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


Giles Giles & Fripp



3.08 | 92 ratings

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4 stars Once upon a time, before the days of King Crimson, Robert Fripp and original KC drummer Michael Giles were part of a trio (with Giles' brother, Peter) called, appropriately, Giles, Giles and Fripp. Their one and only album, reviewed here, sold a very very small number of copies, and it is definitely quite true that the only reason I should know of its existence is that all of its members would eventually play for the mighty Crim. Despite that, though, it's amazingly enjoyable, and definitely not a chore to sit through or to review.

The greatest thing about this album is that, whereas Crimson albums wouldn't have anything resembling a "national identity," this album is so thoroughly British in so many places that I can't help but grin. First, I must point out that, thanks to this album, I can never ever hold any malice towards Robert Fripp again, if only because nobody who can deliver such a hilarious spoken piece as "The Saga of Rodney Toady" deserves anybody's hatred. This is BRILLIANT straight-faced British humor, and Fripp's delivery is simply perfect as perfect can be - I can't imagine anybody else saying "Rodney's mother was fat and ugly, and Rodney's father was even .... fat-and-uglier" or anything along those lines and doing it better than good ole Robert does here. God Bless Robert Fripp.

The rest of the album, with the exception of a LAME repeated spoken partner to "Rodney Toady," entitled "Just George," is basically a ton of Kinks-style Brit Pop crossed with some jazz ideas and the occasional bit of Moody-Bluesian balladry. Some bits of Crimsonian elements creep in here and there (some of the vocal harmonies in "North Meadow," the brass riff in "Elephant Song," the dissonant guitar lines of "The Crukster," the bits of classical influence in "Suite No. 1"), but for the most part this is just really solid, slightly tweaked pop with elements of music hall. For a Crimson fan, I guess that wouldn't necessarily be the best news, but for somebody like me, who likes the concurrent Kinks albums (not to mention that I consider Between the Buttons one of the best pop albums ever), it's cause to pump my arms up a couple of inches and utter a quiet "woo hoo." Some songs are better than others, to be sure, but after thinking about this album again, I'm quite sure that I won't be able to get the melodies to "One in a Million," "How Do They Know?," "North Meadow" and "Thursday Morning" out of my head for quite a while.

So yeah, even though it's kinda hard to give this an extensive review, this is one of the most worthwhile historical curiousities I've come across in a long time. There's tons of interesting, tweaked and hilarious bits to dig out while listening throughout, and if it weren't for all these ridiculous "Just George" bits, this would have a chance to take quite a significant place in my collection. As is, it's still freakin' amusing.

tarkus1980 | 4/5 |


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