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Gentle Giant - Playing The Fool - The Official Live CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 422 ratings

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4 stars This was recorded on the 1976 tour for Interview. The group was still a great live act but their studio work was just starting to lose steam. The only track from that album is "I Lost My Head". I would have preferred the title track. The standard "Sweet Georgia Brown" is performed. The most famous version of this song is probably the one used as the theme song for the Harlem Globetrotters. Supposedly they played it because there was some kind of equipment failure at the time.

The "Excerpts From Octopus" part is great, even better than the studio version. This features some of the best moments from what I've always considered to be an inconsistent album. Within this part is featured the title track to Aqcuiring The Taste, done on acoustic guitars instead of Moog synthesizer. The audience applause sort of gives this part away. I should mention drummer John Weathers who does a great job on the material the group recorded before he joined.

GG were an amazing live act in the way the members would switch between different instruments. On this set keyboardist Kerry Minnear seems to not play much synth but instead uses a lot more clavinet than on the studio albums. "Just The Same" is better than the album version. "Proclamation" incorporates "Valedictory" into it. "Funny Ways" is longer and superior to the studio version. "So Sincere" is also longer and better than the original. Almost half of this song is just drums and percussion. "Peel The Paint" only features the last half of the song.

This is a great album and sounds decent for a live recording from this time. It's too bad they started losing the magic in the studio albums after this. I've heard some live GG from 1974 but I wonder what the group sounded like live when brother Phil was still a member. In some ways this could make a good introduction for a GG newbie. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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