Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Gentle Giant loses themselves.
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The opening track, "Two Weeks in Spain", is bad. Really bad. It's a bouncy pop song that sounds totally ludicrous today. "I'm Turning Around", the second track, is a nice FM radio-friendly commercial piece that suggests _Duke_-era Genesis. It lacks the complexity one usually expects from Gentle Giant, though. Then there is the third song on this album."Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It". Whatever made Gentle Giant decide to make an attempt at recording a punk song? As with "Two Weeks in Spain", "Betcha Thought..." today sounds unintentionally funny in its naivety. It doesn't sound a bit like the Clash, the Sex Pistols or any other great punk band; what it sounds like is somebody without a clue trying to be "punk rock singer" and cash in on the latest fad. Gentle Giant really should have stuck with what they did best - progressive rock.The rest of the album varies in quality, but does contain some tracks that are up to par with classic Gentle Giant. Songs like "Who Do You Think You Are", "As Old As You're Young", and "Memories of Old Days" could just as easily have been on _Interview_ or _Free Hand_. Unfortunately, this album is so cluttered with the bad punk attempts and some very commercial songs that it is obvious that Gentle Giant was, during the recording of this album, in the process of losing themselves. Their last two albums would confirm this suspicion greatly."
Good album, some really good songs, not definitive GG
Btbp | Tokyo / New York / Singapore | 11/08/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Most GG fans agree this is not a "real" GG album. It certainly was the most controversial. But it is good, I'd hazard quite good, but then I don't care what anyone says. GG are an acquired taste, like scotch - the first time (albums) they are hard to swallow, but after that...So, hearing this may make that scotch taste like beer, which is not what you want when you want a scotch. If you own any GG you should have "Free Hand", which *I* always felt was their definitive album. Get that first. (At least both albums drove my non-Prog college roommates crazy).There are songs, which, especially if this is your 1st GG album (it wasn't mine) are easy to take (which is why the scotch-drinkers largely dislike this one). At least it got GG on the airwaves, where outside of college radio, I first heard GG with "Two Weeks In Spain" and "I'm Turning Around". I still find "As Old As You're Young" and "Old Days" infectious, it's pretty decent Celt/Folk/Prog rock. And it's hard not to like most of the rest of the album - it gets stronger and more frenetic towards the end.Re the glitch - if it's the one I heard (keys not faded out properly for a split second) I've noticed it before but it never really bothered me, lots of bands have flaws on their recordings. But the reviewer who pointed this out may be referring to something else I couldn't pick up. If anything, I don't like the way the drum sound changes coming out of the phased acapella at the end of "For Nobody".With this album, way back in '77 GG may have unwittingly pioneered the unfortunate trend that many of their Prog master contemporaries did by conforming to the changing musical direction of the times (ELP "Love Beach", anything by Asia, post-Going For The One, Yes, post-Seconds Out Genesis, etc.), so it kinda needs to be taken in context of the (coming) era it which it was produced.I'd give it a healthy 3.5 stars but I don't know how to do half-points."
Good less fussy Giant
Btbp | 06/14/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This album was released (I think) in 1977, and it shows, in the sense that the punk 'revolution' had come along and all the great bands of the art-rock pantheon had suddenly, and rather mysteriously, been labelled dinosaurs. This is GGs attempt to react to this. I think it works and it is certainly a very good place to start a GG collection as the songs are less complex and more straightforward. This album will introduce you to a band whose abilities were extraordinary by anyone's estimate. 'Betcha thought we couldn't do it' amuses me as I think it was meant to amuse the listener. It is GGs attempt at hard rock - they could not bring themselves to be actually punk - after all how could they - they were real musicians! As hard rock I think it is a good track. The rest of the album is excellent too. "Two weeks in Spain" by the way I do not find embarrassing. It is a track with a very British theme - that is all. The traditional British annual blue collar visit to the sun and sea in Spain. Fish and chips all the way and no attempt to understand anything about Spain or the Spanish.What IS poor is the CD reissue, totally lacking in any bass. The original vinyl is much superior, no question. If there is an import version available then you should get it and not this version."