The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other

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The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other
Studio album by Van der Graaf Generator
Released February, 1970
Recorded Trident Studios, London, 11–14 December 1969
Genre Progressive rock
Length 43:10
Label United Kingdom Charisma Records
United States Probe Records
Producer John Anthony
Van der Graaf Generator chronology
The Aerosol Grey Machine
The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other
H to He, Who Am the Only One
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
This track demonstrates the typical style of the band in this period.

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The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other is the second album by the British progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator. It was released in 1970. The album was reissued in re-mastered form, with two bonus tracks, in 2005.

While this is the second album in the Van der Graaf Generator catalogue, it is really the first proper album by the band. Their previous album, The Aerosol Grey Machine had been written and recorded as a solo record by singer and main songwriter Peter Hammill, but because of a deal with the record company, was released under the Van der Graaf Generator name.[2]

The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other was recorded at Trident Studios, London, 11–14 December 1969. Trident was one of the most advanced studios in all of Europe at the time[citation needed]. Most of the album was recorded on an 8-track reel to reel machine. However, the song After The Flood was recorded on a new state of the art 16-track recorder. It was one of the first such 16 track recordings made in the U.K.[citation needed]

The album credited Hugh Banton with writing the cello parts on "Refugees", but he was not given an actual songwriting credit. The first U.S. issue of the album was released by the Probe Records division of ABC Records also in 1970. It featured a different cover than the U.K. version.

The title is taken from artist John Minton: "We're all awash in a sea of blood, and the least we can do is wave to each other."

In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came #15 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Peter Hammill, except as noted. (Published by Stratsong Ltd.)

Side one[edit]

  1. "Darkness (11/11)" – 7:28
  2. "Refugees" – 6:23
  3. "White Hammer" – 8:15

Side two[edit]

  1. "Whatever Would Robert Have Said?" – 6:07
  2. "Out of My Book" (Hammill, David Jackson) – 4:08
  3. "After the Flood" – 11:29

Bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Boat of Millions of Years" – 3:50 (bonus track on reissue)[1]
  2. "Refugees" (single version) – 5:24 (bonus track on reissue)
  • These tracks were the B- and A-sides of an April 1970 single.


Van der Graaf Generator[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Mike Hurvitz – cello on "Refugees"
  • Gerry Salisbury – cornet on "White Hammer"


  • Van der Graaf Generator – arrangements
  • John Anthony – producer
  • Robin Geoffrey Cable – recording and engineering

Sales chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Peak
1970 UK Albums Chart 47[4]


  1. ^ McDonald, Steven (2011). "The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other - Van der Graaf Generator | AllMusic". Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Christopulos, J., and Smart, P.: "Van der Graaf Generator - The Book", page 59. Phil and Jim publishers, 2005. ISBN 0-9551337-0-X
  3. ^ Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, 2005.
  4. ^ "UK Chart info". Retrieved 22 August 2011. 

External links[edit]