What are your plans, for the future to come? Can you say who does the writing then? How did you get-who gave the name of the band?
Potentially telling lyric from the kickoff title track on Gentle Giant's 1976 album Interview, arguable the band's last true "beginning to end" prog-rock album before hints of commercialism came into play over their last three releases.All told, Interview is a very enjoyable album in the Gentle Giant cannon, and while no Free Hand, Octopus, or In a Glass House, it contains a good amount of solid songs that stand up well with much of their classic material. Derek Shulman and DRT Entertainment have remastered the album (after the initial mistake on the first pressing was corrected) and it sounds great, with Kerry Minnear's keyboards especially sounding upfront and crisp, and the packaging remains faithful to the original album. Included also is a live version of the title song, recorded on tour in 1976 from Hempstead, New York.
After the aggressive, complex, and heavy title track (which features lethal Hammond organ from Minnear) comes "Give It Back", a laid back and breezy affair with some snappy guitar work from Gary Green. The vocal masterpiece "Design" sees Derek Shulman and the band delivering layers of their trademark accapella vocals fugues', while "Another Show" is a blistering rocker with Green's heavy wah-wah riffs and Minnear's array of keyboards hitting you from all angles. Also listen to Ray Shulman's slippery bass lines on this one, which are a real melodic treat. That gives way to the sumptuous "Empty City", a moody number featuring lovely acoustic guitars, spacey keys, and a great vocal as well as sexy sax work from Derek. The ultra complex powerhouse "Timing" again sees Green and Minnear weaving savage lines, this time with Derek's sax also joining the fray, while John Weather's and Ray Shulman crank out some tricky rhythms. If that wasn't enough, don't blink or you'll miss Ray's searing violin solo about mid-way into the piece, which is then interrupted by a completely scorching Green guitar solo. The majestic intro to "I Lost My Head" eventually gives way to a thunderous mix of hard rock and medieval themes, led by Derek's powerful vocal performance.
It's not always mentioned among the top tier of the Gentle Giant discography, but Interview certainly holds its own. This album is a great glimpse of a band who were for the last time letting their prog-rock nature keep a hold of the music. Things would change for the band a short time later.
2. Give It Back
4. Another Show
5. Empty City
7. I Lost My Head
8. Interview-bonus 1976 live track