Header

I LOST MY HEAD - THE CHRYSALIS YEARS (1975-1980)

Gentle Giant

Eclectic Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gentle Giant I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980) album cover
3.98 | 23 ratings | 1 reviews | 54% 5 stars

Write a review
Buy GENTLE GIANT Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

DISC 1
FREE HAND (1975)
1. Just The Same (5.34)
2. On Reflection (5.43)
3. Free Hand (6.15)
4. Time To Kill (5.09)
5. His Last Voyage (6.27)
6. Talybont (2.43)
7. Mobile (5.03)
Bonus tracks
8. 1976 Intro Tape (previously unreleased) (1.39)
9. Just The Same (John Peel session) (6.00)
10, Free Hand (John Peel session) (6.05)
11. On Reflection (John Peel session) (5.42)
12. Give It Back (International 7" mix) (3.48)
13. I Lost My Head (7" mix) (3.29)

DISC 2
INTERVIEW (1976)
1. Interview (6.51)
2. Give It Back (5.12)
3. Design (5.02)
4. Another Show (3.31)
5. Empty City (4.39)
6. Timing (4.39)
7. I Lost My Head (6.55)

THE MISSING PIECE (1977)
8. Two Weeks In Spain (3.06)
9. I'm Turning Around (3.59)
10. Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It (2.25)
11. Who Do You Think You Are? (3.36)
12. Mountain Time (3.23)
13. As Old As You're Young (4.21)
14. Memories Of Old Days (7.19)
15. Winning (4.17)
16. For Nobody (4.07)

DISC 3
PLAYING THE FOOL (LIVE 1976)
1. (a) Just The Same/(b) Proclamation (11.17)
2. On Reflection (6.27)
3. Excerpts from 'Octopus' (15.39)
4. Funny Ways (8.31)
5. (a) The Runaway/(b) Experience (9.31)
6. So Sincere (10.19)
7. Free Hand (7.40)
8. Sweet Georgia Brown (1.22)
9 (a) Peel The Paint/(b) I Lost My Head (7.28)

DISC 4
GIANT FOR A DAY (1978)
1. Words From The Wise (4.16)
2. Thank You (4.50)
3. Giant For A Day (3.51)
4. Spookie Boogie (2.55)
5. Take Me (3.37)
6. Little Brown Bag (3.29)
7. Friends (2.01)
8. No Stranger (2.31)
9. It's Only Goodbye (4.20)
10. Rock Climber (3.53)
Bonus tracks
11. Thank You (7" single edit A) (3.50)
12. Words From The Wise (7" single edit B) (3.04)

CIVILIAN (1980)
13. Convenience (Clean And Easy) (3.13)
14. All Through The Night (4.23)
15. Shadows On The Street (3.16)
16. Number One (4.47)
17. Underground (3.49)
18. I Am A Camera (3.32)
19. Inside Out (5.52)
20 It's Not Imagination (4.04)

Lyrics

Search GENTLE GIANT I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980) lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search GENTLE GIANT I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980) tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Derek Shulman/ vocals, saxes, alto sax, descant recorder, bass & percussion
- Ray Shulman/ bass, violin, acoustic guitar, descant recorder, trumpet, vocals & percussion
- Kerry Minnear/ keyboards, cello, vibes, tenor recorder, vocals & percussion
- Gary Green/ electric, acoustic & 12 string guitars, alsto & descant recorder, vocals & percussion
- John Weathers/ drums, tambour, vibes, percussion & backing vocals

Releases information

Albums remastered by Fred Kervorkian at Avatar Studios, NYC from the original 1/4 inch tapes through 24bit 96K hi-reolution transfer.Mastered by Peter Mew at Abbey Road Studios, London.
Disc 1 tracks 8-13 and disc 4 tracks 11 & 12 previously unreleased on CD.

