“The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other” is the second album by Van der Graaf Generator. It is released in February 1970 on Charisma Records. I have not been able to verify the exact date, but found one music site referring to the 1. of February. If you have knowledge of another release date, please inform me in the comment field below, with a source link to the information. Thank you.
This second album was actually the first to be released in the UK, and it’s said that the band considered it as their first real and proper album. Their first album, The Aerosol Grey Machine, released September 1969, had been written and recorded as a solo album by Peter Hammill, released on Mercury Records.
The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other was recorded over four days at Trident Studios in London, from 11 to 14 December 1969 with producer John Anthony. All songs are composed by Peter Hammill except Out of My Book, which is composed by David Jackson and Hammill.
The first press release is the only press with the original mixing. Since they were unsatisfied with the mixing it was changed in later releases, which makes the original UK press rare and expencive. The price on Discogs varies from 35 to 600 euro as I write this.
As usual I listen the album while posting, and I have to say – I like it! I heard it before, but never really listened. I love the silent passages, getting more and more psychedelic and dramatic, ending with a kind of climax. Worth listening for sure, so go for it!
Some later releases comes with two bonus tracks:
The Boat of Millions of Years 3:50
Peter Hammill – acoustic guitar and lead vocals; piano on “Refugees”
David Jackson – tenor and alto saxophone, flute and backing vocals
Hugh Banton – Farfisa organ, piano and backing vocals
Nic Potter – bass guitar and electric guitar
Guy Evans – Drums and percussion