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Gentle Giant - Three Friends CD (album) cover

THREE FRIENDS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 1056 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars THREE FRIENDS is the first concept album by GENTLE GIANT and also marked the time in their history where they would begin to replace old members with new. On the drums we now have Malcolm Mortimore taking the spot of Martin Smith. This album also has the honor of becoming the first one to barely squeak into the Billboard top 200 albums in the US and the first where the band self-produced. The North American release originally had the same cover as the debut but the remastered versions and the European releases had the cool blue kids and gull cover.

The concept is based around the theme of three childhood friends and how their lives inevitably separate, lead unsatisfying lives and then finally reunite to collaborate their efforts. One goes into manual labor, one into clerical work and the other becomes an artist. I have to admit that it took me a while to even realize this was a concept album as I am usually more interested in the musical composition than the lyrics.

The vocal harmonies are top notch as always, the melodies are strong but this album starts off a little slow and it seems like it takes half the album to get warmed up before it develops into something truly interesting and then it ends too soon making this my least favorite album of the first seven essentials. That being said, a 2nd tier Gentle Giant is still a phenomenal album that warrants a deserving place on any fan's shelf space. With a theme of this sort it may have actually proven more convincing to make a double album since the events that would encompass the lives of three individuals seem like they would need a lot more time dedicated even if brushed over superficially.

The longer tracks seem to spend a little too much time "breathing" and could either have used some embellishment or some trimming down. An overall great attempt with a very strong side two and if this band didn't have so many masterpieces surrounding this one I would probably be more impressed. However don't let the perfect be the enemy of the very good in this case.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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