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Thread: Gentle Giant CDs: Which ones are "definitive"?

  1. #1

    Gentle Giant CDs: Which ones are "definitive"?

    OK, so I've been listening to my Gentle Giant CD's the last few days. I only have a few, and I was thinking which issues I should seek out of the others. I have the Columbia CD's of Three Friends and Octopus, my copy of In A Glass House is on Alucard, I think, from circa 2000, and the One Way Records version of Free Hand (yes, the one, apparently, with the alternate mix). So what say ye, in terms of filling in the gaps there?

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    Well, stay away from the 2009 Remasters by Fred Kevorkian. So much compression for GG music. GG it's all about huge dynamics.


    If your In A Glass House is the "Alucard – alu-gg-02" from 2000, it's the best version.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno Sampaio Barbosa View Post
    Well, stay away from the 2009 Remasters by Fred Kevorkian. So much compression for GG music. GG it's all about huge dynamics.
    Why am I not surprised to hear that?
    If your In A Glass House is the "Alucard – alu-gg-02" from 2000, it's the best version.
    Not sure of the index number or whatever you call it, but it's in a reproduction mini-LP cover, complete with the overlap images in the "window".

  4. #4
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I don't know what is the best but I'm kicking myself that I never picked up Gentle Giant Buried Treasure. Prices are insane now. I suspect the quality of these recordings are excellent.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    I don't know what is the best but I'm kicking myself that I never picked up Gentle Giant Buried Treasure. Prices are insane now. I suspect the quality of these recordings are excellent.
    Yueah, I know. I was thinking about that too. Seems a bit over the top, 15 live shows and everything, but at least it gives you the entire original discography in one shot. Oh well. Maybe prices will come down at some point.

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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Whichever ones Steven Wilson remastered are the definitive ones. Duh.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Whichever ones Steven Wilson remastered are the definitive ones. Duh.
    I thought he didn't do remasters, just remixes. I'm interested in the original mixes.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Why am I not surprised to hear that?


    Not sure of the index number or whatever you call it, but it's in a reproduction mini-LP cover, complete with the overlap images in the "window".
    https://www.discogs.com/Gentle-Giant...elease/5064522
    https://www.discogs.com/Gentle-Giant...elease/1222783


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno Sampaio Barbosa View Post
    Well, stay away from the 2009 Remasters by Fred Kevorkian. So much compression for GG music. GG it's all about huge dynamics.
    The 2009's are at least better than the 35th Anniversary DGT discs.

    I can recommend the WG Line "Three Friends." Both the USA Capitol and the Road Goes On Forever "The Power and the Glory" cd's are quite good. You probably already have the best "In A Glass House" disc.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I thought he didn't do remasters, just remixes. I'm interested in the original mixes.
    If you're interested in the original mixes of GG's albums, the 5.1 remixes that Steven Wilson did for them on Blu-Ray (Octopus, The Power and The Glory & the Three Piece Suite comp.) all include flat-transfers of the original master tapes (with the original mixes) of the albums as an extra feature. IMHO, they're the very best sounding versions of Gentle Giant's albums.

  11. #11
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Those on Repertoire Records are really good !
    The Steven Wilson's are very good too but, its matter of taste, I tend to think they are a bit clinical, but if you are a musician you will discover details !

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    I don't know what is the best but I'm kicking myself that I never picked up Gentle Giant Buried Treasure. Prices are insane now. I suspect the quality of these recordings are excellent.
    I’m kicking myself twice. They reprinted a second series and I still missed that. I was fully committed to get one, but they sold quicker than i anticipated. Why they wouldn’t do a third is beyond me, there must be demand out there and probably more than they ever realised. There’s no point making a super-collectibles edition out of it, most fans will never sell, and there’s others like us who would still want to buy. I’m not paying double or more for a copy though.

  13. #13
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    You need The Power And The Glory. Every version I've owned sounds great. Maybe my favorite GG album.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by starless and bible black View Post
    If you're interested in the original mixes of GG's albums, the 5.1 remixes that Steven Wilson did for them on Blu-Ray (Octopus, The Power and The Glory & the Three Piece Suite comp.) all include flat-transfers of the original master tapes (with the original mixes) of the albums as an extra feature. IMHO, they're the very best sounding versions of Gentle Giant's albums.
    Uhm, I need them on CD. I don't have a Blu-Ray player.

