ST-11532 Interview
Produced by Gentle Giant
Released on April 1976
US CHART POSITION #137
Find it at GEMM
ST-11532 cover  

A  second Free Hand by design, furnished with another vocal workout, plenty of counterpoint and some added clarity. Although it’s not a concept record per se, interviews are a recurring theme. Snippets of an interview inquiring about the band’s style segue into the songs themselves, so in effect the music speaks for itself. There are subtle differences between Interview and Free Hand; the arrangements are leaner, more muscular, driven largely by the intricate interplay of keyboardist Kerry Minner and Ray Shulman on bass. Although I found the second side of The Missing Piece pleasant, Interview is the last Gentle Giant record to fire on all cylinders. The vocal tapestry woven on “Design,” the way “I Lost My Head” gambols into a great burst of anger, the soft and dreamy soundscape of “Empty City,” these rank right alongside the best songs from their last two albums. In fact, like all good Gentle Giant albums, there isn’t a bad song to be found. The counterpoint may be more exposed, sinews lacking the soft skin and fur of earlier works like Three Friends, but if you revel in the band’s ambitious counterpoint (and you must have to have made it this far) then you won’t mind hearing Kerry, Ray and Gary Green mix it up under a musical microscope. To test yourself, try “Timing.” If you like that bite, buy the whole biscuit. This was the second GG album I owned, and at the time I thought it was heaven. As I bought more from them -- Acquiring The Taste, The Power And The Glory, Octopus, Free Hand -- each record seemed slightly better than Interview, and it slid slowly down the ol’ imaginary list. Even so, this is the last GG album to belong in the company of giants, and if you want to skip ahead to this without buying the albums before it, no harm done.

ST-11532 picture sleeve SN-16047 back cover
ST-11532 picture sleeve SN-16047 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. INTERVIEW    6:54
  2. GIVE IT BACK    5:08
  3. DESIGN    4:59
  4. ANOTHER SHOW    3:29
  5. EMPTY CITY    4:24
  6. TIMING    4:50
  7. I LOST MY HEAD    6:58

    All songs written by Derek Shulman/Ray Shulman/Kerry Minnear

CREDITS

GARY GREEN -- guitars
KERRY MINNEAR -- keyboards
DEREK SHULMAN -- vocals, saxes
RAY SHULMAN -- bass, violin
JOHN WEATHERS -- drums
Phil Sutcliffe -- interviewer
Paul Northfield -- engineer
Geoff Allman for "Spoken Image" -- cover production
Chris Clover -- airbrush

return to GENTLE GIANT discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK April 1976 Chrysalis LP CHR-1115 insert
US April 1976 Capitol LP/CS ST-11532 picture sleeve
US   Capitol LP SN-16047 reissue wo. picture sleeve
    Capitol CD 18732  
US March 16, 1996 One Way CD 18467  

 

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