SN-16046 The Missing Piece
Produced by Gentle Giant
Released on 1977
US CHART POSITION #81
Find it at GEMM
SN-16046 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

W hat’s missing here is the creative spark that allowed earlier albums to catch fire. From the opening bars of “Two Weeks In Spain,” which initially sounds to be on the wrong speed, it’s clear that Gentle Giant has tampered with the formula or tapped out their well of inspiration. Thus, The Missing Piece marks an end to the unbroken chain of great albums begun in 1970 with their eponymous debut. The once-dazzling arrangements, built around complex riffs from Ray Shulman and Kerry Minnear, here fall flat for the first time. The band known for sublime album sides knocks off restless and noisy bits, as heard in the contentious “Betcha Thought We Couldn’t Do It,” which seemed ironically to anticipate commercial success with this new approach. Only “I’m Turning Around” harks back to earlier successes, on the first side of music anyway. The second side, oddly, picks up where Interview left off, albeit half an album late. The medieval-sounding “As Old As You’re Young” and darting counterpoint of “For Nobody” in particular reveal a return to form. As it turned out, it would be the last time Gentle Giant scaled these heights, opting instead to follow the first side of this album for the subsequent Giant For A Day. With the Interview tour behind them, perhaps it’s no wonder the band sounds exhausted in the studio. Unlike their next record, The Missing Piece does have redeeming features, but it’s hardly an integral piece of the puzzle. If you’ve purchased all of their earlier records and still feel something’s missing, then I’d pick this up. Otherwise, you’re not missing anything.

SN-16046 back cover
SN-16046 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. TWO WEEKS IN SPAIN    3:00
  2. I'M TURNING AROUND    3:54
  3. BETCHA THOUGHT WE COULDN'T DO IT    2:20
  4. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?    3:33
  5. MOUNTAIN TIME    3:19
  6. AS OLD AS YOU'RE YOUNG    4:19
  7. MEMORIES OF OLD DAYS    7:45
  8. WINNING    4:12
  9. FOR NOBODY    4:00

    35th anniversary edition bonus track
  10. TBA (LIVE)

    Toons by Derek Shulman/Ray Shulman/Kerry Minnear

CREDITS

GARY GREEN --
KERRY MINNEAR --
DEREK SHULMAN --
RAY SHULMAN --
JOHN WEATHERS --
Paul Northfield -- recording engineer
David Zammit -- "sound" advice
Ray and Tanner -- cover concept
Gentle Giant -- photography

return to GENTLE GIANT discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1977 Chrysalis LP/CS CHR-1152 picture sleeve
US 1977 Capitol LP/CS ST-11696 picture sleeve
AUS'L 1977 Chrysalis LP L 36332 inner sleeve
BRA 1977 Chrysalis LP 6307 604  
US   Capitol LP SN-16046  
    Capitol CD 18742  
UK 1993 Road Goes On Forever CD RGFCD1006  
US March 16, 1996 One Way CD 18469  
EEC April 16, 1999 Beat Goes On CD BGO-431 repackaged w. GIANT FOR A DAY
US August 2, 2005 DRT Entertainment CDX RTE 356 35th anniversary edition w. bonus track

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2005 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.