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Gentle Giant - Interview CD (album) cover

INTERVIEW

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.75 | 730 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Arguably the purest of all progressive rock groups, Gentle Giant may not have reaped the same commercial rewards as their brethren Yes, ELP and Pink Floyd, but god-damn, they sure made some fine prog music. Essentially, Gentle Giant's album career, which spanned just over a decade, can be split into three distinct phases. Their first four albums - which featured all three Shulman brothers - exhibited a complex sound embellished with an acoustic timbre and medieval hues. Then older brother Ray left the fold, his place going unfilled, and Gentle Giant toughened up, producing three outstanding rock-orientated albums between 1973 and 1975 in the shape of 'In A Glass House', 'The Power & The Glory' and 'Free Hand', undoubtedly their peak phase of productivity. Finally, however, as punk broke and the post-1976 musical landscape began to radically shift, the group adopted a slightly more commercial sound, producing this underrated little jewel and it's equally undervalued follow-ups 'The Missing Piece', 'Giant For A Day' and 'Civillian'. Often cast as the weak links in Gentle Giant's discography, the final four albums plus the excellent live album 'Playing The Fool' can now be acquired together as one package. Titled 'I Lost My Head', this retrospective of the group's latter years proves a truly ear-opening experience, showing that despite the external pressures and lessening progressive overtones, Gentle Giant could still create awe-inspiring music, both as quirk-pop merchants and as serious prog-rock titans. The pick of the Punch - and the album which features the track 'I Lost My Head' - 'Interview' is in fact a concept piece reflecting the individual members utter boredom with the whole media circus surrounding rock groups, the tracks separated by several 'real-life' interview segments. It may lack the youthful fire and vigour of their more expansive works, yet, conversely, there is something immensely satisfying about hearing a super-talented group such as Gentle Giant turning their attention to less esoteric material. Highlights include the aforementioned 'I Lost My Head', which grows carefully from dinky little piano jingles into a full-powered rock thumper, and the equally catchy 'Give It Back', which fires off a series of multi-layered melodies in the group's usual impressive style. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013
stefro | 4/5 |

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