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GRYPHON

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Gryphon biography
GRYPHON was founded in 1973 by Richard HARVEY (recorder, keys) and Brian GULLAND (bassoon, krumhorn) after a stint at the Royal Acadamy of Music. They shared a vision of blending traditional English folk, Baroque instrumentation and Renaissance music in a modern format. The compositions resemble those of Gentle Giant but give greater emphasis to the authentic textures and sounds of the Renaissance period.

Harvey and Gulland were joined in 1973 by Graeme TAYLOR on guitar and singer/percussionist David OBERLE for their all-acoustic first album 'Gryphon'. Bassist Philip NESTOR was added to the line up in 1974 for their second effort 'Midnight Mushrumps', which featured an increased number of original compositions and leanings in a rock direction. Later that year their classic 'Red Queen to Gryphon Three' was released and has become a prog rock staple with its longer, somewhat more symphonic arrangements and courtly instrumental rock. The mid-1970s brought big changes to the band with new bass player Malcom BENNET taking over for Nestor. In 1977, guitarist Graeme Taylor left to be replaced by Bob FOSTER, bassist Jonathan DAVIE replaced Bennett, and Oberle switched to lead voice with Alex BAIRED taking over on drums. Tim SEBASTIAN was also brought in as a lyricist to complete the ever-growing unit. 'Raindance' was released in 1975 and 'Treason' in '77, establishing GRYPHON as a top-notch prog rock act.

With a seamless fusion of British folk and medieval rock, GRYPHON developed a strong sound all their own and a loyal following.


-- Atavachron (David) --

Gryphon official website

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  • Ethelion Midnight Mushrumps, 1974
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CollectionCollection
Griffin Records 2000
Audio CD$15.97
$5.98 (used)
Red Queen to Gryphon 3Red Queen to Gryphon 3
Remastered · Import
Talking Elephant 2007
Audio CD$19.14
TreasonTreason
Remastered · Import
Talking Elephant 2009
Audio CD$10.14
$15.35 (used)
GryphonGryphon
Remastered · Import
Talking Elephant 2007
Audio CD$19.40
$16.99 (used)
Glastonbury CarolGlastonbury Carol
Import
Import [Generic] 2003
Audio CD$18.02
$16.99 (used)
Midnight MushrumpsMidnight Mushrumps
Import
Talking Elephant 2007
Audio CD$10.51
$16.32 (used)
Red Queen to Gryphon Three/RaindanceRed Queen to Gryphon Three/Raindance
Remastered
1997
Audio CD$96.36
$24.85 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Gryphon Carolers - One December Night [CD New] USD $17.10 Buy It Now 1h 23m
Complete Piano Trios (The Gryphon Trio) CD NEW USD $29.46 Buy It Now 2h 10m
VARIOUS '40 FOLK FAVOURITES' UK DOUBLE LP PENTANGLE JANSCH GRYPHON RENBOURN USD $13.38 Buy It Now 6h 2m
Michel Legrand with Mulligan - LE JAZZ GRAND - Gryphon G-786 - VERY FINE! USD $9.99 [0 bids]
9h
ARTICLE & VINTAGE B/W PICTURE "GRYPHON" THE 13TH CENTURY SLADE 5X8" APP USD $10.41 Buy It Now 10h 33m
GRYPHON ALBUM & CONCERT TOUR DATES ADVERT 15X7" USD $10.41 Buy It Now 10h 41m
Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps on Transatlantic Records TRA 282 British Import USD $38.99 Buy It Now 15h 39m
Gryphon Trio - Canadian Premieres (CD New) USD $14.67 Buy It Now 17h 11m
One December Night - Gryphon Carolers (2006, CD New) USD $15.09 Buy It Now 17h 15m
Gryphon Trio - Complete Piano Trios (CD New) USD $27.99 Buy It Now 17h 17m
Gryphon Trio W Aline Kutan - Complete Works For Piano (CD New) USD $15.91 Buy It Now 18h 9m
NM LP~MICHEL LEGRAND & CO~Le Jazz Grand~{Original 1978 GRYPHON Issue]~ USD $4.97 Buy It Now 18h 21m
The Nice "Greatest Hits" CD '88 Curved Air Gryphon Triumvirat Nektar Strawbs UK USD $0.99 [1 bids]
18h 33m
PHIL WOODS: I Remember... - NM 1979 LP GRYPHON LABEL USD $8.29 Buy It Now 20h 29m
GRYPHON - GRYPHON (NEW & SEALED) CD Debut Album Prog Folk Rock #5028479011728 USD $8.91 Buy It Now 1 day
GRYPHON Red Queen To Gryphon Three NM Bell 1316 album vinyl 1974 USD $31.16 Buy It Now 1 day
Poster Size Advert 15x12 Transatlantic Records : Gryphon, Mae Mckenna USD $14.86 Buy It Now 1 day
Poster Size Advert 15x12 Yes in concert with Gryphon (Yesterdays Album) USD $14.86 Buy It Now 1 day
The Gryphon Carolers-One December Night CD NEW USD $19.92 Buy It Now 1 day
MICHEL LEGRAND & CO. - LE JAZZ GRAND - GRYPHON G-786 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
GRYPHON /GRYPHON + MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS/ RARE 1973 SPANISH 2 X LP / PSYCH PROG USD $35.00 Buy It Now 1 day
RICHARD HARVEY (GRYPHON) "THEME FROM TERRAHAWKS" RARE 12" GERRY ANDERSON USD $8.91 [0 bids]
1 day
Gryphon-same UK prog cd USD $15.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Beethoven Gryphon Trio NEW Analekta Sealed CD USD $5.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Phil Woods Quintet Song For Sisyphus Gryphon Jazz LP USD $12.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Michel Legrand & Co Legrand Jazz 1978 Gryphon Jazz LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Press Cutting/Advert : 27/4/74Pg45 STEELEYE SPAN/GRYPHON The MUMMERS EXTRAVAGANZ USD $14.86 Buy It Now 1 day
GARDEN OF DELIGHTS CD PENTANGLE DUNCAN BROWNE GRYPHON USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Gryphon - s/t 1973 Transatlantic UK TRA-262 orig. LP vg++ prog folk USD $22.99 Buy It Now 2 days
GRYPHON TREASON ALBUM LYRICS INNER SLEEVE, GOOD CONDITION USD $1.92 Buy It Now 2 days
GRYPHON Self Titled ~ RARE! 1973 UK Transatlantic Records First Pressing LP USD $77.13 Buy It Now 2 days
Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps - CD mini LP 2003 Japan ARC-7030 VERY RARE OOP!!!!! USD $50.00 Buy It Now 2 days
GRYPHON - MAGAZINE CUTTINGS COLLECTION (REF 3F) USD $14.80 Buy It Now 2 days
GRYPHON "Red Queen to Gryphon Three" vinyl LP USD $5.00 [1 bids]
2 days
Gryphon Trio - Broken Hearts & Madmen (CD New) USD $15.70 Buy It Now 2 days
Michel Legrand/Harold Wheeler-"A Touch Of Gryphon" LP VG/VG+ promo USD $9.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Press Cutting/Advert : 25/5/74Pg33 GRYPHON, MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS & Tour 15X7 USD $10.41 Buy It Now 2 days
Press Cutting/Advert : 8/6/74Pg27 GRYPHON, MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS AND Tour 15X7 USD $10.41 Buy It Now 2 days
Newspaper Advert 15x7 Gryphon : Raindance Album USD $10.41 Buy It Now 3 days
Newspaper Advert 15x7 Raindance Album By Gryphon USD $10.41 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon Treason UK vinyl LP album record SHSP4063 HARVEST 1977 USD $102.58 Buy It Now 3 days
GRYPHON / TREASON (1977) RARE OOP 1993 CD USD $51.99 Buy It Now 3 days
The Gryphon Trio - Beethoven: Piano Trios, Op. 1, Nos. 1 and 3 CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Red Queen To Gryphon Three vinyl LP 1974 Bell Records EX psych USD $32.00 Buy It Now 3 days
PHIL WOODS I Remember... LP OOP late-70's Gryphon jazz gatefold-cover USD $5.99 Buy It Now 3 days
RICHARD HARVEY (GRYPHON) "A NEW WAY OF SEEING" PRIVATE PRESS ICL LP EX / NR-MINT USD $8.96 Buy It Now 3 days
TRANSATLANTIC FOLK BOX SET-3xCD 2004-PENTANGLE/MR. FOX/McCALMANS/GRYPHON-MINT USD $74.38 Buy It Now 3 days
