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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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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Though it's rounded off with a mashup of Peel the Paint from Three Friends and I Lost My Head - the closing number from the then-current album Interview - which I find to be more interesting than either studio rendition, for the most part Playing the Fool concentrates on Gentle Giant's run of classics from Octopus to Free Hand. The end result is an excellent live set from the Interview tour which really teases out the best the band had to offer, and offers a far superior bookend to their "high prog" phase than the somewhat tepid Interview studio album.

Subsequent studio releases would find them casting about for a new sound - eventually hitting on a prog-New Wave mashup on Civilian which, shall we say, has proved a bit divisive over the years - and from the 1990s onwards various archival releases have offered a range of other live sets from the group for fans' listening enjoyment. For my money, though, Playing the Fool well and truly sets the bar by which all Gentle Giant live releases can be measured - and by that token, it establishes the gold standard for progressive rock live releases in general.

Warthur | 5/5 |


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