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Prog Folk • United Kingdom

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Gryphon biography
Founded in 1973 - Disbanded in 1977 - One-off reunion in 2009 - Reformed in 2015

GRYPHON was founded by Richard HARVEY (recorder, keys) and Brian GULLAND (bassoon, krumhorn) after a stint at the Royal Acadamy of Music in 1973. 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) --

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Midnight MushrumpsMidnight Mushrumps
Talking Elephant 2016
$10.74 (used)
Red Queen to Gryphon ThreeRed Queen to Gryphon Three
Shirty Records 2016
$9.35 (used)
Griffin Records 2000
$55.69 (used)
Midnight MushrumpsMidnight Mushrumps
Imports 2016
$43.00 (used)
Red Queen to Gryphon Three/RaindanceRed Queen to Gryphon Three/Raindance
$28.87 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
LOUIS HAYES GROUP: Variety is the Spice GRYPHON Afro Cuban Jazz LP NM- USD $17.00 Buy It Now
GRYPHON - RED QUEEN TO GRYPHON THREE (New & Sealed) CD Rock Prog Folk USD $10.53 Buy It Now
Red Queen to Gryphon Three 1974 GRYPHON Bell records USD $12.99 Buy It Now
MEL TORME BUDDY RICH Together Again First lp vinyl GF G784 Gryphon VG++ 1978 USD $14.95 Buy It Now
GRYPHON Raindance CD (2010) NEW & SEALED USD $10.54 Buy It Now 5h 40m
GRYPHON Gryphon LP Transatlantic Records ?- TRA 262 USD $19.70 Buy It Now 5h 49m
Gryphon USD $35.73 Buy It Now 7h
GRYPHON Gryphon Vinyl Record LP Transatlantic TRA 262 1973 Original 1st Pressing USD $31.61 Buy It Now 8h 55m
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Red Queen to Gryphon Three 1974 GRYPHON Bell records USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11h 54m
Michel Legrand & Co - Le Jazz Grand LP Gryphon 1979 EX Gerry Mulligan Ron Carter USD $7.95 Buy It Now 14h 16m
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14h 29m
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Crossing the Styles: Transatlantic Anthology Gryphon (CD 2004) Castle/Sanctuary USD $27.88 Buy It Now 19h 13m
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Gryphon "treason" Lp Uk Prog Rock Harvest 1977 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
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Gryphon 'Gryphon' TRA262 Debut Prog Rock Album in Excellent Condition! EX/EX USD $36.89 Buy It Now 1 day
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GRYPHON-"Gryphon",CD,1973,2007 Talking Elephant reissue USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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MEL TORME & BUDDY RICH Gryphon Jazz stereo LP jazz drums/percussion USD $3.07 Buy It Now 1 day
Phil Woods - I Remember - Very nice E+ LP on Gryphon label USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
The Gryphon Trio "Canadian Premieres" cd SEALED Murphy Chan Hatzis Kulesha USD $7.19 Buy It Now 1 day
Gryphon Treason Excellent USD $8.95 [0 bids]
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Gryphon Debut Vinyl LP UK 1st Press 1973 PROG - FOLK Transatlantic N.Mint / EX USD $6.57 [1 bids]
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Midnight Mushrumps Gryphon CD album (CDLP) Japanese PCCY-00345 USD $36.23 Buy It Now 2 days
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Still Sealed Folk/ Americana Jazz LP GRYPHON QUINTET Carol McComb They Laughed USD $9.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Still Sealed Folk/ Americana Jazz LP GRYPHON QUINTET Carol McComb UNDECIDED 1985 USD $9.50 Buy It Now 2 days
Gryphon Midnight Mushrumps vinyl LP album record UK TRA282 TRANSATLANTIC 1974 USD $44.73 Buy It Now 2 days
Centrediscs Firebrand Gryphon Trio Winnipeg Chamber Music Society NEW SEALED USD $7.51 Buy It Now 2 days
Mel LEWIS & Jazz Orch.~ Bob Brookmeyer: Composer, Arranger ~ NM 1980 Gryphon LP USD $4.77 Buy It Now 2 days
PHIL WOODS QUINTET Song For Sisyphus 1978 LP Gryphon Shaw Nuff Summer Afternoon USD $8.97 Buy It Now 2 days
MICHEL LEGRAND "LE JAZZ GRAND" JAPAN LP W/OBI G/F RJ-7470 gryphon productions USD $19.90 Buy It Now 2 days
