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Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Debut from early '70s British folk-rockers who veered quickly into Prog


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CD Details

All Artists: Gryphon
Title: Gryphon
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Talking Elephant
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 7/16/2007
Album Type: Original recording remastered, Import
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1


Album Description
Debut from early '70s British folk-rockers who veered quickly into Prog

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CD Reviews

Great Medieval Folk Rock
Brian Greuling | Charlotte, NC | 08/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I don't really know how to describe this album. Its not too much like Gryphon's "Red Queen to Gryphon Three", probably their most popular album, though its somewhat similar to their second release "Midnight Mushrumps." I really like both of those releases, but their is something very unique about this album. No electric instruments, just recorders, crumhorns (which I love), a harpsichord, bassoon, acoustic guitar, and some frenetic drumming by Dave Oberle. Oberle's voice, which would have no place in contemporary music, fits in perfectly here as well.

The music is a bit medieval, a bit renaissance, and a bit early '70s British Folk, like some Fairport or Strawbs (particularly the song "Witchwood"). This is one of my favorite albums of all time and I recommend it to anyone looking for something interesting or unique with an early music flavor."
You had to be there...
David Perry | the road to the next big thing | 01/19/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There was a lot of interest in things Renaissance in the late 60's and early 70's. This was when the Renaissance Pleasure Faire first began in Los Angeles. (at a time when it was actually pretty cool) It was a time of Steeleye Span and Robin Williamson. It was a time of Gryphon. Gryphon began as a straight ahead if somewhat irreverant consort, with the full complement of Crummhorn, Rackett, Recorder, Organ, Guitar and hand percussion.

This is their debut album, and the musicianship is fine throughout. Kemp's jig has never sounded so ballsy.

This band rolled with the punches and created a suite for the RSC (Magic Mushrumps_ a rock/pop transitional album and finally morphed into a prog rock unit.

Each of their incarnations is worth hearing, and if you look for faithful renditions of Renaissance material, check out Richard Harvey's solo albums. Harvey's dad is possibly responsible for the resurgence of the recorder as a musical instrument."
More medieval folk than progressive, still great
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 01/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Most progressive rock fans will look to Red Queen to Gryphon Three as their crowning achievement. It's that point at their career that they most successfully fused the medieval folk elements with progressive. But let's rewind to their 1973 debut. The group consisted of guitarist Graeme Taylor, bassoonist Brian Gulland, recorder player Richard Harvey, and percussionist David Oberle. Notice the lack of bassist Philip Nestor, who'd join the group after, and helped move them to a more progressive direction. OK, so this isn't exactly progressive, it's medieval folk music, heavy on the recorders, bassoons, and crumhorns. Some organ is used too. Many of the songs are covers of centuries old folk songs, including King Henry VIII's "Pastime with Good Company", plus what I really feel is the album's finest song: "The Unquiet Grave", this is probably the finest song that Gryphon had ever done. It's probably one of the finest versions of a traditional English folk song I've ever heard! It's also a rather vocal-dominated album. Many times the vocals work great, but I warn you that "Three Jolly Butchers" (same for "The Devil and the Farmer's Wife") will not appeal to everyone, you'd either find the vocals cheesy or charming. The music is quite different from the likes of Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span simply because of the instrumentation used, and they didn't use a fiddle.

This will not appeal to early music purists. For example, on "Esptampie", you'll hear Brian Gulland slip in "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Chattanooga Choo-Choo", just to show the not so serious side of the group (any early music purist would cringe at that as badly as folk purists did when Bob Dylan went electric during the 1965 Newport Folk Festival). I got a kick off it. And of course, these songs weren't likely to have originally been played on acoustic guitar, but more likely lute. It might not appeal to the prog rock fan more likely to lean to Red Queen to Gryphon Three, mainly because the focus on traditional material, and you don't get extended compositions on the likes of "Opening Move" or "Lament". But regardless if the album is progressive or not, it's a great album still the same, and I can recommend this."