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    All of them up to The Missing Piece
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  17. #17
    I’ve in general heard good things about the Alucard remasters or, if you want an earlier “pre-mastered” release, the Terrapin Trucking CDs. As near as I can tell, the Terrapin Trucking CDs of Free Hand and Interview are guaranteed the full, unexpurgated albums; no missing ending tags here. So if you’re looking at upgrading your copy of Free Hand—which I am recommending you do post-haste (stay away from GG on One Way in general but especially FH!)—this would be a good choice.
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    Profondo Giallo Crystal Plumage's Avatar
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    I'm not GG's biggest fan, but I love the sound on my Edge of Twilight 2CD. Vertigo IIRC.
    In all these GG threads over the years I read about Line recorde doing good things. Are all the albums on that label worth a purchase?
    And how about those old Vertigo CDs?
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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I thought he didn't do remasters, just remixes. I'm interested in the original mixes.
    You're right - remixes. And I don't know if his remix of The Power And The Glory is all that superior in sound quality than the Alucard release I've heard, but his remixes do seem to have a greater sense of space.

  20. #20
    (not his real name) no.nine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal Plumage View Post
    I'm not GG's biggest fan, but I love the sound on my Edge of Twilight 2CD. Vertigo IIRC.
    In all these GG threads over the years I read about Line recorde doing good things. Are all the albums on that label worth a purchase?

    The Lines sound nice, but the debut needs to be avoided. They royally screwed up the transition from "Nothing at All" into "Why Not". Here's what happens:

    1) The long final organ chord of "Nothing at All" plays out.
    2) The first organ note of "Why Not" immediately follows. (This is correct.)
    3) There's a 3 second pause. (This is... um..... NOT correct.)
    4) "Why Not" continues on, starting with the 2nd organ note.

    Plus the quick ditties between the songs aren't there.


    Quote Originally Posted by Crystal Plumage View Post
    And how about those old Vertigo CDs?
    The Vertigos sound good too. The debut and Acquiring the Taste sound faithful to the original LPs. Meaning AtT is a little murky, but it sounded that way on vinyl too. It's just the album's character. It has a mysterious air as a result, IMO. The Vertigo CD of Octopus also sounds very good, quite clear and clean as I recall.

    In general, with the exception of the s/t, the Lines are good, as are the Vertigos, the RGOFs and the Terrapin Truckings. The One Ways aren't all bad, although, yes, Free Hand is a disaster. One or two titles, I can't remember which, sounded a bit too thin. With other good choices available, I'd just stay away from One Way.

    Oh, and yes, the Capitol CD for The Power and the Glory is stunningly good.

    I had mixed feelings about the 2009 EMI/Alucards I heard, so I wouldn't recommend them. And I've also heard bad things about the 35th Anniversary DRTs, though I haven't heard them. Questionable mastering choices supposedly. Plus, personally, I detest "bonus tracks for the sake of bonus tracks".
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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no.nine View Post
    The Lines sound nice, but the debut needs to be avoided.
    There is also the tape speed problem at the beginning of the title track of Acquiring the Taste that occurs on both the Line and Vertigo CDs. I don't know if this was fixed on the Repertoire edition.

  22. #22
    (not his real name) no.nine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    There is also the tape speed problem at the beginning of the title track of Acquiring the Taste that occurs on both the Line and Vertigo CDs. I don't know if this was fixed on the Repertoire edition.
    But that fault is on most LP copies to begin with. I *think* original U.K. Vertigo LP pressings are the only ones without this issue. My U.S. Vertigo LP certainly had it. For ages, I thought it was intentional. My understanding is that this error was introduced by an engineer doing a slightly later cut of the album and as far as I know, it became standard from that point on. I haven't kept up with all the different CD reissues, but I don't think the correct version has ever appeared on CD except, somehow, for the Edge of Twilight compilation.
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  23. #23
    Robin Black Original Stereo Mix of SLIPSTREAM LA Sport Arena are far superior than the Wilson new Stereo mixes. If you have the DVD from 2005 you can do a comparison. Do it with headphones.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I’ve in general heard good things about the Alucard remasters or, if you want an earlier “pre-mastered” release, the Terrapin Trucking CDs. As near as I can tell, the Terrapin Trucking CDs of Free Hand and Interview are guaranteed the full, unexpurgated albums; no missing ending tags here. So if you’re looking at upgrading your copy of Free Hand—which I am recommending you do post-haste (stay away from GG on One Way in general but especially FH!)—this would be a good choice.
    Well, I already own Free Hand on One Way, bought it at Wax Stax, I think, so your caveat comes about 27 years too late. I actually own quite a few One Way reissues, as back then, they were the only game in town for me, with no import stores near me, the LP's only occasionally bobbing to the surface at the record stores, and in any event me not having the money to buy many imports or pristine quality vinyl. So I've got stuff from Hawkwind, Soft Machine, Zebra, and i forget who else, all on One Way Records. Yeah, I know everyone says they were really shoddy, by like I said, at the time, 20 or more dollars for either the import CD or a better than average LP wasn't in my budget, but a 10 dollar CD was.

  25. #25
    anybody know if SW eventually plans on redoing Free Hand? (or interview for that matter)?
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