gryphon self titled orig 1st press Australia 1973 lp prog psych transatlantic USD $58.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Richard Harvey from Gryphon - Fantasia - Library/Production Music CD USD $5.26 [0 bids]
3 days
Richard Harvey from Gryphon & others - Heritage - Library/Production Music CD USD $3.94 [0 bids]
3 days
Richard Harvey / A New Way Of Seeing / Gryphon / 1979 UK 1st press LP / EX++ USD $19.75 Buy It Now 3 days
BOB BROOKMEYER QUARTET "Small Band Live" RARE EXC 1978 GRYPHON 2LP Jack Wilkins USD $25.00 Buy It Now 3 days
JOE BECK & RED MITCHELL Empathy 2X LP Strong VG+ Gryphon 1980 Jazz USD $27.95 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon Trio, O'Callaghan, Broken Hearts & Madmen, Good USD $9.46 Buy It Now 3 days
GRIFFON Red Queen To Gryphon Three JAPAN CD PCCY-00346 1992 USD $45.85 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon: Red Queen to Gryphon Three [Unplayed Copy] USD $19.97 Buy It Now 3 days
[SOUL/JAZZ]~EXC LP~MICHEL LEGRAND~& CO.~Le Jazz Grand~[1979~GRYPHON~Issue] USD $3.88 Buy It Now 3 days
THE GRYPHON QUINTET They All Laughed Mayfield LP NM Carol McComb (Kathy USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3 days
The Bob Brookmeyer Small Band / Gold Disc / Gryphon BT-8086 / JAPAN LP OBI A1770 USD $25.50 Buy It Now 3 days
NEW - Ryan: Fugitive Colours by Gryphon Trio USD $1.75 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon S/T Self Titled (CD, 1992 Canyon International) PCCY-00344 Japan NO OBI USD $17.98 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps [New CD] UK - Import USD $13.30 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps [New CD] UK - Import USD $13.37 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon - Raindance CD (2010) Prog Folk Rock 1974 USD $11.71 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon - Red Queen To Gryphon Three CD (2009) Prog Folk Rock 1974 USD $11.71 Buy It Now 3 days
Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps CD (2007) Prog Folk Rock 1974 USD $11.71 Buy It Now 3 days
Classical(13) - Mix&Match Music CDs U Pick *NO CASE DISC ONLY* USD $2.63 Buy It Now 4 days
Harvi Griffin Other Side vinyl LP EX Gryphon USD $15.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Harvi Griffin The Voice and Harp of... vinyl LP Gryphon EX USD $15.00 Buy It Now 4 days
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Gryphon JAPAN 4 titles Mini LP SHM-CD PROMO BOX SET USD $186.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Gryphon-Midnight Mushrumps-LP 1974 Transatlantic Records TRA 282 Made in UK NM USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Mercury: The King Of Queen Freddie Mercury book UK 1-85685-111-7 SMITH GRYPHON USD $29.63 Buy It Now 5 days
Blackbird Paul McCartney and Wings UK book 1856850102 SMITH GRYPHON 1991 USD $15.09 Buy It Now 5 days
Gryphon " Treason " Harvest/EMI 1C 066-06 355 Prog Rock Vinyl LP 1977 NM/EX USD $32.87 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON Midnight Mushrumps TRA 282 Vinyl Record 1974 LP Vinyl NM/EX USD $32.87 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON "Raindance" TRA 302 Vinyl Record 1975 LP Vinyl NM/EX USD $23.65 Buy It Now 5 days
BOB BROOKMEYER - Small Band ~ GRYPHON 785 {nm} [2 lp's] w/Wilkins, Moore - USD $28.00 Buy It Now 5 days
GRYPHON / SASSAFRAS / GONZALES BARBARELLAS press clipping 1976 8x8cm (31/1/76) USD $5.26 Buy It Now 5 days
Gryphon - Midnight Mushrumps [CD] USD $15.97 Buy It Now 5 days
STEELEYE SPAN / GRYPHON - ALBERT HALL large press clipping 1974 (4/5/74) 30X40cm USD $5.26 Buy It Now 5 days
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Gryphon - Gryphon CD (2016) Prog Folk Rock 1973 USD $13.16 Buy It Now 5 days
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PHIL WOODS I Remember... GRYPHON VG+/NM- USD $4.52 Buy It Now 6 days
Gryphon - Gryphon [New CD] UK - Import USD $13.89 Buy It Now 6 days
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DON SEBESKY Three Works for Jazz Soloists ORIG 1st GRYPHON 2 LP 6.28488 DX NM USD $12.99 Buy It Now 6 days

