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Gentle Giant - Three Friends  CD (album) cover

THREE FRIENDS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 838 ratings

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ShW1
5 stars Recently I have listened to 'Three friends', and immensely enjoyed. In fact, this is my personal favourite from GG albums. Not delicate and exquisite as 'Acquiring the taste', not intriguing and sophisticated as their 'second era' materials, but this is the one for me. What captures me here is the beauty, aesthetics and the sound which, unlike the later albums, is soft and velvety, wrapped with reverbs and echoes and does not have the kind of 'harshness' that portray their latter albums.

First track, 'Prologue', is sort of introduction. A complicate, long, and repetitive theme evolves into delicate vocals by Phil, accompanied by acoustic guitars, and more...

'Schooldays': In my opinion, the best track from GG ever. or at least, the most beautiful. 'Schooldays the happy days when we were going nowhere'. Pentatonic scales which emphasize this lost childhood, with wonderful vibraphone from Kerry. The middle section is a quite, sensitive song ('remember'), accompanied by piano. In addition, let's not forget the child (than) Calvin Shulman, a son and a nephew, who sings just one repetitive note so delightful...

'Working all day', from childhood days to the unsatisfying present. Bluesy melody, but it doesn't sound like so many other blues tunes, it sound fresh. what I like here the most is the baritone sax from Phil, that supplies a low background for this song.

End of side one of the vinyl version. Side two:

'Peel the paint'. Few sections here. The first one is a song sung by Phil in his intimate delivery, Accompanied by chamber string section performed in a very high quality by Ray. After the second section, which is much rockier and sung by Derek, comes an improvisation performed just from Garry Green on guitar pass through a 'vintage' delay box, and Malcolm Mortimore on drums. Beautiful and unusual jam.

'Mr. Class and quality', hmmm... this is my least favourite song from this album. Structurally, it combined from a sequence of repeated riffs, in the vein of their many of the 'second era' compositions, but still does not performed as tight as the latter. But don't get me wrong, this is a real good track, and I'm still very amused at the 'semi classical' riff (Mozart and alike), that burst out into much rockier section. (Circa 3:10-3:25).

And the end... 'Three friends' is so moving. Choral-like vocals, and beautiful church organ-like harmonies from Kerry, as if they become YES or GENESIS for one moment. Along with the repetitive unison of bass and guitar melody, that reminds a little bit the opening theme of the first track. What a great end to this great album.

Another masterpiece from those giants...

ShW1 | 5/5 |

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