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Gentle Giant - Live In Stockholm '75 CD (album) cover

LIVE IN STOCKHOLM '75

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.94 | 33 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fenrispuppy
4 stars First of all, I need to commend Rune2000 and Toroddfuglesteg for providing me impetus for purchasing this album. Knowing that many of the Gentle Giant live albums have poor sound quality, as well as observing that the album sported an apparently redundant set list which is well represented on "Playing the Fool" and countless bootlegs, I was reticent about spending good money on "Stockholm". Reading reviews posted on Progarchives by the aforementioned reviewers convinced me to give it a chance.

One of the first things that I noticed was that the sound quality was pretty good, with perhaps a little bit of distortion with the keyboards. I am uncertain whether this distortion is an artifact of the recording equipment, the band's speakers and amps, or if intended by the performers. Whatever the case, this does not significantly mar the listening experience. Of more interest on this recording is the quality of the performances themselves. Opening with "Cogs in Cogs" and "Proclamation" (one of my favorite GG tunes), it seemed as if this was going to be a workmanlike performance with little to set it apart from the tremendous "Playing the Fool". However, this must have been the band just getting warmed up. The next track, "Runaway / Experience" shows the band really loosening up, taking liberties with the arrangement and sounding like the great musicians that they are.

The band takes "So Sincere" and stretches it out to eleven minutes, showing the confidence to deconstruct and rebuild the song, turning it into an extended jam that many other bands could only dream of pulling off. "The Plain Truth", one of my least favorite GG tracks, becomes an astonishing instrumental, showcasing some great violin playing, drumming, bass and guitar. Words simply cannot do this performance justice. "Free Hand", which is already one of Gentle Giant's hardest rocking tracks, is played louder, harder and faster than ever before. The music builds, swells and explodes in a shower of sparks. Finally, telling a big lie with the title, is "Just the Same". Again, we have heard this song many times before, but it is not "the same". This song sounds majestic with noodling keyboards laid over a funky bassline, surpassing the original studio version and closing the album in style. The bottom line: this album sounds like it was recorded at a point in their tour when the musicians were rehearsed and confident enough to put ample twists and turns in the arrangements. This serves to keep this set from being redundant, making it a nice companion piece to "Playing The Fool"... some excellent versions of well worn songs.

Fenrispuppy | 4/5 |

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