World Record

Artist: Van Der Graaf Generator
Label: Mercury
Catalog#: SRM-1-1116
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1976
A1 When She Comes 8:01
A2 A Place To Survive 10:00
A3 Masks 6:55
B1 Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild) 20:50
B2 Wondering 6:34

Drums, Percussion, Cymbal - Guy Evans
Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano - Peter Hammill
Organ - Hugh Banton
Saxophone, Flute - David Jackson
Written-By - Hugh Banton
Written-By - Peter Hammill

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
After rehearsals in the famed Headley Grange venue and a few UK concerts, Van der Graaf Generator were back at Rockfield Studios to record their third album in less than a year. Peter Hammill even found time to record a solo album, the subject of which was the breakup of his relationship. His cathartic Over was quite a wrenching matter; but, thankfully, World Record is another story. The album attempts to be the most straightforward that VdGG would deliver, though ultimately it may be their most perplexing. Hammill picks up the electric guitar for most of the record; that said, his performance is tenuous at best: VdGG were never a guitar band, and this album wasn't going to change that. Just listen to "Masks:" Hammill's cack-handedness is a bizarre juxtaposition to the rest of the band's precision. The sultry "When She Comes" features some of VdGG's sexiest arrangements, a big contrast to the following "A Place to Survive." Here, Hugh Banton's organ roar is deafening, with Hammill's anguished delivery perfectly following suit. "Meurglys III (The Songwriter's Guild)" is Hammill's ode to his guitar; and, incredibly, VdGG even get down to jamming-Banton's reggae chops, alongside Hammill's half-baked lead, are perfectly insane, though David Jackson's saxophone sounds effete. Yet the epiphany of "Wondering" is the ideal ending, and most fitting to the band's blistering run over the past two years. VdGG were on the road for the album's release, completing another short UK tour before undertaking their first concerts in North America. They played a half-dozen shows in Canada and made their only US appearance ever, on October 18th, 1976, at the Beacon Theatre in New York. The remainder of the year was spent touring Europe. Banton's self-built organ, the "HB1," finally debuted at their November John Peel Session; but his notice had already been served: Banton's last gig with VdGG was in Saarbr├╝cken on December 9th, 1976.
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