Gentle Giant
The Power and the Glory


5.0
classic

Review

by e210013 USER (121 Reviews)
May 23rd, 2017 | 55 replies


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It’s one of the most complex albums of Gentle Giant and it only can be compared with “Acquiring The Taste”. It remains as one of the best prog albums ever.

“The Power And The Glory” is the sixth studio album of Gentle Giant and was released in 1974. The line up on the album is Derek Shulman, Ray Shulman, Gary Green, Kerry Minnear and John Weathers.


“The Power And The Glory” is revered by many as one of the strongest of all Gentle Giant’s releases. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most aggressively challenging and complex progressive albums that Gentle Giant ever released, which of course means that it’s one of the most aggressively challenging and complex albums ever made in the progressive rock music. While some may argue whether “Gentle Giant”, “Octopus”, “In A Glass House”, “Acquiring The Taste”, “Three Friends”, “Free Hand”, or this one, remains the gem that stands out in the Gentle Giant’s catalogue, there’s no doubt that “The Power And the Glory” has certainly its share of some of the most classic Gentle Giant’s songs ever.

“The Power And The Glory” is Gentle Giant’s third conceptual album, this time taking the power and the corruption as the linking theme. The concept was focused on an individual person, who wants to do the good using the political power. He finds himself tended to abuse the power, as all of those who have came before him. In the end, he becomes in what he always fought against, a corrupt person as happened with so many others before. Where I’ve seen it before? It seems that history always tends to repeat itself. I really don’t know why, but it seems to be a fact, unfortunately.

Contrary to popular belief, the title of the album and its many lyrical themes weren’t inspired by the author of Graham Greene’s novel of the same name. By the other hand, many believed it was inspired by Watergate, but the band themselves has always denied that. After all the band is the only one who knows the true motif of the choice of this concept. Anyway, it seems that “The Power And The Glory” is the group’s favourite album and it’s also, perhaps, one of the most difficult and complex Gentle Giant’s albums, despite the usual complexity of almost all their workings.

“Proclamation” opens the album in a stunning way with its bouncing, quirky and very catchy melody. As always there’s also room for complex instrumental parts, and the grandiose chorus has been sped up and down to make it sound out of tune in order to mock its fascist like feel. This was indeed a classic opening for the album. It continues with the same very high standard level. “So Sincere” is, despite the extremely complicated nature of its arrangements and melody, one of Gentle Giant’s catchiest songs. If they ever had some hits, this should have been one of them. It became one of the best known songs from the album, and it’s one of their favourites in concerts, too. “Aspirations” is one of Minnear’s most beautiful vocal performances, where his soft voice floats gracefully upon the laidback and pleasant arrangements. This is the way that a ballad really should be, with no signs of tasteless and sugary sappiness. “Playing The Game” is a lot more challenging musically, and both the rhythms and main melody sound to have a slight Eastern influence into my ears. It’s a really multi-faceted and pure progressive rock song, in the Gentle Giant’s most pure musical vein. “Cogs In Cogs” represents Gentle Giant’s most aggressive and hardest rocking track, but with the complex and unusual riffs that few, or no heavy rock bands, would have the imagination or even the ability to write. “No God’s A Man” have a feel similar to “Playing The Game”, despite being a completely different kind of song. It opens with the main theme being played instrumentally, before going into the verse that has lots of the band’s complex harmonies, and the chorus itself don’t appear until the very end of the song. “The Face” is a fast and folk influenced song with some outstanding violin work and an aggressive guitar solo from Green. It’s a song with an incredible instrumental section, and is probably the most spectacular and creative on the album. “Valedictory” is basically a shorter and slower version of “Proclamation” with a considerably heavier and different arrangement. It’s a more rock version, heavy, dissonant, and a little bit darker than “Proclamation” is. This isn’t surprising, because the lyrics reflect the opposite of the previous opening track.


Conclusion: “The Power And The Glory” is undoubtedly one of the best albums from one of the best bands in the progressive rock universe, and an essential masterpiece in any progressive rock musical collection. Some may say that “Octopus”, “In A Glass House”, “Acquiring The Taste” or “Free Hand” are better than “The Power And The Glory” is. I really don’t know if it’s true, and sincerely, I don’t think that it be really relevant. What I really think is that it’s more a question of personal taste. What is really true and relevant is that “The Power And The Glory” has its share of classic Gentle Giant’s songs, and remains as one of the best progressive rock albums ever made. This is a truly amazing album, not only in its very technically accomplished progressive music, but also in its clever concept. It has numerous emotional and virtuoso musical moments and it remains as a must have for all progressive rock fans. Enjoy it.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my third review, on Sputnik, of a Gentle Giant's album and is another review about a conceptual album. Of their four conceptual albums only lacks to me review "In A Glass House". It will be done in another occasion.

