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4.5 out of 5 stars25
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2008
In a Glasshouse is one of my favourite albums of all time and i am sure that many other reviewers will give a good idea of the musical content. However K. Demitriou highlights a problem for anyone wanting to invest in GG cd's. There have been so many remasters released by different labels some exellent and others not so. It is not easy to know which versions to go for. I have spent a small fortune trying to get the best versions as Giant are my favourite band of all time. I hope i can help any bewildered fans or newcomers with the following recommendations. For the first four albums i would opt for the versions released by the Repetoire label, the sound quality is full lively and dynamic and the original cover art is exactly reproduced with gatefold sleeves. All are available on this site.
After this it gets a little more difficult. I have not heard any of the 35th anivesary releases but for me I want the original artwork wherever possible. I have the same version of In a Glasshouse that K. demitriou mentions in his review here, mainly because it is the only version other than the 35th aniversary release that I have been able to find. Compared to the Repetoire releases i agree that the sound quality is not as good but i would not go as far as him and describe it as poor and i would definately get this if you like the album. For The Power and the Glory I would recomend the Capitol import version that is available from EliteDigital one of the Amazon sellers. You can find it in the GG section on this site. It has the original artwork reproduced in the standard cd format and has a good punchy sound however it is 20 quid for a new copy. For Free Hand and Interview I have the BGO doublepack version but I am hoping to replace this as the sound quality is the weakest of the GG cds that I own. The latter GG albums I dont have although i will get the missing piece as there are some good tracks but its far from their best.
Finally love and respects to GG and all the fans. Keep flying the flag!
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on 5 April 2010
I bought this directly from i think the keyboard player Kerry Minnear some years ago and thought it desperately needs a review.
This is to me, the finest of Gentle Giant's albums. I got into them via a guy called Brian who claimed he knew them at school (maybe Portsmouth, where some of them came from). He financed a demo album for my band 'Ayup' in 1973, but dissapeared a few years later. Having borrowed a few of their earlier albums, I thought yes, this band is different to every other 'Proggy' band. A mix of King Crimson and Yes perhaps best describes them with maybe a touch of Tull (For a modern interpretation try Spocks Beard/Neal Morse).
Now for the album : An extension of their previous 'Octupus' with more folky contributions. The first track (always good to break the ice at parties!!) is pretty normal GG (for them). Track 2 is the awkward one 'An Inmates Lullaby' one of the weirdest from GG (guaranteed NOT to break the ice at parties!!!) 'Way of Life' is a great rockier track with unusual vocal line, braking into a chamber piece and returning back to the previous section, ending with a great repeated line with keyboards fading away before the glorious 'Experience' with very complex rhythms. A quieter almost hymn like vocal follows until the typical GG soft/loud riff starts, briefly returning to the hymn then ending a complex fadeout. Reunion - a folky/chamber piece follows before the great title track with it's folky start then great sax and change of key building up to the killer heavy riff from Gary's guitar at 4:14, Derek Shulman at his vocal best with probably Kerry on the quieter bits, some unusual slide from Gary Green, until Derek returns for the repeated vocal fading out with that great riff. But beware it's party time again with a short resume of each track. My version also has a couple of live european bonus tracks from 'Glasshouse'. This is highly recommended with a unique CD cover ( as near as poss to the LP version)
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1973's In A Glass House was the fifth studio album that the British Progressive Rock band Gentle Giant released overall and the second of their albums to feature John Weathers on the drums. As usual Gentle Giant fail to disappoint; this is a brilliant album hands down, just like every other Gentle Giant album before it, and even a few after it too.

Gentle Giant were consistent as well as talented, creative and eclectic. If you like one of their songs you won't hear another that sounds like it, but you will likely love most of the assorted songs they made. As a rule, the band cover a whole lot of musical ground in each song, more on each album and a great deal across their whole career. You never know where a song will go and how many moods and tones it will cover, but you can be fairly certain that it will be entertaining.

Compared to the album which preceded it In A Glass House is different different, a bit more out there, a little more progressive but still innately Gentle Giant. The level of creativity and musicianship on the album is utterly exceptional. Gary Green is in fine form in particular here delivering a great performance and as always Kerry hits it out of the park with ace keyboard and moog throughout. In fact, each member is a simply superb musician and usually all deserve immense praise.

