Search - Van Der Graaf Generator :: H to He Who Am the Only One

H to He Who Am the Only One
Van Der Graaf Generator
H to He Who Am the Only One
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

Remastered album includes the bonus tracks 'Squid/Octopus' (live) & 'The Emperor In His War-room' (early take). EMI. 2005.

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Van Der Graaf Generator
Title: H to He Who Am the Only One
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Plate Caroline
Original Release Date: 1/1/2005
Re-Release Date: 6/14/2005
Album Type: Extra tracks, Import, Original recording remastered
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Styles: Experimental Music, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724347488825

Synopsis

Album Description
Remastered album includes the bonus tracks 'Squid/Octopus' (live) & 'The Emperor In His War-room' (early take). EMI. 2005.

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CD Reviews

Tortured and Haunting
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 01/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I went out and bought all of the EMI remastered albums and they are simply superb. The sound quality of H to He Who am the Only One has been vastly improved upon and the liner notes are wonderfully detailed and include various photos of the band scattered throughout. In addition to the original tracks, the electrifying and thunderous 15'24" Squid1/Squid 2/Octopus was added on along with the first version of The Emperor in his War Room. I should note that EMI did not use copy-control technology on the remastered albums so playback problems should not plague listeners.

This is the bleakest, most gothic prog rock I have ever heard. Instrumentation is sparse, with great drumming from Guy Evans (I can really hear the subtleties of his playing on the cleaned up recording), solid bass playing from Nic Potter, twisted Hammond organ work from keyboardist Hugh Banton, angular and aggressive sax playing from David Jackson (he would play two saxes at the same time - in fact Jackson, not to mention Colosseum sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith borrowed this technique from jazzer Rahsaan Roland Kirk) and a tiny bit of aggressive guitar work from guest Robert Fripp on "The Emperor in his War Room". Although synthesizers are largely absent, Hugh Banton is in fact credited with using an oscillator - which is a crude synthesizer (wave form generator actually). The most distinctive aspects of the music are Peter Hammill's anguished lyrics and his vocal delivery, which ranges from a tortured, heavy metal rasp to a smooth, high-pitched falsetto. While some folks find his vocals overwrought and excessively dramatic (this reaches a peak on "Lost"), it really makes this music work. Pieces are in the 6'00-12'25 range, with the heaviest track being the introductory "Killer". Although describing the music in terms of tortured, harsh, and anguished must conjure up sounds of a bandsaw ripping through galvanized steel, the music is not entirely abrasive. "House with No Door" is a very quiet and sad piece, and "The Emperor in his War Room", "Lost", and "Pioneers over c" all feature haunting and reflective sections in amongst the chaos. Though "H to He: Who am the Only One" is a good starting point, other excellent recordings by Van der Graaf Generator include "The Least we can do is Wave to Each Other (1970); Pawn Hearts (1971); Godbluff (1975) and Still Life (1976). Of these recordings, Pawn Hearts is their acclaimed best yet makes for extremely difficult listening.
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The most original progressive rock band EVER.
DLE | St. Louis | 04/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If there is a band who can express "Being and Nothingness" by Jean Paul Satre or "Being and Time" by Heidegger, THIS IS THE BAND! This band explores the deep dark abyssmal recesses of being with SOUND. Does this "sound" like something you want to experience sonically? You may be saying a big NO! But if you consider yourself a progressive music fan in the very least, then IT IS YOUR DUTY TO LISTEN TO THIS MASTERPIECE! It is one of the most hauntingly disturbing prog masterpieces I have ever encountered. Desert Island record for any progressive rock fan."
We are the ones they're going to build a statue for ten cent
emperor nobody | california, USA | 01/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This was the 1st VDGG remaster I picked up and oh, my! did it live up to what I hoped it would be. Someone earlier said that these Charisma bands suffered from a kitchen-sink-induced murkiness in the production, largely because they were trying to stretch the then-new 16-track technology to its absolute limits... that's what makes these remasters (and in particular our friend Hydrogen to Helium here) so great and so long overdue. Comparing the new CDs to the old ones (and, God forbid, the "First Generation" compilation from the 1980s) is like looking at a high-resolution struck print of a photograph versus a Xerox made on a faulty machine, there is no comparison, really.

Anyway this is a classic album made all-the-more towering by the inclusion of the ridiculous live-in-the-studio bonus take of the heretofore mythical "Squid/Octopus" opus. Progressive Rock was (at its best, like here) a truly creative enterprise before it collapsed under the weight of its own self-image around the time PG quit Genesis and Fripp (who tears up a nice sustain-y Les Paul excursion on "The Emperor In His War Room" here) broke up Crimson the first time... and this late-1970 record proves it with the inimitable VDGG triumverate of loopy stop/start/dissolve/jumpcut cinematic arrangements, magnificent drums/double sax interplay from Guy Evans and D-Jax, and the manically panicked vocal stylings of Hammill. Hugh Banton, who built his instruments from the ground up, contributes his usual quota of terrifying organissimo as well... he is kind of the bridge between Hammill and the unusual rhythm section.

Standouts include the Prog staple "Killer" (a real whale of a song, indeed), the sci-fi mindf*ck "Pioneers Over C" and the aforementioned antiwar anthem "The Emperor In His War Room," which could be about Josef Stalin or even "Dandy Don" Rumsfeld. Yes and did I mention the bonus track of "Squid/Octopus" makes EL&P sound like the 1910 Fruitgum Company?

Again, if you don't have these VDGG remasters, you really aren't fully alive. Grab them and see where Johnny Rotten learned to scream-sing.

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