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Gentle Giant - Three Friends  CD (album) cover

THREE FRIENDS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 861 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Man With Hat
4 stars Gentle Giant's third album, was the ironicly named, Three Friends. A concept album about three friends who grew up together in school, parted ways, and meet up with each other in the future when each has choose a career for themselves. Unfortunately, none of them like what the others are doing. Not exactly the best idea for a concept album, but not bad for a first try. Throughtout this album is strong playing, excellent music, and GG started to hone in on their sound that would carry them through their career (although it is altered very much when Weathers joins the band). Personally this is one of my favorite albums from the early period of Gentle Giant, which really shows the listener what they can do.

Things start off strong with Prologue. This instrumental track has some killer keyboard riffs and a excellent bass line. It progresses nicely through all six minutes, even through the repeats. A top Giant track from any time period. The next song I'd like to mention is Working All Day, a stellar sax driven song, which seems to be underrated, IMO. The lyrics (which are about the blue collar worker, working in the sun and having a poor family background) can be a little trite, but are delivered well by Derek. A personal favorite from Giant. Next up is Peel The Paint, the masterpiece of the album. This track shows what it means to be Gentle Giant. Starting soft and easy with quiet vocals and minimal instumentation, growing ever stronger to a stunning, explosive conclusion. With this song, that formula is executed perfectly. Starting with Kerry's soft voice and light instruments (what i believe to be violin and bass), the song takes us through the life of a painter. It then progress with some nice sax and guitar work (and Dereks ballsy vocals). Cap this song off with a monsterous guitar solo from Gary and a sweet little guitar/drum duet, and you have, again, one of the best songs of Giants repitore. The last two tracks are usually thought of as one (most likely due to the fact that the breaker for the songs is placed in the wrong spot, making Mister Class And Quality? shorter then intended and Three Firends, longer). Mister Class And Quality? is a nice mellower song, where Ray gets to show off his violin skills some more. Three friends brings the album to a majestic close, with a solid bass line (and ever so brief bass solo) and tons of organ.

As you've probably noticed I didn't mention School Days. Well that is because I feel it is the weakest song on the album, and one of the two downsides. IMO, it goes nowhere and the middle section (with Calvin Shulman) is just boring. The other dissapointment is the production. But, its 1973, and you really can't expect much, so its not that bad of a downside. (Also, i never mentioned the drummer. Although Mortimore is my least favorite of the Giant's drummers, he is great in his own right, and his controbution shouldn't be overlooked.)

All in all this one of Giant's many shining moments. All fans of the band should own this, and any one looking for great music, and/or excellent examples of progressive rock should buy this. 4.5 stars. Recommended!

Man With Hat | 4/5 |

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