The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage
|The Silent Corner and The Empty Stage|
|Studio album by Peter Hammill|
|Released||8 February 1974|
|Recorded||April, September and October 1973|
|Peter Hammill chronology|
|Julian Cope's Unsung||(timeless)|
The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage is the third album by British singer-songwriter Peter Hammill. It was released on Charisma Records in 1974, during a hiatus in the activities of Hammill's progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator. However, like many of Hammill's albums of this period, all the members of Van der Graaf Generator perform on the recording, blurring the distinction between solo and group work.
The cover was designed by Bettina Hohls, ex-member of the psychedelic German rock band Ash Ra Tempel. Bettina Hohls had also contributed to the cover of Hammill's earlier album Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night.
The lengthy "A Louse is not a Home" is a full blown prog rock epic featuring melodramatic lyrics about (among other things) the nature of identity. It was originally written for Van der Graaf Generator's album following Pawn Hearts, an album that because of the band's split never came to be. It features all of Van der Graaf Generator's ex-members. "The Lie (Bernini's Saint Theresa)" partly alludes to the Ecstasy of St Theresa by Bernini. "Red Shift" features Spirit guitarist Randy California on lead guitar. Hammill has often performed the song "Modern" in concert.
- "Modern" – 7:28
- "Wilhelmina" – 5:17
- "The Lie (Bernini's Saint Theresa)" – 5:40
- "Forsaken Gardens" – 6:15
- "Red Shift" – 8.11
- "Rubicon" – 4:11
- "A Louse is Not a Home" – 12:13
The following bonus tracks were included on the 2006 CD reissue:
- "The Lie" (Live at the All Souls Unitarian Church, Kansas City, on 16 Feb. 1978) - 6:31
- "Rubicon" (BBC session, Feb. 1974) - 5:02
- "Red Shift" (BBC session, Feb. 1974) - 5:51
- Peter Hammill – Guitars, piano, bass guitar (on 1, 2, and 6), harmonium, keyboards, vocals, mellotron, and oscillator
- Randy California – Lead guitar on "Red Shift"
- Hugh Banton – Organ, bass (on 3, 4, and 7), keyboards, background vocals
- Guy Evans – percussion, drums
- David Jackson – Flute, alto, tenor, and soprano saxophones