Playing the Fool

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Playing the Fool - The Official Live
Live album by
ReleasedJanuary 18, 1977
RecordedSeptember 23 – October 7, 1976 in Düsseldorf, Paris, Brussels and Munich
GenreProgressive rock
LabelChrysalis (UK)
Capitol (U.S.)
ProducerGentle Giant
Gentle Giant chronology
Playing the Fool - The Official Live
The Missing Piece
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars link
Babyblaue Seiten14.33/15 link
Sea of Tranquility5/5 stars link

Playing the Fool - The Official Live is a live album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant which was released in 1977. It demonstrates the band's complex musicianship and talent as well as showcasing versions of songs which are often greatly modified from the original album versions.[not verified in body] The album contains versions of tracks from all of the band's studio albums to that point except for Acquiring the Taste (although a section from the title track of that album is featured in "Excerpts from Octopus"); the original UK LP came with a 12-page booklet that has not been reproduced in any of the CD editions.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kerry Minnear, Derek Shulman, and Ray Shulman.

Side one
1."Just the Same/Proclamation"Düsseldorf, 1976-09-2311:13
2."On Reflection"Düsseldorf, 1976-09-236:20
Side two
1."Excerpts from Octopus (The Boys in the Band/Raconteur Troubadour/Acquiring the Taste/Knots/Ocean Bridge/The Advent of Panurge)" (incl. the famous recorder quartet)Minnear, Shulman, Shulman, Phil ShulmanParis, 1976-10-0515:35
2."Funny Ways"Minnear, Shulman, Shulman, ShulmanMunich, 1976-09-258:35
Side three
1."The Runaway/Experience"Paris, 1976-10-059:31
2."So Sincere"Paris, 1976-10-0510:22
Side four
1."Free Hand" Brussels, 1976-10-077:40
2."Sweet Georgia Brown" (instrumental)Ben Bernie, Maceo PinkardBrussels, 1976-10-071:15
3."Peel the Paint/I Lost My Head"Minnear, Shulman, Shulman, Shulman ("Peel the Paint")Paris, 1976-10-057:35

35th anniversary re-release edition[edit]

Disc 1
1."Just the Same"5:57
3."On Reflection"6:20
4."Excerpts from Octopus"15:39
5."Funny Ways"8:30
Total length:41:44
Disc 2
1."The Runaway"3:56
3."So Sincere"10:20
4."Free Hand"7:40
5."Sweet Georgia Brown (Breakdown in Brussels)" (instrumental)1:21
6."Peel the Paint/I Lost My Head"7:32
Total length:36:25

Note: The track listing and times have changed throughout the years and the different releases that this album has seen.


There are no official instrument credits listed on the album.


Year Chart Position
1977 US Billboard 200 89

Release details[edit]

  • 1977, UK, Chrysalis Records CTY 1133, Release Date 28 January 1977, LP
  • 1977, US, Capitol Records SKBB-11592, Release date 18 January 1977, LP
  • 1994, UK, Terrapin Trucking RGOF Cat# RGF CD 1009, Release Date ? ? 1994, CD (Re-Master)
  • 2004, UK, BGO BGOCD435, Release Date 12 July 2004, CD (2 x CD with Civilian)
  • 2005, UK, DRT Entertainment/Pinnacle RTE354, Release Date 10 October 2005, CD (35th Anniversary Enhanced Re-Master)