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Gentle Giant

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Gentle Giant Giant Steps...The First Five Years 1970-1975 album cover
3.49 | 19 ratings | 2 reviews | 68% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

Record One:
1. Giant
2. Alucard
3. Nothing At All
4. Plain Truth
5. Prologue (From Three Friends)
6. A Cry For Everyone
7. Why Not?

Record Two:
1. Peel The Paint
2. Mister Class And Quality?
3. River
4. The Face
5. The Runaway
6. Power And The Glory
7. Playing The Game
8. In A Glass House

Line-up / Musicians

Releases information

Record Label: Vertigo
Catalogue No: 6641334
Country of Origin: UK

Thanks to mogorva for the addition
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GENTLE GIANT Giant Steps...The First Five Years 1970-1975 ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(68%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(16%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GENTLE GIANT Giant Steps...The First Five Years 1970-1975 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As far as Gentle Giant compilation I always say that Edge of Twilight compilation in 1996 is the best one to recommend for newbie because of its completeness and also very good selection of materials. This first five years best is also very good one as it covers tracks Gentle Giant produced the first seven albums from self titled right way through the one released in 1975: Free Hand. Those who know Gentle Giant, they must admit that those first seven albums are great albums with the exception of debut album (my case only). But that's OK as the rest are really excellent albums. The selection of tracks is also quite good even though I am a bit disappointed that my favourite track "Proclamation" is not featured here. But that's OK as The Power and The Glory was included.

Of course some tracks that have become my all time favourites are included here: Alucard, Nothing at All - which I really like the vocal harmonies and the melody. A Cry for Everyone should have been positioned at the beginning of the compilation as it rocks! Then I also like Peel The Paint where the vocal quality as well as discrete music are really good. One track Playing The Game is probably fans getter as it's quite accessible to many ears, I believe. But then this compilation is concluded with In A Glass House which is quite hard for people to digest.

Overall, this is a good compilation suitable for newbie. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Matti
2 stars I was in my late teens, maybe 18, when I borrowed this 2-LP from my local library. I had been diving into the vintage British prog for some time, and the household names of the genre were my biggest favourites. I was anxious to find more and more classic prog bands, with a help of the great Finnish library services. I had even borrowed the Renaissance debut (1969) and liked it despite the confusion of the Annie Haslam-less line-up. But my first acquaintance with GENTLE GIANT was very ambivalent: I disliked the lead singer and there was something very hard-to-digest on many tracks on this compilation, while I certainly sensed the innovative and highly original cleverness too. I decided I wasn't ready for them yet.

When in 1997 (ie. circa 9 years later) I borrowed the 2-CD compilation Edge of Twilight, all changed radically and I begun to adore GG. Well, that's one way to see it, that my own maturing as a prog listener was the key factor. Another way is simply to say that this particular selection was not succesful to meet my taste - probably still wouldn't be as an introduction to GG - , and that The Edge of Twilight was, in its near-completeness. Now, seen from the perspective, as the source albums (from the eponymous debut of 1970 to The Power and the Glory, 1974) have long ago become familiar to me, I actually prefer the latter explanation.

This compliation emphasizes on the rougher and rockier side of GG and almost totally excludes the softer and the more Art Music oriented side of their extraordinary eclectism. Kerry Minnear's ethereal vocals appear only in very minor roles while Derek Schulman - was it Derek? - shouts with his rough voice that I associate with ugly, hairy moustaches. Sure, there are some quite interesting tracks such as 'Alucard', 'Nothing At All', 'Why Not?', 'Peel the Paint' and 'The Runaway'. But I could name over a dozen of much better GG tracks from this period that aren't here. And several that are here are some of my LEAST enjoyed GG songs.

I don't remember if there were any band history or even album information. Cover design with bodiless legs off the ground, wearing red & white striped socks and tennis shoes, is in my opinion plain silly and more or less unsuitable to the musical contents. Hence only two very subjective stars, even though I know many others would rate it much higher.

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