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Gentle Giant - Scraping The Barrel CD (album) cover

SCRAPING THE BARREL

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.22 | 32 ratings

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Alucard
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Scraping the Barrel, 12 hours of music, compiled, cleaned and edited by dedicated Gentle Giant fan & friend Dan Bornemark between 1998 and 2004. As the title indicates, this is it, the best of the rest. The box-set contains 3 CD's and a data disc, a good solution even so my personal choice which tracks to put on the data disc (128 K/bit for the majority) would have been slightly different. Both, the 3 CD's and the data disc follow in chronological manner the Gentle Giant history with some miscellaneous tracks at the end (Kerry Minear, Gary Green Ray Shulman, John Weathers solo tracks & Shout (R.Shulman, Gary Green) and a sample archive (320 K/bit) of classic tracks. First remark, the high quality of the material, throughout their history Gentle Giant has released a great number of high quality compositions. With this boxset (and his predecessor 2CD set Under Construction ) you get the occasion to follow the evolution of the tracks. While Under Construction concentrated on unreleased and live tracks, STB presents the demo and composition sessions. My favourite tracks are on the data disc and at 128 K/bit only I would have preferred to have them in better quality on the CD part, seen the excellent source material, but that's a matter of taste. On the data disc, following the original record sessions you have long and elaborated composing / impro sessions which give an inside of the genesis of the tracks featuring strongly the compositional capacities of Kerry Minear. Some of the sessions are quite long for example 35 minutes for I lost my Head from Interview and as a non GG fan this might be boring, but then it's great music in progress. To hear Kerry Minear pass from renaissance madrigal moods to French impressionist music is awesome. Some of the early tracks are breathtaking like the vocal mixes of Three Friends and Pantagruel's Nativity, another highlight two guitar rehearsals for Memories Of Old Days by Gary Green. The overall sound quality is excellent as most of the material comes from the original recording sessions. There are a couple of live recordings among them two entire concert recordings, the first one from Torino in 1973 (medium sound board quality) and a public press rehearsal in the Pinewood studios from 1977 (good quality with some dropouts), containing hilarious comments from Derek in front of a half asleep bunch of journalists. The non Gentle Giant tracks present in majority Kerry Minear's works from 1964 to 1990. Dan Bornemark liked so much two of the demos that he initiated a 2000 minor Gentle Giant recording reunion with John Weathers, Gary Green and Phil Shulman furnishing the lyrics to one track. Gary Green's outtakes are fewer but among my personal favourites, among them two beautiful sketches he wrote after the death of his brother. A couple of tracks come from the short lived band Shout that Ray and Gary created in the beginning of he 80's in pure new wave style. On the visual part of the data disc some funny clips featuring John Weathers, a couple of promo films with John W. as The Giant in a miniature village, press kits photos and promo material. A well made 40 page booklet with interesting liner notes and pics comes along with the box-set. All in all, a must have for Gentle Giant fans, the others should try out the Gentle Giant discography and come back later eventually.

Alucard | 4/5 |

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