Gentle Giant

Endless Life

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    3
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This 2-CD set pairs recordings from two American concerts in 1975 -- the tour promoting Free Hand. They probably circulated as bootlegs before being officially released by Glasshouse in late 2002. We begin in White Plains, NY on October 3. The set consists of a poorly rendered "Cogs in Cogs" (they never pulled that one right on stage), "Proclamation," "Funny Ways," the usual In a Glass House and Octopus medleys, "On Reflection," "So Sincere" and its drum bash, "Plain Truth" and a truncated violin solo, "Free Hand" and "Just the Same." Sound quality ranks from fair to poor; the show was obviously recorded by a fan in the audience, rather far from the stage. The performance is strong, especially in "On Reflection" and "Free Hand," but nothing here tops the vintage live album Playing the Fool or the excellent official bootleg Interview in Concert from a year later (also released by Glasshouse). Three weeks later (October 28) Gentle Giant performed in Berkley, CA. The set list is exactly the same, minus a few songs to fit both concerts on two discs, the performance equally good, but sound quality takes a dive, going from poor to very poor. Murky sound, crude edits, tape wear and an occasional faulty left channel turn this one into a test of endurance even for the die-hard fan.

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