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Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant CD (album) cover

GENTLE GIANT

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 1154 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars GG's eponymous debut album (also called Tall Tales) mixed bag of feelings as far as I am concerned, with some real strong points but also a few glaring weaknesses (I will not talk of flaws in a such a complex type of music), but the fact is that this album remains a classic debut - no matter what the purist will say. The three Shulman brothers (of Glaswegian origin) were the backbone of a 60's pop outfit before being completely disgusted from the music busness , stopping a successful venture by breaking up and they took the drummer with them before finding Minnear and Green on keys and guitar respectively. The great thing about this album is maybe the most immediate and sincere album, maybe also the one recorded with the most urgency. On the downside, when GG complicates things a bit, it appears like they do for no particular reason except maybe to complicate for the sake of it (more on this/my opinion in the third paragraph) but later when they will do this, it will be better concealed.

I will not spend much time writing description of the tracks (you got some 40 odd reviews coming for this) at the time of re-writing my GG reviews, but what you have to know is that this debut holds almost every element that will make their following albums classic prog albums. Here in this album their ideas sound FRESH, inventive and groundbreaking, some adjectives that I would not use to present you their sixth or seventh album (Power and Freehand) where they almost sound stale and less inspired.

Right from the fairly aggressive-sounding guitars of Giant to the Rigby-esque Quiet And Cold to the definitive Alucard , the first vinyl side sweats out their exuberance, their enthusiasm as if they wanted to avenge themselves from the years of forced hit-playing with Simon Dupree And The Big Sound by taking out their frustration on the studio magnetic tapes by torturing them to exhaustion. Then comes the pièce de resistance in the form of the 9 min Everything Is All (pardon the fun pun) with its absolutely orgasmic intro and developing into a wild track embodying one of the rare drum solo I find not boring - maybe because it is interrupted for a while by a jazzy Liszt-sounding KB. However the rest of the albums pales in comparison with this superb start, a bit like a rookie sprinting right from the start of the 1500 meter race , they seem to run out of steam. The needless Hendrix winks at electrifying their national anthem, being totally useless.

So this album is definitely where all the seeds have been planted, and the harvest to be sown later on!

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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