PROG ROCK LP - GRYPHON - RED QUEEN TO GRYPHON THREE - BELL 1316 USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon Raindance CD NEW SEALED Folk Rock Prog Remaster USD $7.42 Buy It Now 4 days
=COSMIC ELECTRO LIBRARY LP Richard Harvey/GRYPHON Way of Seeing OLDFIELD/VOCODER USD $24.99 Buy It Now 4 days
GRYPHON: Raindance ~ Original UK Transatlantic 1975 CLEAN USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4 days
PHIL WOODS I Remember... LP OOP late-70's Gryphon jazz gatefold Steve Gilmore USD $2.99 Buy It Now 4 days
GRYPHON: Treason ~ Original UK Transatlantic 1977 CLEAN USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4 days
GRYPHON Red Queen To Gryphon Three lp 1974 Bell original vinyl excellent USD $9.99 [0 bids]
4 days
Gryphon-Midnight Mushrumps UK prog cd USD $15.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Gryphon-Raindance UK prog cd USD $15.99 Buy It Now 4 days
SEALED BOB BROOKMEYER SMALL BAND w/ JACK WILKINS [ DOUBLE LP ] GRYPHON, 1979 USD $12.50 Buy It Now 4 days
BUDDY RICH/MEL TORME Together Again For The First Time GRYPHON NM- USD $8.80 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON TRIO - TANGO NUEVO: PIAZZOLLA DUR+?+?N ETC - AN29857 USD $18.49 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON TRIO - MOZART: COMPLETE PIANO TRIOS - AN298278 USD $28.98 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON TRIO - SCHUBERT: COMPLETE PIANO TRIOS - AN298556 USD $26.69 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON TRIO - BEETHOVEN: PIANO TRIO OP. 1 NO - AN29858 USD $22.96 Buy It Now 5 days
JAMES GRYPHON TRIO & CAMPBELL - MESSIAEN: QUARTET FOR THE END OF TIME - AN29861 USD $18.85 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON TRIO - BEETHOVEN: PIANO TRIOS OP. 70 - AN29860 USD $18.49 Buy It Now 5 days
Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps LP UK 1974 VG+/VG+ # Prog USD $37.20 Buy It Now 5 days
LP(2) DON SEBESKY THREE WORKS FOR JAZZ SOLOISTS GRYPHON 6.28 488 IMPORT GERMANY USD $4.99 [0 bids]
5 days
Still Sealed Folk/ Americana Jazz LP GRYPHON QUINTET Carol McComb They Laughed USD $19.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Piano Trios/Op.1 No.2/Op.9 - L.V. Beethoven (CD Used Very Good) Gryphon Trio USD $17.64 Buy It Now 5 days
Gryphon-Treason UK prog cd USD $15.99 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS TRANSATLANTIC PROG FOLK UK LP 1974 ORIGINAL USD $50.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Gryphon:s/t Empty Promo Box+Poster [Japan Mini-LP no cd druid yes crimson Z USD $110.00 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON TRIO & JAMES CAMPBELL - FOR THE END OF TIME: NEW CD USD $36.97 Buy It Now 6 days
Gryphon:4 CD+Red Queen Promo Box+Promo Sleeve Japan Mini-LP (yes gentle giant Z USD $335.00 Buy It Now 6 days
BARRY MILES - Sky Train ~ GRYPHON 2200 {nm} *1975* w/Silverlight USD $32.99 Buy It Now 6 days
LOUIS HAYES GROUP Variety Is The Spice GRYPHON G-787 STEREO SPIRITUAL JAZZ LP M- USD $38.88 Buy It Now 6 days
Gryphon - Raindance 1992 // CD Canyon International PCCY-00347 Japan // EX / EX USD $8.00 Buy It Now 6 days
GRYPHON S/T SELF TITLED - NM UK 12" VINYL 1973 PROG LP - TRANSATLANTIC TRA262 USD $34.20 Buy It Now 7 days
Gryphon Trio - Complete Piano Trios CD USD $36.09 Buy It Now 7 days
Gryphon Carolers - One December Night CD USD $21.39 Buy It Now 7 days
Gryphon Treason RARE UK vinyl LP SHSP4063 HARVEST 1977 + Inner Sleeve USD $17.84 [0 bids]
7 days
PHIL WOODS QUINTET LP Song For Sisyphus 1978 Gryphon Shaw Nuff Summer Afternoon USD $8.97 Buy It Now 7 days
Murphy, Chan, Hatzis, Kulesha: Canadian Premieres GRYPHON TRIO (CD, Analekta) USD $8.76 Buy It Now 7 days
Phil Woods Quintet Song for Sisyphus Gryphon G-782 USD $10.80 Buy It Now 7 days
Gryphon:Raindance Japan CD Mini-LP ARC-7032 Mint (gentle giant yes Q USD $49.50 Buy It Now 7 days
PHIL WOODS - I REMEMBER. (Gatefold) VG+ EX (GRYPHON) LP USD $13.50 Buy It Now 8 days
Gryphon-Treason LP-UK HARVEST LABEL-EX-FREE UK P&P!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! USD $52.06 Buy It Now 8 days
GRYPHON TRIO / MENDELSSOHN / LALO - PIANO TRIOS (IMPORT) NEW CD USD $20.78 Buy It Now 8 days
MEL TORME/BUDDY RICH Together Again For The First Time GRYPHON VG+++ USD $8.80 Buy It Now 8 days
For The End Of Time: Louie/Louie/Silvestrov - Gryphon Trio & Jame (2012, CD New) USD $17.69 Buy It Now 8 days
Gryphon- Crossing the Styles: The Transatlantic Anthology CD (2 Discs) OOP USD $101.96 Buy It Now 8 days
MEL TORME/BUDDY RICH Together Again LP Gryphon 1978 NM USD $12.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Gryphon Trio & James Campbell - For The End Of Time: Louie/Louie/Silves [CD New] USD $17.98 Buy It Now 8 days
Gentle Giant Out of the Woods BBC Sessions CD New SEALED Buy Now Prog Gryphon USD $17.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Gryphon LP USD $29.76 Buy It Now 9 days
NM Gryphon RARE Self-Titled S/T Vinyl LP Transatlantic TRA 262 Prog / Folk Rock USD $49.99 Buy It Now 9 days
UK first press GRYPHON Debut Album LP Gatefold 1973 Transatlantic TRA262 USD $49.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Yes / Gryphon British Tour Programme 1975 USD $102.66 Buy It Now 10 days
Bellini, Ivano Gryphon Session CD USD $4.00 Buy It Now 10 days
The Gryphon Quintet - Undecided LP Vinyl USD $9.00 Buy It Now 10 days
Gryphon Trio - Great Piano Trios By Beethoven/Mozart (CD New) USD $33.45 Buy It Now 10 days
CD midnight mushrumps
GRYPHON
~ USD $13.84


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GRYPHON shows & tickets


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GRYPHON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GRYPHON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 132 ratings
Gryphon
1973
3.63 | 151 ratings
Midnight Mushrumps
1974
4.13 | 456 ratings
Red Queen to Gryphon Three
1974
3.26 | 133 ratings
Raindance
1975
3.44 | 91 ratings
Treason
1977

GRYPHON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.53 | 6 ratings
Ethelion
1998
2.91 | 15 ratings
About as Curious as It Can Be
2002
3.41 | 16 ratings
Glastonbury Carol
2003

GRYPHON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GRYPHON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
The Collection
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection II
1995
4.27 | 11 ratings
Gryphon & Midnight Mushrumps
1996
4.29 | 21 ratings
Red Queen To Gryphon Three & Raindance
1997
3.15 | 6 ratings
Crossing the Styles - The Transatlantic Anthology
2004

GRYPHON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Spring Song
1977

GRYPHON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Red Queen to Gryphon Three by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.13 | 456 ratings

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Red Queen to Gryphon Three
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Mista-Gordie

5 stars A true gem of symphonic progressive, maybe one of my top 10 favorites of the genre, it's a shame how much Gryphon have become a quite forgotten band, because to me they belong to a very small group of bands that constitute the very best of symph prog, along with Genesis, Yes, Anglagard, ELP, Camel, PFM, Banco, Le Orme, Harmonium and Renaissance (at least for that one album). They have been categorized here as Folk Prog, but in this case the term Symphonic is way more appropriate (which is a good example of why I think it would be much better to class every album by genre instead of whole discography of each artist.

