Follow TV Tropes


Music / Gryphon

Go To
Gryphon's self-titled debut album cover

"Imagine Henry VIII in a rock'n'roll band – think Gryphon."
Publicist Martin Lewis describing Gryphon

Gryphon is a Progressive Folk Rock band. They initially started out playing acoustic Medieval Folk Rock in the style of the music of the Rennaissance, before shifting to a modern Progressive Rock sound by their third album, Red Queen to Gryphon Three. Formed in the United Kingdom in 1972, the original lineup consisted of Richard Harvey (recorder, crumhorn, mandolin, keyboards, vocals); Brian Gulland ( bassoon, trombone, crumhorn, recorder, keyboards, vocals); Graeme Taylor (guitars, vocals); and David Oberle (drums, percussion, lead vocals).

Gryphon saw success in the 1970s with achievements such as recording five albums; performing live at folk and rock clubs; touring the UK, Canada, the United States and Europe; and even joining Yes on stage.The band dissolved in 1977 due to the rise of punk but would reunite with a different lineup in 2009. Gryphon got back together in 2015, cutting a sixth album in 2018 and a seventh album in 2020.

No relation to Black Gryph0n or Merv Griffin


  • Gryphon (1973)
  • Midnight Mushrumps (1974)
  • Red Queen to Gryphon Three (1974)
  • Raindance (1975)
  • Treason (1977)
  • ReInvention (2018)
  • Get Out of My Father's Car! (2020)


  • Animal Theme Naming: In this case, naming for the mythical winged creature.
  • Bizarre Instrument: Gryphon uses the bassoon and the crumhorn in their music, instruments not normally found in rock music.
  • The Butcher: Three of them in "Three Jolly Butchers". One of them named Johnson is an actual butcher and is a heroic example as he fights off ten robbers.
  • Concept Album: Their 1974 album Red Queen to Gryphon Three is implied to be about a chess game.
  • Cover Version: Gryphon performed "Mother Nature's Son" by The Beatles on their 1975 album Raindance.
  • Decoy Damsel: The Damsel in Distress in the song "Three Jolly Butchers". After Johnson the Butcher rescues her, she summons ten highwaymen to rob Johnson. He is able to fight them off but kills Johnson by stabbing him in the back.
  • Genre Mashup: Sometimes going into Genre Roulette and Genre-Busting. Rounding out the influences on their sound is classical music as Richard Harvey and Brian Gulland were both classically trained at the Royal College of Music in London.
  • New Sound Album: Their first couple of albums were all-acoustic Medieval Folk Rock, incorporating the use of non-standars instruments and sounding like music of the Renaissance era. Starting with Red Queen to Gryphon Three, the band shifted to a more modern Progressive Rock style, introducing keyboards into their sound.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: The band is named for the creature albeit under an alternate spelling. The classical griffin is depicted on their debut album cover.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Their first album Gryphon includes various traditional songs such as "Three Jolly Butcher", "the Astrologer", "the Devil and the Farmer's Wife" and "Sir Gavin Grimbold". The last one is based on the Scottish ballad "Bonnie George Campbell".
  • Rule of Three: "Three Jolly Butchers" from their debut album is about three butchers; two are named Johnson and Jipson with the third having No Name Given.
  • Self-Titled Album: The debut album is named for the band.