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GRYPHON discography

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

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

3.33 | 189 ratings
3.69 | 204 ratings
Midnight Mushrumps
4.14 | 566 ratings
Red Queen To Gryphon Three
3.26 | 180 ratings
3.46 | 128 ratings

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

1.76 | 9 ratings
3.06 | 19 ratings
About as Curious as It Can Be
3.43 | 19 ratings
Glastonbury Carol

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

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

3.91 | 4 ratings
The Collection
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection II
4.07 | 14 ratings
Gryphon & Midnight Mushrumps
4.26 | 22 ratings
Red Queen To Gryphon Three & Raindance
3.20 | 7 ratings
Crossing the Styles - The Transatlantic Anthology

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

3.67 | 3 ratings
Spring Song


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Raindance by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.26 | 180 ratings

Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Gryphon becomes a (progressive) rock band.

This is the album where Gryphon morphs from playing progressive medieval music while using both medieval and modern instruments, to a rock band playing progressive rock that also includes medieval instruments. As other reviewers have noted, the album contains a mix of styles, and if nothing else, this presents issues of flow and continuity. Thus, while everything on 'Red Queen to Gryphon Three' was written in the same eclectic progressive-medieval style and flows exceptionally well from track to track (and from section to section within the tracks), on this album the transitions can feel jarring and certain tracks sound very out of place. Saying this, the underlying music is still quite good. The best track here (competing for the best track in their entire catalogue) is the 16-minute "(Ein Klein) Heldenleben". This is the track that provides the most continuity with 'Red Queen', with a very similar compositional style and sound. It is more structured around the rock instruments though (with prominent electric guitar solos, etc) than the medieval instruments, although the latter are still all present and sections of the piece definitely get back into the medieval sound. This is an awesome 5-star piece, and takes up more than a third of the album. The only other two tracks that have a medieval feel are "Le Cambrioleur est dans le Mouchoir" and "Wallbanger" but even these are more 'modern' than medieval, and both are brief. The rest of the tracks are a different story. Indeed, no one versed in the first three albums would probably even recognize the rest as Gryphon - they are very much of various rock genres. "Don't Say Go" is totally Canterbury-flavoured rock, and very catchy, much like Caravan, but I like it. "Down the Dog" and "Ormolu" have a Gentle Giant feel (not at all medieval), while "Fontinental Version" sounds (to me) a bit like the last track on the Quiet Sun album (thus also a bit of a Canterbury flavour, although less so than 'Dont Say Go'). The title track, "Raindance" should have been the last track on the album - it is basically just a mellow outro. Indeed, when I made up the tape of this album, I re-arranged the tunes, with (Ein Klein) Heldenleben first, and Raindance last. I think the album works better in that order. Actually, I would say that the order of the tracks on the original album is one reason why the transitions are jarring for the listener, and perhaps why this album gets some poor reviews. This is easily fixed with a bit of re-arranging. The only track I don't like here is the cover version of the Beatles' "Mother Nature's Son" - it feels too out of place, and there is no better order for me that includes it. Other than that, I think all the music here is good, and Heldenleden is really excellent and worth the price of the album alone. All together, this gets 8.0 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

