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Gentle Giant - Three Friends  CD (album) cover

THREE FRIENDS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 842 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Negoba
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Great Entry Point for Gentle Giant

It is no secret that if I had to come up with my Big 3 of Classic Prog, I would place Gentle Giant alongside Genesis and Yes, rather than the more common choices of King Crimson or ELP. Their unfathomable talent, complex interplay, and plain weirdness are unique in the world of prog, despite many imitators. Three Friends is not their best album, but its accessibility (VERY relatively) and cohesiveness make it probably the best entry point for the band. The first two albums are more uneven, and later ones can take a lot more work to get into.

Prologue (10/10) - This is extremely well done Gentle Giant in its prototypical form. The song is melodically driven, with both voices and instruments trading the musical themes around the circle in beautiful interplay. Phenomenal keyboard sounds and parts, signature vocal counterpoint, just a phenomenal track.

School Days (10/10) - Deceptively quaint, this track features great vocal interplay, complex time signatures, churning bass, a nice piano break midway, a grooving vibe solo and finally a revisit of the first melodic theme. Again, it is simply amazing how much music territory is covered within a short time.

Working All Day (7/10) - Despite a promising intro, the music literally detunes into a more plodding rocker. The parts work more in parallel, the vocals are at the low end of Derek Shulman's range, and overall the song just doesn't work as well for me.

Peel the Paint (8/10) - This song features some of the weaknesses of the previous track, but has more instrumental variety and emotion to keep it going. It also contains guitarist's Gary Green's hottest solo on record, more traditionally rocking than most Gentle Giant, but here it is a great contrast element.

Mr. Class and Quality / Three Friends (10/10) - These two songs are continuous and many including myself consider them together. The song is again very melodic, with the lyrics finishing the thematic story. The pulsing prog gives way to psychedelia and great solo section before transforming into the truly grand finale.

Overall, this album showcases an amazing group hitting their stride, still yet to reach their complex creative peak, but displaying their full skill. Though I presently consider Octopus to be their peak, this album still stands as a masterpiece of classic prog music.

Negoba | 5/5 |

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