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GIANT STEPS... THE FIRST FIVE YEARS 1970-1975

Gentle Giant

Eclectic Prog


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Gentle Giant Giant Steps... The First Five Years 1970-1975 album cover
3.37 | 22 ratings | 3 reviews | 59% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 (44:46)
1. Giant (6:20)
2. Alucard (5:56)
3. Nothing at All (9:10)
4. Plain Truth (7:42)
5. Prologue (from Three Friends) (6:08)
6. A Cry for Everyone (4:00)
7. Why Not? (5:30)

Disc 2 (47:59)
1. Peel the Paint (7:32)
2. Mister Class and Quality? (5:55)
3. River (5:47)
4. The Face (4:06)
5. The Runaway (7:14)
6. Power and the Glory (2:45)
7. Playing the Game (6:40)
8. In a Glass House (8:00)

Total Time 92:45

Releases information

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

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


3.37
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(59%)
59%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
18%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
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
PROG REVIEWER
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.

Review by VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Review Nš 464

"Giant Steps?The First Five Years 1970-1975" is a compilation album of Gentle Giant and was released in 1975. This is a Vertigo compilation and, as the name indicates, this is a compilation with some of the tracks from their first six studio albums. So, it has tracks from their eponymous debut, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth albums, "Gentle Giant", "Acquiring The Taste", "Three Friends", "Octopus", "In A Glass House" and "The Power And The Glory", respectivelly.

"Giant Steps?The First Five Years 1970-1975" is a compilation with extensive linear notes including interviews with the band's members. The selection is a bit different from the selection on their compilation "Pretentious For The Sake Of It", released in 1977, despite both compilations are only focused on the same first six studio albums from Gentle Giant.

"Giant Steps?The First Five Years 1970-1975" has fifteen tracks. "Giant" is from "Gentle Giant". It's a classic Gentle Giant's song, very dynamic and creative. I love the way the guitar is played and the great keyboard work of Kerry Minnear. It represents one of the best moments on that album. "Alucard" is from "Gentle Giant". "Alucard" is, if you haven't noticed already, "Dracula" spelled in the backwards. It's an atypical song because is more a hard rock song. It's relatively complex and has interesting and good instrumental passages with disturbing vocals. "Nothing At All" is from "Gentle Giant". It's a surprising track. It's an atypical Gentle Giant's track that has practically everything we can expect from this band. It begins as a soft and nice acoustic ballad with some melancholic harmonies. Sudenly, it grows as a heavy rock song. Finally, the song ends, as initially, a soft and beautiful acoustic ballad. "Plain Truth" is from "Acquiring The Taste". It's a solid rock track with the typical Gentle Giant's guitar work and good vocal harmonies. It's probably the most accessible track on that album, the less complex and the most traditional. Still, it's a solid closer for that album. "Prologue" is from "Three Friends". It's a song that progresses nicely with great individualperformances, especially with great and strong keyboard riffs and an excellent bass line. It's one of the best songs on that album. "A Cry For Everyone" is from "Octopus". It's an energetic song with an excellent melody, stunning vocals, a great guitar riff and a great keyboard work. It became a legendary and classic Gentle Giants' song. "Why Not?" is from "Gentle Giant". It's a heavy rock song, a bit dark and frantic with some calm and nice passages. It has a clear influence of the medieval music. "Peel The Paint" is from "Three Friends". It's a track inspired by the classical music, in the beginning, that starts very slow and delicate, but that suddenly develops into a more intense and dense, with a heavy rock format. It has a heavy rock part that reminds me Deep Purple. "Mister Class And Quality?" is from "Three Friends". It's a good song. It's probably the simplest song on that album. It has a nice melody and some interesting musical breaks. It's a rock song, with some good moments, great keyboards, a good bass line and a good drum work. "River" is from "Octopus". It's a strange, melodic and fascinating track. It's a rock song that flows progressively by different themes. It's very experimental and uses a lot of studio effects like moving the sound from speaker to speaker. "The Face" is from "The Power And The Glory". It's a song with a great instrumental section. It's, probably the most spectacular and creative song on that album. It's a great example of the creative genius of the band. "The Runway" is from "In A Glass House". It has a surprising start where the band seems to break some glasses. It's a great melodic song with rich varieties of styles and textures. It's at the same time complex and creative. "The Power And The Glory" is from "The Power And The Glory". Still, it isn't an ordinary track of that album. It's a bonus track, only available on certain editions of that album. It wasn't originally released on that album because it wasn't written when the album was released. It's a good short song with the classic Gentle Giant's sound, but it's less complex than the typical works of them. "Playing The Game" is from "The Power And The Glory". It's a dynamic and relatively complex theme. It's a multi-faceted pure prog song, in the Gentle Giant's vein. "In A Glass House" is from "In A Glass House". It's an excellent composition with great harmony. The chorus performed by the four singers is of superior quality. It has also a hard rock section with a memorable guitar riff, in the second part of the song. This is a great track that closes magnificently that amazing album.

Conclusion: "Giant Steps?The First Five Years 1970-1975" is a good compilation of Gentle Giant. It covers songs from their first six studio albums, which is in general considered their golden musical era. In relation to the selection of tracks, I've nothing negative to say. The first six studio albums of Gentle Giant are so great that is indifferent the choice of the songs. Those are represented with four songs from "Gentle Giant", one song from "Acquiring The Taste", three songs from "Three Friends", two songs from "Octopus", two songs from "In A Glass House" and three songs from "The Power And The Glory". "Giant Steps?The First Five Years 1970-1975" represents what a compilation must be of a prog band. All songs are great, progressive and well representative of that musical era. I'm going to rate it with 3 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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