 Red Queen To Gryphon Three by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.14 | 566 ratings

Red Queen To Gryphon Three
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Walkscore

5 stars Truly Unique and Innovative, and Musical.

This is Gryphon's masterpiece, the one that everyone should have in their collection. Indeed, this site almost needs a new category "progressive medieval" to classify it, or something, it is so unique. The basic medieval-influenced song structures are still there, as are the crumhorns etc, but now as the basis for a truly new sound. Taking a cue from their extended epic "Midnight Mushrumps" from the previous album, but clearly making a conscious decision to keep the pace up and the transitions between sections as seamless as possible, the band fashions four distinct roughly-10-minute tracks, each with an original and memorable main theme and various sub- themes. On this album, they add electric guitars and basses, and a full rock drummer, although the vast majority of the music is still written around acoustic guitar, piano, flutes and the horns. But the complexity is much higher, and the musicality is clear. The most medieval-sounding track is the second ("Second Spasm"), and for me this is the weaker one, although it is still very good with some excellent middle sections (on par with the best on Mushrumps). The first track ("Opening Move") has a very memorable melody, and the crumhorns here really add to the sonic feel. Really musical. The third and fourth tracks move around a lot, and have slower sections. I really like the middle section in the third track, with the droning organ and the slower horn lines ("Lament"). The fourth track ("Checkmate") contains probably the most progressive-rock-sounding music on the album, with prominent electric guitars, keyboards, drums and the like, and while it veers in and out of more medieval sounding themes, it is almost like math rock as it progresses through part of its middle section, but returning to the main theme for the ending. In terms of a rating, this album sits right on the 8.9/9.0 mark for me (on my 10-point scale). I will say 9.0 as there is really nothing like this album, and thus I would say it is essential. Thus, 5 PA stars.

 Midnight Mushrumps by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.69 | 204 ratings

Midnight Mushrumps
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Walkscore

3 stars An original and musical evolution.

Evolving from their debut medieval cover album, Gryphon here offer a new and original vision. While not yet as outstanding as their third album would be, this sees the band take the original impetus for reproducing medieval English music and use it to establish their own voice, stake out their territory. And they do it well. There is not a bad track on this album, and many of the tracks here are on the same, or better, level as the best track on their debt ("Juniper Suite"). The standout track on this album is the long epic title track "Midnight Mushrumps". While some find it slow and fragmented, and in fact this is true, it is nonetheless very musical. It takes its time to get where it needs to go, and sets out a number of very musical melodies, mixing piano, organ, acoustic guitars, and even some great dissonance. A very satisfying experience. I really like how more of the tracks (including a number of sections of the long epic) here move in an out of minor keys, which really sets it apart from their very major-key debut (were the middle ages really always so happy?). And of course, there are the fabulous crumhorns and other English horns. After the title track, my favourite here is "Gulland Rock", a really musical composition with some great slow dark, jazzy and moody sections, as well as dissonance, with lots of changes and sections (including a nice happy roiling medeival theme in one part). Both this song and the title track also have very nice piano parts, which adds much to the otherwise horns and organ sound. The rest of the pieces are all good too, although once again I would have liked the entire album to be instrumental (thus, "the Ploughboy's Dream" is for me the weakest track on this album). So, while I can listen to every song on this album, the quality is still mixed, with the two really excellent tracks balanced out somewhat by the others. I give this 7.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is much better than the debut, and translates to high 3 PA stars.