Thanks to faroutsider for the addition
and to AtomicCrimsonRush for the last updates
Edit this entry

GENTLE GIANT MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

Buy GENTLE GIANT I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980) Music


The Power And The Glory (5.1 Blu-ray/CD Mixed by Steven Wilson)The Power And The Glory (5.1 Blu-ray/CD Mixed by Steven Wilson)
Alucard 2014
Audio CD$13.77
$13.79 (used)
Free HandFree Hand
Remastered
Alucard Records 2010
Audio CD$6.32
$11.25 (used)
Acquiring the TasteAcquiring the Taste
Fontana Island 1990
Audio CD$3.76
$2.98 (used)
Three FriendsThree Friends
Remastered
Alucard 2011
Audio CD$11.28
$19.15 (used)
Gentle GiantGentle Giant
Import
Island Def Jam 1990
Audio CD$5.71
$3.32 (used)
OctopusOctopus
Remastered
Alucard 2011
Audio CD$12.36
$11.99 (used)
In A Glass HouseIn A Glass House
Remastered
Alucard Records 2010
Audio CD$6.66
$4.99 (used)
InterviewInterview
Remastered
Alucard Records 2010
Audio CD$3.99
$4.43 (used)
Missing PieceMissing Piece
Remastered
Alucard Records 2010
Audio CD$4.98
$4.05 (used)
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Gentle GiantKing Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Gentle Giant
King Biscuit Flower Hour Records/Sony BMG 1998
Audio CD$11.95
$5.95 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
EARLY Gentle Giant - Acquiring The Taste LP Vinyl UK Vertigo Album Archival MINT US $99.95 Buy It Now 1h 21m
GENTLE GIANT - THE POWER & THE GLORY - RGF / TERRAPIN ISSUE - MINT - 1992 US $17.94 Buy It Now 4h 16m
YUSEF LATEEF The Gentle Giant With Japanese Obi Strip CD NEW & SEALED US $9.71 Buy It Now 5h 3m
Gentle Giant - Acquiring The Taste [CD New] US $8.12 Buy It Now 5h 37m
GENTLE GIANT - THREE FRIENDS - JAPAN SHM MINI LP CD US $58.50 [0 bids]
6h 26m
GENTLE GIANT Interview CAPITOL NM/NM- US $9.35 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Gentle Giant: "Giant for a Day" LP Capitol SW 11813 (1978) US $12.00 Buy It Now 7h 2m
GENTLE GIANT Free Hand UK 1st press vinyl LP with heavy card insert A1/B1 Ex++ US $97.93 Buy It Now 8h 5m
GENTLE GIANT THE MISSING PIECE VG++ HEAR IT US $14.00 Buy It Now 9h 15m
GENTLE GIANT - ACQUIRING THE TASTE [042284291729] - NEW CD US $8.12 Buy It Now 9h 45m
Octopus by Gentle Giant (CD, Columbia) US $4.50 [0 bids]
US $6.50 Buy It Now
10h 13m
GENTLE GIANT "LIVE"-PLAYING THE FOOL-1977 CAPITOL LP SKBB 11592-GATEFOLD-XLENT US $9.95 Buy It Now 10h 21m
Gentle Giant - Power & The Glory (Remixed By Steven Wilson) [CD New] US $12.75 Buy It Now 11h 24m
GENTLE GIANT LIVE PLAYING THE FOOL / 2LP GATEFOLD COVER WITH OBI US $99.99 Buy It Now 11h 51m
Giant For A Day: 35th Ann. Edition by GENTLE GIANT (CD, DRT USA) enhanced US $5.99 Buy It Now 12h 52m
ACQUIRING THE TASTE BY GENTLE GIANT (CD) US $15.81 Buy It Now 12h 56m
WEB I Spider CD/Rare 1970 UK Prog/Samurai/Greenslade/King Crimson/Gentle Giant US $26.99 Buy It Now 13h 54m
GENTLE GIANT - GIANT FOR A DAY LP EXCELLENT US $15.00 Buy It Now 13h 58m
GENTLE GIANT - THE MISSING PIECE LP EXCELLENT US $10.00 Buy It Now 13h 59m
GENTLE GIANT - FREE HAND LP EXCELLENT US $10.00 Buy It Now 14h
GENTLE GIANT - THE OFFICIAL LIVE 2 X LP EXCELLENT US $10.00 Buy It Now 14h 3m
The Missing Piece by Gentle Giant (CD, Feb-2010, DRA) US $2.30 [2 bids]
15h 7m
In'terview by Gentle Giant (CD, Feb-2010, DRA) US $3.00 [1 bids]
15h 7m
In a Glass House by Gentle Giant (CD, Jan-2010, DRA) US $12.55 Buy It Now 16h 2m
GENTLE GIANT: Octopus LP (original cover, inner sleeve, shrink partially open @ US $100.00 Buy It Now 16h 46m
GENTLE GIANT s/t LP 8 track in booklet gatefold (su1026) italian super star 0 US $19.93 Buy It Now 17h 37m
