George Starostin's Reviews



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Mattias Lundberg <> (30.01.2002)

It's amazing to see what impact the established prog bands had, not only on transatlantic prog, but also on bands like Gryphon. These Titans seemed to overshadow everything, and it's a pity really. Gryphon toured with YES sometime around 1975. And I could probably have drawn this conclusion without knowing that fact (I definitely remember thinking 'this sounds very Yesish' when I first heard the last two Gryphon albums), because on Treason they finally left their own typical style and just decided to sound like an inferno of Howe guitars (it's a brilliant inferno of Howe guitars, but it's still derivative multorum). Why ?!? I mean, they had a unique, indigenous style that was even mildly commercially valid. Why did they just decide to loose their Englishness for a more universalist prog sound, making them sound almost transatlantic. Well, I guess we'll never find out, but it's weird how the pioneers of prog tended to inhibit all the slightly later bands even by 1977. I love Gryphon nevertheless, and Treason comprises some of their best music; 'Spring song' and 'Just a southern song' (and obvious paraphrase of the Beatles' 'Only a northern song'; Liverpool - Plymouth 1 - 1). My favourite album has to be Red Queen to Gryphon Tree, but I love them all.......Gryphon is a wonderful unifying force between two great genres of the 70:s: British progressive rock and English folk-rock.

Ben Farrow <> (28.08.2002)

I remember they tried some of their newer stuff on us, and after a while a steady chant of "we want Gavin Grimbold" was heard.

They must have been strapped for cash as they were driving an old Cortina Mk1, which nearly ran me over.

glyn HAZEL <> (15.04.2006)

Is it true? i heard that Dave Oberle was on the team that produced 'kerrang', the heavy rock mag. saying that, Gryphon always seemed popular with the rock/biker crowd, a rock disco in halifax even used to open up with the astrologer! also, Gryphon were on Blue peter, who says they never 'made it'?


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Neil Ingram <> (09.03.2002)

This is a really nice page: full of interesting ideas. My memory of MM is that it was incidental music for a version of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, hence the short sequences that "don't really go far". I also seem to recall that at the time of writing they were playing to customers in a trendy London Bistro, so times were fairly hard for them.

I saw Gryphon support Steeleye Span at the time MM was released. The album was really taken up by the BBC. It was played, apparently on all four BBC radio stations in the same week. Quite a feat, that.

Happy days - simple enjoyable music by four shy musos; though the drummer had a bit of stage flair. It was an uncomfortable time for British politics and for pop fans force-fed tubular bells.


<> (09.02.2003)

It's strange... I love this album, but I have to disagree with you on your statement that it's totally unmemorable. In fact, one of the things that struck me about this album is that it seems to be unusually catchy and memorable for a prog record. Also, they build off a main theme in each piece, and these themes are pretty similar to each other. This album sounds a bit like Mike Oldfield to me, too. Maybe the fact that I got this and Tubular Bells on the same day has something to do with it.

Joe Sembly <> (16.08.2003)

Just like the previous writer, I love this record. I was first introduced to it back in 1979 when I was playing a considerable amount of chess. I was also getting my butt whooped on a constant basis by one particular player friend which gave songs like "Lament" a very real meaning. This record for me represents a very wonderful time in my life. The first piece "Opening Move" is strong from the beginning and you can almost feel and imagine the two opposing sides preparing for battle in a real contest of war. The third piece "Lament" is absolutely beautiful. I cannot think of a single record in my collection that matches it's mood and beauty. One thing that wasn't mentioned in the review was the stunning cover art. Of course this isn't an album cover review but the artwork on this cover is note worthy in that it enhances the music by bringing not only images of chess but a whole medieval scene of castles, knights and an exquisite fiefdoom.I would highly recommend this record for it's musicality, imagery and mood setting qualities.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (20.11.2005)

Red Queen To Gryphon 3 is a strange album, to be sure, but I think it has some of the most memorable and well constructed music in the prog - rock field. I was into a jazz fusion/ improvised phase when I came across it 15 years ago and so maybe that influenced my approach to it. I don't like strangeness for strangeness' sake but this Gryphon album doesn't fall into that category. Possibly because I grew up here in England that medieval type of music isn't at all strange to me and given post-1963 rock's penchant for assimilating all kinds of different and unusual musical forms, it was natural and almost inevitable that a band like Gryphon would come up with an album like this. The number of musical movements here are quite staggering, particularly in "Lament",which I feel is the high point on display here. All in all it is a pretty serious record, yet it is also very accessible with loads of catchy little melodies and riffs {played on uncommon instruments} - I for one haven't been able to get "Lament" out of my head since 1990 ! I probably couldn't listen to too many albums of this ilk, but as you point out in your review, there are no albums of this ilk, which is why this one is such a standout. Takes getting to grips with, but no less a classic because of this.


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