SN-16048 Free Hand
Produced by Gentle Giant
Released on May 1975
US CHART POSITION #48
Find it at GEMM
SN-16048 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

W hile better known prog rock bands (ELP, King Crimson, Yes) were visibly running out of steam, Gentle Giant continued to stay on their original course, sharpening their skills and releasing consistently excellent albums quietly and (seemingly) effortlessly. As fans might expect, Free Hand is a further tightening up of the music found on their last album, The Power and The Glory, leaving the concept behind and focusing on bright, medieval-tinged rock replete with the clever twists and tortuous passages that fans had come to expect. Whether you regard the band’s music by now as idiomatic or merely formulaic, they bring the same skills to bear on every song, which prevents a “hit” or representative track from emerging but also provides uniform pleasure from end to end. The largely vocal exercise, “On Reflection,” does stand out; the impassioned “Free Hand” and the languid “The Last Voyage” are impressive ends of the spectrum; even the instrumental “Talybont” has too much personality to be dismissed as a mere medieval interlude. Free Hand remains as concise a case for their talents as any album; Rolling Stone even rated it the band’s best album (although their view of progressive rock came through a distorted lens). Apparently, the band liked the album enough to use it as a template for their next release, Interview.

SN-16048 back cover
SN-16048 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. JUST THE SAME    5:31
  2. ON REFLECTION    5:40
  3. FREE HAND    6:15
  4. TIME TO KILL    5:05
  5. HIS LAST VOYAGE    6:26
  6. TALYBONT    2:41
  7. MOBILE    5:01

    All selections composed by Ray Shulman/Derek Shulman/Kerry Minnear

CREDITS

GARY GREEN --
KERRY MINNEAR --
DEREK SHULMAN --
RAY SHULMAN --
JOHN WEATHERS --
Gary Martin -- engineer
Gentle Giant -- cover design
Richard Evans -- graphics

return to GENTLE GIANT discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1975 Chrysalis LP CHR-1093 picture sleeve
US/CAN May 1975 Capitol LP ST-11428 lyric sleeve
ARG   Chrysalis LP 60005  
AUS'L   Chrysalis LP L35636 inner sleeve
GER 1975 Chrysalis LP 6307 556  
US   Capitol LP SN-16048 wo. lyric sleeve
US March 16, 1996 One Way CD CDL57338  
UK 1998 Beat Goes On CD BGOCD421 digital remaster, repackaged w. INTERVIEW

 

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