Gryphon - Red Queen To Gryphon Three

Gryphon – Red Queen To Gryphon Three

81 / 100

Gryphon’s unique take on British folk would change significantly for their third album, a full blown progressive rock concept based on the game of Chess.

Written by: Eric

ARTIST: Gryphon
ALBUM: Red Queen To Gryphon Three
LABEL: Transatlantic
YEAR: 1974
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List


LINEUP: Richard Harvey – keyboards, recorders, krumhorn * Brian Gulland – bassoon, krumhorn * Graeme Taylor – guitar * David Oberle – drums, percussion, tympani * Philip Nestor – bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Opening Move * 02 Second Spasm * 03 Lament * 04 Checkmate



These wandering classically trained minstrels started out as a pretty good folk band on their self titled album while picking up a few rock tendencies on the second whimsically titled record ‘Midnight Mushrumps’. With bassoon, recorder and krumhorn front and center, the band performed concerts at museums, art galleries and universities while playing barefoot for effect.

Their willingness to innovate was a step up from Pentangle and Steeleye Span in this scribes opinion. Their unique take on British folk would change significantly for their third album ‘Red Queen To Gryphon Three’, a full blown progressive rock concept based on the game of Chess.

The Songs

With just four long tracks, these guys pull out all the stops and ‘Opening Move’ hits all the right squares. At first glance, having a bassoon as a lead instrument might seem a bit odd, but they combined the progressive rock aesthetic and Baroque classicalism like no other in their field.

Some comparisons to Gentle Giant can be made but this album is entirely instrumental and on ‘Second Spasm’ – very medieval in approach. I particularly like ‘Lament’ which in several movements builds into a gorgeous piece of classical rock while ‘Checkmate’ ends the album with a prog rock tour-de-force very much in the style of Rick Wakeman and his early solo records.

In Summary

Gryphon would tour both the UK and North America with Yes in support of this album, but lost momentum with a variety of line-up changes for their last two releases ‘Raindance’ and the stellar ‘Treason’ with the group finally calling it a day in 1978. Since then there have been several compilations, BBC recordings and reissues with the band reforming in 2008 and playing their first reunion show in June 2009.



GRYPHON - Lament

Contact Us | Edit User Profile | Using a VPN

What is your rating for the album (music)?

Click on a star (click twice) to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this album..

Thanks for voting.

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments