Exposé Online banner

Gentle Giant — Out of the Woods - The BBC Sessions
(Band of Joy BOJCD 018, 1975/1996, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1997-02-01

Out of the Woods - The BBC Sessions Cover artHere is another BBC sessions release on the Band of Joy label, with one unreleased track and several earlier versions of arrangements which became live staples of the band during the group's heyday. "City Hermit" is the only one of three unreleased tracks recovered and included from the band's first session in 1970. It's very much in the same vein as the first album material: heavy organ passages with simple lyrical content. "Way of Life" is a track from the In a Glass House album from 1973 which doesn't hold up well. It is clear the band was having some difficulty in translating some studio material to live performance in this attempt, but it's still quite listenable. Some pretty weird guitar parts from Gary Green in there! An early arrangement of the three-plus song medley from Octopus is revealing in that you can visualize the approach the band (mostly Kerry Minnear, keyboard mastermind/arranger) was utilizing to segue tracks together. Interjected into this entertaining hodgepodge is an engaging acoustic guitar intro for "Boys in the Band" (later dropped in the live version to be replaced by "Acquiring the Taste") and also the recorder trio performing "Yankee Doodle." Most of the remainder of the tracks come from the band's peak creative period: The Power and the Glory and Free Hand, all of which are outstanding slightly alternate versions. Keyboard textures are different than from studio versions too: instrument of choice is different in switching parts from organ to synth, piano to organ etc.; the guitar playing is a bit more aggressive and edgy which was also one of Gary Green's strengths. Sleeve notes are by international fan club president Geir Hasnes, who must be singled out as key researcher/fan of note to try bring this project together. I'd like to shake his hand for perseverance in making it happen, since dealing with the BBC can be such a bureaucratic nightmare especially when trying to appeal to the "tadpole in the ocean" mentality. For the limited audience, it's very rewarding to still be able to appreciate the quirky works of bygone era.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1996 releases, 1975 recordings

Related artist(s): Gentle Giant

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

KBB - Live 2004 – Guitarists may get the lion’s share of attention in fusion and prog, but there have always been leaders on other instruments. For violin, the story probably starts with Jean-Luc Ponty, and we can...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues