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Black Box [Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Import]

Peter HammillAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $12.40 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 2007 $7.99  
Audio CD, Import, Extra tracks, 2006 $12.40  
Vinyl --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Golden Promises (2006 Digital Remaster) 2:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Losing Faith In Words (2006 Digital Remaster) 3:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Jargon King (2006 Digital Remaster) 2:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Fogwalking (2006 Digital Remaster) 4:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Spirit (2006 Digital Remaster) 2:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. In Slow Time (2006 Digital Remaster) 3:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Wipe (2006 Digital Remaster) 1:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Flight: Flying Blind/The White Cave Fandango/Control/Cockpit/Silk Worm Wings/Nothing Is Nothing/A Black Box (2006 Digital Remaster)19:36$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Black Box + Future Now + Ph7
Price for all three: $36.97

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  • Future Now $12.27
  • Ph7 $12.30

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: EMI Europe Generic
  • ASIN: B000IY0G1G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,309 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered reissue of this 1980 solo album from the former Van Der Graaf Generator member. This release treads the middle ground between his Rock oriented '70s work and his Electronic excursions in the '80s. Eight tracks including 'Golden Promises', 'In Slow Time' and 'Fogwalking'. Charisma. 2006.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best along Peter Hammill's flight path May 25, 2007
Format:Audio CD
The remastered 'A Black Box'. Originally released in 1980, this, one of the first 'indie' albums but now an EMI product, completed the trilogy of 'monochrome' albums that kicked off with 'The Future Now' in 1978 and 'PH7' in 1979. These albums marked a stylistic shift, Hammill largely dispensing with the complex, labyrinthine arrangements that had been the hallmark of his earlier solo albums and his work with Van der Graaf Generator. This new style was stripped-down, concentrated and concise - and fitted well into the punk ethos of the time. One of Hammill's earlier albums 'Nadir's Big Chance' released in 1975 had, in fact, been hailed as a prototype punk-rock album. The subject matter of Hammill's songs became more accessible, his lyrics more straightforward and direct. This new approach served to heighten the intensity and power of Hammill's writing. Every song here hits like a punch both musically and lyrically, as a result of the basic electric guitar, bass drums and keyboards instrumentation and the production quality Hammill achieved by recording with only 8 tracks. The sound is jerky, cut-up, grainy black and white and brilliant. The opener, 'Golden Promises' is a no-nonsense rocker, with harsh distorted guitar and a strident rhythm; 'Losing Faith in Words' shouts about the difficulty of being heard above a juddering piano and staccato lead guitar. Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proof that Peter Hammill WAS Van Der Graaf! November 12, 2001
Format:Audio CD
When you buy this CD, go straight to track #4, the excellent 'Fogwalking'. Rarely have I heard a track where the atmospheric music goes so perfectly with the lyrics. Apart from the drum machine -- which is strongly reminiscent of the Bentley Rhythm machine that Arthur Brown supervised on Kingdom Come's JOURNEY -- this could easily be Van Der Graaf Generator, around the classic GODBLUFF period. Even saxophonist Dave Jackson assists with the riff generation.
I'm collecting Hammill albums very late in the day -- I own just three so far. But this is certainly the best of those, and in the VdGG pantheon, it's up there with PAWN HEARTS, GODBLUFF and STILL LIFE.
For me there's only one dud track: 'In the Spirit'. Although the acoustic guitar is crisply recorded, the tune is too conventional (just too unHammillesque, I suppose) to retain my interest beyond a few plays.
It's a great shame that the poetry establishment gets so snooty about the lyrics of popular and rock music songs. (It may just be resentment at the tiny amount of money a poet can make compared to a pop singer.) Peter Hammill comes closer than 99% of rock lyricists to writing superb poetry which can stand on its own, away from the music. And although immensely talented, Peter hasn't made a fortune. So it may well be time for his application to the Poets' Hall of Fame to be reconsidered.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black, Bleak and Beautiful October 13, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is certainly my favourite Hammill solo album. His first album after being dropped by The Famous Charisma Label remains as uncompromising and varied as ever. The majority of the songs deal with communication and the weakness/misuse of language. Musically, the scope is wide. The album contains some short, electronic experiments, some jazz-like poetry (rap!?!) in "The Jargon King" and a couple of Hammill's self-described "three-chord tricks", all-out rockers that are nasty in a good way. The highlight is the 20 minute "Flight" song suite which contains some of Hammill's best lyrics and music (he has used the lyrics on occassion during poetry readings). Some peorple have criticized this album due to the odd drum sounds (done by Hammill himself). While the production is not state-of-the-art, it does have warmth and in my humble opinion the weird drumming adds to the flavour of the album. The only negative regarding the CD (not an issue on the original vinyl) is that it does not contain a lyric sheet. A shame, since Hammill is certainly one of the most talented (like Peter Gabriel) and prolific (unlike Peter Gabriel) lyric writers in rock music. Oh yeah, he writes great songs too!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great neglected album July 22, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This is easily one of my favorite Peter Hammill Records. I felt compelled to write a review because I feel that some reviews that I've read (on Amazon and elsewhere) unjustly gave it a low rating.

Hammill plays all the instruments and, yes, he is competent but not a virtuoso in all of them, but his music has always been so much more about creativity and expression than about flash. Others who criticized him for using drum machines miss the whole point - If it sound cold, it's because it's SUPPOSED to! Stylistically you might say that this one is similar to The Future Now and pH7, its predecessors, though perhaps even more experimental.

Unlike a number of PH albums, this one actually starts out on a strong note. "Golden Promises" is a good, fairly straight-ahead rocker. I'm not clear exactly what he means, but it warns against "groupthink" of one sort or another (religious, political, etc.). The next track, "Losing Faith In Words" is another relatively straightforward rocker, but already incorporates some experimentation. "Jargon King" continues the communication breakdown theme, and thoroughly immerses you in avant-garde sounds and dissonant talk-singing from Hammill.

"Fogwalking" is the highlight of the album, and in my opinion, on of the best tracks that PH ever did. The lyrics are really outstanding, and the eerie, moody music is very effective. As usual he leaves a lot open to multiple interpretations. On one hand, evidently he does like to go for evening strolls in the fog (he is English), which inspire his creativity, but there's more going on here.
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