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Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant  CD (album) cover

GENTLE GIANT

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 816 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The debut of Gentle Giant is a remarkable album, original and by far the most accesible classic record the band did. The blues and hard rock influences in combination with avant- garde and symphonic prog is a unique observation by a band, which would set new levels in prog the followed years with masterpieces like "Three Friends", "Octopus", "In A Glass House", "The Power And The Glory" and "Free Hand". Their debut holds nowadays more important historical values for the prog scene and is not as highly acclaimed as their forthcoming records but IMO it has far more to offer than some people may think. Let's rate the tracks on "Gentle Giant":

"Giant" is an awesome opening track, the perfect way to start to discover the exciting world of GG. The part in the middle of this song with it's bombastic monumental choir arrangements allways gives me chills. Derek's voice sounds a bit dated in the recording, but it fits perfectly to the mood of this early symphonic prog classic track. If you never heard it, give yourself a favour and download it free on the archives! Track rating: 9.5/10

"Funny Ways" turns down the high volume and is a kind of a nice slow song with chilling voice-lines and nice instrumentation. I absolutely love the mood in this one, you can lose yourself in a dreamland, when you listen to this intensively. Nice song. Track rating: 9/10

"Allucard" is more hard rock influenced in the beginning, with good electric guitar and fantastic trumpet by Phil Shulman. Complex in the middle between the verses and highly enjoyable in the instrumental passages. The vocals are a bit disturbing, but that isn't much represantative for the quality of this track. Overall not the best track on the record but still very good though. Track rating: 8/10

"Isn't It Quiet And Cold" reminds on The Beatles with the nice vocal arrangements by the band and the cello and violins play a big part for the flueness of this song. Not spectacular, but there is much to like about this nice one, specially for Beatles fans. Track rating: 7.5/10

"Nothing At All" is the masterpiece of the album. I don't understand why this song seems so overlooked and forgotten in the catalogue of great songs by this band. The epic track starts with a beautiful quiet part and hunts forward in a fabulous blues part with excellent guitar work by Gary Green. The drum solo, which sets in in the middle part flues brilliantly in a nice piano part, where the piano seems to make a battle with the drums, simply stunning and something that you very rarely hear on a studio record, more something usual for a live album. The ending part repeats the quiet beginning of this track and ends it perfectly. Great lenghty song by Gentle Giant! Track rating: 10/10

"Why Not?" continues there, where the blues section of the previous track left off and rocks pretty well, the lead guitar is awesome and shows the roots of the band in a nice way, not very proggy but highly enjoyable! Why Not? Track rating: 8.5/10

"The Queen" is a bit difficult to rate, it's the brittish hymn in a cool packaged rock version and the outroduction of the record. It ends it pretty well and wants you to repeat listen to this highly enjoyable trip with Gentle Giant. Hm, a rating? Well: Track rating: 8/10

What is left to say now? I highly recommend this record to all prog fans, this is essential early prog and one of these records, which are extremely important for the genre. Definitely the most defining and important prog rock debut together with "Emerson Lake & Palmer" and behind "In The Court Of The Crimson King". If you don't already have it, get it!

Record rating: 9.5 + 9 + 8 + 7.5 + 10 + 8.5 + 8 = 60.5 / 7 tracks = 8.642857143 points = 8.5 points

Gentle Giant - "Gentle Giant (Tall Tale)": 8.5/10 points = 86 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Excellent addition to any prog music collection

Marc Baum | 4/5 |

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