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Gentle Giant

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Gentle Giant King Alfred's College Winchester album cover
3.48 | 25 ratings | 3 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Giant
2. Hometown Special
3. City Hermit
4. Funny Ways
5. Plain Truth
6. Alucard
7. Isn't It Quiet and Cold?
8. Why Not
9. The Queen
10. Peel Off the Paint

Line-up / Musicians

- Gary Green / guitars
- Martin Smith / drums
- Kerry Minnear / keyboards, cello, vocals
- Derek Shulman / vocals
- Phil Shulman / sax, trumpet, recorder, vocals
- Ray Shulman / bass, violin, vocals

Releases information

another archive live record recorded in 1971

Thanks to Einsetumadur for the addition
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GENTLE GIANT King Alfred's College Winchester ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)

GENTLE GIANT King Alfred's College Winchester reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
4 stars Released as a standalone CD and also included in the Unburied Treasure boxed set, this live set represents perhaps the earliest recording we have of the band's live act. The debut album was already out by this point; the concert took place when the band were early in the process of getting Acquiring the Taste laid down in the studio.

Thus, the set list mostly consists of material from the debut, though there's also a sneak peek at Plain Truth from Acquiring the Taste, as well as some interesting non-album tracks. Peel Off the Paint is a first draft of Peel the Paint from Three Friends, with similar lyrics but completely different music; Hometown Special and City Hermit never saw the light of day on a studio album (though studio runthroughs of both came out on the Under Construction collection). All three are lively numbers which seem to owe more musically to the psychedelic approach of the band's former incarnation Simon Dupree and the Big Sound, rather than the progressive rock approach they took as Gentle Giant, which perhaps explains why the songs were only brought out to fill out the set list in these early days and eventually either got retired or had their lyrics recycled and their music completely reworked.

In terms of sound quality, you'd never mistake this for a soundboard tape - but what seems to be an audience recording is reproduced in about as good a quality as you can expect of such. If you demand sonic purity, you'll not have a good time, but I'd say the sound quality is still good enough to get across the subtleties of Gentle Giant's music (if not in high fidelity).

Audience sound is for the most part pretty minimal - there's a rapturous applause at the end of The Queen to close off the main set, but they're very quiet for the rest of the set, which I guess demonstrates the band's ability to command the audience's full attention with their music. By and large all of the instruments can be heard separately, and beyond that the sheer strength of the band's compositions largely helps them get past the issues with the audio. As such, whilst it isn't perfect the album's still an interesting listen for anyone who wants a closer look at the band's earliest days.

Latest members reviews

3 stars To tape collectors this concert had always been a sort of a holy grail: the earliest known Gentle Giant recording. Unfortunately the only copies were in the band's hands, so it was not circulating, much to their frustration. In 2009 then it was announced by Alucard Music that the recording was fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#260638) | Posted by JethroZappa | Wednesday, January 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In 1969 three Shulman brothers and drummer Martin Smith from Simon Dupree and the Big Sound slowly evolved to Gentle Giant when they were joined by Gary Green and Kerry Minnear. According to the liner notes of this cd, their first efforts sounded more like Simon Dupree and the Giant Sound, but ... (read more)

Report this review (#252917) | Posted by Agemo | Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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