 Gryphon by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.33 | 189 ratings

Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Like being in a Monty Python movie...

It is fascinating how different musicians eventually come around to produce excellent music. Some start in Jazz, others in heavy rock, etc. Gryphon began playing authentic English medieval music, using instruments that were around in the middle ages. The tracks here are virtually all cover tunes, mostly in major keys, and virtually all played with the same rhythm. Listening to this, you feel like you are in the movie 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', not only because this kind of music permeates that movie (if you can think back to the part where Sir Robin meets up with and then runs away from the Knights Who Say 'Nee', and the music the troubadour is playing alongside Robin "and Sir Robin ran away"... well, that is the kind of music this is). Secondly, because the band here plays all these tunes with a deadpan straight face, trying to adhere to the original versions as much as possible, it does come across as silly, although I also do admire the attempt. Perhaps this provides an important archival service, but it doesn't work very well as an album, unless you really need to bring along some music for that middle-ages-dress-up birthday party your kids were invited to. Gryphon would write excellent original music later on, but not here. There are both vocal and instrumental songs on this album. I myself much prefer the instrumentals, both because I think they are more musical (and because the lyrics are mostly light, silly and even sometimes off- putting), and because the instrumentals come closest to the sound that Gryphon would develop with their subsequent albums. There is really only one standout track on this album: "Juniper Suite". After this, decent tunes include "Tea Wrecks", "Touch and Go", "The Unquiet Grave", "Sir Gavin Grimbold" and "Estampie". This makes up about half of the album. After a number of listens, I can't really listen to the rest. Even the decent tunes are not strong enough to make one want to put this on - only Juniper Suite. On balance I give this 4.7, which translates to 2 PA stars. Nee!

 Gryphon by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.33 | 189 ratings

Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Gryphon was formed in the early seventies, soon after two graduates of Royal Academy of Music, a multiinstrumentalist Richard Harvey and a woodwind player Brian Gulland, met, finding a mutual approach to music. The duo played a few local concerts and were soon joined by a guitarist Graeme Taylor and a drummer and percussionist Dave Oberlé. In March of 1973, the quartet entered the studio to record the first tracks for what would become their self-titled debut album, which was released in June of the same year under the Transatlantic label. The cover art, portraying a mighty, masculine creature, half an eagle, half a lion, Gryphon, was designed by Transatlantic's artist, Dan Pearce.

Since its very first days, Gryphon's aim was to put the original English folk of the middle ages and renaissance into the framework of modern folk music, reminiscent of the sixties folk revival, artists like Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, and even Bob Dylan. The results are absolutely charming. The interplay of a wide plethora of instruments like recorders, flutes, crumhorns, a bassoon, a mandolin, a guitar, a harpsichord, a harmonium, organ, and various percussion instruments gives the album a rich, majestic sound. Furthermore, Gryphon is dripping with cascading, labyrinthine arrangements. Everything, as technical and sophisticated as it could be, is often executed in a tongue-in-cheek manner. All these elements do not give an impression of overabundance. Everything seems to have its own place in the musical layers, while the minimalistic factor makes Gryphon's material sound authentic. The emotion, character, spirit, and atmosphere of this album are dense enough to fire up listener's imagination and put their "alter ego" on a busy street of the 14th century London. With this release, Gryphon created an image of medieval troubadours with incredible instrumental skill.

What undoubtedly shaped Gryphon's sound to a high degree, was its members' classical training. The previously mentioned variety of wind instruments works in favor of the band's unique sound. The instruments are played with great precision and passion. Dave Oberlé's percussion playing is versatile, he finds himself incredibly proficient in rapid rhythmic play on many types of drums at once. While a good most of folk bands at the time usually used two acoustic guitars, Gryphon only needed one - Graeme Taylor's traditional, percussive style covers all guitar parts needed. Harmony vocals, which play a crucial role in the band's sound, range from deep, washy bass, to baritone, to a high, tounge-in-cheek, almost Monty Python-like countertenor.