There is truly not a single weak moment and while all four tracks are perfect in their own, I'd have to say "Opening move" is my personnal favorite, with its magnificient intro that immediatly sets the tone for the listener to know what to expect from this very unique journey. The whole thing has a very medieval feel to it, which works even better than in Gentle Giant IMO, though in a quite different way. The musicianship here is the best I've heard from any band, except maybe Yes, and the keyboard work from Richard Harvey especially is totally mind-blowing, while the ubiquitousness of the bassoon might be what makes this album so unique.

Totally a desert island pick for me, just as Close to the Edge, Selling England and Red.

10/10

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 Red Queen To Gryphon Three & Raindance by GRYPHON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
4.29 | 21 ratings

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Red Queen To Gryphon Three & Raindance
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars This combo-release of 1997 by Castle Communications was my first (double!) experience with Gryphon. Having two-in-one CDs comes pretty handy but also, in this case, enhances the interest of the listening experience.

The main reason for this is the variation you get between the two CDs as RQTGT flows into Raindance. There is a transition from the long, peculiar, long compositions of the former to the more direct folk/rock character of the latter. In fact, Raindance in someways concludes with the way that RQTGT starts: with a long, intricate, symphonic-influenced composition.

The 'Opening Move' remided me of The Enid and ''In the Region Of The Summer Stars'' with the use of multiple instruments in an intriguing sequence from more melodic folk passages to grandios, barocque style. Apparently, this describes the atmopshere in the first move of the chess game... Throughout the rest of the three compositions, the mood constantly shifts, with 'Second Spasm' starting off as more light-hearted (imagine King Arthur arriving on his horse) but quickly evolving on a memorable dynamic bass line. The music that follows could remind you of Warner Bros' comics (no offence or pun intended!) with the wind instruments dominating, before returning to the trademark folk main theme. 'Lament' is much more subtle, dark and slower, but mid-way through explodes to yet another symphonic-folk adventurous rhythm that brings me back to The Enid... 'Checkmate' concludes the chess moves in an eclectic prog fashion and recurring wind instrument themes.

Raindance starts off in a more direct rock, on the one hand, and relaxed-folk atmosphere on the other with lyrics being first introduced in the mellow 'Mother Nature's Son'. The influence of French music appears in the next number, before 'Fontinental Version' which kicks off the more heavy rock elements in the album, amidst the melodic interludes. 'Wallbanger' presents a mix of flute and rock 'n' roll and 'Don't Say Go' reminds strongly of the canterbury tales of Caravan. The 16 min '(Ein Klein) Heldenleben' is certainly the highlight and potentially the only one resembling profoundly RQTGT, with symphonic/pompous arrangements but with a slightly lighter approach in the vein of Alan Parsons. Midway through it displays a folksier (see very British!) character with fast flute playing and then returns to the main theme of the composition before concluding in grandiose arrangements.

Great addition to your prog collection, even if Raindance does not match RQTGT, this combo-CD shows great variety in moods and includes memorable compositions. + to the price and - to the CD inlays but these are minor details.

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 Red Queen to Gryphon Three by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.13 | 456 ratings

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Red Queen to Gryphon Three
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by BatBacon

2 stars This is a record that always make me feel a bit stupid, because I just dont get it. No matter how many times I hear it I cant see whats so interesting about it. To my ears it sounds like someone done a whole album from the song 'Cans and Brahms' (from Yes classic album 'Fragile'), which is a terrible idea!

To be a bit fair the concept behind the album is very cool, it about a game of chess starting of with the song 'Opening Move' and ending with 'Checkmate'. Also the title of the album is really clever, considering this to be the band's third album. And of course, great art for the cover, it makes the record look beautiful and very classic prog.

So with all those things covered for, what could go wrong? Well, what if the band didn't really have any ideas for the music? That would ruin it, wouldn't it? Yes, and if you ask me, thats exactly what happens. I doesn't sound like chess (or any great progressive adventure, for that matter), it sounds more like five guys playing something they didn't have time to finish writing. Theres just a lot of playing around with half written ideas for some minutes, never leading into anything exciting, no climax, no dynamics, no ups and downs. It doesn't happen anything at all.

I guess its a question of preferences, I'm not a huge fan of Camel's 'Snow goose' ether, and I find the two albums to have quite a few things in common. To start with they are both instrumental, which apparently is hard music to write. Also they are so busy with trying to tell a story without using any words, they forget about the dynamics of a great song. Instead of building a mood or a groove, sticking to an idea long enough to make the listener involved and interested, they keep adding melodies to the song that just doesn't lead anywhere. Its too much going on without filling any purpose and the result is a complex song that does nothing but fall flat to the ground.

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 Treason by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.44 | 91 ratings

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Treason
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Red Queen to Gryphon Three by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.13 | 456 ratings

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Red Queen to Gryphon Three
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Mr. Mustard

4 stars I've always been amazed at the extensive range of genres prog rock can encompass. Gryphon's Red Queen to Gryphon Three is one of the most eclectic albums in this regard, tackling genres such as Baroque, Renaissance, and Folk, all while retaining that progressive rock sound.

Working with these "Classical" genres, the album has some instruments even most prog bands don't employ, such as the bassoon and crumhorn. These rarely used instruments, along with the classic keyboard and guitar creates an odd, but effective sonic landscape.

The music itself is very melodic, upbeat, and light, but there are plenty of tense moments to keep the album sounding dynamic. In fact, it would be an understatement to call the album dynamic, as there are an enormous number of tempo, meter, mood, and volume changes throughout each song. Add on to this the use of a classical technique in the form of development and repetition of themes, and you have a constantly evolving album.

However, on many listens I feel something falls just short. Perhaps it's the disjointed nature with which I label it, or maybe it's because I'm not an avid fan of music from the Renaissance/Baroque era. But for whatever reason i'm never as excited as I should be given the albums superb creativity and complexity.

Regardless, I believe this is an album that should be given a chance by anyone who likes a unique combination of Folk and older "classical" music, and carefully crafted and thoughtful compositions.

7/10

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 Red Queen to Gryphon Three by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.13 | 456 ratings

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Red Queen to Gryphon Three
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by peterfrederics

5 stars I bought Red Queen to Gryphon Three when it first came out back in the 70s. I thought it was a masterpiece then and it has continued to be one of my favorite albums of any style not just progressive rock. It puts all other Gryphon albums in the shade going well beyond the typical folk rock genre. It weaves in classical, folk and progressive themes without any noodling pretentiousness. I like all the tracks but the standouts for me are Opening Move and Lament. Why Gryphon aren't considered to be on a par with prog royalty is a mystery to me but perhaps it is because their other albums didn't have the stature of Red Queen. Thoroughly recommended.

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 Raindance by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.26 | 133 ratings

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Raindance
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Raindance from 1975 is definetly a good follow up the the excellent Red queen, but this time Gryphon change little bit the ingredients here, musicaly speaking. While is a worthy album, here are also some unintrsting tracks and of course combined with some very fine moments. More rockier and less medieval in aproach then Red queen but with folk influences added as usual in Gryphon sound, Raindance desearve attention from prog listners. The opening track Down the Dog and the title track are excellent instrumental pieces that shows a mature band with good ideas, a worthy metion is the ending piece, the longest (Ein Klein) Heldenleben , a great musicaly ride in everything Gryphon has best, the rest of the tracks, some with voice are ok but nothing more. So, decent with some parts being great, so I think 3.5 stars worth this release, little to low rated IMO.

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 Red Queen to Gryphon Three by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.13 | 456 ratings

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Red Queen to Gryphon Three
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Gryphon and implicit their third album from 1974 Red queen to gryphon tree is one of the most intresting albums ever recorded from prog/folk rock zone in the ;70s. This is a complicated pieces of work with no weak moments. From the excellent cover art who goes hand in hand with the music, progressive folk with medieval touches, sometimes remind me of Gentle Giant in their most fascinating moments, but without that rockier sound. Many unusul instruments here like bassoon, Krumh'rns who gives a very special atmosphere, very folk but very progressive. Also in some parts the album sounds like a music with minstrels and all stuff from the court of a king in middle age, so medieval, intresting in the end. Only 4 pieces here, all long with complicated moves, this album is not easy to listen and is a definetly a grower. The first part with the first two pieces are little better the the B side, with excellent parts, all album is instrumental so another thing to get a carful listning. Opening Move and Second spasm are killer pieces to my ears, such beauty in such complex music is a wonderful thing to get. So, definetly one of the best albums from mid '70s and I think their best album overall, fascinating release coming from this little known band. 4 stars easy and recommended big time.

