Thursday, April 27, 2017

In a Vegetable Way




"What are songs but exercises in solitude"
-Peter Hammill

In April of 1977 Van Der Graaf Generator frontman Peter Hammill released Over, an excruciating, enigmatic and very emotional album about the end of a relationship. Believe me, this is the last guy you want to hear complaining about some broad. We've all had our hearts broken, but most of us avoid caterwauling about it. 

Hammill described Over to NME thusly : 

"It's 75% love songs, end or ending in some way or another. I can't really talk about it."



The album ranks #37 in 1977 among the RateYourMusic crowd, made up of a lot of prog heads to begin with. ( That's ahead of Blank Generation, Damned Damned Damned and Rattus Norvegicus) But more than a few of this album's fans swear Over got them through some bad days.

Here's just one example from someone who was 15 when he found the album:

 I was in a very minor relationship with a girl who, at the time, I thought was immensely special. I was naive enough to believe that I'd spend my life with her. Funny, isn't it? Not even a legal adult, and I'm thinking that far into the future. Looking back on that, I literally laugh out loud at how ridiculous I was. At the time, though, laughing was the very last thing that I would do. Luckily for me, I had Hammill to get me through it. Peter Hammill is probably the one and only savior of my personal and overall well-being, and I say this because at the time of my instability, I had numerous battles with suicide. Upon the news that it was over, I asked to be admitted to a psychiatric ward. Yes, I was that taken aback by what happened, and remember: 16. Actually, when it happened, I was 15. My 16th birthday was three days after it ended.


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