Fireworks

Gentle Giant - 'Three Friends' / 'Octopus' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0d/52/a2/gentle-giant-three-friends-octopus-31-1391301546.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 02, 2014    
 
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Back in 1972, 'Three Friends' and 'Octopus' proved them to be a visionary and highly original ensemble.

Gentle Giant had a way of combining medieval, renaissance and jazz influences with hard rock in a way that made them masters of the progressive genre. But it was their talent for giving their music an icing of deeply thought-provoking lyrics that made them extra special. Nowhere will the listener find these qualities more to the fore than on this excellent sounding, well packaged and fully documented pairing of their third and fourth albums.

The highly poignant theme running through 'Three Friends' is that of a trio of school chums who become separated in adult life. 'Schooldays' recalls as though through a dream, the seemingly endless summer of childhood. A distant and haunting child's voice touches something deep within, whilst an evocative piano solo helps us to glide back and forth across the chasm of years. Three other tracks reveal different aspects of the band's instrumental prowess, especially on guitar and saxophone, as we learn of the individual destinies of the friends. But it is the glorious, valedictory anthem with its baroque accompaniment that provides the album's most sublime moment as we are left to reflect upon identity, change and memory.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Octopus' assembles eight varied pieces (hence 'oct-opus') as our boys muse upon companionship, the workings of the mind, the beauty of nature and the captivating charm of the gifted performer. 'The Advent Of Panurge' (inspired by Rabelais's Pantagruel novels from sixteenth century France) is a truly exhilarating opener that brings together a fine rock melody, joyously escalating organ themes and medieval plainsong. With scarcely time to pause for breath, we are then straight into 'Rancatour Troubador', an enchanting excursion into the Middle Ages and all the magic and excitement of a village fair. With its uplifting keyboard, percussion, violin and trumpet passages, this monumental composition also seems to celebrate the proud tradition of English music as a whole. The delicate acoustic guitar that heralds 'A Dog's Life' somehow echoes, at one and the same time, both the manner of walking and the faithfulness of man's best friend. A string section and a medieval reed organ add to the pleasantly eerie effect. The engaging and strident instrumental, 'The Boys In The Band', tumbles over itself magnificently before evolving into a warm jazz rock piece. In contrast, 'Think Of Me With Kindness' is a heartbreakingly beautiful ballad, rendered all the more so by a gentle piano accompaniment. It is small wonder therefore, that the group's long time devotees view this entire masterpiece as nothing less than a cornerstone of western civilisation.

Gentle Giant went on to release a further trilogy of excellent LPs but thereafter, the trend was towards simplicity as they struggled to adapt to the changing musical climate of the late 1970s. But back in 1972, 'Three Friends' and 'Octopus' proved them to be a visionary and highly original ensemble. Moreover, their experiments with complex musical patterns, counterpoint, madrigals and early instruments opened pathways into new worlds. It was as though we were living during the Renaissance itself.

John Ward

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Latest Message: 2 weeks, 1 day ago
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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