Exposé Online banner

Gentle Giant — King Biscuit Flower Hour
(King Biscuit Flower Hour Records 70710-88035-2, 1975/1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1998-07-01

King Biscuit Flower Hour Cover artGentle Giant as a live touring band (1970-1980) were always in a period of transition and refinement. The group would craft a challenging album from the palette of musical ideas by Kerry Minnear and the Shulman Bros., arrange the heck out of them, then record them. When it came to live presentation though, the very same songs would undergo radical surgery by merging, and transforming into a complex piece of modern music unlike any other in rock and roll (save for possibly Zappa). The 35th album in the King Biscuit Flower Hour catalog captures the quintet in a hot bed of change live in early 1975 at the Academy of Music in New York City. Since the group had not yet recorded Free Hand (one of the core albums in their catalog), they can be heard creatively re-working material from Octopus (1972), In a Glass House (1973) and recent album, The Power and the Glory (1973). "So Sincere" is still one of the oddest and most aggressive pieces in the band’s repertoire featuring an intro of quirky cello and violin accompaniment with a Derek Shulman vocal; Gary Green mops up the track with a blistering blues guitar solo over a clavinet line that then transitions into a complete band participative percussion section. Exhaustive liner notes by John Bungey characterize the band near its zenith. Although the live album, Playing the Fool (live in 1976) is a more comprehensive package, this single disc is a welcome addition to peg the strengths of the band as they continued to advance and perfect their live instrumental dexterity unmatched in rock.

Filed under: Archives, Issue 15, 1998 releases, 1975 recordings

Related artist(s): Gentle Giant

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Embrase - Dreamworld – Lately new EM artists in the Netherlands are mushrooming and this is the newest offspring. Most of these newcomers know their predecessors very well, no exception here, but they all stay to close to...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues