Playing the Fool

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Playing the Fool - The Official Live
Live album by Gentle Giant
Released January 18, 1977
Recorded September 23 – October 7, 1976 in Düsseldorf, Paris, Brussels and Munich
Genre Progressive rock
Length 78:09
Label Chrysalis (UK)
Capitol (U.S.)
Producer Gentle Giant
Gentle Giant chronology
Interview
(1976)
Playing the Fool - The Official Live
(1977)
The Missing Piece
(1977)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link
Babyblaue Seiten 14.33/15 link
Sea of Tranquility 5/5 stars link

Playing the Fool - The Official Live is a live album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant which was released in 1977. It demonstrates the band's complex musicianship and talent as well as showcasing versions of songs which are often greatly modified from the original album versions. Acquiring the Taste is the only studio album by the band not represented by any tracks on the album (although a section from the title track of said album is featured in "Excerpts from Octopus"). The original UK LP came with a 12-page booklet that has not been reproduced in any of the CD editions.

Track listing[edit]

All songs composed by Kerry Minnear, Derek Shulman and Ray Shulman.

LP 1, Side One
No. Title Length
1. "Just the Same/Proclamation" (Düsseldorf, 1976-09-23) 11:13
2. "On Reflection" (Düsseldorf, 1976-09-23) 6:20
LP 1, Side Two
No. Title Length
1. "(Octopus) Boys In The Band" (Paris, 1976-10-05) 15:35
2. "Funny Ways" (Munich, 1976-09-25) 8:35
LP 2, Side One
No. Title Length
1. "The Runaway/Experience" (Paris, 1976-10-05) 9:31
2. "So Sincere" (Paris, 1976-10-05) 10:22
LP 2, Side Two
No. Title Length
1. "Free Hand" (Brussels, 1976-10-07) 7:40
2. "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Brussels, 1976-10-07) (instrumental) 1:15
3. "Peel the Paint/I Lost My Head" (Paris, 1976-10-05) 7:35

35th anniversary re-release edition[edit]

Disc 1
No. Title Length
1. "Just the Same"   5:57
2. "Proclamation/Valedictory"   5:18
3. "On Reflection"   6:20
4. "Excerpts from Octopus"   15:39
5. "Funny Ways"   8:30
Total length:
41:44
  • Proclamation [CD-ROM Track]
Disc 2
No. Title Length
1. "The Runaway"   3:56
2. "Experience"   5:36
3. "So Sincere"   10:20
4. "Free Hand"   7:40
5. "Sweet Georgia Brown (Breakdown in Brussels)" (instrumental) 1:21
6. "Peel the Paint/I Lost My Head"   7:32
Total length:
36:25

Note: The track listing and times have changed throughout the years and the different releases that this album has seen.

Personnel[edit]

  • Gary Green – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, alto recorder, soprano recorder, vocals, percussion
  • Kerry Minnear – Electric piano, Clavinet, Hammond organ, Moog, cello, vibes, tenor recorder, vocals, percussion
  • Derek Shulman – vocals, alto sax, soprano recorder, bass, percussion
  • Ray Shulman – bass, violin, acoustic guitar, soprano recorder, trumpet, vocals, percussion
  • John Weathers – drums, vibes, tambourine, vocals, percussion

There are no official instrument credits listed on the album.

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1977 US Billboard 200 89

Release details[edit]

  • 1977, UK, Chrysalis Records CTY 1133, Release Date 28 January 1977, LP
  • 1977, US, Capitol Records SKBB-11592, Release date 18 January 1977, LP
  • 1994, UK, Terrapin Trucking RGOF Cat# RGF CD 1009, Release Date ? ? 1994, CD (Re-Master)
  • 2004, UK, BGO BGOCD435, Release Date 12 July 2004, CD (2 x CD with Civilian)
  • 2005, UK, DRT Entertainment/Pinnacle RTE354, Release Date 10 October 2005, CD (35th Anniversary Enhanced Re-Master)