Excellent remaster of an excellent album
Prog Fan | Houston, TX | 12/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mr. Leimer has done an excellent job of describing what this album is all about - it really is amazing to be able to listen to these songs again after 30+ years (I bought the album on vinyl, when it was "new"!) with the remastered sound bringing out whole instrumental lines I hadn't been able to make out before.
The remaster definitely makes my re-purchase of this CD worthwhile - aside from what might some audiophiles might describe as an occasional, mild "over-brightness" to the sound, I am amazed at how good this sounds - brilliant! Since Robert Fripp (electric guitarist of King Crimson fame) is all over these recordings, it's especially nice to be able to hear some of his contributions in the background that I had missed before.
The demo versions included as bonus tracks are quite well-recorded (for demos, especially) and do give insight into the development of the songs - very enjoyable.
Now that it's available domestically for far less than it cost as an import, it's doubly worth your money (and you get the import manufacture anyway - they just imported this disc as well as the Van der Graaf remasters and sell them as domestic).
Very highly recommended."
M. Gaines | Alabama, United States | 04/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Each of us suffers his own spirit: a few of us are later released to wander at will through broad Elysium, the joyous fields; until, in the fullness of time ... nothing is left but pure ethereal sentience and the pure flame of the spirit." [Virgil, Aeneid 6.742].
"Cadmus, in vain you travel round and round ... You seek a bull which no cow ever calved; you seek a bull which no mortal knows how to find ... Europa's bridegroom no drover knows how to drive ... he is ordered by no whip...he strains his neck for Love alone ..." [The Pythian priestess to Cadmus. Nonnos, Dionysiaca 4.293]
Peter Hammill has always bestowed upon listeners references of eternal restlessness, a search for that essence that we call "human" and all the uneasiness that accompanies the actualization
within our worldly experience. Along with his body of work with VDGG, Hammill's work has been the veracious conjunctive force that requires total attention from each perceiver.
Shortly after the demise of VDGG#2 in 1971, Hammill took to the studio with songs that had collected dust from as far back as 1966 and proceded to put them to tape before becoming a mere non reflection of posterity.
"Fools Mate" represents the more melodious side of his body of work, with hints of what lie ahead in the coming years, solo as well as with reconfigured versions of VDGG.
This 2005 remastered edition restores and reveals many of the intricate details that eluded many listeners for years and the added bonus tracks allow us to listen to imagined arrangments with the VDGG rehearsal for a possible aborted VDGG effort.
What is an added attraction to the complete package are the detailed liner notes, along with lyrics, that complete the picture that left me guessing since it's 1971 vinyl introduction as to who played on what track and what was talking place within the specific time period.
This was perhaps, Hammill's only bid for a more commercial friendly introduction with songs such as "Reawakening","Candle" and "Imperial Zepplin" appealing to the more rock oriented listener. With "Vision", Hammill composed the most detailed and intimate taste of what true love between human beings can become once realised while singing them with the conviction of one who's looked inside the soul:
"Be my child, be my lover,
swallow me up in your fire-glow.
Take my tongue, take my torment,
take my hand and don't let go.
Let me live in your life,
for you make it all seem to matter.
Let me die in your arms,
so the vision may never shatter.
The seasons roll on;
my love stays strong".
What "Fools Mate" reveals in perceptiveness and sensation would set him forever apart from his contempories and lay the course toward exploration into the abyss of the soul through musical expression. His journey continues well into the 20th century and, for those who've paid attention, for eternity.
5 stars for the excellent care in its rebirth in 2005."