H to He, Who am the Only One (1970)
H to He cover H to He cover
Back Cover Front Cover
(2005 re-master)

(Cover artwork by Paul Whitehead, based on his painting "Birthday")

H to He label
H to He label H to He label
H to He label


H to He theory
Track List
1. Killer
(Manchester, 1968)
2. House with no Door
(Fawley Road, 1970)
3.The Emperor in his War Room
(Fawley Road/Derby, 1970)
   i) The Emperor
   ii) The Room
4.Lost
(Fawley Road/Derby, 1970)
   i) The dance in sand and sea
   ii) The dance in frost
5.Pioneers over c
(Fawley Road, 1970)
6.Squid 1/Squid 2/Octopus (2005 re-master only)
(Southampton, 1967)
7.The Emperor in his War Room (2005 re-master only)
(Fawley Road/Derby, 1970)
   (First version)
(Follow links for lyrics - use your BACK button to return here)

Valuation by Record Collector: £18

H to He            H to He

Pioneers over c - "The actual story of the pioneers is something I rarely get asked, but which is all there...they're the first 'astronauts' to try to go over the speed of light (c) - no explanations for motive power, but then, my job is portraying human situations rather than mechanica. This is according to contemporary logic and theory, an impossibility and if (when) it is done, nobody'll really know what's going to happen the first time (...'controls still unknown'). In this particular case, my hypothesis (I reserve the right to other time/eventuality options) is that the pioneers go into a time warp, endless living death, the void: unable to get back to earthly reality at all. I say earthly reality because they still exist, but not for us as people...the intention is there that they can manifest themselves as 'ghosts' - but that's another option to explore which is barely touched on in the song/narative (...'I am the one you fear'). You'll see that the time thing explains the tensing of the lyrics, the 'statue' bit in particular.
...the best way to go about it is just to think it out for yourself - guaranteed to blow the mind, time-void: it's the same as trying to think about 'eternity' both backwards and forwards, God, whatever -  I  haven't got it together at all yet, but getting it together is what we're all here for!"
- Peter Hammill in a letter to Jem Shotts, dated 21st February 1972.

"This is my only attempt at writing a specifically sci-fi song, although the balancing is much more towards fiction than science.
Man's first plunge into the unknown territory beyond the speed of light (c): in the light of the discoveries necessary for the attempt, the date is meaningless, although in rational terms it is ludicrously optimistic. The Pioneers... the first hypernauts... are, because of theoretical deficiencies, thrown into time-warp or absolute relativity, in which they exist as 'creatures' of limitless imagination but total non-physicality. They are thus potentially ghouls, ghosties, poltergeists and all manner of indefinable Forces: this is one possible explanation but, truly, in such circumstances explanations are meaningless, irrelevant and totally speculative.
My only regret is that I found it necessary to provide a certain chronological continuity in order to remain, if faintly, within the bounds of comprehension. I don't pretend that there are any answers here, and any questions are entirely subjective."
- Peter Hammill, from Killers, Angels, Refugees (1974).

The Emperor in his War-room - "In retrospect I feel that these lyrics have one particular failing: in my efforts to illuminate the life of the Tyrant, horrific images bred and grew out of themselves, so that they became self-justifying, rather than explanatory. However, the matter was largely out of my hands, as the elements involved hang on the edge of memory (race or otherwise) and therefore have tendencies to self-direction. I can only hope that the system works in reverse."
- Peter Hammill, from Killers, Angels, Refugees (1974).

Killer - "The original song was called 'A Cloud As Big As A Man's Hand'. It was co-written by me and an old school friend, John 'Stephen' Ward, who was not a member of Heebalob. I wrote all the lyrics, and I also wrote the music for the central section which later surfaced in 'Killer'. It was one of my very first 'good' tunes. We used to do the song as part of Heebalob's stage set."
- Judge Smith interviewed in Van der Graaf Generator - The Book.



Gatefold Inner Graphic
(Inner cover artwork by Paul Whitehead, entitled "Checkmate").
Melody Maker
"There is obviously more to Van der
Graaf Generator than immediately
meets the eye or ear".
(Click on picture or text to enlarge particular section)
Read also reviews in:
Record Mirror - "Worth concentrating hard on this one".
Sounds - "A surging, thick textured, very dramatic sound on this album...".
Friends - "They're the kind of band who might have invented stereo had it not existed already".
Review - (Unknown source).

The album was released in 1972 by Dunhill with a different gatefold cover.
Thanks to Koot, an album cover artist himself, for the loan of the record.

H to He Dunhill release cover H to He Dunhill release cover
Back Cover Front Cover

The inner gatefold shows a fore-shortened version of "Checkmate" (shown above) with the lyrics printed above it, which I haven't reproduced here.

H to He Dunhill release label H to He Dunhill release label
H to He

(Shown above is a copy of a Dunhill promotional label)

H to He       H to He

The insert that accompanied the Japanese release
(courtesy Jamie Fogg)

H to He       H to He

Shown above is the Japanese promo
(courtesy Sean Tassé)

Although the cover was eventually based on Paul Whitehead's painting "Birthday", Paul had previously come up with the drawing below.
This, however, didn't gain the approval of the band.
This is the first time that the painting has seen the light of day.

H to He original cover
(Picture courtesy of and © Paul Whitehead, via Jim Christopulos)

H to He promo cover H to He CD booklet H to He CD back
Re-mastered album released on May 30th 2005 with bonus tracks

Review in Uncut

H to He

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