VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR - BBC IN CONCERT 1971

June 20, 2012 – 12:40 pm

Update: June 25, 2012

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VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR
Complete BBC In Concert 1971 [no label, 1CD]

Live in London, September 23, 1971. Broadcast October 5, 1971. Ex FM stereo. Tks 1-3 from BBC transcription discs Ex- FM stereo. Tks 4-5 from Pilgrimage 13 VG FM mono.

The sound quality is bruising, but that’s how it should be. One of the earliest complete VDGG’s performance in circulation, this BBC radio broadcast captures the band on the eve of the release of Pawn Hearts, the original lineup’s last album for four years, and still the acid test for anybody who thinks progressive rock is somehow synonymous with tortured classical music, and overlong, noodle-drenched guitar solos. Just one number here, the opening convolutions of “Man Erg,” is drawn from that album (the seething “W” is an out-take that later appeared as a b-side), but it is more than enough to set the scene.

The original BBC broadcast featured just three songs, with an energetic “Killer” spiraling from H To He to give the listeners something they might recognize. One final cut, apparently, was erased from the performance by the BBC’s own censors - George Martin’s “Theme One” was in use as the company’s own theme tune at the time, and the powers that be were afraid Van Der Graaf’s mighty mangling of it may confuse people into thinking the day’s broadcasting was at an end.

Anybody who did do that, of course (apart from being extremely stupid), would also have missed the spellbinding segue into “the Dambuster’s March,” the so-stirring theme to the war movie of (almost) the same name. It’s only a brief snatch, but it works wonderfully, and you depart the disc wishing that the band could have played for another hour, at least. - Dave Thompson

Note: Dave Thompson is the British born author of over 100 books, largely dealing with rock and pop music, but also covering film, sports, philately, numismatics and erotica.

Thanks to phundercover who shared the tracks on the net in 2005.

Source: radio broadcast
Lineage: 1-3 ‘VdGG On The Air’ (shn files) ; 4-5 Pilgrimage 13 (remastered by calayx1)

Editing Information:
‘On The Air’ may come from BBC transcription discs as what sound like vinyl crackles can be heard occasionally during quiet passages.
Original source of P13 tracks was ‘Radio & TV/1968-1977′ CDr.
Goldwave 5.10 pop/click function to remove some clicks.
Boosted volume in both channels (more so in LH) on tracks 1-3 to bring volume up to levels on 4-5 and patched in applause at the end of Man-Erg.
Removed silence at end of OTA tracks with cross-fades.

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.

Man-Erg (17.0MB)
W (8.2MB)
Killer (13.0MB)
Theme One (5.0MB)
Dambusters March (2.1MB)

Click here to order Van Der Graaf Generator releases.

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  1. 8 Responses to “VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR - BBC IN CONCERT 1971”

  2. nice one, bigO!!!

    I-)

    By I-) on Jun 20, 2012

  3. Thank you so much for this!!!

    By Phil Brickey on Jun 20, 2012

  4. Nice!! Thanks for sharing with us!!!

    By DanC on Jun 20, 2012

  5. Perfect timing!!!!

    I will be seeing them this friday night at NEARfest

    By Evil dr.Louie on Jun 21, 2012

  6. I too will be seeing them this Friday @ NF.

    Thanks for sharing.

    By Harold on Jun 21, 2012

  7. I agree with Dave Thompson. This is MUCH TOO SHORT.
    Great share, Big O. Definitely not enough of the more obscure (for most) prog acts live. If you happen run across any rare Nektar…

    By golgo hakase on Jun 22, 2012

  8. Thanks so much for posting this. I tried to record them live about 4 months later when they played at our school but the recording was simply unlistenable …

    By Chris Topham on Jun 22, 2012

  9. Great! Thank you

    By mrbelette on Nov 28, 2016

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