|The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome|
|Produced by Peter Hammill|
|Released on September 1977|
|no chart information|
|Find it at GEMM|
|CASCD 1131 cover
[high resolution scan]
V an Der Graaf dropped the Generator, picked up a violinist (Graham Smith) and released the sere and sinewy concept album The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome. In all embarrassing honesty, I picked this up because I thought it was one of the those 2-LPs-on-1-CD deals. Nope. Just a double concept album divided into two halves. Two halves with not a whole lot of meat in the middle either. Initially, I listened to this disc in my car and thought I had blown one of the channels. Then I listened to it on my laptop and concluded that I wouldn’t be listening to any music on my laptop again. Finally, at home, I played this on the faithful ADS speakers (older than some of you readers) and realized that it was just a remarkably dry affair: scratchy acoustic guitar, violin, clipped percussion on a closed hi-hat and Nic Potter’s predominantly flat bass lines. An arid desert of an album, with an oasis in “The Sphinx in the Face.” Hammill’s conversational tone reminds me of David Bowie on “Sweet Thing” (I’ll make you a deal, like any other kind of deal...). A concept is apparently at work, though I can only give you the first two pieces of the puzzle. The first song, “Lizard Play,” is an interesting narrative of a vulnerable man meeting an exotic woman and asking her to dance. The second song, “The Habit of a Broken Heart,” is about a man telling a wounded woman she's beautiful. Then I get bored and stop paying attention. Happens every time. I have to believe this is one of the last Graafs you should go after, not because it isn’t intelligent (it is) but because intellect is all it has to offer. The earlier “Man-Erg” roared like a lion; ZoneDome gnaws at you like a persistent mouse. If you’re intent on caging it anyway, a remastered 2005 edition (with extra tracks) may add some much-needed color to this sepia song cycle.
|CASCD 1131 back cover|
GUY EVANS -- drums
PETER HAMMILL -- vocals, guitar, piano
NIC POTTER -- bass
GRAHAM SMITH -- violin
return to VAN DER GRAAF discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|UK||September 1977||Charisma||LP||CAS 1131||lyric insert|
|FRA||1977||Charisma||LP||9103 120||gatefold cover|
|GER/NET||1977||Charisma||LP||9214 014||gatefold cover|
|UK||2005||EMI||CDX||CASCDR 1131||digital remaster w. bonus tracks|
|JPN||2005||Charisma||CDX||VJCP-68764||digital remaster w. bonus tracks|
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