The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp

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Originally released: 1968


  • Robert Fripp (guitar)
  • Peter Giles (bass)
  • Michael Giles (drums)


  • R. Cohen, W. Reid, K. Isaacs, G. Salisbury, B. Pecker, G. Fields (violins)
  • J. Coulling, R. Patten (violas)
  • Nicky Hopkins, Mike Hill (keyboards)
  • C. Tunnell, A. Ford (celli)
  • C. Hardie, T. Barker (trombones)
  • The Breakaways (vocal backing)



The Saga of Rodney Toady: => Reviews

  • 2'29 Northmeadow (Peter Giles)
  • 2'07 Newly-weds (Peter Giles)
  • 2'25 One in a Million (Michael Giles) => Reviews
  • 2'31 Call Tomorrow (Peter Giles)
  • 1'50 Digging My Lawn (Peter Giles)
  • 2'48 Little Children (Fripp)
  • 1'35 The Crukster (Michael Giles)
  • 2'50 Thursday Morning (Michael Giles)

Just George: => Reviews

  • 2'14 How Do They Know (Michael Giles)
  • 3'15 Elephant Song (Michael Giles)
  • 3'06 The Sun is Shining (Michael Giles)
  • 5'33 Suite No. 1 (Fripp) => Reviews
  • 5'05 Erudite Eyes (Fripp)

Bonus Tracks on 1992 CD realease:

  • 3'11 She Is Loaded (Peter Giles) => Reviews
  • 4'01 Under The Sky (Fripp)
  • 2'25 One In a Million (mono single version) (Michael Giles)
  • 2'44 Newly-weds (mono single version) (Peter Giles)
  • 2'57 Thursday Morning (mono single version) (Michael Giles)
  • 2'57 Thursday Morning (stereo single version) (Michael Giles)


Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.

Entire Release

Date Submitted: 11-May-96
By: Rick D. Sippel (sippel at earthlink dot net)

"The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp, has the makings of the King Crimson sound on many of the tracks. "Under the Sky", "Thursday Morning" has a resemblance to the Moody Blues: In Search of the Lost Chord (Dr. Livingston I presume....). Overall, the album has a tongue in cheek kind of humor, with the hint of the Frippian guitar work to follow in just a few short months in TCotCK. The session/CD is particularly well-recorded... and recommended."

Date Submitted: 5-Jul-96
By: George Korein (Mopobeans at aol dot com)

"In contrast to Mr. Sippel's comment, I think GGF sounds nothing like King Crimson. It sounds more like Syd Barrett with two dozen backing musicians."

Date Submitted: 9-Aug-97
By: Pascal Thiel (alex.thiel at ci dot educ dot lu)

"When I first heard this CD (about 3 years ago), I couldn't believe at all that this was Fripp playing. But after some time, I noticed the genius behind this record. Maybe it's not progressive, maybe it's even crap, but then it was the time of Monty Python. So what else could you expect from 3 mad English men? The greatest thing about this record is "The Saga Of Rodney Toady". I even wrote a song about poor, sad Rodney with my punk band UWM 2 years ago. UWM don't exist anymore, but TCIOGG&F is still a cult album."

Date Submitted: 19-Oct-97
By: Steven Nyland (sqmfa at aol dot com)

"If you ever wondered why Crimson's first two albums were so "negative", just listen to "The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp" and try to imagine that YOU were the one responsible for releasing it in a world that had been stormed by the Beatles, scorned by the Velvets, and evened out by Viet Nam, MLK, Bobby Kennedy, et al.... This record came out 2 years too late to be important, and as such was rightfully dismissed as post pop/psychedelia nonsense.

"Now imagine that you are Frobert Ripp and you are sitting there in Wimburne/Dorset, watching the rest of the world NOT EVEN REACT to your first record that you put so much heart and soul into....AHHH YESS the pessimism of IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING now makes sense. You are pissed. You want the Universe to end. So you put aside the humor, the warmth, and the charm that makes "The Cheerful Insanity...." so appealing aside and go straight for the acid-pumping jugular of 1969. You take no prisoners.

"THE DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE can be traced directly to "The Cheerful Insanity"'s flop. Just imagine how different a world we would live in if this had gotten to number one............"

Date Submitted: 3-Mar-97
By: Gunnar Schillings (aquamine at iafrica dot com)

"Adding to BaM's comment from 3-Mar-97, who plays the flute on "Under the Sky"? It's not in the notes. And what happened to "Why don't you just drop in" mentioned in the liner notes? It's not on the CD. Bit of a shoddy compilation production by Decca/Deram's John Tracy, I guess, BaM. Though, the songs are fine, 'cept the male vocals. (Is this accept or except, you can choose) I miss the excellent "Groon" which was on the bootleg version and would have made here a better final track than repetitions of previous songs in mono. Now I go back digging my own lawn. Thanks chaps"

Date Submitted: 31-Mar-97
By: (Milkman717 at aol dot com)

"It's that hint of jazz in this album that gives it that appeal. I have never been one who had listened to anything sounding remotely like jazz, but I picked this up at the local public library (a great place for obscure music) just because of Robert Fripp's name, and since I listened to it the first time, I have fallen completely in love with it. It's a musical triumph that fell flat on it's face. At first listen, it comes off as sounding like utter jibberish, but the humor as well as some of the distinct lyrics with their romantic descriptions of wondrous nature, gets to you after a while, and suddenly you are immersed in musical scores of astounding height. Fripp's talent really shines in this album, and his mastery of the guitar is seen so clearly that it is obvious why he is one of my favorite guitarists (next to Steve Howe)."

