If there’s one thing that excites Dick more than anything else, it is seeing records for the first time ever. That occurred recently when he happened upon an original mono copy of the Giles, Giles and Fripp 1968 album, The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp.
There must be a King Crimson connection here, Dick?
You bet there is. The Giles brothers are Michael and Peter, the former of which being a founding member of the mighty King Crimson. Of course, we all know who Robert Fripp is, and it is the man himself on this record. This album pre-dates that King Crimson, and was a short-lived project between trio between 1967 and 1968. They would break up shortly after the release of the record, before putting together the first line up of King Crimson midway through 1968.
Surely this is a hidden prog rock masterpiece, then?
It’s not really prog at all, to be honest. While the foundation for what would follow is evident in the forward-thinking guitar work of Fripp, it draws from a lexicon of classical, psych, and jazz. North Meadow, Digging My Lawn, and The Sun Is Shining are redolent of the late ‘60s psych sound that was popular at the time, drifting into areas that few were willing to explore.
The album is broken up by two comedic spoken word passages, The Saga of Rodney Toady and Just George, performed by Fripp and Michael Giles respectively. Rather than detract from the music, these add to the fitting title, The Cheerful Insanity of…
The album is said to have only sold around 500 copies upon its release through the Deram label, giving it an eventual cult status among collectors. It is only really the die-hard King Crimson fan that will want to search this down, what with it being a branch on their extended family tree. 50 years on, however, it is a decent little record that is worth investing the time in, particularly the mono mix, which adds a further vintage and raw flavour to the album.
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