Gentle Giant Interview LP NM- ST-11532 1976 US $11.99 Buy It Now 18h 19m
Gentle Giant **The Power And The Glory **Brand New CD & DVD! US $14.96 Buy It Now 18h 43m
Free Hand by Gentle Giant (CD, Feb-1993, One Way Records) US $6.89 [0 bids]
US $8.99 Buy It Now
18h 47m
Gentle Giant **The Power And The Glory **Brand New 5.1 Blu-Ray & CD US $14.96 Buy It Now 18h 50m
Gentle Giant In a Glass House UK 1973 1st press Die Cut Window + Insert PROG US $45.00 Buy It Now 20h 9m
Gentle Giant - Acquiring The Taste - 1971 Vertigo Records U.S. Press US $30.99 Buy It Now 22h 54m
GENTLE GIANT The Power And The Glory ORIGINAL vinyl 1974 WWA ENGLAND MINT/MINT US $135.00 Buy It Now 1 day
gentle giant - gargantua essen 1971 US $39.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Gentle Giant : Live In Rome 1974 CD (2011) US $11.39 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT THE MISSING PIECE RARE JAPAN LP UK PROG US $29.98 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT CD INTERVIEW 35TH **Saw-Cut** US $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
07464316492 Gentle Giant ?- Three Friends Label Columbia ?- CK 31649 CD ANOMALY US $11.41 Buy It Now 1 day
Gentle Giant - Free Hand [Vinyl New] US $27.89 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT - S / T LP + BOOKLET N. MINT!!! ITALY / TRACKS FROM 1ST 4 ALBUMS US $21.21 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT - FREE HAND NEW VINYL US $35.15 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT: Free Hand [Slipcase] [35th Anniversary Edition] US $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Gentle Giant "In a Glass House" LP NM Rare Russian Press US $12.00 [0 bids]
1 day
GENTLE GIANT THE OFFICIAL LIVE PLAYING THE FOOL 2X VINYL LP org.1977 prog/rock US $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Gentle Giant - Civilian (Chrysalis) (Rock/Alt) Lp US $9.78 [0 bids]
1 day
Gentle Giant - The Missing Piece (Chrysalis) (Rock/Alt) Lp US $9.78 [0 bids]
1 day
THE PROGRESSIVE ROCKERS-Dixie Dregs-ELP-Gentle Giant-Cd US $10.29 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT In a Glass House WWA 002 UK 1973 Vinyl Lp Ex US $36.98 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT**OCTOPUS**CD US $5.55 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT - EDGE OF TWILIGHT NEW CD US $30.18 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT IN A PALESPORT HOUSE ULTRA RARE SEALED CD! US $31.67 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION [GENTLE GIANT] [CD] [1 DISC] - NEW CD US $22.30 Buy It Now 1 day
Yusef Lateef THE GENTLE GIANT ATLANTIC SD 1620 Stereo US $12.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Vintage Gentle Giant Octopus Vinyl Record Vertigo 33-1/3 1972 England 6360080 UK US $249.99 Buy It Now 1 day
The Power and the Glory [35th Anniversary Edition] [Remaster] by Gentle Giant... US $3.99 [0 bids]
US $5.99 Buy It Now
1 day
GENTLE GIANT - LIVE IN STOCKHOLM 75 (DLX) (DIGIPAK) NEW CD US $26.47 Buy It Now 1 day
Gentle Giant - Live Playing The Fool 2LP 1977 Prog Rock US $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
GENTLE GIANT - Interview (Import) US $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Gentle Giant / Giant For A Day US Press LP UK Prog Capitol Records SW-11813 US $11.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Gentle Giant Playing The Fool Edits Promo-Only USA LP Capitol Records SPRO-8558 US $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT 1ST S/T CD MINI LP SLEEVE!! US $9.99 [0 bids]
US $12.99 Buy It Now
1 day
