“Interview” was the eighth studio recorded album of Gentle Giant and was released April 23rd 1976. The line up on the album is Derek Shulman, Ray Shulman, Gary Green, Kerry Minnear and John Weathers. The album also has the participation of ‘Sounds’ writer Phil Sutcliffe as the ‘interviewer’.
The band had completed a year of non stop touring throughout Europe and North America promoting the highly successful “Free Hand” album. Despite having no real down time the band felt inclined to write and record the follow up to “Free Hand” without having any time to reflect on its success. This may have influenced both the direction and attitude of the album, hence its somewhat cynical concept.
The band recorded the album in its favored Advision Studios where in addition to the usual stereo version the album was also mixed in 4-channel quadraphonic sound. It poked a little satirical fun at the state of the music industry and dissected the way a group’s relationship with the rock press could either help or hinder their career. Stylistically it continued in the vein of their preceding seventh studio album, “Free Hand” released in the year before, in 1975.
Featuring a spoken cameo from Sounds writer Phil Sutcliffe, the shape-shifting funk-rock of the title track “Interview” lampooned clichéd rock ‘n’ roll journalism, while the snappy “Another Show” painted a vivid portrait of life on the road, redolent of The Kinks’ “Here Comes Yet Another Day.”
Elsewhere, “Interview” further displayed the eclectic and versatile nature of the band, from the 5/4 reggae influenced groove of “Give It Back” to the ethereal “Design” which featured a cappella vocal passages combined with a furious percussion section. “Timing” lived up to its name, a complex rocker with stop start dynamics driven by Ray Shulman’s biting electric violin. The album closed breathlessly with the epic seven-minute suite “I Lost My Head”, its deceptively delicate opening majestically transforming into one of Giant’s most unstoppable and relentless riffs. All in all an “Interview” well worth attending.
Award winning producer and musician Steven Wilson has remixed “Interview” in Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround sound. The Porcupine Tree guitarist has long been a fan of the band, noting them as a primary influence on his own work. Wilson’s painstaking attention to detail, deep respect for the source material and keen tonal range make the album sound as fresh today as it did on first release. In addition to the 2023 remixes, the original 1976 stereo mix, original 1976 quad mix, instrumental mixes, and custom visuals for each track are all included in the CD/Blu-ray version.
A limited blue colored vinyl album of the Steven Wilson remix version of “Interview” will also be available.
The worldwide release date for this classic Gentle Giant release is June 16th 2023.
“Interview” will be available to pre-order on CD, CD and 5.1 Blu-ray Digipak as well as a limited edition 180g sky blue variant LP. Also available on 180g regular black vinyl (not limited).
To pre-order: https://linktr.ee/gentlegiantband
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