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Gryphon Treason album cover
3.34 | 166 ratings | 20 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Spring Song (10:00)
2. Round & Round (4:30)
3. Flash in the Pantry (4:57)
4. Falero Lady (4:08)
5. Snakes and Ladders (5:15)
6. Fall of the Leaf (4:22)
7. Major Disaster (4:04)

Total Time 37:16

Line-up / Musicians

- David Oberlé / lead vocals, percussion
- Bob Foster / guitars, backing vocals
- Richard Harvey / piano, saxophone, recorder, keyboards
- Brian Gulland / bassoon, English horn, recorders, backing vocals
- Jonathan Davie / bass
- Alex Baird / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Pat Elliott Shircore

LP Harvest ‎- SHSP 4063 (1977, UK)

CD C-Five Records ‎- C5CD 602 (1993, UK)
CD Talking Elephant Records ‎- TECD149 (2009, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GRYPHON Treason ratings distribution

(166 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

GRYPHON Treason reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Some moments on this downright electric effort and really muscled rock . The group has now evolved into a real rock group and bears little resemblances to the early albums that were totally acoustic. Most numberts here are strongly inspired by Yes even to the voice. I am not sure they found more success with this stuff but they lost all of the folkies who were still clinging to them with the previous one and they lost everything because they got swiped away by the punk storm.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It is the last album I own from them. Their sound here is quite more electric than in the past, less folky. I think this record has a optimum balance between electric instruments and acoustic ones. Many would consider bad their new orientation, but one has to listen carefully and conclude that the tracks are sophisticated, very well played and very progressive. There are still tons of percussions (varied small bells among others). The bassoon is still well played, the required synchronization for complex changing patterns is still there. Harvey's keyboards are more rhythmic, more accessible, despite he plays here some outstanding solos. The bass is complex enough and rather bottom. The omnipresent rhythmic guitars and keyboards, the miscellaneous vocals give some bits a style comparable to prog band Kayak. But of course the compositions are quite more elaborated. Different, yes, but still excellent!
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars This is in my opinion the best of Gryphon's albums and a well hidden gem, severely underrated. As has been pointed out by other reviewers, this does not sound like any other Gryphon album. But then again wasn't there a pretty large difference between their first and their second albums as well? Gryphon has always been a band under constant progression and to me this album is still very much Gryphon. Most of their trademarks are still here (Krumhorn, anyone?).

This album is perhaps a bit less experimental than the earlier ones, but this is still very much progressive rock - and it rocks harder than any other Gryphon album. You could perhaps say that it is a bit darker and a bit less silly than earlier Gryphon albums, but there is enough silliness to recognize which band it is. Indeed, even the title of the album itself (a prediction of what people were going to say about their change of direction) shows that they didn't take themselves too seriously.

There are also a lot more vocals here than on most Gryphon albums, and the vocals are better too. The songs are very melodious and well written. The music is definitely similar in some respects to Gentle Giant, but without imitating them. This album should appeal to fans of Gentle Giant and to prog rock fans in general, perhaps more so than any other Gryphon album.

The only song I don't really care for here is "Snakes and Ladders" which sounds a bit like the carnival in Rio!

Unfortunately, it is rather hard to find this album. I haven't found it on CD yet for a reasonable price (over $100 on amazon!!). I downloaded it from for about $1.50 (recommended!). I still want it on CD though, as soon as I can find it for a reasonable price.

Excellent addition to any prog music collection, if you can find it.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Every time I listen to this album, I have the same reaction. Throughout what was the first side of the album, I find myself enjoying the music immensely. The songs are energetic electric prog, fronted by Bob Foster's Steve Howe like guitar wizardry. I find myself at this listen thinking "4 stars at least, maybe even 5 stars if they can remain consistent."

Then I go ahead and listen to the rest of the album. The energy drops off considerably, and the songwriting loses most of the inventiveness that flowed about the previous songs. So, four starts for side one, two stars for side two.

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars A nice wee album. Just like the Beatles did in '69 with 'Abbey Road' - another album that had no direction -just great tunes after "sergeant'-. Gryphon saved all their best tunes and odds and ends for this final release in '77. The complexity of 'Red Queen' has vanished, and in it's place is something completely different. At this time punk had kicked in so in a way it does sound hopelessly dated but some parts are superb - particularly the drum sequence on 'Flash in the Pantry' which borders on Adam and the Ants. Don't go there 'Ant' fans as it immediately morphs into prog city. A difficult album to rate as they clearly have all their faculties together - it's just that... prog sounded tired at this point. Tired and irrelevant. The late 70's was a time of rapidly changing genres and unfortunately Gryphon got hit hard in the face along with many other bands.
Review by Hercules
3 stars This was Gryphon's last album with an expanded line up. Guitarist Bob Foster replaces Graeme Taylor, drummer Alex Baird (famous for playing The William Tell overture on his skull in concert) and bassist Jonathan Davie have joined the remaining 3 original members in a mainly electric line up.

Sadly, this is well below the creative genius of some of their earlier albums. The album kicks off promisingly with the magical 10 minute Spring Song, a track which rivals anything else they did, with some glorious guitar, keyboard and woodwind playing and fine lyrics and vocals, especially in the chorus. From then on, it's downhill with the songs being short, uninspired if not unpleasant but fairly anodyne. Falero Lady is the only one which grates a bit. The musicianship of all the members is exemplary (I saw this line up on the Treason tour in 1977 and they were sensational), but the material on this album lets them down.

Sadly, punk came and condemned this once brilliant band to oblivion, but on this evidence, they were well past their peak. Spring Song is a 5* song, but the rest is 3* at best.

RIP Gryphon - but may you rise again one day.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars As other colleagues have said, this album has little (to nothing) to do with their previous works. From a soft acoustic folk during their first two albums (that showed little prog), the band evolved nicely with "Red Queen" which was IMHHO their best work ever. The music was definitely prog and it was a great mix of folk and symphonic passages.

This album is even more symphonic at times and I also have to say that the long opener "Spring Song" seriously borrow to "Yes": bombastic organ, mellotron, catchy vocals and powerful band. This is a very good track indeed, although it was totally unexpected.

But almost the whole of this album is unexpected. Even if the gentle "Round & Round" is more in line with their roots: a soft folk-rock ballad with a nice touch thanks to several instruments used in here. It is another good moment actually. I am not quite enthusiast though about the jazzy and world-music oriented "Flash In The Pantry"

The remaining songs are not quite exciting and range from jazz-rock ("Falero Lady", "Snakes & Ladders"), melodic rock ("Fall Of The Leaf") to soft-rock music ("Major Disaster"). Vocal arrangements are quite decent throughout the whole album which I rate with three stars.

It was also a difficult time for prog bands to get a place on the forefront at the time (1977 ? I hope I go to heaven. From whom you might know).

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars In 1977 it probably wasn't the best idea for an erstwhile Prog band like Gryphon to name their new album "Treason". Fans of Progressive Rock were suffering enough persecution at the time, without the added betrayal of their favorite medieval troubadours presenting themselves as mainstream commercial pop stars.

That wasn't quite what happened, obviously. But I can still recall my disappointment after first hearing the album, fresh off the record store shelves. The emphatic cover art promised a heavier, more aggressive experience, not the cloying high-calorie sweetness of Prog-Pop ballads like "Round & Round", "Fall of the Leaf", and the too-aptly titled "Major Disaster".

The line-up of the band had been drastically reshuffled too, with original guitarist Graeme Taylor quitting and David Oberlé leaving his drum kit to focus strictly on singing duties, both moves oddly mirroring similar cataclysms within GENESIS at around the same time (but with far less profitable results). And the antique Elizabethan whimsy of earlier albums, already in jeopardy, was almost completely eradicated. No more krumhorns, alas, and Richard Harvey's signature recorder runs were conspicuously missing, until a too-brief, token appearance in the album's final moments.

Treason, indeed, but that was then. Fast-forward to the early 21st century...

Revisiting the LP for the first time in many decades, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it's aged. The social context of the later 1970s is long gone of course, so now it's possible to enjoy the album on its own merits, slim and superficial though they may be. The album may have been a sell-out, but it was hardly a sudden one; the process had been evolving ever since the band's self-titled first album in 1973 (a still underrated effort, in these pages).

And, if nothing else, it was at least a well-produced and thoroughly professional sell-out. In retrospect the album was much stronger than their previous "Raindance", and arguably more cohesive than the fan favorite "Red Queen to Gryphon Three", despite having far less interesting material. There's a stronger overall sense of purpose here, even if that same purpose was fast becoming desperately unfashionable with every passing hour.

To their credit the band had enough forethought to call it quits soon afterward, instead of dragging their heels into terminal redundancy like so many other Proggers at the end of the decade. The sad example of their tour mates and mentors in YES springs immediately to mind, as well as the waning GENTLE GIANT, Gryphon's closest stylistic competitor and fellow casualties of changing times.

Karma can indeed be a bitch, and the penalty for this particular "Treason" was a quick and premature oblivion. But try listening to the album again, this time with unblemished ears. It's lightweight stuff, sure, but you might just catch yourself tapping your toes to the playfully spastic rhythms of "Falero Lady", or joining in the upbeat chorus of the optimistic "Spring Song".

Review by Menswear
4 stars Not what you think!

It's exaggerating greatly to say that Gryphon committed treason to their sound and their fans with this album. I'm actually surprised by the negative comments above. I kinda understand their deception; you have to remember that Gryphon was (and still is, frankly) so superior in writing and execution than everybody else. Few could come close to being that skilled, but a lazier album by Gryphon is STILL better than many, many other 'classics' in the prog world (*cough* ELP).

I do agree, they changed their approach: less medieval, more Yes-like, more vocals, more catchyness, more love-oriented texts and a general less 'showoffness'.

You STILL have an above-average record with lots of hooks and a Fairy Tale mood that will still satisfy your hunger for mind-blowing prog.

Not a Treason by any means, just more pressure from The Man.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars GRYPHON was one of prog rock's most restless characters during their initial seven year run. All within the span of five albums released during the 70s, they managed to develop not just one style of playing but in reality they cranked out three distinct musical sounds that they could call their own! The band emerged as a unique medieval Renaissance folk revival band which stood out like a sore thumb even amongst the fertile creative early years of the 70s when it seemed everything experimental was en vogue and GRYPHON developed their retro folk of centuries gone by perfectly. However they would soon catch a prog bug, end up touring with Yes and then honed their skills to craft one of prog's most unique albums of the 70s with their landmark "Red Queen To Gryphon Three." Having apparently been happy enough with one glorious proggy album of that caliber, they switched gears again and started honing their progressive art pop skills which started out on the awkward transition album "Raindance" and finally realized on their fifth and final album of their early years TREASON.

After "Raindance," the band experienced a complete upheaval as three of the five members departed and after all was said and done, guitarist Graeme Taylor was replaced by Bob Foster, bassist Malcolm Markovich was replaced by Jonathon Davie and drummer David Oberlé by Alex Baird. And with the departure of two of the founding members, so too did almost all of the folk aspects of the early years exit stage left. TREASON represents what was supposed to be a whole new chapter in the GRYPHON saga as they adapted to the ever changing world of less proggy tracks that were shorter and more mainstream, however in reality they are anything but as TREASON packs in quite a few punches of over-the-top time signature workouts and compositional fortitude that would please any hardened progger. However, TREASON does deliver more streamlined tracks that diminish the pomp and awe excess and create easier to follow tracks even if within them they pack a few prog punches. This is also the most vocal oriented of the five original GRYPHON albums with Oberlé taking the mic and doing his best Jon Anderson as Yes provided once again the main inspiration.

While "Raindance" seemed more like a grab bag of disparate leftover tracks and had no continuity between the nine tracks, TREASON on the other hand exudes its own character. Gone are the medieval crumhorn squawks but the band successfully integrates the English horn and bassoon from previous incarnations into their decidedly austere progressive art pop. If you ask me, TREASON sounds a lot like a more Yes inspired Caravan. This album has cleverly crafted pop hooks and Pye Hastings meets Jon Anderson type vocals. Bob Foster, the new guitarist in town, obviously worshiped Mr. Steve Howe and his guitar style emulates the best moments on "Close To The Edge" as well as the earlier more melodic Yes moments. All in all, the album is composed of seven catchy tracks that exhibit strong hooks, somewhat traditional pop compositional form and contains elements of progressive rock, funk and jazz, albeit more tightly woven together than the previous album. With TREASON, the band had successfully transmogrified once again into a completely different band and pulls it off reasonably well.

The Yes influences have never been more apparent beginning with the opener "Spring Song" which takes that famous "Close To The Edge" sort of groove and adds a little funk with some dramatic keyboard stabs for emphasis. This ten minute opener is by far the most proggy track on board but overall comes across as a post-Relayer type of Yes, more like "Tormato" than the "Close To The Edge" riffing style that the track exudes with bravado. It also has a key rich melodic line that echoes a late 70s connection with bands like Styx and Supertramp but in the end sounds like neither. The rest of the tracks remain shorter with only one barely extending past the five minute mark but somehow GRYPHON retains a kernel of their former selves within each art pop oriented creation.

Out of all the GRYPHON albums, TREASON is the one that i've wafered back and forth over. The first time i heard this i was floored and thought it was their best album but the second time i hated it and thought it was their worst. I've had to let this album simmer down and check it out in various moods and then ultimately accept it for what it is outside the context of what came before. Ultimately i'm quite taken with the art pop on display on TREASON. There have been many claims that TREASON is GRYPHON's "Abbey Road," that meaning a final chapter of a band's history that does nothing but deliver strong catchy vocal oriented songs that grab you by the heart rather than dazzle you with instrumental workouts. And that's exactly what this one does. The Yes inspired aspects embedded within progressive pop hook laden compositions is quite a decent formula and had GRYPHON not released this in the very year when The Sex Pistols changed the entire musical paradigm of popular music then perhaps they could've evolved this sound into the 80s and have produced elegant art pop hits much in the vein of both Yes and Genesis. That was, however, not their destiny and after TREASON the band would call it a day and not release another album for forty years. Ultimately TREASON has won me over despite a preference for a return to the "Red Queen" days.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
1 stars After 4 relatively mixed albums, Gryphon would put a halt in their road as conflicts in the band arose as members started to leave the group after their fourth studio album, Raindance. Greater London's very own folk band was starting to fall to its knees. However down, but not out yet, they would create one more album before departing temporarily. This album in the Gryphon community is divisive, to say the least, with some loving it while others seem to loathe it to the where they may call it the worst Gryphon album, however it may not be that bad, right? Well after hearing it?good lord the name Treason is a perfect name for this album because this is treason against the pure absolute sounds they stood for, even in Raindance.

During this time of progressive music, the public was starting to look away and looked onto other forms of music like punk rock, and the newly appealing new wave groups. While it did not kill progressive music, it did leave a lot of bands in the dust with only a handful still grasping at the stardom they had in the 70s, whether it be changing with the times and becoming more pop-like (Yes and Genesis for example), or just remaining popular due to how influential their sound had already been at the time (King Crimson and Pink Floyd comes to mind). It was also near the end of the 70s and the threshold of what made artistic intentions wasn't based on songwriting and musicianship but rather on experimenting with production and mixing, which resulted in the use of newly crafted instruments that were becoming a part of the mainstream like synths or the drum machine, and while a lot of bands and acts did stay good within the coming decades to come for the most part like with Kate Bush or Rush, other bands were left in the dust before they can pull themselves back up. Now, why am I telling you this? Simple, for Gryphon, all they have done was evolve to newer sounds to where almost all their folk attributes started to go missing, almost to where they can be seen less of a folk band and more of just your average joes from England trying to make a buck off the progressive rock wave that was slowly losing its glitter and gold with each year after 1976. They went high, but flew too close to the sun, and went crashing down, and Treason was the sun that burned their wings. Gryphon was progressive folk's Icarus.

The start-up to the album, the 10-minute ensemble of Spring Song, in just its first few minutes tells you that the charm the band once had has been lost to time as they shamefully utilize techniques bands like Gentle Giant, Yes, and Caravan had used before on previous albums, and much better might I add. No longer do we get those whimsical melodies of Midnight Mushrumps, those soft serene sounds of Red Queen to Gryphon Three, or even the wacky tunes of some parts of their debut and Raindance brought to the front. Instead, we get lackluster imitations of the bands that were popular within the 70s era of progressive rock. It is not fun, or unique. I'd forgive them if they tried to act original within this new realm of sound, but you can tell they took some notes from Yes when they toured together. It is one thing to shift to a more pop-rock stance, it is another to change your sound entirely, and it is another to shamelessly copy your contemporaries.

For more of the same, Round and Round continues that copy and pasted Caravan sound that the last song brought up, and not only that but almost to a scary degree. Poppy hooks mixed with a more soft acoustic ring but still creating a progressive atmosphere; that is definitely what Caravan would be all about and the fact Gryphon tries their hand at this sound could've been good if they didn't make it sound like a sham. Not only that but Flash in the Pantry replicates Yes to almost a T, but without the beauty the band they copy has. Scrap the song-by-song basis for this review that I was originally gonna do, and just listen to the songs for a second and see how much they hacked and stole. Spring Song was Gentle Giant, Round and Round was Caravan, Flash in the Pantry was Yes, Falero Lady was Supertramp, and Major Disaster is just Supertramp and Caravan again.

Honestly, I'd forgive them for making this album sound like a lot of different bands, hell I'd even forgive all the album has to offer if they didn't make it sound so boring. That is the worst part, they do not make it sound fun in the slightest. We aren't getting a progressive rock band trying to sound like other progressive rock bands, we are getting a medieval folk band trying to sound like other progressive rock bands. We are getting the worst side of the progressive rock coin, and it's not on the side of the pop coin either. This is a progressive album, but as progressive as a Machiavelli wannabe. This album is not like the retro progressive rock bands I have covered before like Spock's Beard or The Flower Kings, nor is this album like tribute bands you see around covering songs from the bands they love. It is an album that half-hazard leeches off the success of those around it in those trying times. However two songs do try to retain some of Gryphon's classic sound, that being Snakes and Ladders and Fall of the Leaf, which sound like tracks that'd be on Midnight Mushrumps. They're probably the only tracks that could be considered good, but after what this album makes you endure, they just make this all feel so lifeless.

With Raindance, there were remnants of that Gryphon soul. It may have been a more lackluster attempt, but their strength was still there. It was always still there. Here, there is no strength, no remnants. It is a mere shackled heart bound to the chains of what it has lost. It truly is Treason against what Gryphon had stood for since their first three albums. They truly lost their touch with this one, and probably the saddest fall from grace any progressive band has ever endured. At least they had come back in recent years so I have hopes that they would've improved, though not that optimistic honestly. This was truly a disappointment.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Henry VIII sent those who committed Treason to be hung, drawn, and quartered, and, after hearing this sell out of an album, he would surely have dispatched the whole bally lot of Gryphon by oxcart to Tyburn for immediate execution. It is sometimes said that it is about the journey and not the des ... (read more)

Report this review (#2112279) | Posted by Chaser | Saturday, December 29, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Although only recognized by few, this is by far the best Gryphon album. Finally they succeeded in developing a true sound with complete songs. On their previous albums the sound quality was really too poor and the structure of the songs was hardly perceptible, the only truly tangible songs, bein ... (read more)

Report this review (#749920) | Posted by Life Line Project | Monday, May 7, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Some guy on described this album as 'disastrous' or some other synonym of a similar regard, and after deciding to ignore his comment (I'm assuming it's a guy here, it could well have been one of those non-guys) and going ahead and listening to the album I can honestly say his opinio ... (read more)

Report this review (#596501) | Posted by Canterzeuhl | Monday, December 26, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I find it difficult to understand the other somewhat glowing reviews of this album. I was a fan of Gryphon when they were actually around, back in the early 70's and I cannot remember an album that disappointed me more than Treason. Treason is an apt name, because in this album Gryphon betray ... (read more)

Report this review (#448317) | Posted by beammeupscotty | Sunday, May 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album starts off very well. 'Spring Song' sounds like it is setting up for some quirky instrumental prog along the lines of one of the tunes from the amazing 'Red Queen to Gryphon Three' album, but then about a third of the way through the tune it morphs into something that sounds an awful ... (read more)

Report this review (#187727) | Posted by digdug | Sunday, November 2, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The final work released in 1977 "Treason". The sound was made a pop rock the member's changing. It is a work that overturns the image of the past. A sweet melody divides listener's favor. The atmosphere is caused with by the whole volume. The performance that combines exquisite ensembles is rh ... (read more)

Report this review (#60365) | Posted by braindamage | Thursday, December 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Gryphon's last album is absolutely a masterpiece! Yes, ok their sound is different, and one might say they have sold their soul for satan (money), but I can't agree on that. This is one of another breathtakingly album by this superior band! The folk elements and instruments are still there, t ... (read more)

Report this review (#44769) | Posted by Dan Yaron | Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars an excellent album if somewhat dated. quiet thoughtful tracks like 'fall of the leaf ' are contrasted by more upbeat 'flash in the pantry' and 'major disaster'. there sound is something quite different in the realms of folk music. you'll get used to it ...then like it a lot. definitely wort ... (read more)

Report this review (#3031) | Posted by | Saturday, May 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is "far" from early Gryphon records....still i think this is a great album!! Why? Well... im am very fond of my early Gryphon records....with their folk/rock trimmings. That said.. i think that this outing is might say they´re popish/rockish....but still, underneat it all, there ... (read more)

Report this review (#3030) | Posted by Tonny Larz | Friday, May 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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