GENTLE GIANT Octopus LP Vintage Record Album 1973 US $48.95 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT acquiring the taste VERTIGO US LP VEL-1005 MASTERDISC prog psych US $34.20 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT playing the fool official live US ORIGINAL 2lp LP prog psych  US $10.26 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT in'terview CAPITOL US LP #ST-11532 psych prog rock  US $7.31 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT the missing piece US LP CAPITOL ST-11696 psych prog rock in SHRINK  US $22.74 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT free hand US ORIGINAL LP prog psych rock VG+ US $10.26 Buy It Now 1 day
Yusef Lateef-The Gentle Giant-LP Promo 1972 Atlantic US $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
GENTLE GIANT - THREE FRIENDS NEW CD US $23.51 Buy It Now 2 days
[LP] Gentle Giant,The Power And The Glory (Wwa) 1 St UK US $47.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant/Acquiring The Taste CD US $21.69 Buy It Now 2 days
Gentle Giant - Giant steps...the first five years double vinyl LP in excellent++ US $40.81 Buy It Now 2 days
Gentle Giant - Edge Of Twilight [CD New] US $23.42 Buy It Now 2 days
Live in Rome 1974 by Gentle Giant (CD, Oct-2000, Blueprint (USA)) US $14.46 Buy It Now 2 days
Gentle Giant * NEW * Free Priority Shipping US $15.29 Buy It Now 2 days
Gentle Giant * NEW * Free Priority Shipping US $14.63 Buy It Now 2 days
Gentle Giant : The Power & the Glory CD US $13.45 Buy It Now 2 days
GENTLE GIANT~RARE SEALED LP~MISSING PIECE~1977 USA 1ST PRESS~OUT/PRINT~NOT 180G US $9.99 [1 bids]
2 days
GENTLE GIANT~RARE SEALED LP~POWER & THE GLORY~1974 USA 1ST PRESS~OUT OF PRINT US $9.99 [1 bids]
2 days
Under Construction by Gentle Giant 2CD Box 44 Tracks Limited 1st Edition 1997 US $25.00 [0 bids]
2 days
Gentle Giant / Three Friends US $4.99 [0 bids]
2 days
GENTLE GIANT Live Playing The Fool 2x LPs ROCK CAPITOL Gatefold RARE RED LABEL US $8.95 Buy It Now 2 days
GENTLE GIANT,SAME.UK 1970 1ST VERTIGO LARGE SWIRL 6360 020 GATEFOLD SLEEVE EX.EX US $239.97 [13 bids]
2 days
GENTLE GIANT - The Power and The Glory 1974 WWA Records WWA-010 UK Pressing RARE US $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
GENTLE GIANT - In A Glass House - '73 UK WWA prog LP- die-cut window cover - NM US $24.99 [1 bids]
2 days
GENTLE GIANT,OCTOPUS.UK 1972 ORIGINAL VERTIGO SWIRL LABEL 6360 080 GATEFOLD NICE US $48.96 [0 bids]
2 days
GENTLE GIANT - GIANT FOR A DAY - LP Capitol EMI SW-11813 US $9.75 Buy It Now 2 days
EX+ UK CHRYSALIS LP - GENTLE GIANT - THE MISSING PIECE US $16.31 [0 bids]
2 days
EX+ UK CHRYSALIS LP - GENTLE GIANT - FREE HAND US $16.31 [1 bids]
2 days
Gentle Giant - Giant Steps...the first 5 years double LP UK IMPORT VERTIGO LABEL US $21.12 [0 bids]
US $37.37 Buy It Now
2 days
rock prog FOCUS 3 LP 1972 gentle giant caravan yes van der graaf generator nekta US $4.90 [0 bids]
2 days
GENTLE GIANT - THREE FRIENDS - COLUMBIA RADIO COPY - 1ST ISSUE - 1A/1B - VG+ US $9.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Gentle Giant The Missing Piece ST 11696 US $9.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Hot Shots 2LP compilation. Gentle Giant, TYA, Robin Trower, UFO, Blondie etc. Ex US $3.25 [0 bids]
2 days
Power & The Glory (Mixed by Steven Wilson) [7/22] by Gentle Giant (CD,... US $9.88 Buy It Now 2 days
GENTLE GIANT - OCTOPUS [GENTLE GIANT] [803341369436] - NEW CD US $9.94 Buy It Now 2 days
Legends of Rock, Progressive: Rick Wakeman,Gentle Giant, Dixie Dregs,Renaissance US $6.77 Buy It Now 2 days
Giant for a Day, Gentle Giant, Very Good US $6.98 Buy It Now 2 days
GENTLE GIANT-THE MISSING PEACE,OFFICIAL LIVE DOUBLE LP-ROCK-3 LP LOT US $14.99 [0 bids]
2 days
Gentle Giant - Freehand CD (35th Anniversary Edition) Brand New US $12.00 [0 bids]
US $16.00 Buy It Now
2 days

