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Power & Glory
Gentle Giant
Power & Glory
Genre: Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

1975 Album from the Progressive Rock Band that Came after a Two Year Respite. Songs Are Much More Dissonant Than in Past Outings and the Structure of the Music More Closely Resembles Some of Pink Floyd's Outer Fringes.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Gentle Giant
Title: Power & Glory
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: EMI Import
Release Date: 7/27/2004
Album Type: Import
Genre: Rock
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Power & The Glory
UPCs: 077779184927, 077779184941, 5027569000222

Synopsis

Album Details
1975 Album from the Progressive Rock Band that Came after a Two Year Respite. Songs Are Much More Dissonant Than in Past Outings and the Structure of the Music More Closely Resembles Some of Pink Floyd's Outer Fringes.
 

CD Reviews

Things Can Change, Things Can Stay The Same
Solo Goodspeed | Granada Hills, CA United States | 05/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In many ways, a breakthrough for this underappreciated quintet, Gentle Giant seemed poised to take on the mainstream with this, their first release on Capitol Records in 1975. They even enjoyed their first (if not only?) airplay on L.A.'s KMET with the song "Playing the Game". Despite other reviewers' claims of more dissonance than other albums, that is maybe the case on the first two songs, but the rest of this collection is pretty solid, funky, more repetitious and accessible than this exceptionally creative group had been up to this point. For more dissonance, check out the later release "Interview".Further clarification is in order: One reviewer claims this to be GG's first concept album. That claim belongs to "Three Friends", released two albums previously. Others have compared GG on this release to Pink Floyd and Van Der Graaf Generator. They are nothing like either of those groups, though I can hear a slight similarity between the openings of "Aspirations" (a beautiful, reflective, jazzy piece) and "Plague of Lighthouse-Keepers". But to lump Gentle Giant in with other styles of prog of that period ..... uh-uh. They had a sound unto themselves, a deliriously syncopated, hard rocking blend of medieval madrigal and funk, and seemed to have more fun playing this highly complex hybrid of sound than many of their self-serious contemporaries. If you asked them what music they enjoyed, they would drop names like War, Funkadelic and Rufus ....... you get the idea.Back to this album: Yes, there is a concept, and it does tell a very political tale of rise to power, ideals, confidence, manipulation, compromise, betrayal and abuse. Interestingly enough, Power and the Glory came out towards the end of the Nixon Watergate scandal ..... heard in that context, there's a whole other idea of why this album was well-received. Political implications aside, the music is perfectly performed (with just the right amount of dirty edge), cleanly recorded and, as stated before, contains a musical freshness and energy like few others before or since. It's kind of sad that something released nearly 30 years ago can be so much more alive and innovative than current fare ...... but I guess that really depends on what kind of ears one brings to it.Ultimately, if YOUR ears are starved for something classic that sounds new, recorded at a time when notes and musical knowledge mattered, plug this one in, turn it up loud, and prepare for some serious (but fun) jaw-dropping ecstasy."The gentlest music I've 'eard ..... aside from thunderstorms." -the Giant"
Progrock for anti-symphonic avant-rock junkies
A. Temple | Ann Arbor, MI | 05/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Don't worry, you won't find the ramblings of Yes, the overblown melodrama of Genesis, the bombast of ELP here. This is my favorite of the Gentle Giant albums I've heard--it doesn't have the excessively "proggy" sound of _Octopus_, or the "too-clean" feeling of _Free Hand_, and it's got a lot more juicy dissonance than _In A Glass House_. The textures are highly contrapuntal and complex, and incredibly clean, because they're not smoothed over or sludged up by any attempt to sound "symphonic." It opens with "Proclamation", possibly the best song I've heard from GG, which is a complicated, funky song with an 80's-sounding vocal line, and whose middle section contains some of the best stacked dissonant vocal chords this side of Thinking Plague's _In This Life_. "So Sincere" is one of GG's most avant-sounding songs--it's polyrhythmic and incredibly frenetic. "Aspirations" sounds like a jazzed-up English folk song, and provides a beautiful moment of rest after the first two hyperactive tracks, without ever getting "too pretty." "Playing the Game" is very jazz-inflected and reveals the Renaissance influence in its middle section, and it's followed by the amazing "Cogs in Cogs", which includes a mind-blowing Stravinsky-like mobile involving two voices and two instruments playing and singing short ostinatos in four different time signatures at once. "No God's a Man" might be the weakest track, with an annoyingly "70's" sound to the vocals, but it's certainly not bad. "The Face" is more straightforward in structure than most of the album, but it's got an excellent guitar solo by Gary Green and lots of fun time-signature changes. The album closes with the brilliant "Valedictory", a reworking of "Proclamation" in a different tempo and rhythm and with different instrumentation, and when this song crashes into a sputter of rewinding tape just as a third batch of those big dissonant chords are about to come in, you don't feel like speaking for a while afterwards. 4.5 stars."
Pretentious was never this much fun!
Solo Goodspeed | 02/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Those who saw Gentle Giant performing in their heyday were always surprised by how much humour played a role in the live GG experience, rambling jokes in between numbers being par for the course. After their music was branded as pretentious by music critics they even took to touring with a huge neon sign flashing the word "PRETENTIOUS" over their heads. This spirit of playfulness was reflected in most of their music, including Power and the Glory, one of their best albums. It was the first one I ever heard and my initial reaction was "whaaaaaat?", particularly when faced with the frankly insane and utterly brilliant So Sincere. Power and the Glory is not one of their most accessable albums - not that accessable is a term anyone ever applied to Gentle Giant anyway with their nutty time signatures and sometimes raw dissonance counterpointing fragile melodies. But boy does it repay anyone who sticks with it for a couple of listens. What strikes one perhaps the most, compared to much music production nowadays, is the sheer clarity of it. There is no fudging, every instrument is crystal clear and in your face. If this is your introduction to Gentle Giant you might want to purchase Free Hand or Octupus as well and start with one of those since they are a tad easier for the first time listener. But Power and the Glory is one of their best albums and certainly the one that I find myself listening to the most. Just remember that the whole idea behind their music was that it was supposed to be FUN! And you'll have a great time."