The album opens with an instrumental piece "Kemp's Jig". Although the title suggests so, this is not a jig in the traditional meaning of the word. Nonetheless, it proficiently sets up the right atmosphere for the rest of the album. "Sir Gavin Grimbold" is the most comedic of the songs, telling a story of an adventurer, who set out on a journey never to be seen again. "Three Jolly Butchers" is quite similar in appeal, showcasing the fantastic harmony vocals of the band's members. "The Unquiet Grave" is less cheerful than the previous tracks, with its meditative, pastoral feel. "Juniper Suite" is in fact not a suite, but only a five minute track with great interaction of various wind instruments and a moody harpsichord. "The Devil and the Farmer's Wife" is another comedic, short-format story song, which closes the album with a quick allusion to Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" on harmonium.

Gryphon are most often associated with their instrumental 1974 release Red Queen to Gryphon Three, which showcased the more classical-oriented, electric folk sound. However, just one year before that, the group had recorded their all-acoustic self-titled debut. It could shortly be described as an incredibly moody take on music of the middle ages and renaissance. The album is an incredibly pleasing journey through medieval England and should be a pleasing experience for folk fans! Highly recommended!

 Raindance by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.26 | 180 ratings

Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After their outstanding third album Red Queen To Gryphon Three, which presented a fresh, bright, and ambitious vision of progressive folk rock, Gryphon enjoyed a relative success. The band was offered to open for Yes during one of their tours. It is at this time that we can observe Gryphon's radical drift away from their folk roots. Philip Nestor and Peter Redding, the bassists left the group and were replaced by Malcolm Bennett, who was also a fluent flautist. In 1975, Gryphon recorded Radiance.

The band's sound on Radiance is dramatically different from their previous releases. Their original distinct sound shaped by English medieval and renaissance folk music is almost entirely absent. These elements are being replaced with a style that would not be out of place on works by Yes or Gentle Giant. However, the newer influences are executed in a rather clumsy and awkward manner, sounding unnatural and dull.

Gryphon's signature bassoon sound is all that is left from the old style. Most of the sound is dominated by keyboards and an electric guitar. The musicianship is very decent. The band shows a strong tendency of building melodic structures on rhythms set by repeating sequences on a diverse range of percussion instruments. Folk-inspired acoustic guitars do appear in places, but play a minor role in the band's new sound. The previously mentioned keyboards range from grand piano to a Minimoog synthesizer, which is definitely something new In Gryphon's music. There are also some ambient passages with various electronic sound effects.

The album consists of nine tracks. Some of the titles are in German in French. "(Ein Klein) Heldenleben" is Gryphon's own 15-minute "mini-epic" and highlights the most essential elements of Radiance. One of the pieces is a cover of The Beatles' "Mother's Nature Son". It's a good song and probably the best track on the album, but feels sort of unambitious for a progressive rock band to play arrangements of popular music. "Down The Dog" is also a very decent with an interesting clavinet sound.

Radiance is nothing short of a big disappointment. The band's original and unique sound presented on previous releases is sacrificed for mediocre, popular-sounding soft rock with just little strains of folk music. It's a real shame, because Gryphon could do much better than that. The album is not bad in its own right, but it is recommended to avoid it, unless you are a fan of Gryphon. 2.5 stars!

 Midnight Mushrumps by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.69 | 204 ratings

Midnight Mushrumps
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Before what arguably was Gryphon's greatest album, "Red Queen To Gryphon Three" came this - "Midnight Mushrumps". Now, I might be a minority, but I think, this record beats Gryphon's following work by a whole country mile. Overall, I think it's a much more solid effort and far more exciting.

Showcasing multiistrumentalist abilities of Royal Academy Of Music graduates, "Midnight Mushrumps" has an incredibly English factor to it. This album is really a definitive prog folk work. An unmistakeable sound, which despite sounding familiar is unrepeatable.