More places to buy GENTLE GIANT music online Buy GENTLE GIANT & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for GENTLE GIANT DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

GENTLE GIANT I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980) ratings distribution


3.98
(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(54%)
54%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (8%)
8%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

GENTLE GIANT I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980) reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars This is a glorious box set featuring all of the albums of Gentle Giant albums of the Chrysalis label from 1975 to 1980. As with any box set the tracks are hit and miss here but this is a wonderful way to get hold of 2012 remastered albums that have impacted the Gentle Giant catalogue over the years. The box set houses no less than 3 excellent albums in the form of the live classic "Playing The Fool", "Free Hand" and "Interview". The 1980 "Civilian" album is actually quite good and heavier than the usual GG, but of course you will have to trawl through the disappointing era with the mediocre "The Missing Piece" and the dreadful "Giant For A Day". One major drawcard to this box was the previously unreleased material and it is packed with tons of bonus tracks and all in remastered glory. The booklet is lavish and packed with info and pix of the band as you would expect. The musicians are legendary: Derek Shulman on vocals, saxes, alto sax, descant recorder, bass & percussion, Ray Shulman on bass, violin, acoustic guitar, descant recorder, trumpet, vocals & percussion, Kerry Minnear on keyboards, cello, vibes, tenor recorder, vocals & percussion, Gary Green on electric, acoustic & 12 string guitars, alto & descant recorder, vocals & percussion, John Weathers on drums, tambour, vibes, percussion & backing vocals. Here are my reviews of each disc, almost identical to my reviews of the original albums but worth revisiting for this excellent box of goodies.

DISC 1 FREE HAND (1975)

"Free Hand" is manic Gentle Giant compositions from end to end with trademark multi part harmonies and frenetic time sig changes throughout. It begins with glorious melodic mayhem on 'Just The Same' and then launches into the weird Gentle Giantism harmonies that sound like some parody of medievalism 'On Reflection'. The opening section is almost maddening in it's delirious harmonising but it soon breaks into some fabulous melodies with a nice gentle dreaminess that pleases my senses.

The best song is to follow with the title track, that I adore when I hear it on any compilation or the original album. The remaster is crystal clear and even better. The vocals of Derek Shulman are excellent throughout, strong and easy to comprehend. 'Time To Kill' is certainly a highlight with some chaotic signatures and wonderful musicianship. The pleasant chimes and acoustic guitars are a feature of 'His Last Voyage' before the very melancholy vocals echo along the melody line. The wah wah lead break is a great augmentation to the jumpy piano line. My least favourite track on the album is the sea shanty instrumental 'Talybont', but it's like a transition and fully instrumental.

The bonus tracks as with all GG remasters are very good and fill the CD nicely. On "Free Hand" there is previously unreleased '1976 Intro Tape', just an instrumental filler really, and from the John Peel Sessions 'Just The Same', 'Free Hand' and 'On Reflection', all different versions of these gems and nicely performed. Also we have 'Give It Back (International 7" mix)', a strange reggae riff and quite out of place commercial style for this earlier album though works nicely on "Interview", and 'I Lost My Head (7" mix)' is a very good song. All tracks are intriguing and worth a shot, though not to return to as often as side one of this release. The album is close to a masterpiece, at least side one of the original would be classed as such, but it kind of meanders along in side two, even sounding outdated, like some hippy trip to tune out to. In any case, this is one of the greatest GG albums and should be heard by every lover of eclectic prog. 4 shining stars.

DISC 2 INTERVIEW (1976)

"Interview" is another of the better Gentle Giant albums beginning with some incredible complex musicianship on the title track, certainly one of the greatest GG songs. This is followed by reggae mayhem on 'Give It Back' that sounds great remastered. Between the songs we hear little interview snippets as transitions from track to track that work very well for a concept. 'Design' is next that brings things down for me with the almost annoying multi harmonies that permeate each album. They love to indulge in this barber shop quartet style but I am not a fan so this is an acquired taste. It is quite amusing though especially with the sproings and boings of percussion and tinkling chimes that are comical. The tribal percussion at the end is great but overall this is just too demented for its own good.

