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Gentle Giant

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Gentle Giant Unburied Treasure album cover
4.65 | 12 ratings | 1 reviews | 50% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

12 Studio & Live Albums (newly remastered):

CD1: Gentle Giant
CD2: Acquiring the Taste
CD3: Three Friends
CD4: Octopus
CD5: In a Glass House
CD6: The Power and the Glory
CD7: Free Hand
CD8: Interview
CD9: Playing the Fool
CD10: The Missing Piece
CD11: Giant for a Day
CD12: Civilian


CD13: Winchester 1971 (64:24)
1. Giant (5:31)
2. Hometown Special (5:24)
3. City Hermit (5:56)
4. Funny Ways (8:42)
5. Plain Truth (10:46)
6. Alucard (8:47)
7. Isn't It Quiet and Cold? (2:30)
8. Why Not? (4:59)
9. The Queen (2:58)
10. Peel Off the Paint (8:51)

CD14: Essen 1972 (42:42)
1. Alucard (7:44)
2. Funny Ways (10:32)
3. Nothing at All (with Malcolm Mortimore drum solo) (12:55)
4. Plain Truth (9:21)
5. The Queen (2:10)

CD15: New Orleans 1972 (41:06)
1. Prologue (6:04)
2. Alucard (6:23)
3. Funny Ways (7:32)
4. Nothing at All (2:23)
+ BBC Session 1972:
5. Funny Ways (7:15)
6. Plain Truth (6:42)
7. The Advent of Panurge (4:47)

CD16: Hollywood Bowl 1972 (48:36)
1. Prologue (8:16)
2. Alucard (8:00)
3. Funny Ways (8:24)
4. Nothing at All / Plain Truth (23:56)

CD17: Vicenza 1973 (59:17)
1. Prologue (6:12)
2. Alucard (8:05)
3. Funny Ways (9:42)
4. The Advent of Panurge (7:08)
5. Nothing at All (13:49)
6. Plain Truth (14:21)

CD18: Torino 1973 (57:11)
1. The Runaway (5:42)
2. Way of Life (7:10)
3. Funny Ways (8:50)
4. Excerpts from Octopus (12:46)
5. Nothing at All (15:27)
6. Plain Truth (7:16)

CD19: Münster 1974 (78:05)
1. The Runaway / Experience (10:04)
2. Prologue (6:13)
3. Funny Ways (9:22)
4. Excerpts from Octopus (13:14)
5. Nothing at All (15:53)
6. Plain Truth (13:53)
7. In a Glass House (9:26)

CD20: St. Gallen 1974 (74:25)
1. Cogs in Cogs (4:20)
2. Proclamation (5:14)
3. Funny Ways (9:26)
4. The Runaway (3:41)
5. Experience (7:08)
6. Excerpts from Octopus (14:35)
7. Nothing at All (16:42)
8. Plain Truth (13:19)

CD21: Cleveland 1975 (54:51)
1. Cogs in Cogs (3:12)
2. Proclamation (5:02)
3. Funny Ways (8:48)
4. The Runaway (3:54)
5. Experience (5:59)
6. Excerpts from Octopus (13:27)
7. So Sincere (9:21)
8. Mister Class and Quality? (5:08)

CD22: Basel 1975 (77:23)
1. Cogs in Cogs (5:51)
2. Proclamation (5:03)
3. Funny Ways (8:29)
4. The Runaway (3:56)
5. Experience (3:52)
6. Excerpts from Octopus (15:36)
7. So Sincere (10:44)
8. Plain Truth (9:04)
9. Free Hand (8:38)
10. Just the Same (6:10)

CD23: Düsseldorf 1976 (64:55)
1. Just the Same / Proclamation (13:04)
2. On Reflection (6:10)
3. Interview (6:58)
4. The Runaway / Experience (10:41)
5. So Sincere (10:03)
6. Excerpts from Octopus (17:16)
7. Funny Ways (snippet) (0:43)

CD24: Düsseldorf 1976 (55:21)
1. Timing / Violin Solo (10:45)
2. Free Hand (8:47)
3. Peel the Paint / I Lost My Head (7:24)
+ Brussels 1976:
4. Timing / Violin Solo (11:22)
5. Free Hand (9:42)
6. Peel the Paint / I Lost My Head (7:21)

CD25: Munich 1976 (52:10)
1. Just the Same / Proclamation (12:19)
2. On Reflection (6:18)
3. Interview (7:26)
4. Excerpts from Octopus (17:22)
5. Funny Ways (8:45)

