous band!

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