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Gentle Giant - Three Friends CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 1120 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Perhaps it doesn't contain the Giant's most spectacular moments--which, depending on your personal prog-ferences, could be found on any of their albums--but I think Three Friends gets my vote for the band's masterpiece.

With most of the Giant's albums, either I don't think a song or two are very good, or I'm just not in the mood for some parts given the extreme diversity. Not so with Three Friends, which I love all the way through and on most any day.

(I also have the American cover, with the Giant holding the band members in his hand. I was severely distraught to find that this is not the original cover--which is correctly posted on this site--and instead a retread from their first album. I love that cover, and I thought it really added to the charm of the album, so I suppose I'm still processing the psychological implications of getting attached to a false cover. Oh well, I imagine I'll get by somehow.)

To the music! Prologue and Peel the Paint are both very fun songs--upbeat, with cool blaring synth (the former) and outrageous vocals from Derek (the latter). Working All Day might be the highlight, with the catchy, everyman theme, and a great jazzy instrumental break (complete with bari-sax tones and a nice organ solo from Kerry, all to swingin' 6/4 beat).

Schooldays and the Mister.../Three Friends suite are perhaps more serious and reflective--in some ways revealing a slightly different side of the band--but also have plenty of upbeat and playful moments. I just love the jam that transitions to the title track--I find myself saying this for every Giant album, but they really can play just about any style better than most bands whose trademark is that given style. It's remarkable. I personally appreciate it most when Gentle Giant cut loose and rock, which they do plenty of here.

Gentle Giant often do a lot of things that I can't help but respect: substance over style, quality over quantity, and creativity over conventional thinking. On Three Friends they got it all right throughout.

Flucktrot | 5/5 |


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