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 Gryphon by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.21 | 132 ratings

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Gryphon
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A majority of Progheads obviously prefers the band's later, more electronic efforts, but Gryphon's self-titled 1973 debut is by far their best album, because it remains the most genuine of the bunch. Unlike the occasional Elizabethan eclecticism of rockers like GENTLE GIANT, or the more traditional post-60s Folk Music of bands like PENTANGLE, Gryphon was the real deal: a quartet of medieval troubadours transplanted to the late 20th century and let loose in a modern, multi-track recording studio.

The music wasn't Progressive Rock (at least not yet), but it wasn't really Folk Rock either. Authenticity was never Gryphon's goal, and yet their interpretation of traditional music (including one song here penned by the Tudor's own rock star, Henry VIII) remained true to their original era even when adapted to ours, circa 1973. The arrangements were honest, and typically very simple, but the sound throughout is discreetly modern.

It's a very short album (less than 37 total minutes), but in presentation and performance a near perfect one, although hard-line Progheads might beg to differ. The material is smartly arranged too, balancing unplugged period instrumentals alongside charming mock 15th century sing-a-longs. And all of it is played with disarming wit and ingenuity, from the haunted romance of 'The Unquiet Grave' (with its near ambient middle interlude) to the toe-tapping morality tale taught by 'The Astrologer', and finally to the ribald comedy of 'The Devil and the Farmer's Wife': Chaucer with krumhorns and cartoon demons.

And, lest you imagine a band of (mostly) unplugged ersatz Folkies unable to generate any musical heat without the friction of electronic instruments, lend an ear to the whirlwind of 'Estampie', propelled into overdrive on the virtuoso recorder trills of Richard Harvey, and David Oberl's manic drumming. There's even a brief quotation from 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' hidden within the bassoon solo, yet another example of the band's playful iconoclasm.

Gryphon would later jump headlong onto the Symphonic Rock gravy train, just before it was rudely derailed at the end of the decade. But here at the start of their career the band's ambitions were still untarnished, and refreshingly modest for 1973. Compare this album to what the major Prog acts were playing that year, and maybe you'll agree: sometimes smaller is better.

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 Midnight Mushrumps by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.63 | 151 ratings

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Midnight Mushrumps
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Gryphon's second album strikes a fine balance between the unplugged whimsy of their 1973 debut and the more calculated Prog Rock of later LPs. The addition of an electric bass guitarist didn't alter the band's unique medieval sound too drastically (not yet, anyway), and David Oberlé's modest drum kit still sounded like something played while sitting cross-legged in a garden.

The album also marked a quantum leap forward in compositional maturity, even on some of the less distinguished shorter tracks, like "Gulland Rock" (which doesn't, alas). Standouts among these include the cautionary fable of "The Ploughboy's Dream", and the energetic Elizabethan dance "Ethelion", cued by Brian Gulland's maniacal laughter. Both songs show a canny knack for updating traditional melodies without sacrificing any of their original antique charm.

And then there's the side-long title track, adapted from the band's own score to a National Theatre staging of "The Tempest", and in retrospect a career highlight. This is textbook classical rock, beautifully arranged and performed, although it needed digital technology to finally be heard as intended: on vinyl the more subtle harmonium and pipe organ grace notes were hard to discern amidst even the slightest analog pop and dust scratch.

The 19-minute suite is an unassuming epic, to be sure. But unlike the disjointed cut-and- paste exercise of their more popular "Red Queen to Gryphon Three" it flows easily and organically from theme to climax to resolution.

The siren song of commercial success would soon lure the group into troubled musical waters. But before hitching their fortunes to the back of the Prog Rock bandwagon Gryphon was able to enjoy a brief moment of comfortable equilibrium, one foot planted firmly in Olde English soil and the other resting lightly on the pulse of the post-Beatles British music scene. Even an establishment broadsheet like The Times would praise the band as being "stately and discreetly turned on", and I couldn't imagine a better, more economical description of their sophomore album.

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