Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Peter Hammill
Nadir's Big Chance

Released 1975 on Charisma
Reviewed by ricky nadir, 17/12/2000ce

yes, we all know. john lydon claimed this album to be one of greatest influences for punk.
the liner notes read like bad news: anarchic presence; loud, agressive perpetual sixteen-year-old.; distorted three chord wonders.
the band is identical to van der graaf generator but there is no space for medieval ten minutes plus epics (not that i don't like them). it's just 11 songs. they even released a single; birthday special b/w shingle song; which seems absurd to me cause hammill never sold singles.
on this album hammill deals with loneliness (been alone so long, shingle song, airport, people you were going to), his rejection of the state of the music and the music business (nadir's big chance, two or three spectres), drugs (nobody's business, birthday special), the state of society (institute of mental health, burning) and the moment when it was definitely uncool to hang out with long hairs and flares and peaceful mind (open your eyes) or have i got something wrong. somehow pompeii won't fit in but it's a great song.
somebody said this album rocks. yes, it's true but not in a simple minded way. you can always hear the good musicianship particularly the saxophone of david jackson. let`s not forget the great melancholic ballads: 'been alone so long' and 'shingle song' are still part of hammill's live shows (if you've the chance to see him go - he's really good and expressive).
play it between roxy music's first and neu75 and you'll have a nice swan song of the early 70ties.

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