Fool's Mate (album)

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Fool's Mate
Peter Hammill Fool's Mate.jpg
Studio album by Peter Hammill
Released July 1971 (1971-07)
Recorded 20–28 April 1971
Studio Trident Studios, London
Genre Art rock
Length 44:28
Label Charisma
Producer John Anthony
Peter Hammill chronology
Fool's Mate
Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night
(1973)Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night1973
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Fool's Mate is the debut solo album by Peter Hammill of progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator. The title is both a chess and tarot reference. It was produced by Trident Studios' in-house producer John Anthony. The album was recorded in 1971, in the midst of one of Van der Graaf Generator's most prolific periods. Hammill used the album to record a backlog of songs which were much shorter and simpler than his Van der Graaf Generator material, and declared on the original album sleeve: "This isn't intended to be any kind of statement of my present musical position, but at the same time, it is an album which involves a great deal of me, the person, basically a return to the roots."

Guest musicians on the album included the members of Van der Graaf Generator, members of his label mates Lindisfarne, and guitarist Robert Fripp.

The UK music press was generally very positive about Fool's Mate. Melody Maker saw "one of THE albums of the year".

The cover was designed by Paul Whitehead who at the time was the favourite cover artist for Van der Graaf Generator and fellow Charisma band Genesis.

Fool's Mate includes one of Hammill's most celebrated love songs, "Vision", which he still performs in concert.

In 2005 the album was issued in remastered form by EMI Virgin Records, supplemented with bonus demo recordings of several songs.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Peter Hammill; except where indicated

  1. "Imperial Zeppelin" (Hammill, Chris Judge Smith) - 3:36
  2. "Candle" - 4:16
  3. "Happy" - 2:36
  4. "Solitude" - 4:56
  5. "Vision" - 3:13
  6. "Re-Awakening" - 4:01
  7. "Sunshine" - 3:56
  8. "Child" - 4:25
  9. "Summer Song (In The Autumn)" - 2:13
  10. "Viking" (Hammill, Judge Smith) - 4:44
  11. "The Birds" - 3:38
  12. "I Once Wrote Some Poems" - 2:56

Bonus tracks on 2005 reissue:

  1. "Re-Awakening" (early demos) - 4:37
  2. "Summer Song (In The Autumn)" (early demos) - 2:50
  3. "The Birds" (early demos) - 3:23
  4. "Sunshine" (early demos) - 3:54
  5. "Happy" (early demos) - 2:49


  • Robin Cable - engineer
  • Paul Whitehead - artwork
  • Sebastian Rich - photography


  1. ^ Prato, Greg. "Fool's Mate - Peter Hammill | AllMusic". Retrieved 21 January 2012. 

External links[edit]