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

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Oliver Wakeman Band - Coming to Town: Live in Katowice – Yes fans are probably aware that Rick Wakeman’s son Oliver has been playing keyboards on their recent tour, and for those curious to see what his own band looks and sounds like here’s your chance....  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues