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Giles Giles & Fripp - The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles, Giles & Fripp CD (album) cover


Giles Giles & Fripp



3.11 | 110 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Loons in (Short) Loon Pants

This is much better than anyone could reasonably expect given how hopelessly dated the production is and how irredeemably 'twee' some of the ideas are behind the flimsy Saga of Rodney Toady and Just George

At its lowest ebb, it comes across as almost a hippy take on Flanders and Swann meet the Goons, while at others, the mood takes a darker turn and some real pathos is evident. Unfortunately, these moments are too infrequent for Giles, Giles and Fripp to sustain and the remainder is a mildly diverting but whimsical collection of 60's pop songs.

If the album has any enduring value, it is probably only as a fascinating document of the types of influences and inputs that would be assimilated from the youthful heir that was later crowned King Crimson.

Fripp's previous stint in a Bournemouth dance band is evident here and it may be quite startling for many progheads to hear him 'vamp' along like an old jazz pro on these numbers. He also reveals a fondness for guitarist Wes Montgomery and mimics perfectly the latter's use of 'octave' soloing.

A track by track analysis would be unwarranted but some of the following are certainly worth hearing at least once:

Call Tomorrow - Somewhat sombre in tone where the trio drop their 'wacky' guise for once and present us with an angular melody that undergoes some arresting harmonic changes redolent of liturgy as conceived by a pious Syd Barrett.

The Crukster - Nascent Frippertronics over which a discomfiting narrative, completely at odds with the rest of the album, and reminiscent of the delivery in Procul Harum's In held T'was I is recited.

A bright colour will cover that pain till silence is sent and then once again you can hear Hell's heat

Thursday Morning - This is my favourite song on the album but no, it ain't gonna give In the Court of the Crimson King any sleepless nights, but is clearly the most fully developed and successful tune on the record.

How Do They Know? - notable if only for the appearance of the same melodic fragment being used on the McDonald & Giles album where it's called Tomorrow's People

'Suite No 1' - Some incredibly rapidfire picking from Bob, which echoes (somewhat tenuously I admit) Fracture from Starless and Bible Black This is what 'Django Reinhardt plays the music of King Crimson' may have approximated.

Erudite Eyes - Harmless enough 60's styled pop tune with a medieval tinge not really worthy of closer inspection until it mutates without warning into a very interesting and spacey 'freeform improv' section where if my ears do not betray me, Fripp's inimitable thick fuzzy liquorice tone can be clearly heard for the first time.

If The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp had been edited to remove the excruciating and puerile dialogue that intersperses the tracks, this may have rewarded repeated listens, but in its present form Moonchild is still but a sparkle in Robert's eye.

ExittheLemming | 2/5 |


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