One thing that makes In A Glass House stand out in the catalogue is that the album arguably has a much simpler approach to vocals than other Gentle Giant records, but then it also has as complicated if not more complicated music. Luckily that complex music is held tightly together by John Weathers' funky and brilliant drumming, which melts away any apparent chaos or pretensions with a flick of the drumstick, leaving the listener receptive and probably even wanting more.

All six of the albums tracks are worth exploring, but highlights include the rocking title track 'In A Glass House' and the jaunty 'Experience.'

For the most part this is a pretty difficult album to criticise if you are into this sort of music in the first place. Admittedly, the DRT remaster lacks the punch and energy of the Vertigo editions of Octopus or Acquiring The Taste but after about twenty seconds you'll be lost in the performance anyway. It may not be bombastic but at least it is clear, if a little quiet.

Overall, this is a very good album from a very good band. If you like prog you should at least try out the band, and if you like the band then this album is pretty essential listening. I highly recommend it, along with most of the band's entire discography.
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on 24 June 2014
Argument will always prevail over which GG album holds the "best one" crown, even i can't fit a rizla between this one, their first, and Three Friends -- all of high merit, This is their final release on the Vertiga label in the UK, before they switched to Chrysalis and went badly downhill, and brings together all the GG elements we know and love in a very polished package. Innovators, sideways steppers, never following popular commercial trends, this was how they made their name, and sadly didn't get the audience they deserved at the time. Nowadays people aren't so blinkered and listen to this stuff for its true musical value, not how high it got in the charts.

Most trascks have that pre-rehearsed feel to them, only a few on the second side (of the original lp format) have that made-up-on-the-spot-in-the-studio ring about them, and GG often have to resort to spontaneous creations, their original stuff was slow in coming. Master instrumentalists with a choice of excellent vocalists, and not limiting themselves to their trademark bizare prog either, they often dip into madrigal folk or spiky jazz.
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on 16 February 2001
This is absolutely amazing what a great album. For all you die-hard Gentlegiant fans, this is an absolute must have. Get the VINYL edition, because this is one of the few CDs from any artist that sounds better by its original reproduction (ie- LP). Enjoy!
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on 18 June 2014
If you're a GG fan then this gives everything you'd expect from a GG album. Top class musicianship, excellent clear vocals, clever lyrics and intriguingly complex yet surprisingly accessible tunes. It's no wonder they were one of the very few bands that truly deserved the description progressive. If you're new to the music of GG, then don't worry you're not alone they are crimminally underrated, but while then this isn't a bad place to start it's possibly not the best place, try one of the later more commercial albums like the very excellent 'Civilian'.
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on 15 March 2016
What can you say about this album except that it is an absolute master piece! From the smashing glass at the beginning leading into one of the best tracks the band ever wrote, "The Runaway", on to the intriguing "An Inmate's Lullaby", then the awesome "Way of Life", the stunning "Experience", the beautiful "A Reunion", and finishing with the outstanding "In a Glass House". An incredible album from a band at the height of their powers. Get it now!
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on 14 September 2013
If you like quirky prog then this is worth investing in. Of the early Giant albums this delivers a much heavier sound than on its predecessors. Of the 6 tracks, 4 weigh in at over 7 minutes with 'The Runaway' and 'Experience' ranking highly for me, although, to be honest, the standard is excellent throughout. 'An Inmate's Lullaby' is just a bit too weird (even for me), but that's the beauty of Giant - they are impossible to pigeonhole.
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on 22 May 2016
In a glass house and the power and glory are masterpieces of brothers Shuman. This is real music with the magic of the Giants. This is one of my first passions of prog rock as well as Genesis with nursery crime or foxtrot. 60's and 70's was the time when only the strongs survive in terms of music. Sometimes i have to return to the past.
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on 20 March 2015
I never bought this in the 1970s owing to the NME book of rock saying that even the group considered it to be unsatisfactory. However, it is much better than I thought it might be. It has its moments, none of which are at all bad. The first track is a classic in my view!
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