Gentle Giant

King Biscuit Flower Hour

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

This concert captures Gentle Giant at the top of their form and the peak of their fame in the United States, coming off of a Top 50 U.S. chart placement the previous year for The Power and the Glory. The song lineup includes "Proclamation" and "So Sincere" from that album, "The Runaway" and "Experience" from In a Glass House, "Funny Ways" from the very first album (which only got a U.S. release as a CD), and "Knots" from Octopus, all performed in pretty intense fashion on stage. This show dates from January 18, 1975 at New York's Academy of Music -- the group's sound surges forth alternately in massive sheets and elegant little percussive flourishes and forays into classical guitar. The seven songs seem paltry next to the lineup on Playing the Fool, but the band plays with more spirit -- actually, manic energy -- two years earlier in their history. Little of this, especially "So Sincere" and the Glass House tracks, was going to make any new converts, although they're played pretty ferociously here, and the whole set seems a lot more interesting and challenging today than a lot of ELP live stuff from this era.

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