Top 10 Van der Graaf Generator Songs

Van der Graaf Generator songs

Photo: By ceedub13 [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Van der Graaf Generator was a progressive rock band formed in the late 1960’s. The band hailed from England and was formed by Peter Hamill and Chris Judge Smith. The band played the college circuit for a few years, even opening for Jimi Hendrix. In 1969, the band released their first album entitled The Aerosol Grey Machine. The original lineup included Peter Hammill  on guitar and vocals, Hugh Banton  on various keyboards,Keith Ellis on bass, Chris Judge Smith on saxophone and Guy Evans on drums. A year later in 1970, the band released their second album entitled The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other. In that same year the band released their third album H to He, Who Am the Only One which featured Robert Fripp of King Crimson on one track.

From 1969 to 1977, the band Van der Graaf Generator released eight wonderful and original sounding progressive rock albums. The band was not a household name like Yes or Pink Floyd, but they did generate a loyal following. In the 2004, the band reunited and began releasing new albums. Their latest release as of this writing was entitled Do Not Disturb. That album was issued in 2016.

Our Top 10 Van der Graaf Generator songs list is a small sampling of some of the band’s most interesting material.

# 10 – Still Life

We open up our top 10 Van der Graaf Generator Songs list with one of the band’s most loved songs. The great track “Still Life,” was the title track from the band’s 1976 album Still Life. The great Still Life album is the most represented album of Van der Graaf Generator Songs on this list. We doubt any Van der Graaf Generator fans would argue with that.

# 9 – Squid/Octopus

All one need to do is take one listen to this phenomenal track and recognize that these guys could play. One of the most fantastic progressive rock tracks of the progressive rock era. And sadly it was not released until the CD reissue in 2005 of  H to He, Who Am the Only One. The piece “Squid/Octopus,” was originally recorded for Pawn Hearts but did not make the final cut. Wow!

# 8 – Refugees

The track “Refugees,” was released on the band’s second album entitled The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other. The album was issued in February of 1970.

# 7 – Childlike Faith in Childhood’s End

The second track from the album Still Life is the great musical exposition, “Childike Faith in Childhood’s End.” It was the album’s closing track.

# 6 – Killer

At number six, we continue our top 10 Van der Graaf Generator Songs list with the smoking track Killer. The song was released on the band’s 1970 album H to He, Who Am the Only One.

# 5 – Man erg

For many Van Der Graaf Generator fans, the song “Man Erg,” was the ultimate Van Der Graaf Generator track. The great ices was issued on one of the band’s best albums entitled Pawn Hearts.

# 4 – La Rossa

The third song from Still Life to appear on this top 10 Van Der Graaf Generator songs list is the track La Rossa. This scorching song like so much of the band’s material was written by Peter Hammill.

# 3 – The Undercover Man

Tow of the final three songs on this list are from the album Godbluff. This fantastic record was released in 1975. “The Undercover Man,” was the album’s opening track.

# 2 – A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers

The great Pawn Hearts album is represented one more time on this list with the spectacular suite, “A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers.”  The piece of music took up an entire album side and clocked in at over twenty three minutes. The song defined the meaning of Progressive Rock.

# 1 – The Sleepwalkers

“The Sleepwalkers,” is undeniably most Van Der Graff Generator fan’s favorite Van Der Graff Generator song. Simply an incredible ten minutes of music that all fans of progressive rock music need to hear. The song The Sleepwalkers was released on the band’s Godbluff album in 1975.

Updated Nov 7, 2020

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