Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Album of the Day

Playing the Fool, by Gentle Giant (1977): Speaking of classic double live albums. This one charts Gentle Giant's tour in support of Free Hand, which is sort of the last point before the band jumped the shark. As amazingly complex as the band's tunes are in the studio, they're even more mind boggling on stage. All five guys play multiple instruments and four of them vocalize. They deftly blend a whole host of influences and even when they rework tunes for the live setting, they don't get streamlined (see "On Reflection," now with recorder chorale intro!). Plus, you can trace the band's progress across Europe and North America in the liner notes!

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