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on 17 February 2015
I absolutely love Gentle Giant, but this set was a letdown. Many tracks were previously available only as mp3s on a data disc in the "Scraping The Barrel" box set, and are touted here as being available on audio CD for the first time. So, better sound quality, right? Wrong. These tracks have inexplicably been mastered from those mp3s rather than from the source recordings. (The mp3 sourced tracks, according to auCDtect, are CD1 tracks 1-2, 4-5, 9, 11-15; all of CD2; CD3 tracks 1-3, 5-6; CD4 tracks 12-16; CD5 tracks 1-9.) Almost all of the rest can be found on prior commercial or "official bootleg" releases. The best-sounding thing here is the 1978 BBC Sight and Sound concert which has been officially released once on DVD and twice on CD. The 1977 Cleveland performance (previously "The Missing Face") is a pretty decent sounding audience recording. Most of the other live audience recordings here sound mediocre or worse. I got this set at a deep discount - £5.90 including shipping to the U.S. - and I feel like I got my money's worth. If you've just discovered this band and don't already have most of this music, then depending on the price this might be a good purchase for you. I'd have given it 3 stars but for the deplorable decision to master so many tracks from mp3s instead of the source recordings.
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on 15 August 2013
This is a 5 CD box set of Audience recorded bootleg material, studio try-outs, recording session instrumental sessions, rough demos and 'some' soundboard sourced live material.
After some exhaustive playing I can now write a review that will help any potential buyer.
The 1st CD mostly contains audience recordings, a few rough demos from 1975/1976. This disc is one of those you play once, nothing really stands out for me.
CD2 is a great rehearsal SBD from Pinewood 1977. Some Has been available on DVD, some great music.
CD3 has more studio tryouts and another concert with slightly better sound for an audience recording. Not that great.
CD4 is the BBC concert also available previously on DVD. Great show and sound. Not stereo it seems. Then a few rough demos thrown in at the end.
CD5 contains Gentle Giants final concert in audience recording sound and a few demos. This is a great show but has ordinary sound.

The problem I have with this set is the fact Progressive Music is meant to be heard in crisp 'clear' stereo sound to truly enjoy the complex musicianship, vocals and musical movements.
Hearing Gentle Giant like its recorded in a tin can does not give the full listening pleasure. This is why the vocals sound awful, the audience sound does little to help any vocal sound.
The demos are unlistenable and the studio session material is good but at times tedious.
If you are a Gentle Giant fanatic then you may get something out of this. I am a fan and have all their studio albums but these 5 CDs are mostly fragments of the brilliance. Most of it is not something you would put on and sit back to listen to. The package has been put together as a complete collection of what was available from 1975 to 1980 warts and all.

Overall I felt disappointed with this set, not up to the standard I expected.
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on 15 October 2013
Gentle Giant is a band magic. For me it is the best band Prog Rock / Fusion of all time. This 5 CD box behind the delights of the material stored in the drawer all these years (special emphasis on the instrumental versions of old classics from the band) - Memories Of Old Days: A Compendium Of Curios, Bootlegs, Live Tracks, Rehearsals ... strongly recommendable for real you follow the Gentle Giant.
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on 14 November 2013
A better title for this compilation would be "Re-Scraping The Barrel" as, in essence this is all this is. Closer inspection reveals that a large chunk of the material has been lifted from the "Scraping The Barrel" box set. With the exception of the BBC In Concert tracks (previously available on an earlier release and pretty good actually), the rest are lifted from various bootleg recordings, the sound-quality of which is pretty poor to say the least. So, be warned.
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on 1 February 2015
Like other reviewers have said, this is pretty much a very mixed bag with the quality varying from disc to disc. If, like me, you are a Gentle Giant fan then this set doesn't add much to their catalogue apart from the curiousity value and for completists. At the price I bought it for (less than £4) it was worth the purchase price for that alone. For anyone else looking to get into Gentle Giant, then this isn't the way to go even at the bargain price; The Chrysalis Years boxset is probably a safer bet. However, as a musical document this serves its purpose and played once will probably sit on the shelf for ever more.
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on 13 October 2013
Personally I consider GG's earlier period prior to signing with Chrysalis more entertaining musically. This set covers the latter period and whilst Free Hand, Interview and Playing the Fool were all great records, the end wasn't too far away as a musical outfit. Attempting to embrace commercialism seems to go against what the band had professed to on the second album and I stopped listening to them with the arrival of The Missing Piece. Some 25 years later I acquired a bootleg of their final gig and decided to look into the end years of this musically proficient outfit.
Much of this appears on this compilation however, some of the recordings are from bootlegs so the quality is not quite what you might expect. I have heard bootlegs that sound much better than this! Some of the outtakes are interesting and provide insight as to how the music took shape but apart from that I would say unless you are a GG aficionado then you are probably better off listening to the regular releases. Try out the earlier stuff - you may be surprised!
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on 10 July 2014
I thought this was a 5CD box set was the long rumored release of Gentle Giant reminiscing about their favorite hit by the band Chicago, "Old Days", and playing variations on that song transposed for 12 tone serialism: The well-known Schoencheeseberger Days tapes that Gentle Giant recorded in the late '70s. It turns out that those tapes may have been destroyed in a fire, and what's here is all that remains from the same era. Kind of sad. But if you can live with that reality, then the assortment of live material and rehearsals that appears here might provide some solace.
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on 28 November 2013
I had old C90 tapes of the BBC Sight and Sound in Concert programmes from the late 70s. This was one of my favourites and when I lost the tapes I was gutted. This brought back memories of old days without doubt. Great music, underrated band. My 4-year-old daughter loves Two Weeks in Spain.
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on 13 August 2016
Great set of cds great price
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on 17 February 2015
good
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