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Gentle Giant - King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents CD (album) cover

KING BISCUIT FLOWER HOUR PRESENTS

Gentle Giant

Eclectic Prog


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soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The only bad news here is that all of the songs can be heard on several of their other live efforts. I don't have the time to spend listening to all of their live albums to see if there is any appreciable difference between the various versions of any particular song. The sound quality is good on this album, but there are a few places where the editor left too little space between songs (a pet peeve). Also, at one point, an idiotic audience member bellows something during a very quiet passage, which serves to remind the listener that not all Gentle Giant fans are geniuses. Oh well, the price is right!
Report this review (#6313)
Posted Monday, March 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Live album from Gentle Giant? Ugh . why not man!! Even though there are many versions of live recordings the band has released, each version is always interesting one to have including this one. This one was recorded on January 18, 1975 at The Academy of Music in New York City. On set list, I don't think you are surprised with it as the songs are regularly played in other live set by the band. What I really enjoy about live recording is the ambience of the show especially having to enjoy their music without any visual presentation. The only thing I can do is to imagine who plays what based on my experience watching the Giant on The Box DVD set. This is particularly due to the facts that the band has always played with many kind of instruments on top of regular ones: drums, guitar, bass, keyboard. In total, they play more than 30 type of instruments: be it woodwinds, violin, cellos, acoustic bass, vibraphone, brass, etc. I do enjoy the vibraphone solo in "Funny Ways". Hey, subconsciously, Funny Ways who has always been the track that I always skip, is now regaining its presence to my mind. Having been 30 years listening to the band's music? You may say I'm out of my mind: How come it takes so damn long to love a tune? Well, I am.

The other thing that I love about this album is, of course, the communication done by Derek Shulman right after Funny Ways especially when he says (it always the same with other live set): "In A Glass House!" followed by weird sounds of breaking glass. Again, I'm amazed with the consistency of these sounds with other live set. "The Runaway" starts off nicely followed with "Experience" which is characterized by unique clavinet at the opening. "Knots" is my favorite - opened dynamically with dynamic drumming by John Weathers.

In summary, if you are not die-hard fan of the band but you like their music and you have owned Playing The Fool CD, forget it, don't buy this CD. But, if you love the band very much, my words on above two paragraphs may help you. I hope. One thing for sure . Keep on proggin' .!

Progressively yours, GW

"He tries to make her afraid by not being afraid." - Knots by Gentle Giant

Report this review (#37194)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This live-album which was recorded on 18.1.1975 at the Academy of Music in New York City, has a really good sound-quality. It contains the songs you can often hear at Gentle Giant-live recordings. Hearing all the little variations in each song is such a pleasure. The outstanding moments on this CD are of course the vibe-solo in "Funny Ways" played by Kerry Minnear and the percussion-insanity (I used the words of Derek Shulman) at the end of "So Sincere". As always Gentle Giant convinces with incredible musical work and squiggled and also rocky chant. However, this CD is really good!
Report this review (#79553)
Posted Saturday, May 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars To me, any good quality recording of Gentle Giant during their peak years is a prized recording. This one took place right after the amazing The Power And The Glory, but even limited to about forty-five minutes, manages to fit in quite a bit of great material from four of the six Giant albums up to that point.

And incredible these songs are. From their intricate structures and beautiful melodies, harmonies and arrangements, to the fact that these five guys could actually perform these songs on stage, the best word to describe it is: incredible.

While most of the selections on this recording can also be heard on Playing The Fool, the full version of Knots, The Advent Of Panurge and the other variations of the music are enough to make this worthwhile.

And to Derek (the record company executive) Shulman, who later seemed to almost regret the music his band made, playing "The Biscuit" was a sign of success back in the seventies. Maybe you guys weren't getting rich, but you were creating something important.

Report this review (#257537)
Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars That's the recording regarding a famous radio concert witnessing the "Power and the Glory" Tour...of course it was one of their best performances live, even though not all the fans agree about the quality of such gig and the performance itself of G.G., which someone doesn't regard as their best example on stage...their approach was easier here, in comparison to the old complex arrangements (according to their previous baroque music and classical structure of the songs). But even though They played in the vein of the traditional rockers here, the present live was not inferior for instance than "Live Playing the Fool" (dated 1976), despite of this latter being a little bit "scholastic" in the execution, also regarding the controversial recording which wasn't so clear...of course a few unforgettable tracks like "Knots" or "The advent of Panurge" (tracks#6 and 7) make us soon forget the defects within this radio performance, which was played with a lot of energy anyway. Unfortunately this time the exaggeration concerning the vocalism (which sometimes seems out of tune) is really able to disturb me just a bit. Nevertheless- however- the instrumental parts were so powerful, even when They played simple energic rock...Nowadays the music witness has been picked up by Echolyn (despite of their new "avant-gard" pop arrangements of these latter, today less baroque) and I should say by the Hungarian After Crying too, especially when They forget an emulating approach in the vein of King Crimson and F. Zappa: well actually all these bands have been often able to maintain the polyphonic complex arrangement, as it's regarded typical for the "G.G trademark", but the British masters of this music genre in the early seventies were the first ones and you cannot underrate this fact...so the producers are always forgiven for the choice of editing a radio concert by means of the "King Biscuit Flower Hour" label, especially considering a lot of "sound" purists all around the Recording Studios often ready to criticize and...nevermind at the end you could also add another half star at least!
Report this review (#259228)
Posted Monday, January 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This GG`s 1975 recording sounds better than those I´ve heard earlier from this same era. Compared to Giant in a box or Sight & Sounds DVD`s bonus cds, this one sounds much fuller and brighter. Of course dvds are best, because you can see them playing. Just for audio, I recommend King Biscuit Flower Hour over any other (except official release Playing The Fool). CD notes says: "This recording is taken from extensive King Biscuit archives. These recording have been re-mixed and digitally remastered from the original multitrack masters with every note kept intact for optimum sonic reproduction". I give my highest recommendations to this release of one of my favourite progressive rock bands.
Report this review (#781392)
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2012 | Review Permalink

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