Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Giles, Giles & Fripp
The Cheerful Insanity Of...

Released 1968 on Deram
Reviewed by argyle_heir, 16/05/2004ce

Two years before forming King Crimson, laughing Bob Fripp joined up with Michael and Peter Giles (drummer/singer and bassist/singer respectively) and embarked on this barmy little project.

As you may be able to tell from a fleeting glimpse at the cover, the music contained on "TCIOGG&F" is a world away from the po-faced mellotron washes, doomy guitar chords and Lord Of The Rings-styled lyrics of the early Crimson. Instead it's very much a 'product of 1968'- pastoral, humorous, a little psychedelic, eccentric, eclectic.......a lovely batch of songs sprinkled with much Fripp guitar genius.

The album is split into two parts- Side A is entitled "The Saga Of Rodney Toady" and side B "Just George". The reason for this becomes clear when you hear the little snippets of speech inbetween the songs (a similar trick that the Small Faces used on "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake", although I'm not sure the speech relates to the songs in any way on "TCIOGG&F" upping the 'insanity' quotient another few notches). "The Saga....." is a very British story about a "fat and ugly" young boy called Rodney (no relation) narrated by Fripp while "Just George" is a silly wordplay thing by Mike Giles (originally written in 1942! The old bugger.......).

Anyway- back to the musical content. I suppose the album's closest relative would be The Kinks' "Something Else....." in that it mixes up character sketch songs ("Newly-Weds", "One In A Million"), music hall pastiche ("The Sun Is Shining"), gorgeous melodies ("North Meadow", "Thursday Morning") all with an uber-English feel to a great effect.

There are strong jazz elements also with the unsettling "The Crukster" (odd poem narrated over some menacing discords from Bob- the closest he gets to Crimson on this album) and the showcase "Suite No. 1" (the first section to this is dazzling........). Elsewhere we hear beautiful jazz chordings and sweet solos. Nice.

Perhaps my favourite song by them remained unreleased until 1992 when it cropped up on the CD reissue- "She Is Loaded" which begins with a beautiful accapella section before going all Syd-era Floyd on our asses.

This is one of those albums that clicked with me on the first listen..........put a smile on my face and generally made me feel good. Hope it can do the same thing for you lot (if you can find it!).

Oh, one last thing- there's another G,G & F CD out released a couple of years back featuring previously unreleased home recordings. The trio were joined by ex-Fairport Convention peeps here- namely Ian Macdonald and the lovely Judy Dyble. Another to add to the wishlist.

Reviews Index