Gentle Giant – Three Friends (1972)

Artist Credit
Rick Breach Cover Design
Gentle Giant Composer, Primary Artist, Producer
Gary Green Guitar, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Kerry Minnear Composer, Keyboards, Moog Synthesizer, Percussion, Producer, Vibraphone, Vocals
Malcolm Mortimore Drums, Producer
Martin Rushent Engineer
Derek Shulman Bass, Composer, Guitar, Producer, Vocals
Phil Shulman Composer, Producer, Saxophone, Vocals
Ray Shulman Bass, Composer, Guitar (12 String), Percussion, Producer, Violin, Vocals

Gentle Giant’s third album (and their first self-produced effort, Tony Visconti having run the sessions on the two previous records) was another advance, this time in the direction of a harder rock sound — everything sounds turned up here, especially the guitars, the bass, and the electronic keyboards. Three Friends hardly sacrificed any of the group’s progressive intentions, however, and there are some softer moments here, such as the playful, sprightly first half of “Schooldays”; the harmonies and arrangements still had a distinctly medieval feel, and the melodies, though a little harder to discern here (which made them even more appealing when they did become obvious), were quite engaging. This is supposed to be a concept album, about the relationship between three friends across a lifetime, and the original notes and lyrics have been reprinted, but none of that is necessary in order to enjoy the songs here.

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