Peter Hammill ‎– Nadir’s Big Chance (1975)

Nadir’s Big Chance is the fifth solo album by singer-songwriter Peter Hammill, released in February 1975 on Charisma. He’s backed on all eleven songs by the Pawn Hearts lineup of Van der Graaf Generator, which reformed just prior to the sessions for this album.

Sleeve notes: “The way of it is this: I was sitting in the waiting-room when I gradually became aware that I was not alone – or at least, not singular. This lasted only a moment, however, and that my alter ego, Nadir, took me over. So that I was both him in body and myself in observation.

Light, a curious, desultory silence; several moments of disorienting neo-dematerialization. An ice-blue Stratocaster spinning through space; Nadir crashing his way through distorted three-chord wonders. The anarchic presence of Nadir – this loud, aggressive perpetual seventeen-year-old – has temporary through complete dominion, and I can only submit, gladly, and play his music – the beefy punk songs, the weepy ballads, the soul struts.

This album is, more or less, what he plays and who he is; how could I deny him his simple say? After all, with the state the world’s in there’s always room for another Nadir.”


A1. “Nadir’s Big Chance” (3:27)
A2. “The Institute of Mental Health, Burning” (3:50)
A3. “Open Your Eyes” (5:10)
A4. “Nobody’s Business” (4:15)
A5. “Been Alone So Long” (4:20)
A6. “Pompeii” (4:50)
B1. “Shingle Song” (4:10)
B2. “Airport” (3:02)
B3. “People You Were Going To” (5:10)
B4. “Birthday Special” (3:40)
B5. “Two or Three Spectres” (6:20)


  • Peter Hammill — vocals, guitar, piano, producer, electric piano, bass, backing vocals, songwriter
  • David Jackson — saxophone, flute, backing vocals
  • Hugh Banton — keyboards, bass, electric piano, backing vocals
  • Guy Evans — drums, tambourine, backing vocals

Production, Packaging:

  • Pat Moran — engineer
  • Mike Stone — mixing engineer
  • George Peckham — mastering

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