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McDonald and Giles Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, August 16, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Former King Crimson members Ian McDonald & Michael Giles recorded this set shortly after leaving the British prog-rock group in 1969. They enlisted the help of Traffic vocalist / keyboardist Steve Winwood and released this album in 1970. Songs like 'Flight of the Ibis' & 'Is She Waiting' were standard pop fare of the time, but "Birdman" was the obligatory album side long track that is the set's focal point. Allegedly, Robert Fripp wanted the song for King Crimson's "In the Wake of Poseidon" and paid homage to the track on his first solo album "Exposure". McDonald in later years co-founded Foreigner and Giles went on to become a session player. Their moment in time still stands as a favorite of prog rockers worldwide.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Suite In C
  2. Flight Of The Ibis
  3. Is She Waiting?
  4. Tomorrow's People - The Children Of Today
  5. Birdman: The Inventor's Dream (O.U.A.T.)
  6. Birdman: The Workshop
  7. Birdman: Wishbone Ascension
  8. Birdman: Birdman Flies!
  9. Birdman: Wings In The Sunset
  10. Birdman: Birdman - The Reflection


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 16, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B00006C790
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,098 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The only solo project by Macdonald & Giles after leaving King Crimson, this album sounds as fresh & richly melodic & transporting as it did when I first heard it on vinyl. This is progressive rock at its finest: weaving different musical styles together to create something that's truly moving & enchanting, while never mistaking empty bombast for depth. It successfully combines both Beatlesque & jazzy influences with a symphonic approach, succeeding wonderfully. A serious work, it's all the better for its infectious sense of humor & wit.

"Suite in C" begins the musical journey by expressing the innocent exuberance of falling in love with that magical Someone. The sense that nothing in the world can stop this fated pairing just grows & grows, and can't help leaving anyone who's ever experienced the same thing with a warm, wide grin of recognition & delight.

"Flight of the Ibis" is almost ethereal, reminiscent of "I Talk to the Wind" & "Moonchild," a gentle glimpse of hope & promise. If there was a hippie creed, this song expresses it at its best. Naive & sincere as a short poem by William Blake.

"Is She Waiting?" is a gem in its purity & simplicity, a perfect song of longing for a love temporarily far away. Its loneliness is tempered by anticipation for a romantic reunion, making it both melancholy & reassuring. Haven't we all felt this way at some point in our lives?

"Tomorrow's People--The Children of Today" is probably the best single song about the positive aspects of the 1960s to come out of that era, brimming with optimism, looking towards a better future. Marvelous percussion! A pity far more of Michael Giles' work as a composer hasn't been recorded (as with his excellent "Progress" CD), as this is a standout track.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When the original line up of King Crimson splintered, the various members went off into a number of projects of their own. Greg Lake formed ELP with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer: Ian McDonald and Michael Giles formed a duo and released their first and last solo album. Later, McDonald would reemerge as a founding member of the hard rock band Foreigner while Giles continued a career as a session drummer (Giles also appeared on the second Crimson album but not as an offical member--it was a favor to help Fripp until he could recruit permanent members).

The resulting album from McDonald and Giles would have, if combined with the second Crim album, created a sucessor that built upon the powerful debut by KC. The best songs on M&G are actually superior to many of the left over and rewritten tracks on In The Wake of Poseidon. Taking these tracks along with Greg Lake's Lucky Man from ELP would have created an amazing album. As it is, we're left with three fine albums that are less than the sum of the whole they could have created.

This remastered edition is still a powerful album. The sound quality is strong considering all the overdubbing and the age of the tapes. Additionally, the welcome addition of Steve Winwood allows McDonald to focus on reeds, guitar and his wispy vocals. Although not as strong as it could have been (Fripp's Groon and the collaboration Cat Food from Wake would have fit in perfectly here), it's still a fine document of this duo's talent.

It's a pity that McDonald and Giles couldn't continue on with Fripp but the talent and dynamics in the band made it very difficult for the original quartet to remain stable for very long. Nevertheless, this fine album when taken with the best tracks from "In The Wake of Posideon" and the first ELP album with Lake's contributions would have made a brilliant second album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Released in 1970, this excellent and mellow album features three ex-King Crimson members including Ian McDonald (guitar, piano, Hammond organ, saxes, flute, clarinet, vocals); drummer Michael Giles; and Peter Giles (bass). In addition to this core, Steve Winwood contributes an organ and piano solo on Turnham Green (Part 1 of the 11'14" Suite in C); Michael Blakesly plays trombone on Tomorrow's People; and subtle string and brass sections are featured here and there.

Musically, this is very nice and loosely played stuff that features a soft mixture of Beatle-esque harmonies, folk, jazz, and early British prog rock. For those of you that are curious, there is very little music on this album that sounds like King Crimson, so this is not in any way "In the Court of the Crimson King Part II". However, there are a few holdovers from the old Crimso' days, including the brooding soundscapes; a little experimentation; the original theme from Cadence and Cascade (In the Wake of Poseidon, 1970) turns up on Flight of the Ibis; and Michael Giles incredible drumming. There is a lot of pretty good (and very spur of the moment) jamming, with great interplay between Michael and Peter. The tracks range in length from the gloomy, acoustic piece "Is she Waiting" (2'36") to the large "Birdman" suite (21'22) and feature some excellent vocals. All of the tracks were written sometime between 1967 and 1970, and are well composed with great dynamic contrasts and wonderful melodies.

The remastering is pretty good and the album features some great sound quality (this is an HDCD) along with a ton of liner notes and photos.

All in all this is a great album of subdued English progressive rock and is very highly recommended.
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