In April 1969, the second Van Der Graaf Generator single was released. Apparently not on a large scale, sometimes considered as a promo single only but actually it was released. More about it below (always the text of the first post). On this one the line-up is not yet the classic Hammill-Banton-Evans-Jackson that we all cherish but it's great music anyway. Catch it here.
This single is drawn (A and B-sides) from the Aerosol Grey Machine LP with Hugh Banton (on keyboards), Guy Evans (on drums) and Keith Ellis (on guitar). Actually it was intended to be a Peter Hammill solo album but it finished as a band LP. The single extracted from it has still something of the solo intention. And thinking back, even if I shock, I must say that Bowie was quite a joke compared to Hammill when the time came to compose moving and eternal melodies with wonderful arrangements. It's not in "Afterwards" one can best measure this difference but it was the beginning of an extraordinary decade of masterpieces. To do the cover sleeve (don't think there was any), I took a piece of the intended Aerosol Grey Machine one (in UK). The complete one (see below) would have been a better choice for the LP than the official one. The B-side, "Necromancer" is excellent and shows the direction (progressive doom I'd said) that the band would take sometimes later.
Afterwards. You stare out in yellow eyes larger than my mind; in viscous pools of joy, relaxing, we glide... it's all too beautiful for my mind to bear. and, as we shimmer into sleep, something's unshared. But, seeing the flower that was there yesterday, a tear forms just behind the soft peace of your shades...The world's too lonelyfor a message to slip but between the dying rails of peace you trip. The petals that were blooming are just paper in your hand; your eyes, which were clear in the night, are opaque as you stand...It was too beautifulfor it to last... These visions shimmer and fade out of the glass.