Three Friends

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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.

Tf-usa.jpg (USA cover; same as the cover of Gentle Giant)

Tf-eu-back.gif (European cover, back side)

Musicians

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)

Track List

  1. Prologue (6:12)
  2. Schooldays (7:33)
  3. Working All Day (5:07)
  4. Peel The Paint (7:25)
  5. Mister Class And Quality? (5:51)
  6. Three Friends (3:00)

Lyrics

All lyrics reproduced with the permission of DRT Entertainment (USA) and Alucard Publishing, Ltd. (UK).

- submitted by Marshall Wood

Prologue

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.

Schooldays

Lead vocals: Kerry/Phil

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

Lead vocals: Phil (Part 1), Derek (Part 2)


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.

Three Friends

Lead vocals: ensemble

Once three friends
Sweet in sadness
Now part of their past.
In the end
Full of gladness
Went from class to class.

Music files

MIDI files

MIDI File Title Album Contributor
3f-mueller.mid Three Friends (song) Three Friends Georg Mueller
3friends.mid Three Friends (song) Three Friends Dan Barrett
DR3FRIEND.mid Three Friends (song) Three Friends Daniel Rheault
Misterclass.mid Mister Class and Quality? Three Friends Martin Bellemare
Prologue.mid Prologue Three Friends Maurizio Guarini

Sheet music

Sheet Music File Title Album Contributor
Mister-class-and-quality-psmith.zip Mister Class And Quality? Three Friends Phil Smith
Peel-the-paint-psmith.zip Peel The Paint Three Friends Phil Smith
Prologue-dbornemark.pdf Prologue Three Friends Dan Bornemark
Prologue-psmith.zip Prologue Three Friends Phil Smith
Prologue-ttervo.pdf Prologue Three Friends Tuukka Tervo
Schooldays-psmith.zip Schooldays Three Friends Phil Smith
Three-friends-dbarrett.gif Three Friends (song) Three Friends Dan Barrett

CD releases

This list is not necessarily complete, and various releases are out of print.

Country Label Information
Germany LINE Records, LICD 9.00730
USA Columbia, CK 31649
Japan
Germany Repertoire Records

Defects

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 claims that their placement is correct; in fact, their vinyl release of Three Friends has the same incorrect track location.

Reviews

See also