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Red Queen to Gryphon Three is the third studio album made by the band Gryphon. This is a really interesting album with much to offer. After the success of the first album "Gryphon" with its traditional medieval folk and acoustic feel, and the second album "Midnight Mushrumps" with its introduction of electric instruments and its music origin from the band itself, this third album moves firmly into the realms of Progressive Rock.

The album was released on Transatlantic Records in the UK in 1974. Red Queen to Gryphon Three is a concept album around the game of chess. The music, which frequently evokes a medieval mood, blends baroque, renaissance and English folk with Progressive Rock. Everything has a Classical Music structure and the whole project fits well into the genre of Progressive Rock music.

Multi-instrumentalist Richard Harvey and fellow Royal College of Music graduate Brian Gulland, a woodwind player, began the group as an all-acoustic ensemble that mixed traditional English folk music with medieval and Renaissance influences. Shortly afterwards they recruited guitarist Graeme Taylor and drummer/percussionist Dave Oberlé. The four musicians had then recorded the self-titled debut album Gryphon. After the success of that album they recorded the second album "Midnight Mushrumps," with the help of new band member Philip Nestor.
The group was very popular as they then recorded this third album and toured to promote it. They also became the supporting act for the Progressive Rock group "Yes" as both acts went to America.
The group appeared in most national newspapers and magazines. They had performed on television and radio.
With this album the instrumentation became more conventional and the use of non-standard instruments was reduced. Fans and critics generally regard "Midnight Mushrumps" the second album, and the all-instrumental "Red Queen to Gryphon Three" as their finest albums.

Red Queen to Gryphon Three is an album that is instrumental throughout. It consists of four lengthy pieces each with a symphonic structure.
The instruments used are Keyboards Recorders, Krumhorns (Richard Harvey) Bassoon, Krumhorn (Brian Gulland) Guitars (Graeme Taylor) Drums, percussion, tympani (David Olberle) Bass guitar (Philip Nestor)

The whole album is fabulous from a Progressive Rock point of view. It has interesting themes and a great concept. The sound and arrangements are very good. It is a great musical project.
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on 10 June 2007
I had never heard of Gryphon but saw them one Saturday on television in the 70's. They looked weird in fantastic costumes almost something from Arabian Nights film. A band with a bassoon player was incredible but the sounds were fantastic. The tracks are quite long and there is little in the way of electronic influences (they only had an electirc bassist after 2 albums). Richard Harvey is a multi instrumentalist who now seems to write music for TV and screen. May not be everyones taste but if you havent heard it and want something a little different try it. You will be surprised at the disctnctive sound.
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VINE VOICEon 28 August 2009
What would it be like to hear this for the first time now? I've no idea;
it's been with me since soon after it first came out. I've no idea why
I bought it; just curiosity, perhaps. I couldn't imagine rock music
with recorders! A friend of a friend warned that Gryphon were an
acquired taste, and he was right: I didn't like it at all at first. But
I can remember the day it clicked: a gloriously sunny day, sitting in
my sister's garden, listening to LPs playing through the window.
Suddenly, it was just so right; this was the perfect music for high
summer (and this was in Scotland!) It quickly became one of my
favourites, and has remained so ever since.

The recorders, krumhorns and bassoon are here in abundance; but what
sets this apart from the previous two Gryphon albums is the prevalence
of synthesizers that add more colour yet somehow don't detract from the
pastoral feel. (Having read of Richard Harvey's brilliance as a
recorder player, I was gobsmacked by his keyboard skills.) Philip
Nestor's crisp bass sound (Rickenbacker, I'd guess) really helps fill
things out. The only hint of the jokiness from the earlier albums is a
brief whoopee-cushion noise in the "krumhorn choir" section of Second
Spasm!

The four long tracks are complex, carefully-composed and arranged (by
various subgroups of members, this is not just The Richard Harvey Band.)
No long free-form jams or rambling solos here (the nearest thing is a
dazzling but fairly brief recorder solo near the start of Checkmate).
Though it's a close-run thing with the bouncy folk-jig-rock of Second
Spasm, my favourite track is Lament, which begins with a quiet
unassuming melody, goes off on various tangents, and then the opening
melody returns in a sunny, triumphant blaze of glory at the end.

So what of this version? (Talking Elephant, 2007, in case this review
ends up attached to other releases.) Well, it's certainly mastered more
loudly than even my Japanese edition (I now have three CDs of Red
Queen.) This makes it harder to compare, but I think this one has the
edge in terms of detail and clarity.

The only drawback is that for me this album really needs sunny English
days to work best, and they seem to be quite rare at the moment!
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on 27 January 2011
simply one of the best combinations of progressive rock and ancient music. I buyed it in 1978 by accident in Spain, my country, I didn't had listened nothing about this band ( I was in Spain and, remember, The web didn't exist )and I still listen it. I'm not a specially fan of this kind of music ( usually I listen the Kinks, Zappa,King Crimson, Van der Graaf...), but i think that is really one of the best musical works of the seventies.
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on 12 February 2016
good cd although length of tracks may be a problem as probable best listened to in one sitting that i have not managed to achieve yet. If you loved GRYPHON album as i do you will like this which is a little less traditional with a bit more rock. I have seen these live and they can play and recreate the album sound without the technological help many artists use today. I presume that because of their musicianship they can earn more as session musicians than by touring as a group. If they ever tour again i will see them again.
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on 26 May 2011
The 5 piece band all play with astounding ability . There are no vocals here . There are suggestions of Waka Jawaka/Grand Wazoo , VDGG , Yes , Caravan , medieval themes , a slice of Soft Machine ( Facelift era ),a bass player that could change your mind about bass players ; intelligent musicians at their best .
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on 31 October 2009
I have always loved this album, a wonderful blend of folk and progressive rock. I particularly love Lament, which inspired me to take my guitar seriously (well done Graham Taylor). The mix of music styles and sheer quality of the musicianship is great and the music is uncomplicated and sometimes quite quirky. I understand the guys have got back together again recently, so I will be keeping an eye out. Despite it's age, I still find fresh and a lot of fun.
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on 9 June 2014
My favourite Gryphon album. Four wonderful and concise tracks. My fave is Second Spasm with the wonderfully bonkers basson (?) break. Pure Gryphon!
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on 6 November 2013
Having always loved the first album, 'Gryphon' I found this to be rather disappointing It's all a question of tast I suppose.
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