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 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. The album featured musicians Peter Hammill on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, David Jackson on tenor and alto saxophones, flute and backing vocals, Hugh Banton on keys, Nic Potter on bass and guitar and, Guy Evans on drums.
# 7 – Childlike Faith in Childhood’s End
The second track from the album Still Life is the great musical exposition, “Childlike Faith in Childhood’s End.” It was the album’s closing track. Still Life was the band’s sixth album. The record was released in 1976. The album featured Peter Hammill, David Jackson, Hugh Banton, and Guy Evans. This is one of the musical pieces that takes the listener on a journey through so many musical changes, some of which are very surprising.
# 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. It was the band’s third studio album release. The album also featured a guest appearance by Robert Fripp.
# 5 – Man erg
For many Van Der Graaf Generator fans, the song “Man Erg,” was the ultimate Van Der Graaf Generator track. This very popular track was issued on one of the band’s best albums entitled Pawn Hearts. The song was written by Peter Hammill.
# 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
Two 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. The album featured Peter Hammill on vocals, piano, clavinet, and guitar, David Jackson on sax and flute Hugh Banton on organ and bass and Guy Evans on drums.
# 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 May 5, 2023
Top 10 Van der Graaf Generator Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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