The Power and the Glory
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1975 Album from the Progressive Rock Band that Came after a Two Year Respite. Songs Are Much More Dissonant Than in Past Outings and the Structure of the Music More Closely Resembles Some of Pink Floyd's Outer Fringes.
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Further clarification is in order: One reviewer claims this to be GG's first concept album. That claim belongs to "Three Friends", released two albums previously. Others have compared GG on this release to Pink Floyd and Van Der Graaf Generator. They are nothing like either of those groups, though I can hear a slight similarity between the openings of "Aspirations" (a beautiful, reflective, jazzy piece) and "Plague of Lighthouse-Keepers". But to lump Gentle Giant in with other styles of prog of that period ..... uh-uh. They had a sound unto themselves, a deliriously syncopated, hard rocking blend of medieval madrigal and funk, and seemed to have more fun playing this highly complex hybrid of sound than many of their self-serious contemporaries. If you asked them what music they enjoyed, they would drop names like War, Funkadelic and Rufus ....... you get the idea.
Back to this album: Yes, there is a concept, and it does tell a very political tale of rise to power, ideals, confidence, manipulation, compromise, betrayal and abuse. Interestingly enough, Power and the Glory came out towards the end of the Nixon Watergate scandal .....Read more ›
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.
But talking about "The power and the glory", this concept album is very interesting: it tells the story of un unnamed ruler, who in appearance took care of the important values of a nation,including its culture and historical tradition, but when He began to savour the taste of POWER, He started to forget his previous attention to this patriotic sense, by appreciating only his status-quo!! You don't find here the same taste for the experimentations like into "Acquiring the taste", but naturally it's less boring and more pleasant in comparison to their second work,even though They maintain a certain experimentation with dark mood in the track "Aspiration", which was also an important reference to V.D.G.G. in the album "Pawn Hearts"!!
Most recent customer reviews
I love Steve Wilson's 5.1 remixes of classic 70s prog albums. All the ones I've bought are very cool. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Fusion Head
this is a very enjoyable collaboration of the best surround mixing courtesy of Steve Wilson and some very cool progressive rock. The surround has depth, texture and good taste. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Toronto guy
That the world of rock'n'roll, doesn't hold this piece of work up as one of its canon achievements both boggles my mind and depresses me severely. Read morePublished on June 3 2010 by J. MacDonald
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... Read more
A great offering from the progressive group Gentle Giant!!! 8 Great tracks. Great for prog-rock fans!!! Proclimation and Cogs In Cogs are my faves, but the rest is great too!!! Read morePublished on Dec 30 2003 by Jason P. Pumphrey
This album, their sixth, was the first to represent what I'd call their "middle period" sound. Read morePublished on June 16 2003