Nadir's Big Chance

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Nadir's Big Chance
Peter Hammill Nadir's Big Chance.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1975
Recorded1–7 December 1974
GenreProgressive rock, garage rock, proto-punk, art rock
ProducerPeter Hammill
Peter Hammill chronology
In Camera
Nadir's Big Chance
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Tentative Reviews4/5 stars[3]

Nadir's Big Chance is the fifth solo album by Peter Hammill, released on Charisma Records in 1975.

It was recorded shortly after a decision to re-form the band Van der Graaf Generator (of which Hammill was the singer and principal songwriter), and Nadir's Big Chance is actually performed by the reformed Van der Graaf Generator line-up.

The album's songs vary greatly in style, as acknowledged by Hammill in the sleeve notes, which refer to "the beefy punk songs, the weepy ballads, the soul struts".

In a 1977 Capital Radio broadcast, John Lydon of the Sex Pistols played two tracks from the album, "The Institute Of Mental Health, Burning" and "Nobody's Business", and expressed his admiration for Hammill.[4]

The album includes two of Hammill's most frequently performed ballads, "Been Alone So Long" (written by Judge Smith) and "Shingle Song", and a reworking of Van der Graaf Generator's first single from 1968, "People You Were Going To".

The album saw Hammill's first use of the Hohner clavinet D6 keyboard, which would go on to feature prominently on the next few Van der Graaf Generator albums (particularly Godbluff).

In the song "Pushing Thirty" (from The Future Now, 1978), Hammill claims that he "still can be Nadir". The Rikki Nadir persona returned in October 1979, when Hammill released a single titled "The Polaroid" under the name, with "The Old School Tie" from pH7 as the B-side. It was included on some American pressings of pH7.

"Been Alone So Long" was re-worked for Hammill's 1984 album The Love Songs.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Peter Hammill, except where noted.

  1. "Nadir's Big Chance" – 3:33
  2. "The Institute of Mental Health, Burning" (Hammill, Chris Judge Smith) – 3:32
  3. "Open Your Eyes" – 5:13
  4. "Nobody's Business" – 4:09
  5. "Been Alone So Long" (Chris Judge Smith) – 4:11
  6. "Pompeii" – 4:25
  7. "Shingle Song" – 4:15
  8. "Airport" – 3:04
  9. "People You Were Going To" – 5:05
  10. "Birthday Special" – 3:36
  11. "Two or Three Spectres" – 6:20


  • Peter Hammill – voice, guitars, piano (7,9), bass (11)
  • David Jackson – saxophone (1–11)
  • Hugh Banton – bass (1–10), piano (2,6,11), organ (3,9)
  • Guy Evans – drums (1–11)


  • Pat Moran – recording engineer (Rockfield Studios, Monmouth)
  • Mike Stone – mixing (Trident Studios, London)
  • Dinu M'Brela (alias of Peter Hammill) – cover design


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "Sounds review". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Tentative Reviews review". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  4. ^ "There has been an error". Retrieved 4 December 2017.

External links[edit]