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Gentle Giant were one of the most interesting and innovative bands to come out of the
prog-rock era.
They aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but once I acquired the taste I couldn’t get enough.
With five of the songs from the Three Friends album being over five minutes or longer this is definitely an album for the serious music lover.
It changes from rock to jazz to folk to soul to classical and some different shades in between, keeping me the listener, interested the whole time.
From the day I listened to my first copy of this album I was hooked, always feeling a certain delight whenever I heard it.

THREE FRIENDS – THE ALBUM

Three Friends (1972) is a concept album by the British progressive rock band Gentle Giant. The group’s third album was also their first American release to chart, peaking at #197 on the Billboard 200. It marked a change in drummers from Martin Smith to Malcolm Mortimore.

It is Gentle Giant’s first concept album, dealing with three childhood friends whose lives take them very different places. It was also their first self-produced album. The two former albums were produced by David Bowie and T.Rex producer Tony Visconti.

Gary Green’s guitar solo on “Peel the Paint” uses an echoplex belonging to Mike Ratledge that Green’s brother Jeff, a roadie with Ratledge’s band Soft Machine, had borrowed.

All songs written by Shulman, Shulman, Shulman, Minnear

1. “Prologue” – 6:13
2. “Schooldays” – 7:37
3. “Working All Day” – 5:12
4. “Peel the Paint” – 7:31
5. “Mister Class and Quality?” – 5:51
6. “Three Friends” – 3:04

Personnel

* Kerry Minnear – Keyboards, Vibraphone, Percussion, Moog, Vocals
* Ray Shulman – Basses, Violin, 12 String Guitar, Vocals
* Gary Green – Guitars, Percussion
* Derek Shulman – Vocals
* Malcolm Mortimore – Drums
* Philip Shulman – Saxophones and Vocals
* Boy’s voice on “Schooldays” – Calvin Shulman

* Engineer – Martin Rushent
* Sleeve Design – Rick Breach
* Publisher – Excellency Music

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GENTLE GIANT – THE BAND

Gentle Giant was a British progressive rock band active between 1970 and 1980. The band was notable for the particular complexity and sophistication of its musical material and for the diverse musical skills of its members (all of whom, bar the first two drummers, were accomplished multi-instrumentalists).

The band’s onetime stated aim was to “expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of becoming very unpopular,” although this stance was to alter significantly with time. While never achieving the commercial heights of progressive rock contemporaries such as Genesis, Yes or Emerson Lake & Palmer, Gentle Giant was considered to be one of the most experimental bands in the genre (as well as one of the most experimental rock bands of the 1970s).

Gentle Giant’s music was considered complex even by progressive rock standards, drawing on a broad swathe of music including folk, soul, jazz and classical music. Unlike many of their progressive rock contemporaries, their “classical” influences ranged beyond the Romantic and incorporated mediaeval, baroque, and modernist chamber music elements. The band also had a taste for broad themes for their lyrics, drawing inspiration not only from personal events but from philosophy and the works of both François Rabelais and R.D. Laing.

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(thanks once more to Wikipedia for the information supplied)