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

PLAYING THE FOOL - THE OFFICIAL LIVE

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 420 ratings

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clivemcgee
5 stars As a raving mad Gentle Giant fan in my teens what do I think of this album now. Well at it's best , it's combination of energy and their totally 'unique' (and I truly mean that) playing style makes it an absolute winner for me. However the downside I find, is that this album's artistic value is spoiled by their need to showcase their talents, which I feel, has added an almost circus quality to their performance. Gasp! As they all play recorders together ..while juggling ! Thrill ! As now they all play percussion together ! Marvel ! As their drummer plays a drum solo while hurtling down into a vat of custard ! And all these speciality performances come at some point during their songs. I mean, I know Giant always went off at tangents in their music but I wish they would have stayed with the songs and done their speciality acts as separate events. What also irritates me personally is the use of the medley format. I must confess to never liking this in any form and Giant do this for about half the album. It's kind of Jive Bunny Giant. I say all this because if Giant had played it more straight and ditched the urge to show off, this album in it's entirety would have been the most original and unsurpassable album I'd ever heard. Because what you get extra with Giant live is the replacement of their meticulous album production with, as I said before, a fantastic excitement and energy. Listen to 'Free Hand', 'Just the Same' or the 'Advent of Panurge' and listen to these guys rock, whilst at the same time playing those angular criss crossing patterns. Oh and in case you think I'm being bit disrespectful as s Giant fan, if I was in the audience watching them perform this stuff I too would be 'Oohing and Aahing' ! Because those show off moments are truly breath taking. Clive 5/5/04 [email protected]
| 5/5 |

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