'Another Show' is next with a fast tempo and maniacal circus music intro. When Shulman's vocals come in the song becomes heavier and I like the odd signature. This is as crazy as the band like to be, just pulling out one unusual tempo after another, but this will send some running for cover. The guitar is excellent here competing with the keyboards and weird xylophone percussion. 'Empty City' follows, with dreamy acoustics to allow us to breathe. There are tons of harmonies and some nice basslines on this one, but the album is not up to the quality of previous GG. Notably the interview snippets are absent and that would have been nice to make this album more consistent.

The interview snippet does return again just before 'Timing', another track with bizarre tempo changes and a circus like musicianship. It is difficult to latch onto a melody as there are so many ideas competing against each other. It is a lot of fun to listen to all this inventiveness though, and the violin solo is wonderful, later joined by a powerful lead solo, one of the best instrumental breaks on the album. 'I Lost My Head' is a longer track at almost 7 minutes, and I love it when it finally launches into the melodic last 4 minutes with amazing vocals and guitar powering out on an odd intricate meter.

Overall this is not a masterpiece GG albums, but it has some excellent tracks especially side one, where the band seem to use all their best material on many occasions and run out of steam towards the end. The last track though here excels and is one of my favourite GG songs. It is perhaps best purchased with the box set or with the double CD package with "Free Hand". 4 glittering stars.

THE MISSING PIECE (1977)

Gentle Giant's "The Missing Piece" is a transitional album made during 1977 as disco was beginning to be king and punk was alive and spitting. In comparison to the followup "Giant For a Day", this album is very good. However, gone are the technical complexities of the Giant only to be replaced with very simple three chord wonder melodic rock. I like the way it starts with its raucous and rather catchy 'Two Weeks in Spain', the Shulman brothers sound great and this one is infectious with some weird musicianship. It then goes steadily downhill with 'I'm Turning Around', a failed attempt at a ballad single, that did not trouble the top of the charts either side of the Atlantic. 'Betcha Thought we couldn't do it' is mediocre quasi-punk as is 'Who do you think you are?' and the nauseating hicksville of 'Mountain Time'. It picks up a bit with a more progressive approach with 'Memories of Old Days' that has a longer running time and even effects of children thrown in. The album even ends on something proggy with 'For Nobody' but this is rather a lacklustre album.

The liner notes attempt to explain or justify this mediocrity from a band we have come to admire over the years for their virtuoso complexity in prog. Ray Shulman explains; "it was a funny period of time; we were suddenly searching for an identity, what we ought to be, where we were going to fit in. There was a degree of pressure to make a more commercial album, and to be honest I can't even remember whether it was self-generated or from the outside; in any case, we'd always tried to avoid repeating ourselves, we were always looking for something new to do." The result is this rather poor effort and it certainly was the beginning of disaster for the group that would continue to decline on the ensuing GG catalogue. 2 little stars.

DISC 3 PLAYING THE FOOL (LIVE 1976)

Gentle Giant's live triumph is flawless musicianship. Gentle Giant's live album "Playing The Fool" is a treasure of prog rock at its most exquisite, intricate and whimsical. The sound captured live is quintessential Gentle Giant and almost works as a type of best of the Giant. There is enough variation on offer to make it a worthwhile addition to any collection. The best bits of "Octopus" are here, and tons of medley's and montages of Gentle Giant's inimitable style. The music is full blown prog revved to the max with wonderful soloing on descant recorder on 'Funny Ways', and soaring strings on 'Runaway/ Experience'. This set list is as good as I have heard from Gentle Giant. The brilliant 'Free Hand' and 'Peel The Paint' are played to perfection. 'Free Hand' is perhaps the best I have heard it with wonderful complex time sigs and Minnear's mind bending keyboards.

The original vinyl was a huge multiple vinyl release but it all fits very neatly on one CD and although there are annoying breaks in the tracks, it is great to hear this in one sitting without having to turn over one vinyl side after another. To quote the reviews in liner notes "this British band is just the cup of tea for aficionados who demand virtuosity, progress and originality in their mix," and "they are a musician's band who slowly hypnotise all." Certainly the stars were in alignment when the band played this concert. It is flawless.

