Van Der Graaf Generator – Remasters

The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other   – H to He: Who Am The Only One   – Pawn Hearts

Prog lovers rejoice! Four Men With Beards label does a super-freaky job with these genre cornerstones. TONE’s resident prog maniac says the original British pressings represent the pinnacle, yet even if you can find them, they run from $200-$350. And the remastered CDs are but mere sonic carcasses of these complex recordings.

Keeping the 4 Men With Beards underground vibe, there’s no mastering information listed. For that matter, 4MWB doesn’t even have a Web site, meaning it’s impossible to know what tapes were utilized. However, these three albums have an equally high quality level—with very quiet surfaces, and overall sound quality that makes it tough to discern if they were made with high-quality digital masters or original analog masters. Considering they hail from 1970-1971, anything is possible.

All three LPs feature a vast soundstage that practically wraps around your head, with plenty of ping-pong stereo effects throughout. Compression is kept to a minimum, and the recordings feel uncluttered and spacious, with a smooth high end. Better-than-average printing remains true to the original artwork, and the $18 price is a bargain.

Four Men With Beards, 180g LP