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


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 420 ratings

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4 stars At one time the only live music available from this innovative band aside from shoddy bootlegs. At least one track from every studio album is presented here with the exception of 1971`s Acquiring the Taste which is my only qualm with this otherwise excellent live album recorded during the 1976 Interview tour.

As such, it is a great introduction to the band for the new listener. Gentle Giant can be heard rocking it out or demonstrating thier medieval capella like vocal stylings on tracks such as On Reflection. Before delving into the truckloads of live material which has become available recently, which varies in sound and performance quality ( every band had their off nights, Gentle Giant were no exception!) Playing the Fool is right up there in your face with solid live interpretations. A great sampling from the Octopus album ( arguably their finest work) is presented in medley form and was a regular part of their live set. Known for reworking their music in the live environment this album demonstrates even further, the unusual music prowess possessed by the individual members of Gentle Giant.

Gentle Giant`s first "official" live album is the perfect starter kit since the high energy performance of the music make the esoteric complexities of Gentle Giant a bit more accessable than the studio work. Those already familiar with the band`s studio work will hear Gentle Giant very alive and at the top of their game. There are additions on the more recent Terrapin Trucking CD release from the same era but are of much more of interest to the hard core Gentle Giant fan so I would stick with the original package which was released both as a single CD or two CD package along with their next studio effort Giant For a Day. If you are still living in the dark ages of vinyl ( like this reviewer is ) there is cool artwork depicting a star constellation map of their tour dates on the gatefold record jacket.

Quitessential Live Gentle Giant.

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |


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