HiRez Poll Van Der Graaf Generator - THE CHARISMA YEARS: 1970-1978 [Blu-Ray Audio]

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Rate the BDA of Van Der Graaf Generator - THE CHARISMA YEARS: 1970-1978

  • 8

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Terrible Content, Surround Mix, and Fidelity

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    35
OK, I cheated a bit since I don't have this box set, but since I do have these 4 surround offerings on DVD, and they are all 10s, I feel like it really isn't cheating too much.

These are still an easy 10 for me. The first two are a bit more adventurous mix-wise, but I have to say that I probably like Godbluff the best of all the albums. If anybody on here were to want a starting point, that would probably be the album I'd recommend as the most accessible. Pawn Hearts is unquestionably weird, H to He slightly less so. Godbluff and Still Life seem to be a happy medium, but Godbluff being the better of the two albums IMHO.

I know pretty much everything VDGG (and Hammill solo) backwards, having grown up with the albums, buying each release practically on the day it came out, and admittedly sometimes being a little too 'over-influenced' by some of the rather despairing lyrical content, particularly Hammill's solo stuff, when an impressionable teenager. And I long, long ago grew used to the fact that no one else in my life knew of the band or Hammill or liked the music if I played it to them. So since the release of this box set, comments like yours -- from people discovering VDGG for the first time, and enjoying what they hear -- have been an absolute pleasure. :)
 
Thank you so much everyone!!
I bought the four DVDA sets, I thought they were so great.. so I bought the boxset with blu rays and then sold the dvda sets. A big 10. Best total package ever. Easily on par with the Crimson box sets. Great value.
Dear Stephen, cant you do a Camel :The Decca years or a Brand X : the Virgin years. If VDGG and say Caravan etc can have these type of re-releases why not other even bigger prog and jazz rock bands from that same era? What if we started a crowdfunding campaign to get this done or am I dreaming!?
 
I bought the four DVDA sets, I thought they were so great.. so I bought the boxset with blu rays and then sold the dvda sets. A big 10. Best total package ever. Easily on par with the Crimson box sets. Great value.
Dear Stephen, cant you do a Camel :The Decca years or a Brand X : the Virgin years. If VDGG and say Caravan etc can have these type of re-releases why not other even bigger prog and jazz rock bands from that same era? What if we started a crowdfunding campaign to get this done or am I dreaming!?
Hang in there - some cool projects piling up at the moment waiting for release!! SWT
 
I like how that sounds. "piling" up. :LB
As usual I am sworn to secrecy until official announcements are made.

The only newly mixed albums that have already been mentioned and are awaiting release are 'Sound On Sound' from Bill Nelson's Red Noise, and 'Holidays In Eden' by Marillion. Two others (one of which is a massive box set containing numerous studio albums and several live concerts) finished and being scheduled, and three others almost complete, and another just started. And more being booked!
 
As usual I am sworn to secrecy until official announcements are made.

The only newly mixed albums that have already been mentioned and are awaiting release are 'Sound On Sound' from Bill Nelson's Red Noise, and 'Holidays In Eden' by Marillion. Two others (one of which is a massive box set containing numerous studio albums and several live concerts) finished and being scheduled, and three others almost complete, and another just started. And more being booked!
Awesome news!
 
The mixes are objectively very good but I find them too conservative/stereo-centric for this kind of music. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of activity going on in the surround speakers, but the wackiness of VDGG's compositions would go hand in hand with an old school quadraphonic approach to the mixing philosophy. Feels like a bit of a missed opportunity in this regard and not quite the holy grail of surround mixes that the first spot in the hi-res QQ poll would indicate. A 9 from me.

The fidelity is very good, but not to the point where I can subjectively notice any benefit of the blu-ray over the lossy DVDs on my Dali Mentors' based setup. I would say that the standalone releases are a safe bet for anyone with considerations for budget, shelf-space or lack of interest in what the box set has to offer. It is a great package overall though and very good value for the money.
 
I have been tunnelling into the to-listen-to mountain and finally dug out and opened this box set!

I've only listened to the 4 surround albums and a few tracks of the video Blu-ray. On the French videos at the beginning of Killer (I think it was) a copy of Hot Tuna's "Burger" LP is seen - so I quirky link from the past to the latest Quadio batch!

Its been years since I listened to my VdGG albums, I got into them later, post Uni, as in the mid-late 70s I was more interested listening to the usual prog & rock suspects and my musical quirkiness quota was limited to playing Magma, Henry Cow & Hatfield In The North.

The first 2 albums 1970s "H To He, Who Am The Only One" & 1971s "Pawn Hearts" are pretty quirky and have a Hawkwind, meets King Crimson, meets Henry Cow feel to me. The surround mix opens them up and spaces things out, some fun pans, and the fidelity is excellent.

The 2nd pair 1975s "God Bluff" & 1976s "Still Life" are to me more accessible musically but still very VdGG. Again the surround mix opens them up and fidelity is great, so another enjoyable pair.

Revisiting the albums after some years I found the albums musically fun, but I imagine they're not to everybody's taste. So a solid 9 for all 4 discs for mix and fidelity, really like them.

I do love the graphics where the timeline is down the left hand side of the screen showing time remaining and high lighting the track playing. No credits for the graphics I could find.
 
I have been tunnelling into the to-listen-to mountain and finally dug out and opened this box set!

I've only listened to the 4 surround albums and a few tracks of the video Blu-ray. On the French videos at the beginning of Killer (I think it was) a copy of Hot Tuna's "Burger" LP is seen - so I quirky link from the past to the latest Quadio batch!

Its been years since I listened to my VdGG albums, I got into them later, post Uni, as in the mid-late 70s I was more interested listening to the usual prog & rock suspects and my musical quirkiness quota was limited to playing Magma, Henry Cow & Hatfield In The North.