The title track, a side-long epic is probably the highlight of the album with highly-educated folk instrument work. Many new, fresh sounds are to be heard, with familiar motives, which come far from falling into a folk cliche category. "The Ploughboy's Dream" is Gryphon's arrangement of a traditional English tune. This track once again blisses the listener with great, fascinating sounds that are only to be found in this group's catalog. "The Last Flash of Gaberine Taylor" is a very moody instrumental with a really catchy motive. "Gulland Rock" is a song which serves as a romantic part of the album. Again, flashing English-ness here. "Dubbel Dutch" is a humouristic track, which is quite similar to a previous one. "Ethelion" is another great piece with a heavier acoustic rhythm and some more English folk motives, a great closing of the album, which leaves the listener with rather postitive feelings.

Gryphon's second release is an incredibly mature, original effort. The music on here is really able to succesfully fuel listener's imagination and put them in England of the middle ages. This album definitely deserves 5 stars and is an overlooked essential. A must have for progressive folk and rock fans!

 Midnight Mushrumps by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.69 | 204 ratings

Midnight Mushrumps
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The passion to recreate authentic medieval folk music which began on the first album becomes corrupted by the exponentially exploding world of progressive rock on the second album MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS and is a veritable transition between the authentic period style of the eponymous debut release to the fully fledged progressive rock folk behemoth "Red Queen To Gryphon Three" which would emerge a mere few months later. With this second release GRYPHON caught the attention of Steve Howe, who fell for the sprawling title track (which clocks in at 18:58 and took up side one) and offered them the coveted spot of opening for Yes' 1975 tour allowing the band to gain a much larger audience. With this new album came a new full-time bassist with Philip Nestor who undeniably added the proper crossover aspects in the rock / folk hybridization.

MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS is an exponential leap in sophistication for unsuspecting GRYPHON fans. Whereas the debut album was solely a collection of medieval English folk songs performed in a bona fide period style complete with authentic instrumentation, album number two steps up their cross-pollinating process with progressive rock aspects. At this point all of the medieval folk instruments are still on board performing their retrospective duties in creating an authentic achronistic snapshot of the past but with the addition of Philip Nestor's rock oriented bass skills and Richard Harvey's symphonic prog sensibilities on pipe organ, harpsichord and piano, they all conspire to create an impression of time traveling having occurred of a true blue medieval folk band having suddenly popped into a 70s symphonic prog band's rehearsal and suddenly spontaneously bringing a totally new strange hybrid of music into existence. Richard Harvey would also become the main composer of the band leading the sextet deeper into the contemporary world.

The sprawling title track which swallows up half the album is a progressive folk rock masterpiece that never strays from the mood building medieval folk music that the band is famous for but it seriously revs it up with ever changing passages, progressive time signature and tempo changes like there's no tomorrow sounding like they are making up for lost time in catching the prog rock wave of the era. The music is serenely ambitious never sounding forced. For two disparate unrelated genres being mashed together, it all sound quite natural which is quite the major feat if you ask me. Like the debut album, MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS is entirely instrumental with the mere exception being the traditional "The Plough Boys Dream" sounding more like a hangover from the pure folk covers of the debut.

You can feel the energy gestating on MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS and as exciting as the development from the first album is with the marriage with progressive rock and all, it really feels like the band is only beginning. As the album progresses it seems like the tracks get more audacious with their bold time signatures and tempo changes. The band tackle these challenges with grace and the odd juxtaposition of authentic folk instrumentation with progressive rock compositional styles makes this utterly unique in the musical world for there is no comparing this band to Jethro Tull, Comus or other English folk rock bands of the era. GRYPHON sounds like no other and likewise MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS sounds like no other album in their very own discography. Perhaps not as sophisticated and completely satisfying as "Red Queen" but i find this to be an exciting album that in the midst of their gold rush progification process which creates an incomparable yet satisfying ratio of prog rock and medieval folk aspects.

