Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Gentle Giant

Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gentle Giant The Last Steps  album cover
2.51 | 37 ratings | 9 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Live, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Convenience (3:47)
2. All Through the Night (4:19)
3. Free Hand (8:15)
4. Knots (3:31)
5. Playing The Game (5:01)
6. Memories of Old Days (8:31)
7. Giant For A Day (5:24)
8. Inside Out (6:05)
9. It's Not Imagination (4:11)
10. Underground (3:42)
11. Five-man drum bash (7:04)
12. Band intro (2:11)
13. For Nobody (5:43)
14. Advent of Panurge (6:35)
15. Number One (6:42)

Total time: 81:01
This is a previously unreleased live recording of Gentle Giant's last concert in the USA, at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, California, in 1980. It is an official UK release from Red Steel Music, distributed by Terrapin.

Line-up / Musicians

-Gary Green / all guitars
-Kerry Minnear / keyboards, vocals
-Derek Shulman / vocals
-Ray Shulman / bass, acoustic guitars, backing vocals
-John Weathers / drums, backing vocals

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Bj-1 for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy GENTLE GIANT The Last Steps Music

More places to buy GENTLE GIANT music online

GENTLE GIANT The Last Steps ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (35%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

GENTLE GIANT The Last Steps reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
1 stars I bought this CD a few years ago at the now-defunct Tower Records of Austin, TX. Always ready to snap up anything by GG, I expected another great live album, much like "Playing The Fool", "Out of the Woods", or "Out of the Fire". The sound quality is, unfortunately, abominable. Fortunately, I talked the Tower employee into taking it back as defective. You've got to be really desperate for more live GG to bother with this dreck.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Excellent performance even though audio quality is poor . Nevermind!

I have collected many Gentle Giant bootlegs even though I know that most of them the record quality is really bad. I don't really know I keep buying it at secondary market - because I cannot afford bootleg retail price which typically very high and unreasonable. Lucky I live in a country where most people do not like bootleg records except my die hard Led Zeppelin friend - Tatan A Taufik who has more than 150 collections of LZ bootlegs. Unbelievable!

This "The Last Steps" by Gentle Giant is basically a previously unreleased live recording of Gentle Giant's last concert in the USA, at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, California, in 1980. It is an official UK release from Red Steel Music, distributed by Terrapin. But, even though it's tagged as "official", the audio quality is nothing different with my other bootlegs like "Interview" in concert etc. I really do not care about audio this time, although I have never claimed myself as a die-hard fan of Gentle Giant. If you ask me, I am a die-hard fan of Marillion under Fish era full stop. But it does not mean that I stop my musical boundaries only to those symphonic or neo prog kinds of music - as you have seen how diverse my reviews have been. In fact, you can find many prog met reviews that I have posted right here at this wonderful site - a site of a free world democracy: you can say any opinion about prog music here.

Let's have a look on this album by Gentle Giant. All songs presented here are truly excellent. Do you still remember my review on "Civilian" which I praised highly their hard rock ever exploration in "All Through the Night" ? Oh man .. right here with this bootleg the band plays it brilliantly and very lively! I do not really care about the sonic quality but this song does deliver GREAT mood - very uplifting mood, really! If you like this track, I am pretty damn sure that you would agree with me that this live version is very dynamic. It seemed like the band played it wholeheartedly.

The next track is a title track "Free Hand" which is also performed wonderfully by the band. I can see the energy the band members indicated during the concert. Having seen the DVD "Giant on The Box" I am pretty sure that the band members have done great on stage. I feel like I am now watching them alive by imagining those gigs recorded at the DVD. "Knots" is also excellent.

Under "Playing The Game" (5:01) the band gives some more improvisations by letting guitar to perform longer solo. Well, I cannot elaborate song by song review. For me is very sure: if you love the band, you would definitely purchase this bootleg regardless the sound quality. It's bootleg, anyway, what do you expect! Oh by the way, I need to stress the performance of "Inside Out" which sounds really great amidst audio quality.

