What does it sound like?:
If you think of the very top echelon of prog bands that really made it big, you perhaps bring to mind Floyd, Yes, Genesis, ELP, Crimson, Tull and the like. Gentle Giant never quite made it to that level, or anywhere near it to be fair, really they were much more of a Championship rather than Premiership band. That’s not to say they didn’t produce some very good, interesting and complex music though; have a listen to the Steven Wilson remix efforts of a few years back on Octopus and The Power and The Glory, or the Three Piece Suite set, but consistency and that big breakthrough ultimately proved frustratingly elusive. This huge box set comprises no less than thirty cds, pretty much every note the band ever recorded in the studio or on stage, alongside a whole lot of other goodies, but alas the only review material provided is a six track sampler cd, which is not a lot to base an opinion on. It’s fine as far as it goes, all the tracks being taken from the numerous previously unreleased live cds, and the sound quality, although not perhaps up to today’s standards of fidelity, is perfectly acceptable bearing in mind a lot of the source tapes are forty to fifty years old now. The strongest pieces for me are the lengthy Excerpts From Octopus and Just The Same/Proclamation, both of which clock in beyond the ten minute mark and really use that time to develop their musical themes, but all the pieces, which cover the period 1972 – 1980, are good, and I have a particular soft spot for the latest choice included, Memories Of Old Days, recorded at The Roxy in 1980. Based on this limited listening, the full set will be an interesting and rewarding acquisition for those with a big wallet or anyone fortunate enough to discover this in their stocking when Santa calls.
What does it all *mean*?
The full contents are in Colin H’s notice board post from a few months back for those who want to see precisely what’s on offer.
Goes well with…
Afghan Coats, Student Unions back in the day, sitting attentively and listening carefully.
Might suit people who like…
A set like this, rather like the similar one from Wishbone Ash a few years ago, is really aimed at the hardest of the hardcore fans!