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McDonald & Giles - McDonald & Giles CD (album) cover


McDonald & Giles


Crossover Prog

3.36 | 137 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Both Ian McDonald and Michael Giles were former members of KING CRIMSON, and they left the band after their 1969 U.S. tour for the "In the Court of the Crimson King" album. Michael Giles and his brother Peter Giles also participated in KING CRIMSON`s second album called "In the Wake of Poseidon" but maybe only as guests. The main differences in this album with respect to the first KING CRIMSON album are the absence of the Mellotron and the music and the lyrics of the songs are less "dark" and dense than KING CRIMSON`s, and even there are some love songs. It has a more "light" atmosphere compared to KING CRIMSON`s music. Ian McDonald is the main composer in this "McDonald and Giles" album. "Suite in C" is a medley of several little songs put together, and it has some influences of Pop Rock and even some Jazz improvisations, with Steve Winwood playing the organ and a piano solo. "Flight of the Ibis" includes a Zither solo, and it is one of the best songs in this album. The sleeve notes say that this song has "the original melody for "Cadence and Cascade"", a song that was included in K.C.`s "In the wake of Poseidon" album , but this "Flight..." song has new lyrics by B.P. Fallon. "Is She Waiting?" is a love song without drums. "Tomorrow`s People" is the only song composed by Michael Giles, and it has some good arrangements with a Trombone played by Michael Blakesley and a flute solo by McDonald. Michael Giles plays great drums in all the songs, but in his song he also plays a brief drums/percussion solo. Peter Giles plays bass guitar with a lot of influences from Jazz. The Side Two of the old L.P. has a long piece, the most progressive of all the songs, called "Birdman", which was composed by McDonald with lyrics by Peter Sinfield, who is also credited in this song as "original idea by Peter Sinfield". The song starts with a good vocals choir by McDonald and M. Giles. This song has some funny parts, and the jazz-rock influences also shine here. The final sections of this song are very good, including some strings and brass arranged and conducted by Mike Gray.In general, I can say that this is a very enjoyable album, more "happy" than some KING CRIMSON`s albums. I don`t know why McDonald and M. Giles didn`t record other albums together. But I know that McDonald released a solo album some 5 years ago, with M. Giles playing the drums in one song. But they also formed a band called "The 21st Century Schizoid Band" with other former K.C. members like Mel Collins, Peter Giles and a new guitarist/singer. They released a live CD with old K.C. songs. They did some tours, in which they also played some songs from this duet album, including "Birdman". It seems that M. Giles is not in the band in the present, as Ian Wallace was the drummer when they visited my country this year for one concert that I couldn`t attend. This duet album was out of print for many years. It was only available on CD in Japan and sold with a very expensive price. But since some 2 years ago it was re-issued in CD in the U.K. and the U.S. This album was originally released in November 1970, almost at the same time as KING CRIMSON`s "Lizard" album, which was released in December 1970.
Guillermo | 4/5 |


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