This is an album that grown on me with the time and it's perhaps, in this moment, my second favourite album from them soon after "In A Glass House". Why I like so much of this album? Due to three things. First, its music. It's one of the most challenging and complex prog albums ever made and in terms of complexity in their career, only "Acquiring The Taste" can be compared with it. Second, its concept. As many of we know, the concepts of the band never were simple and clear. This is, perhaps, the most simple, clear and actual. A man that in the beggining decided fought against the injustice and corruption and that in the end he transformed himself in what he fought against, a corrupt person. Third, the cover. The cover expresses perfectly well the message on the album. It represents a playing card, a King, a symbol of power and glory. And as happened with some vinyl releses of "Octopus", the original cover of the vinyl version was diecut, with rounded upper corners. I saw one, once, in my youth, (a friend of mine had one of those versions). But unfortunatelly I don't own one of them.

So, I hope you love the album as I do. And as usual, I'm waiting for your comments.

undertakerpt
May 23rd 2017


1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh yeah!! Can't describe the sheer joy I feel when I see Gentle Giant on the front page of sputnik!! Great review as usual! Long live the prog, POS



This is an awesome record. Those vocals in "no gods a man", that violin/guitar ripping in "the face" and that frigging massive riff in "cogs in cogs". If I could go back in time, i'd go to the 60s and write this album before gentle giant did, and take all the power and the glory for myself xD

DivergentThinking
May 23rd 2017


6226 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My favorite GG record :]

smaugman
May 23rd 2017


5050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not 5 sorry

Ovrot
May 23rd 2017


13304 Comments


good album
proclamation is my favorite gentle giant song

e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ undertakerpt

Thanks, man. Gentle Giant was always one one of my favourite bands, in any genre. The album is really gorgeous. So, I'm not surprised that you wanted release it before them. Have all the power and the glory for your own person. Nice tought.

Long live the prog, indeed.

e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ Soccer

Almost, almost. Once, it was my favourite album too.

Thanks, man.

e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ smaugman

No problem. It seems you aren't one of the hardest fans of the band. For me, it's ok.

e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ Ovrot

Excellent album. Nice to see more love for this album on Sputnik.

Thanks for your comment. I really love "Proclamation". But it seems I've a problem. I love all the album. Ah, Ah, Ah,...

Divaman
May 23rd 2017


4285 Comments


Never listened to this album. I'll have to put it on my ever-expanding list of albums to check out. Nice job again, e.

Digging: Melanie Martinez - K-12

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
May 23rd 2017


11739 Comments


Good review man (:

Digging: BABYMETAL - Metal Galaxy

e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeh, do that Diva. But carefully. This is a bit difficult album to digest. I suggest you to listen to it more than once. As happened with almost all Gentle Giant's albums, it's all a mater of acquiring the taste for their music.

Cheers.

e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Scuro.

This time I was more careful with the repetitions. Ah, Ah, Ah,...

wham49
May 23rd 2017


4813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it is a good prog album for sure, and I like your enthusiasm about it but, it drags in spots I's think, with brings it down some for me

e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Of course I disagree, Wham. I can't see any drags in spots on the album. Anyway, it is another point of view of the album, a different perspective, I think. After all we are talking about music, which isn't a monolith thing. So, we mustn't have the same opinion about albums. Anyway, from what I saw, Gentle Giant isn't properly your preferred cup of tea.

Thanks and cheers, buddy.

wham49
May 23rd 2017


4813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if we all had the same view, this would be pointless, completely respect the viewpoint, it will give me a reason to spin it again, it has been a couple of years and report back

e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, man. Maybe you can change a bit your opinion about it. But what I said to Diva applies on you. Be careful with it. This isn't an easy album to digest. It needs, at least, a couple of listens to be more easily digested.

EvoHavok
May 23rd 2017


7700 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice read! The album jams.

Digging: Opeth - In Cauda Venenum

e210013
May 23rd 2017


2558 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, Evo.

Jethro42
May 23rd 2017


15959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I had this at a 4 for a long time, but I bumped it up to a 4.5 because ''No God's a Man'' and ''The Face'' have grown on me a little bit over time. Both songs are still my least favorites on here. They don't do much for me tbh. ''So Sincere'' is much better, more powerful in Playing The Fool, with its extended drum bash and all. It's a song I enjoy at small doses anyway. Song ''Playing the Game'' has not aged very well for my taste. I still love Derek's vocal lines in the 1st part, and the whole instrumental thing of the 2nd part. It just didn't stand the test of time to me. All the rest is classic stuff. If anything, this is almost a 4/5, just like it was before. I'll have to make a decision there ;)

Good job, mate.



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