Side one (the first four songs - I guess this dates me as an old vinyl fogey!) is perfect. The band finally brought their live sonic sensibilities to the studio, and the material kicks butt!
There is an urban myth that you can't tap your feet to sophisticated music (re: Prog). This album debunks that completely.
The band keeps all the threads open and engaging - they don't over-play an interesting part like many "prog" bands. They give you just enough to want more, then they veer off down another equally interesting path.
They never drive themselves down a dead-end street on this album. They've hit their stride and are walking on the cloud peaks!
One of my Desert Island Discs!
Derek Shulman once said in an interview that this album lacked some of the energy of their other work. That may be true in the case of some cuts--"Valedictory" strikes me as a particularly unsatisfying re-hash of "Proclimation," but there's plenty of energy in cuts like "Cogs in Cogs" and "Proclamation" and some of the quiter songs, including the aforementioned "Aspirations" and the underrated "No God's a Man," stand up to anything they've done. This may not be my favorite GG album, but along with "Octopus," "Glass House" and "Free Hand" it does form the core of their best work, falling just a notch below those three others.
Apparently this album has been one of the best selling GG albums in America, if not the best selling.
Unfortunately, just like the vinyl release, the title song `Power and the Glory' is not on included on this CD release. I had the song on a compilation record years ago, and it is really good. I'm not sure why it keeps getting left behind. It would have made a lot of sense to include it with the other songs.