Essential: A masterpiece of progressive rock music.
Admittedly, many prog rock fans with otherwise excellent taste in music find Gentle Giant rather hard to get into. Their music certainly is challenging, and very varied in flavour. At times it evokes Medieval music, at other times there are a cappella vocals delivered in a quasi-“round” format, in company with passages that veer from moments of delicate beauty to “rocking out.” All of these musical paths, and more, are often explored within the space of a single song. (Of course, that could be part of a generic description of progressive rock.) Gentle Giant have an inimitable style that is difficult to categorize; they must be heard to be understood. Perhaps only those with the most open musical minds will find them at all accessible. Certainly, though major players of the 70s prog scene, “Giant” never fully rose above their cult status to approach the popularity and critical acclaim of contemporaries like Genesis, Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull. (Though Gentle Giant don’t really sound like any of those heavyweights, their music bears a somewhat closer resemblance to that of ‘Tull, than any of the others mentioned.)
This quintessential collector’s edition includes two of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ finest albums from the early Sixties in their entireties: Mojo Hand, and the equally splendid Blues in My Bottle. The former was originally released in 1962 by Fire Records, while the latter was issued on the Prestige label in 1961, and contained a combination of autobiographical originals and blues standards. These two LPs are widely regarded as landmarks of the early-’60s blues revival. Both solidblues masterpieces have been remastered and packaged together in this very special release, which also includes 2 bonus tracks from the same period.