 Red Queen To Gryphon Three by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.14 | 566 ratings

Red Queen To Gryphon Three
Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Gryphon was an English folk rock outfit created by Royal Academy Of Music graduates. Red Queen to Gryphon Three is their third release generally regarded as their best work and beloved by connoisseurs of prog rock and especially folk prog. Red Queeni s a concept telling a "story" of a chess match. This work of Gryphon (unlike their previous record Midnight Mushrumps) is entirely instrumental.

The album consists of four tracks, two for each side. "Opening Move" showcases the band members' outstanding musicianship since the very beggining. Drenched with dreamy synthesizers and loads of traditional folk instruments, this track features henomenal Chopin-influenced piano passages at one point. "Second Spasm" opens with a wonderful, medieval shanty theme, which resolves into a more rock-orientated part dominated by keyboard with a dynamic bass-line. The main theme returns exhibiting many interesting folk instrument sounds. "Lament", like its predecessors, it goes through numerous movements, which have a wide dynamic variation. "Checkmate" is probably the most "experimental" of the pieces.

The pieces give the impression of being well-thought and intricately composed throughout. Although it uses folk instrumentation, the folk influence of Gryphon's two previous works is much lower. Instead, the band's music on Red Queen To Gryphon Three owes a great deal to European art music of the middle ages and renaissance. Furthermmore, the pieces are composed in a similar fashion to classical music with themes, variations on themes, and different segments.

All in all, Red Queen to Gryphon Three belongs in every folk rock fan's collection, but is also a much needed-addition to that of a fan of a clasically-influenced symphonic rock and progressive rock in general. It is a timeless album with a distinct, unique sound that no other band had or managed to recreate. It might not be the most accessible album and not an easy one to get to, but once you do, this should provide a fantastic listening experience. Very highly recommended! A masterpiece of progressive rock music.

 Gryphon by GRYPHON album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.33 | 189 ratings

Gryphon Prog Folk

Review by Replayer

4 stars Gryphon's eponymous debut album is not rock, and is technically regressive rather than progressive. This is due to the fact that the music is played on acoustic instruments and largely consists of traditional English Renaissance/folk songs.

The album finds Gryphon as an acoustic quartet, consisting of Royal College of Music classmates Richard Harvey (recorder, crumhorn, organ, harpsichord, mandolin) and Brian Gulland (crumhorn, bassoon, recorder, vocals), together with Graeme Taylor (acoustic guitar, recorder, vocals) and David Oberle (drums, percussion, vocals). Oberle used an ingenious combination of toms, bongos, gongs, cymbals and even a kettle instead of a standard drum kit.

Despite the band's reputation as medieval-prog band, much of the album's music originates from the Renaissance and Baroque era: Kemp's Jig is a 17th century tune named after Shakesperean actor William Kempe (died 1603), The Three Butchers is a 17th century ballad, Pastime With Good Company is a well-known song composed by a young Henry VIII. Three Jolly Butchers with its references to shooting also seems to be a Renaissance song. Actually, all songs with vocals use modern English.

All songs are rather short, with only The Unquiet Grave surpassing five minutes in length, but this also means that none of the songs overstay their welcome. About half of the songs are instrumentals, interestingly including Pastime With Good Company, which does have lyrics. The songs with vocals range from melancholy (Sir Gavin Grimbold and The Unquiet Grave) to amusingly raunchy. Save for three original instrumentals (two of which are very short), the album is comprised of cover songs.

As such, this debut is more of a showcase of the band's instrumental prowess rather than its compositional abilities. Estampie, in particular, reaches an impressive tempo. Nevertheless, the band's own composition Juniper Suite is very strong and foreshadows Red Queen to Gryphon Three.

Whether you will enjoy this album depends on your appreciation of Medieval/Renaissance/Baroque/acoustic folk music. For my part, I enjoy it very much, leading to a solid four star rating.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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