For other uses of "Three Friends", see Three Friends (disambiguation).
About the Album
Gentle Giant's third album was their first concept album, as stated in the liner notes:
- "The idea of this album came about simply from normal conversations within the group. You know how people often reminisce about old school friends and wonder whatever became of them; or the people who surprise us with their successes or failures. Anyway, the theme in this album is based on three people - friends at school but inevitably separated by chance, skill and fate."
The three school friends grow up to become a road digger (Working All Day), an artist (Peel The Paint), and a white-collar worker (Mister Class and Quality?) who can no longer understand each other's lifestyles. But regardless of the storyline, the music is astounding, ranging from raucous rock to exquisite choral work, and ending with the stunningly beautiful title song.
(USA cover; same as the cover of Gentle Giant)
Gary Green - guitars, percussion
Kerry Minnear - keyboards, vibraphone, percussion, Moog, vocals
Malcolm Mortimore - drums
Derek Shulman - vocals
Phil Shulman - sax, vocals
Ray Shulman - bass, violin, 12 string guitar, vocals
Assisted by Calvin Shulman, Ray's son (boy's voice on Schooldays).
Other liner notes:
Engineer - Martin Rushent Produced by "Gentle Giant" Sleeve design - Rick Breach All titles written by GENTLE GIANT (Shulman, Shulman, Shulman, Minnear) All selections © 1972 Excellency Music (ASCAP)
- Prologue (6:12)
- Schooldays (7:33)
- Working All Day (5:07)
- Peel The Paint (7:25)
- Mister Class And Quality? (5:51)
- Three Friends (3:00)
- submitted by Marshall Wood
For other uses of "Prologue", see Prologue (disambiguation).
Lead vocals: Phil
Three friends are made, three lives are laughs and tears Through years of school and play they share As time stands still the days change into years And future comes without a care. But fate and skill and chances play their part The wind of change leaves no good-bye Three boys are men their ways have drawn apart They tell their tales to justify.
The bell rings And all things Are calling The days past The play's cast Remember September When we were Together Together Together Schooldays the happy days when we were going nowhere Schooldays the happy time when we were feeling no care Schooldays when three said that we'd better be friends forever How long is ever isn't it strange Schooldays together why do they change. Did kites fly And I spy And you cry To run fast Or come last You know how We made vows They're gone now We made friends We broke friends No more friends Remember, Remember when we Together Went to the sea Was it real or did we dream. The days of children gone. Seagull's scream and pink ice cream and the deep blue sky And the waves seem high and golden sand and the town brass band play on. Wait for me Wait for us always Wait for me Wait for us to come Homework's dull. It's worth the pain to go out when I want Mister Watson wants to see you in the master's room. It's about the work you should have done and I think you must go now.
Working All Day
Lead vocals: Derek
Working all day, I'm digging up the roads, just working all day Dig for my pay and spend it where I like. I've nothing to say Drown in my sweat but money buys escape. I've got no regrets Working all day Working all day When I was young I used to have illusions - Dreams ain't enough. Papa was rough. He didn't care for learning. Hell life is tough. Easy to say that everybody's equal then look around and see it ain't true. Working all day I eat the dust. The boss gets all the money. Life ain't just. I'm still the same as all the other people - who can I trust Working all day and never getting nowhere, what can I say working all day Working all day.
Peel The Paint
Free from the start - Left to depart - Finding the pleasure and the pain in his art. Lost in the hush - No need to rush - Time waits for him, him who creates with the brush. Colour the brush. High in the air - His dreams are there - Searching for answers he will look everywhere. Thinks he has won - A place in the sun Free from the worries and the ways of everyone. Peel the paint Look underneath You'll see the same, the same old savage beast. Strip the coats The coats of time And find mad eyes and see those sharpened teeth. Nothing's been learned - No nothing at all. Don't be fooled, get up before you fall. Carnal grave Crawling smooth Open flesh and you must let him in. Glass reflects What you are It shows the face, the evil face of sin.
Mister Class And Quality?
Lead vocals: Derek
Look around my rooms and see the prizes I have showing Working hard to build my life and plan the way I'm going House and car and pretty wife - they've all been won by knowing All been won by knowing All been won by knowing. Paperwork, white collared shirts - where would we be without them Man of class and quality - I never shout about them Choose my friends for my own ends. You can't succeed without them Can't succeed without them Can't succeed without them. Middleman sees straight ahead and never crosses borders Never understood the artist or the lazy workers The world needs steady men like me to give and take the orders Give and take the orders Give and take the orders.
Lead vocals: ensemble
Once three friends Sweet in sadness Now part of their past. In the end All in gladness (See note) Went from class to class.
Note: The album's printed lyrics read, "Full of gladness," but the voices are clearly not singing the word "of." Gary Green proposes that the line might be "Full in gladness":
"Sounds to me like 'in', and not 'of'... and somebody (not mentioning any names here) jumps in early, so a double attack on the word 'in'. So that's why it sounds a bit off. It's Phil, Derek, Ray and Kerry singing together around 2 mics (Neuman 87?), triple tracked, as I recall. Could be that the lyrics were submitted to the printer before the final vox were finished, but it does sound like 'in' to me, and not 'of'."
To my ears, the line sounds like "All in gladness," which makes more sense semantically than "Full in gladness," so that's what I've presented here.
Cool stuff in the music
- This album features four Shulmans: Derek, Phil, Ray... and young Calvin (Ray's son) singing the schoolboy vocals on Schooldays. (Thanks to Daniel Lluch.)
- In Schooldays, just after the vocal part with the lines "Schooldays together, why do they change," there is there is part (guitar and vibes in unison) that plays the theme from a kids' song, "Cry Baby Bunting." (Thanks to Michael Beauvois and Paul Christenson.) Richard McCready offers a different opinion that the theme is from "Ring Around the Rosie."
- The little repeated riff in the introduction of Working All Day reappears in the main riff in the background, and also at the end of the song (though harmonized a little differently). (Thanks to KoKl Cormier.)
- In the first (quiet) part of Peel The Paint, listen to the organ part played after Phil sings "color the brush." It is the basis for the hard-rocking vocal melody in the second part of the song ("Peel the paint, look underneath..."). (Thanks to Michael Beauvois.)
- Phil Shulman's first sung note in Peel The Paint is noticeably sharp... oops. (Thanks to Ian McGrath.)
- The slow, majestic bass part for Three Friends is played faster and more quietly at the beginning of Mister Class And Quality?. (Thanks to Michael Beauvois.)
|Three Friends (song)
|Three Friends (song)
|Three Friends (song)
|Mister Class and Quality?
This list is not necessarily complete, and various releases are out of print.
|LINE Records, LICD 9.00730
|Columbia, CK 31649
On the Columbia disc, the track marker for track 6, "Three Friends", is mistakenly placed in the middle of the previous track, "Mr. Class and Quality." Columbia's vinyl release of Three Friends has the same incorrect track location. Columbia claims that their placement is correct.