Image Vital (1978)
"From the most extreme live band in the world the most extreme live album"

Vital cover Vital cover
Back Cover Front Cover

Track List
1. Ship of Fools
2. Still Life
3. Last Frame
4. Mirror Images
5. Medley (parts of A Plague
of Lighthouse Keepers
and The Sleepwalkers)
6. Pioneers Over C
7. Sci-finance
8. Door
9. Urban
10. Nadir's Big Chance
The 2005 re-master contains all the above tracks

(Follow links for lyrics - use your BACK button to return here)

Vital Inner cover Vital Inner cover
Inside Cover (L) Inside Cover (R)

What the techies at Popular Hifi had to say!

The Vital Poster


The CD


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Curiously the CD is missing Nadir's Big Chance, which was the encore, and Urban is split with "Killer - section (Smith)" in the middle.

"...even endless ecstasy can get boring"
(unknown origin)

Review in Sounds
"Unashamedly betraying my partisan affections, 'Vital' really is"

Review in Melody Maker
"...a band with enough enigma to keep Sherlock Holmes on the case for three volumes"

Review in Freshair
"The fact that Van der Graaf is alive and still exists is amazing"

Review in Record Mirror
"...this interesting, thoughtfully conceived live album is worth listening to"

In an interview Dave Jackson had the following to say about Vital:

"I was working as a driver when I got a call from them to guest at two Marquee gigs to be recorded as a live album, by this time they had brought in Charles Dickie on cello. The finished album, Vital, is a personal disaster for me, I can't bear to hear it. Usually I would have wanted 4 tracks of the 24 track mobile they set up, 2 because of the stereo nature of my saxophone set-up and two for the effects pedal etc. on each channel.
What I got was one track - worse still, when Guy Evans came to mix the tapes he found that the mobile had been faulty and there was just total silence on my track. What he had to do was go through the other tracks looking for where my sax would have bled onto a track, like the vocal track, and then take out my sax and boost it up and clean it - and that's what you hear on the record."

Ad This album was recorded at The Marquee on the 16th January 1978, although there were two sessions recorded, the first on the 15th, which was attended by Nick, Tim and myself (Phil).
Unfortunately, Hugh was missing at these concerts. Everyone else was there, but for me, without Hugh, it doesn't really work. The core of Van der Graaf Generator's music (excluding Peter Hammill's lyrics and voice obviously) was always Jackson's sax and Hugh's crashing organ, complimented of course by Guy's brilliant drumming.
Anyway, that was that.

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A cassette tape.

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