The guitar on 'So Sincere' is jaw dropping for instance, and Shulman's vocals are spot on target. Many of these tracks are better than the original studio takes. I love how the band move from track to track seamlessly blending them in and pushing the boundaries with incredible harmonies and musicianship. John Weathers' extended tribal drum solo on 'So Sincere' is worth a listen too along with Minnear's vibes. The violin of Ray is also wonderful throughout, such as on 'Sweet Georgia Brown'. It really is an incredible performance from the whole band. It is hands down Gentle Giant's best album. 5 awesome stars.

DISC 4 GIANT FOR A DAY (1978)

I just got through this again for this review and it was a weary slog. This one is up there with "Love Beach" as the biggest sell out of a prog band in history. The music is accessible, the voices are clear and bright, the music is three chord precision but this is an appalling waste of talent. This album is so uninspired it is almost beyond reason. There are major risks taken with this one and GG are obviously trying to fit into the new wave music of 1978 when prog was snubbed but they are sapped of all their power and become insipid as an AOR band. They were never meant to play this type of sap so without the complexities, the concepts and sprawling instrumental breaks, there is nothing left in the cannister. This imposter band going by the name of Gentle Giant play some of the sappiest most boring repetitive drivel I have ever heard. I acquired this album as a double feature with "The Missing Piece" and that album certainly did have some great moments and really once that album is over I rip the CD out so that I don't have to be inundated with any of "Giant for a Day". It is also available with the fabulous box set "I Lost My Head". You gotta love the original packaging with that corny Giant mask! Did anyone cut up their album cover and wear that around the place? Madness! Attacking this album is like turning a cannon upon a budgie cage; you can't miss. Nothing on this is redeemable, and believe me I tried to find something. Let's look at some of these tracks, heaven help us!

'Words From The Wise' is over harmonised and sounds like Little River Band meets early Petra, except those bands have better songs than what is offered here. 'Thank You' is pop pap so boring it is unsettling. 'Giant For A Day' is perhaps the best track and is AOR but I liked some of the guitar riffs though I can't remember a single note. 'Spooky Boogie' should have been good as an instrumental but is really silly Halloween themed nonsense with a forgettable melody. John Weather's only solo composition 'Friends' is acoustic humdrum compost filler, and the last track 'Rock Climber' makes me want to throw rocks at the CD player to put this thing out of its misery.

The liner notes are the best thing about this; "ironically keyboard player Kerry Minnear's 'It's Only Goodbye' was written specifically as a single, but was never released as such." And the album "failed to elicit much enthusiasm when it was released", and stating the bleeding obvious, it "left long term fans dissatisfied." But best of all and most delusional I quote "the album's disappointing sales in no way reflect a lack of quality." I beg to differ because after hearing all the other excellent GG albums this is an absolute disaster and one to avoid unless you desire a rather expensive coffee coaster. The box set features 2 bonus extras 'Thank You (7" single edit A)', and 'Words From The Wise (7" single edit B)'. Are they an improvement on the original album tracks? Not at all. On reflection, and so sincere I can only say GG lost their head here. 1 mouldy star.

CIVILIAN (1980)

Hang on a minute. Gentle Giant had a 1980s album? Curiously this is not all that bad. Certainly it buries "Giant For A Day" and in some ways is more entertaining than "The Missing Piece". Shulman's vocals are terrific, the melodies are strong, the music is excellent and there are some wonderful moments to feast on. The problem is it's not prog. In any case the album was not half as bad as I had heard it would be. I received it really as a free with the excellent "Playing The Fool Live" album, and later with the box set "I Lost My Head". On these Gentle Giant releases there is usually great albums with mediocre albums, however "Civilian" is one of the better albums, especially for its release date when prog was declining.

Tracks such as 'Convenience', 'Underground', 'I am a Camera', and 'It's Not Imagination' are well worth checking out. Not so much prog master tracks but just solid AOR with attention to very accomplished musicianship. It is not the complex quirky Gentle Giant but a consistent melodic 80s commercial sound. 3 sparkling stars.

So at the end of this look back through the world of Gentle Giant we have the good the bad and the ugly as you would expect but this is a fantastic package, well designed, with tons of excellent songs and great liner notes. It is ideal for newcomers to the band and the ideal way to get hold of some of their more mediocre material without sacrificing too much on 4 jam packed discs. The live album is simply brilliant in itself and this box is definitely worth the effort. 4 genius stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#840745) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 19, 2012

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of GENTLE GIANT "I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980)"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.45 seconds