The first 2 albums 1970s "H To He, Who Am The Only One" & 1971s "Pawn Hearts" are pretty quirky and have a Hawkwind, meets King Crimson, meets Henry Cow feel to me. The surround mix opens them up and spaces things out, some fun pans, and the fidelity is excellent.

The 2nd pair 1975s "God Bluff" & 1976s "Still Life" are to me more accessible musically but still very VdGG. Again the surround mix opens them up and fidelity is great, so another enjoyable pair.

Revisiting the albums after some years I found the albums musically fun, but I imagine they're not to everybody's taste. So a solid 9 for all 4 discs for mix and fidelity, really like them.

I do love the graphics where the timeline is down the left hand side of the screen showing time remaining and high lighting the track playing. No credits for the graphics I could find.
I've owned these since day 1. I purposely didn't vote as I'm not sure I can get into the music. I mean, it's tough. The fidelity is super though.
 
I still have not been able to play mine due to the authoring fiasco on these discs. My old Cambridge Audio 650BD multi-format player won’t display the menu properly so I still haven’t heard the surround mixes. A terrible shame, but I dug this box set so much anyway. I had listened to VdGG previously, but this set really opened their world to me. Godbluff is my overall favourite.

If anyone has any tips on what I can do other than buy a new player I would be all ears. Tried a firmware update of course.
 
I still have not been able to play mine due to the authoring fiasco on these discs. My old Cambridge Audio 650BD multi-format player won’t display the menu properly so I still haven’t heard the surround mixes. A terrible shame, but I dug this box set so much anyway. I had listened to VdGG previously, but this set really opened their world to me. Godbluff is my overall favourite.

If anyone has any tips on what I can do other than buy a new player I would be all ears. Tried a firmware update of course.
Will your player play Surround from a USB drive? If so you could always rip the files and play them.
 
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It does have a USB port, but not sure if it will play flac or other format for surround. Never tried it…perhaps it would work? My setup is very basic, using the analog outs into an older receiver so I never tried anything fancy, just regular SACD, DVD-A or Blu-Ray discs. Occasionally it has trouble reading discs but usually it works on the second or third try. Not with the VdGGs though….
I need to extract Meddle from the PF set too.
 
It does have a USB port, but not sure if it will play flac or other format for surround. Never tried it…perhaps it would work? My setup is very basic, using the analog outs into an older receiver so I never tried anything fancy, just regular SACD, DVD-A or Blu-Ray discs. Occasionally it has trouble reading discs but usually it works on the second or third try. Not with the VdGGs though….
I need to extract Meddle from the PF set too.
Have you tried to turn off the auto return to where you left off function? Some ppl have said that can help. That's all I've got I'm afraid. Good luck.
 
Thanks for the tip, I tried it now, but unfortunately no change. It displays the opening copyright warning screen, then as it's going to progress to the top menu it just stalls and never goes anywhere with a black screen. I remember other people had the same problem with these discs, so it must be an authoring issue.
 
Thanks for the tip, I tried it now, but unfortunately no change. It displays the opening copyright warning screen, then as it's going to progress to the top menu it just stalls and never goes anywhere with a black screen. I remember other people had the same problem with these discs, so it must be an authoring issue.
Damn. That's a shame. I had my fingers crossed for you.

I also have a Cambridge, but it plays the discs fine (mine is 752BD). But mine has become a little twitchy at times, sometimes it obstinately does not recognise certain blu-rays, saying 'Unknown Disc', until it finally recognises them. While that's only now and then, I'm aware my machine is probably getting near the end of its lifetime. Also, I've noticed that some music videos such as the latest Stop Making Sense (as sold through SDE) appears to require a '4K machine' to watch them on (so I assume 4K video must not be backwards compatible the way Atmos audio is). Anyway, that's just a long way for me to say that one day you'll likely upgrade and you will have these exciting discs to enjoy on that day. They're not going anywhere. :)
 
Thanks for the tip, I tried it now, but unfortunately no change. It displays the opening copyright warning screen, then as it's going to progress to the top menu it just stalls and never goes anywhere with a black screen. I remember other people had the same problem with these discs, so it must be an authoring issue.
I've also experienced this wth Cherry Red blu-ray releases on my Oppo 83. Writing to them results in a polite reply but nothing happens. Their authoring and 'quality control' (which I offered to assist with, and got blanked) is crappy to the point that I've ended up not getting any more of them. Sad, because SWT does amazing work. Aside from Mr Wilson's 'The Future Bites' (which plays but the graphic stuff doesn't work) theirs are the only discs I've had problems with.
 
Damn. That's a shame. I had my fingers crossed for you.

I also have a Cambridge, but it plays the discs fine (mine is 752BD). But mine has become a little twitchy at times, sometimes it obstinately does not recognise certain blu-rays, saying 'Unknown Disc', until it finally recognises them. While that's only now and then, I'm aware my machine is probably getting near the end of its lifetime. Also, I've noticed that some music videos such as the latest Stop Making Sense (as sold through SDE) appears to require a '4K machine' to watch them on (so I assume 4K video must not be backwards compatible the way Atmos audio is). Anyway, that's just a long way for me to say that one day you'll likely upgrade and you will have these exciting discs to enjoy on that day. They're not going anywhere. :)
Stupid question but have you tried a laser cleaner on your player?
A 4k disc requires a 4k player which of course is backwards compatible for cd’s, dvd’s and blu rays
 
Stupid question but have you tried a laser cleaner on your player?
A 4k disc requires a 4k player which of course is backwards compatible for cd’s, dvd’s and blu rays
Hi madscot
I think you meant to reply to shakti? He's the one experiencing the issue.

edit: ah, you're responding to my mention of my player being twitchy. Cheers 🙂
 
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