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Thread: Gryphon: Red Queen To Gryphon Three

  1. #1
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Gryphon: Red Queen To Gryphon Three

    I am a long-time fan/admirer of Gryphon. I love their first two albums and I like their last two albums. But what I particularly love is Red Queen To Gryphon Three. It's their most well-known, their Zep 4 if you will, but every single time I've ever played this album I've just been enthralled by it. Side two in particular is just outstanding - I simply love it. I don't have any deep, philosophical post to make about the album - I just want to say that I adore it and I'm assuming some of you do too.

    One disc I've never checked out is the BBC sessions. Since I'm in a Gryphon mood as of late, how is that one?
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  2. #2
    Never heard the BBC stuff, but I will agree with you about Red Queen being a wonderful album and their best. It has a heavier rock element that I don't hear in any of their other albums (except Treason, which is a whole different thing), and certainly the proggiest-- The other all seem to be electric folk albums, but this one is different. The main guitar hook on "Second Spasm" always grabs me.

    Didn't Gryphon do some reunion gigs fairly recently?

  3. #3
    Very, very good. Although I'm actually partial to the first two albums. I enjoy the last two as well, but I never really got to grips with them being (or trying to be) a "rock" group. Graeme Taylor, Richard Harvey and Brian Gulland were all stupendous musicians; I even love some of Harvey's music for film and TV series.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  4. #4
    Member FrippWire's Avatar
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    I found a clean used copy of this on vinyl for a decent price. It's in my stack of "stuff to get to". I'm hopeful I'm as fond of it as the OP.

  5. #5
    I like this album and most of Raindance. Overall I'd probably give the edge to Red Queen, though (Ein Klein) Heldenleben is pretty worthy and makes up for some of the duff tracks on Raindance. Don't really like the first two or Treason that much, though I hang on to Treason hoping it will click some day. Red Queen and Raindance are Gryphon's most intersting, imo, and I enjoy them when they get a spin.

    Bill

  6. #6
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    there atre two BBC sessions albums out there... check out ProgArchives to see my reviews if you care...
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  7. #7
    Progstreaming-webmaster Sunhillow's Avatar
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    A masterpiece, this album. Though I can't say that I share any love for the other Gryphon-albums. A one-hit-wonder, for me.

  8. #8
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Agree about this album - the Midnight Mushrumps "suite" on the Midnight Mushrumps album is also a masterpiece.

  9. #9
    I tend to like the first album, Red Queen and Treason the best. Midnight Mushrumps in respect of the title track is brilliant but I think it overshadows everything else on there. Raindance is for me the weakest and most commercial of their releases including as it does a cover of Mother Nature's Son.

  10. #10
    I enjoy most of their output, Red Queen... being my favorite (not surprising, eh?), but every album has something special to offer to the listener.
    And I find it pretty intriguing that the last track off Treason (Major Disaster) has that little "folkish" bit at the very end that reminds you of the first Gryphon album and makes you feel as if the band has come the full circle...
    "The world will soon be right again,
    Innocence and undying love will reign."
    - Transatlantic

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    I enjoy most of their output, Red Queen... being my favorite (not surprising, eh?), but every album has something special to offer to the listener.
    And I find it pretty intriguing that the last track off Treason (Major Disaster) has that little "folkish" bit at the very end that reminds you of the first Gryphon album and makes you feel as if the band has come the full circle...
    I was pleasantly surprised by Treason as it seemed dismissed by Jerry Lucky in his Progressive Rock book. I picked it up about ten years after the other albums and outside the debut I listen to it the most. It's almost as if they were looking towards film and television scores by this time and somehow the concept is part of the listening experience.

  12. #12
    Treason begins with a quiet marching drum beat and, at first, I turned the volume up a bit... oh boy! It was intended (obviously) to sound really-really quiet and in the background... So, all of a sudden the whole band came in with a powerful chord ("WHAMM!") and it scared the living crap out of me... it would leave a dent in the ceiling had I jumped an inch higher...
    True story.
    "The world will soon be right again,
    Innocence and undying love will reign."
    - Transatlantic

  13. #13
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Red Queen is the gem in their catalog. This one still gets a lot of play in this house, a real sublime record.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  14. #14
    Member Septober Energy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bRETT View Post

    Didn't Gryphon do some reunion gigs fairly recently?
    They did. There are a couple clips on YouTube. Really good stuff!

    "Incredibly dismal, pathetic chord sequence..."
    http://discogs.com/seller/septober_energy

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    Treason begins with a quiet marching drum beat and, at first, I turned the volume up a bit... oh boy! It was intended (obviously) to sound really-really quiet and in the background... So, all of a sudden the whole band came in with a powerful chord ("WHAMM!") and it scared the living crap out of me... it would leave a dent in the ceiling had I jumped an inch higher...
    True story.
    If you have the vinyl, the snare drum starets on the run-in groove, so its there whenever the needle lands.

    Trivia: Treason was the first ever production by Mike Thorne, who went on to produce Wire (and much else). David Oberle sings some backups on Wire's Pink Flag, made at roughly the same time.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by bRETT View Post
    If you have the vinyl, the snare drum starets on the run-in groove, so its there whenever the needle lands.
    I had (and still have) the CD, so I was completely in the dark about what to expect

    So all those about to listen to Treason - you've been warned!
    "The world will soon be right again,
    Innocence and undying love will reign."
    - Transatlantic

  17. #17
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrippWire View Post
    I found a clean used copy of this on vinyl for a decent price. It's in my stack of "stuff to get to". I'm hopeful I'm as fond of it as the OP.
    Do let us know when you get around to it! Hopefully this thread shall expedite that process.


    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    there atre two BBC sessions albums out there... check out ProgArchives to see my reviews if you care...
    Ahhh, okay. I was referring to About As Curious As It Can Be . But it seems Glastonbury Carol is the way to go. I may order that one soon.


    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Agree about this album - the Midnight Mushrumps "suite" on the Midnight Mushrumps album is also a masterpiece.
    Yes it is, probably second only to Red Queen. I actually quite like a few of the tracks on side two of MM as well.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk

  18. #18
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    Here, here! Great band, one of my very favourites; their best album.

    What a pinnacle of rock'n'roll - a band playing medieval instruments doing an instrumental concept album about a game of chess. Far out! Yippee!

  19. #19
    Perfect album for driving to (or home) from the Renaissance Fair!

  20. #20
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    I have always really liked this album - had the twofer CD forever. I just found a great copy on vinyl for $10 and I feel like I am listening to this album for the first time. Everything finally sounds "right" - the windchimes, bass guitar, acoustics, bassoons, recorders, analog keys, etc. Getting back into vinyl and buying a quality turntable this summer was the best thing to happen to me in 2020 (but not my bank account - it's a pricey hobby).
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

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  21. #21
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Getting back into vinyl and buying a quality turntable this summer was the best thing to happen to me in 2020 (but not my bank account - it's a pricey hobby).
    Fortunately I at least held onto my original '70s copy of the first album. I've managed to re-acquire nice vinyl copies of Mushrumps, Red Queen, and Raindance in recent years, but I still need Treason.
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  23. #23
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I'm on a mini prog binge. Listening to this album on YT. I've known about it for decades but never heard a note of Gryphon. First impression.......A Masterpiece of prog.

  24. #24
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    They tried to become Yes after touring with them. It didn't work. Red Queen is a good 'un, though.

  25. #25
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I listened Treason a lot few months ago and discovered that it is in fact quite good. Fun album!
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

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