Van der Graaf Generator is a British band formed in 1967 by Chris Judge Smith and Peter Hammill. The name is taken from the vandegraaffgenerator, and was suggested by Smith. The band released the single "People You Were Going To", which was available only a week due to "contractual difficulties". Smith left the Group and began a solo career. From the beginning was the pivot of the singer Peter Hammill band. His distinctive voice is decisive for the sound of the group. In addition, he wrote most of the songs.


[hide]*1 History


In the classic occupation consisting, in addition to Hammill, Hugh Bantonfrom keyboardist, saxophonist David Jackson and drummer Guy Evans. The band is often reckoned to the progressive rock but has a clearly recognizable sound that differs significantly from that of the contemporaries. The general public was never reached;only Van der Graaf Generator in Italy was hugely popular.

The first album, The Aerosol Grey Machine, from 1969 leaned still strongly on the psychedelic sound of that time. The band received a contract with the new Charisma label, to which later, among other things, Genesis was connected. Starting from the second album, The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other, the band had a more obscure sound. The music was no light fare and Hammill's lyrics were too intellectual for the general public, but the band knew to bind a loyal cult following. Characteristic were on the first place the voice of Hammill, but also the sound of the double saxophone by David Jackson. In addition also the failed electric guitar and bass guitar since the departure of bassist Nic Potter in 1970, after which the organ by organ builder and keyboardist Hugh Banton the basses took care of.

In 1972, after the release of the fourth album Pawn Hearts, Van der Graaf Generator went apart. Peter Hammill continued his solo career, also in the studio often assisted by the other ex-members of van der Graaf Generator. In 1973 The Long Helloalbum appeared, a collaboration between Banton, Evans, Jackson and Potter among other things. There appeared later three other Long Hello plates, all without Hammill.

In 1975 came Van der Graaf Generator (Hammill, Banton, Evans and Jackson) back together, and recorded three albums in a relatively short time (plus a solo album by Peter Hammill). Godbluff appeared in 1975, and Still Life and World Record in 1976.

Late 1976 stepped Banton, Jackson and short time later on, not because of mutual conflicts. This radically changed the sound of the group, and the name of the band was changed to Van der Graaf shortly. In addition to Hammill and Evans was Van der Graaf violinist Graham Smith and the returned from bassist Nic Potter. In this occupation was still the album The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome included, with more pointed songs and a leading role for the violin. After addition of cellist Charles Dickie and finally Jackson fell in 1978 a momentary return of the canvas. Finally appeared the very raw sounding Vitaldouble-live album, under the name Van der Graaf and in the last rather a-typical line up.

Peter Hammill continued his solo career, again often with the help of his former colleagues, and built an extensive oeuvre on. The album appeared In 1982 Time Vaults, initially only on cassette, which contains demo recordings from the period 1972-1975. Maida Valeappeared In 1994, a cd with BBC recordings from 1971 to 1976. In 2000 appeared a 4 cd box (named with The Box) with remastered and rare live and studio material.

After there in 1996 and 2003 already short (for one song), unannounced joint actions were followed in 2005 in the Royal Festival Hall in London a real reunion in the classic occupation. The concert was sold out in seconds. Even before the concert it appeared in early 2004 already secretly recorded album Present, a double-disc, and the first cd contains new songs and the second improvisations. In 2007, the integrated Real Timeregistration of the reunion concert.

In september 2006, Hammill, Banton and Evans will go further as a trio. Jackson would not have the right attitude, according to Peter Hammill on the members of a band like Van der Graaf Generator. [1The self-proclaimed "Power Trio" gave a limited series of concerts in 2007 and took on a new album in Cornwall in July. This appeared in March 2008, with a (Van der Graaf Generator-in good tradition) identify in many ways title: Trisector. In June and July 2009, Van der Graaf Generator concerts in Canada and the United States (the band was no longer been in the United States since 1976).

In the spring of 2010, the trio in Devon a whole new album on. A Grounding in Numbers appeared on March 14, 2011 both on CD and on vinyl. The most recent album by Van der Graaf Generator, ALT, appeared in June 2012.



Album (s) with any charts in the

the Dutch Album Top 100

Date of


Date of




Number Of


The aerosol grey machine 1969 -
The least we can do is wave to each other 1970 -
H to he, who am the only one 1970 -
Pawn hearts 1971 -
Godbluff 1975 -
Still life 1976 -
World record 1976 -
The quiet zone/The pleasure dome 1977 -
Vital 1978 - Live Album
Time vaults 1982 - "Lo-fi" archive recordings/demos
Maida vale 1994 - Live Album
The box 2000 - 4 cd box set
Present 25-04-2005 -
Real time 02-03-2007 - Live album by the reunion concert
Trisector 14-03-2008 -
A grounding in numbers 10-03-2011 19-03-2011 81 1
ALT 2012

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