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AQUIRING THE TASTE.,
This review is from: I Lost My Head: The Chrysalis Years, 1975-1980 (Audio CD)
If you are a person with a varied musical palate this is a fabulous opportunity to aquire Gentle Giants 5 studio and one double live album that they recorded for Chrysalis between 1975 and 1980. The first album in this set, Free Hand is regarded in Giant circles as one of the best and is a perfect example of their originality and complexity, at times coming across like time traveling Prog Rockin' monks thanks to Royal Collage of music trained Kerry Minnears love of Medieaval music. This and follow up album Interview gives you an idea of what to expect on the previous six albums. You also get a feel for the earlier vibe on the excellent live Playing The Fool,which manages to shine new light through old windows.
The last three albums demonstrate a less complex approach in answer to the onslaught of Punks less is more mantra. Check out the faux punk vocal on Two Weeks In Spain and the self mocking I Bet You Thought We Couldn't Do It. To my ears its all good stuff but to a lot of hardcore Giant fans who wanted the mind blowing complexity it was a step too far. The people who hated all the clever stuff weren't listening anyway, so cue obscurity. You also get the feeling that the band themselves were not comfortable with the more streamlined approach, compromising their own original musical ideals, but i think it holds up really well.
If you can remain objective you will enjoy this collection from one of the most original and still under appreciated rock bands of all time and at 13.00 an absolute bargain.