So, if I give this with two stars, it does not mean that this is a bad album at all but it's only DEDICATED to die hard fans. If you are not, you should not purchase this album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Warthur
3 stars This soundboard recording is aptly titled, for its source is the last ever Gentle Giant show. It's rather appropriate that it takes place at the Roxy in LA, for not only had Derek Shulman made Los Angeles his home by this point, but Los Angeles also the band suffer an awkward early experience at the Hollywood Bowl where their classic prog sound did not find an appreciative audience at all (not Gentle Giant's fault - in retrospect, putting them on as a support act for Black Sabbath seems to have been a poor move). It's rather nice to hear the band get a more respectful - even enthusiastic reception in LA here.

That said, the set may be worth more in historical interest than it is in terms of pure listening pleasure: the sound quality is not that great. (It's not completely unlistenable - but it's rarely better than just "OK".) The recording has most recently been released as part of the Unburied Treasure boxed set, in which context it's been tidied up about as much as is possible, and that still isn't exceptionally tidy.

Still, it's interesting to sample a setlist which leans heavily on Civilian and includes picks from The Missing Piece and Giant For a Day (and a light sprinkling of material from as far back as Octopus). With recent Gentle Giant albums not sounding much like Gentle Giant, it's actually surprising how well the setlist flows despite this.

It also helps that the band are in a jolly mood here. When so many bands disband acrimoniously, it's nice that Gentle Giant seemed to go out on a comparative high. No, Civilian didn't bring them back the success they had with their classic run of albums from their debut to Playing the Fool, but they seem to be playing to a very enthusiastic audience here. They may have found themselves in a creative cul-de-sac that they couldn't navigate their way out of after three studio albums casting about for a fresh direction, but considering the legacy they left behind and the more controversial steps they'd recently taken, The Last Steps shows that there was still some spark left in their newest material and the band's end was far from embarrassing.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A valuable edition to any Gentle Giant collection. 1st, - the sound is good to great, certainly not of bad bootleg quality of some other Gentle Giant recordings released - think a little less quality than Live at the King Biscuit Flower hour 2nd - these are probably the few live recordings ... (read more)

Report this review (#227880) | Posted by SMSM | Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Allright, this CD has not such a sound quality as for example PLAYING THE FOOL or BBC RADIO 1 IN CONCERT, but it is not as worse as for example such bootlegs like ARTISTICALLY CRIME or ENDLESS LIFE. However, this review should be about THE LAST STEPS and not about any other album. First I want ... (read more)

Report this review (#96777) | Posted by Badabec | Thursday, November 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think the previous reviewers have put this album in the wrong context. Sure, GG made som awful albums starting with The Missing Piece, after lots of pressure from their record label. But this last gig proves that they were still Gentle Giant. Most should find the post Missing Piece material so ... (read more)

Report this review (#84284) | Posted by markanini | Thursday, July 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I purchased this from a used CD store, so I thought this was a bootleg when Ifirst listened to it. The sound quality on this live CD is terrible , so this is for the GG collectors only. Their is a lot of distortion on the recording and the higher notes seem cut off at times (Maybe the conversi ... (read more)

Report this review (#62722) | Posted by | Sunday, January 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I think this is an interesting document of Gentle Giant live, when the band was fading out. Most songs came from the much hated "Civilian" album, which is, IMHO, one of the first prog-metal albums in all time (which doesn't save it; "Civilian" is a boring, uninspired record). The sound quality ... (read more)

Report this review (#40366) | Posted by M. B. Zapelini | Tuesday, July 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The sound quality is rather poor, but the band offers us a dynamic and interesting live set in their last days. A interesting mix of old and recent songs, much more easy listenable and popish. Anyway, they deserve our time spent hearing this live album. ... (read more)

Report this review (#6305) | Posted by Melos | Thursday, March 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of GENTLE GIANT "The Last Steps "

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.