“Gryphon were a British progressive rock band of the 1970s, best known for their unusual Medieval sound and instrumentation.” WikipediaThe Beginner’s Guide To Gryphon
Gryphon were formed in the early 70’s and consisted of:Richard Harvey, Multi-instrumentalistBrian Gulland,Woodwind playerGraeme Taylor GuitaristDave Oberlé. Drummer/percussionist
Their first album was simply titled Gryphon and contained music which was English folk music with medieval and Renaissance influences. At this time, this was a rare and unusual mix ( At this time, world music was unheard of ).
The music on this album was very different from the typical music of the day:
- Album Gryphon Gryphon
Sir Gavin Grimbold
The initial success of the band was backed up by substantial touring and work for the BBC. Gryphon achieved a first here: They were the first “rock” band to appears on all four BBC stations……….not bad considering that BBC R 3 is a classical music only channel
The success brought then to their second album:
· Album Midnight Mushrumps (named after a phrase mentioned in The Tempest)
This varied from the first album by having longer individual tracks and an overall theme.
Below is but an extract to give some sort of feel
The album is a medieval progressive rock album and has clearly influenced many others in the fields close to this.
( There is an excellent BBC session recording of this available on the album Cantabury Carol )
Onwards and upwards to the album
- · Album :Red Queen To Gryphon Three
Here we begin to sense change in direction, there is less reliance on the medieval instrumentation and more of a progressive rock feel.
Again there is a theme a medeval chess like game
- · Album Raindance
Another excellent album ,this time with no real theme this time.
The medieval feel is still there but there are more modern instruments used±
Down the dog
We reach 1977 , punk rock has hit the UK ……………..Gryphon move record labels and produce a fifth album
- · Album Treason
This is a lost treasure at the time of issue it bearly sold ………….I have only ever seen promotional copies and had to pay heavily for my copy. It was reissued several years back on CD and is a little bit more common .
Round and Around
This was basically the end of the story
Richard Harvey went on and produced many excellent if not obscure albums
However in 2007 there were rumours of a revival and in 2009 Gryphon reformed to do at least one date in London
Gryphon 2009 Live ……..Juniper Suite
There are other compilations from gryphon worth a mention
· The Collection Vol 1
· The collection Vol 2
· Glastonbury Carol