This is VERY different from the last few VDGG albums due to a far different lineup. It tends to feel more like a Hammil solo disc at times. While I do miss the organ/sax interplay, the bands new sound (at least in studio) is still excellent, lots of violin (Graham Smith) and piano as its foundation, driven along by Guy Evan's ferocious drumming and Nic Potter's (returning one last time) thick fuzzy bass lines.

The real highlights are "Sphynx In The Face", "The Siren Song", "Last Frame", "The Wave and Cat's Eye / Yellow Fever (Running)". Hammil's lyrical imagery is nothing less than top-notch.

A great swan song. - Review by The Owl (Phil McKenna)

Track Listings

1. Lizard Play (4:29)
2. The Habit of the Broken Heart (4:40)
3. The Siren Song (6:04)
4. Last Frame (6:13)
5. The Wave (3:14)
6. Cat's Eye / Yellow Fever (Running) (5:20)
7. The Sphinx in the Face (5:58)
8. Chemical World (6:10)
9. The Sphinx Returns (1:12)

Total time: 43:20

Bonus tracks on remaster (2005):
10. Door (3:28)
11. The Wave (instrumental) (3:03)
12. Ship of Fools (single version) (3:43)

- Graham Smith / violin, viola
- Nic Potter / bass
- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitars, keyboards
- Guy Evans / drums, percussion

- David Jackson / saxes
Releases information

LP Charisma Records Ltd. (1977)
NOTE: The name of the group at that time was Van der Graaf (without the word "Generator").
CD Virgin Records Ltd. (2005 remaster)


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