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Gentle Giant - Playing the Cleveland CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

3.83 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was originally a bootleg release, but was "reclaimed" by the band when they gave it an official release on the Glass House label. The title is slightly misleading since it's actually a mashup of two performances - the majority of it is indeed from a Cleveland concert, but the last three tracks are from New York's Academy of Music.

The Cleveland portion of the set by itself - reunited which an absolutely barnstorming version of Mister Class And Quality? that this collection omits - has also more recently seen the light of day (and further tidying-up) in the Unburied Treasure boxed set. It is also by far the real meat of this collection in whatever configuration you obtain it, since the New York tracks are merely renditions of songs you've already heard a few minutes prior in the Cleveland set - it comes across as an ill-advised attempt to try and pad the running time out to 70 minutes when the 55 minutes from Cleveland are satisfying enough as they are.

The material is apparently sourced from a radio broadcast of the concert, so whilst it's free from a lot of the shortcomings of audience tapes, it doesn't quite have the fidelity of a multitrack live recording, or even a soundboard tape for that matter, but if you can look past that what you get here is Gentle Giant in the middle of what was arguably their creative zenith - The Power and the Glory material has now been played enough to be very well-integrated into their setlist, the recording sessions for the classic Free Hand are just on the horizon, and the band are on fine form.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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