Date Submitted: 16-Jul-98
By: Xavier Fabriano (huckcherry at hotmail dot com)

"In case people have failed to notice, beyond the superficial aspects of this album, there is a lot of elements that forcast the music that KC would create, even up until now. There is the Fripp tone, which I can't really explain; perhaps it sounds a bit "irritated?" There is definately that sense of symmetry and orginisation that you'd only here on a K.C./Fripp album, even at thier most chaotic. Oh yes, and toward the end of "Erudite Eyes" there is one thing that really through me for a loop; in the free-form solo, there is this trill of fourths routed through a wah-wah pedal that bears an uncanny resemblance to the opening of "Elephant Talk!" Oh yes, and there is the K.C. trait of liberally borrowing of other musicians ideas (but improving on the sources and adding it to their own unique style)like the intro to "Thursday Morning" sounds almost exactly like "Strawberry Fields Forever," and the vocal harmonies definately have a strong Moodie Blues vibe ala "In Search of The Lost Chord," except this record has more charm than either the Beatles or the Moodies because it didn't take itself too seriously. Overall, it's a charming little slice of English psychedelia."

Date Submitted: 31-Oct-99
By: John Spokus (Originalwtk at aol dot com)

"I first heard this record in the early eighties on Towson State University's once great radio station WCVT. I recorded it on cassette and played it constantly. Everyone I played it for enjoyed it especially "The Saga Of Rodney Toady" which I think can put a smile on anyone's face. I bought the Japanese pressing when it became available around 1990 and was a little disturbed when shortly after it became a US release with bonus tracks(which I've still never heard ) at half the price I payed for mine which I had to special order. I think both the playing, production and sense of humor can't be beat. I never understood why Fripp is so quick to dismiss this record as crap. Sure it's kind of a late sixties period piece, but to me it holds up better than say anything by The Mothers Of Invention."

Date Submitted: 14-Jul-01
By: Ian (xobelism at hotmail dot com)

"In the Jan. of 1975 I came by this album on a TAKRL bootleg LP. With Exploding Head coversheet! and Brand New in a plastic wrap! It contains two pieces that even my boss would listen to at work: Suite No.1 and Erudite Eyes. In the seventies the record seemed dated and somewhat pretentious, because the seventies was so far away from the sixties, but it has become a period piece that demonstrates Mr Fripp's musical dexterity and potential of direction. Late in the 90's I saw Cheerful on CD for the first time (albeit secondhand), and realised that I think I do prefer KC on vynal, scratch and hiss and warts and all. It's a friendlier sound, more personal.

"I recommend also two other bootlegs: HERETIC:Long Lost at last... and Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale."

Date Submitted: 23-Oct-01
By: Mike Dias (sentience1 at optusnet dot com dot au)

"I love this album. I advise people to make a compilation..Wack Bonzo Dog Band's Gorilla album on side B and you have a very phsycadelic affair. Fripps guitar is just fantasic and worth a listen to see the dawning of Fripps jazz guitar style that he slowly dismissed for his own very unique voice.

"Such a shame it dinna make it. But then again these guys are another bunch of Picassos of the music world and didn't get what they deserved at the time."

Date Submitted: 27-Nov-01
By: Gary Steaggles (steggs at steaggles dot freeserve dot co dot uk)

"I first heard this 2 or 3 years ago when I saw the cover and thought 'wow looks interesting'. I taped it off a borrowed CD (now unavailable) and I lost the tape! Thankfully, I picked up an original mono Deram copy in mint condition last week at the Wembley record fair. Every time I listen to it, it gets madder and madder. It's so Python-esque and very very English. A great listen, notably "Elephant Song"!!!"

Date Submitted: 10-Dec-01
By: Robert Watson (robert.watson4 at sympatico dot ca)

"Way back when I was cutting my musical teeth (early 70's) I acquired a taste for the unique and as far away from top forty as I could get. The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp was my introduction to a facet of music that would hold me for many years. I have not heard it for some time (most my vinyl has gone away sadly) I am sure that I would enjoy it as much now as then. It always kind of amazed me that Warner's kept it in their catalogue well into the 80's. I turned many people onto this LP.


The Saga of Rodney Toady / Just George

Date Submitted: 27-May-96
By: George Korein (Mopobeans at aol dot com)

"Fripp's English accent and matter-of fact tone of voice make these scattered bits of monologue hilarious. Same to Michael Giles' Just George- sheer hilarious foolishness."

One in a Million

Date Submitted: 5-May-97
By: Johannes Zmölnig (madman at sbox dot tu-graz dot ac dot at)

"Often wondered, what made three so lovely guys making music, sounding like "Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band" or maybe some very early Pink Floyd albums. And turns me on"

Suite No. 1

Date Submitted: 11-May-96
By: Rick D. Sippel (sippel at earthlink dot net)

"I've waited many years for this CD to be available. Anyway-this track sounds very much like Chet Atkins in style [up stroke/down stroke picking]. The tune hovers around the F tonality (F Major and Dm) until the ending in G (or Em.)Very un-Fripp in that there is no dissonance and the piece is a straight 4/4."

Date Submitted: 1-Sep-96
By: George Korein (Mopobeans at aol dot com)

"Suite no. 1 rocks!"

She Is Loaded

Date Submitted: 3-Mar-97
By: BaM (WWMarek at aol dot com)

"'She Is Loaded' is a fantastic track, perhaps more reminiscent of "Cat Food" and the McDonald & Giles album than anything... Amazing that it was unreleased for so long! Incidentally, the CD credits it to Peter Giles, yet it says "Under The Sky" is a Fripp authored cut and anybody with a copy of Peter Sinfield's "Still" knows that it's a McDonald/Sinfield composition!!!"