CD26: Paris 1976 (75:21)
1. The Runaway / Experience (10:13)
2. So Sincere (10:49)
3. Excerpts from Octopus (18:02)
4. Funny Ways (8:34)
5. Timing / Violin Solo (11:21)
6. Free Hand (8:59)
7. Peel the Paint / I Lost My Head (7:23)

CD27: Pinewood Studios Rehearsal 1977 (73:17)
1. The Runaway / Experience (9:52)
2. As Old as You're Young (5:18)
3. On Reflection (6:35)
4. Just the Same / Playing the Game (10:00)
5. Memories of Old Days (6:58)
6. Winning (7:47)
7. For Nobody (Part) (2:52)
8. Funny Ways (7:47)
9. The Face / Plain Truth (4:17)
10. So Sincere (9:17)
11. Free Hand (Part) (2:34)

CD28: Chester 1977 (78:06)
1. Two Weeks in Spain (3:00)
2. Funny Ways (8:10)
3. On Reflection (5:59)
4. I'm Turning Around (4:07)
5. Just the Same / Playing the Game (9:51)
6. Memories of Old Days (7:45)
7. Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It (4:20)
8. The Face (14:25)
9. For Nobody (4:28)
10. Excerpts from Octopus Part 1 (6:05)
11. Excerpts from Octopus Part 2 (9:56)

CD29: The Roxy 1980 (79:22)
1. Convenience (Clean and Easy) (3:21)
2. All Through the Night (4:12)
3. Free Hand (8:28)
4. Knots (2:41)
5. Playing the Game (6:05)
6. Memories of Old Days (8:13)
7. Giant for a Day (5:19)
8. Inside Out (6:03)
9. It's Not Imagination (3:52)
10. Underground (3:40)
11. 5 Man Drum Solo (6:47)
12. Band Members Introductions (2:07)
13. For Nobody (4:51)
14. The Advent of Panurge (7:14)
15. Number One (6:29)

Blu-ray Disc (110:42):
- Gentle Giant (Steven Wilson Blu-ray remixes):
1. Giant (6:22)
2. Funny Ways (4:27)
3. Alucard (6:01)
4. Isn't It Quiet and Cold? (3:46)
5. Nothing at All (9:07)
6. Why Not? (5:31)
7. The Queen (1:40)
- Gentle Giant 5.1 Surround Sound:
8. Giant (6:22)
9. Funny Ways (4:27)
10. Alucard (6:01)
11. Isn't It Quiet and Cold? (3:46)
12. Nothing at All (9:07)
13. Why Not? (5:31)
14. The Queen (1:40)
- Instrumentals:
15. Giant (6:22)
16. Funny Ways (4:27)
17. Alucard (6:01)
18. Isn't It Quiet and Cold? (3:46)
19. Nothing at All (9:07)
20. Why Not? (5:31)
21. The Queen (1:40)

Line-up / Musicians

- Derek Shulman / lead vocals, saxophone, bass
- Ray Shulman / bass, violin, guitar, percussion, backing vocals
- Phil Shulman / saxophone, trumpet, recorder, vocals
- Kerry Minnear / keyboards, vibraphone, bass, cello, lead vocals, percussion
- Gary Green / guitars
- Martin Smith / drums
- Malcolm Mortimore / drums
- John Weathers / drums

Releases information

Box Set Madfish ‎- SMABX1091 (UK 2019)
- 30 discs: 29 CDs + 1 Blu-ray
- Signed photograph by Derek Shulman, Ray Shulman, Gary Green, Kerry Minnear & John Weathers
- 136-page hardback coffee table book by Alan Kinsman
- Exclusive 96-page tour history book
- Unburied memorabilia
- Two replica posters of their first gig at Portsmouth Polytechnic 1970 and 'The Power & The Glory'
- Replica 'Playing The Fool' booklet
- Replica 'Giant For A Day' mask
- Replica Missing Piece jigsaw
- One randomly chosen boxset will include the MISSING GOLDEN PIECE, which will award the owner with 'The Power & The Glory' screen printed mirror

Thanks to Per Kohler for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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GENTLE GIANT Unburied Treasure ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

GENTLE GIANT Unburied Treasure reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
5 stars Truly the ultimate Gentle Giant boxed set, Unburied Treasure is one of the most truly generous archival sets ever released. Quite simply, it provides a freshly remastered Gentle Giant collection which is so expansive that even if you never step outside its bounds, you have a grand sonic universe to explore.

For one thing, you get all the original studio albums, along with Playing the Fool - the only live album the band would put out during their original run (but what a hell of a live album!). This, alongside with the lavish history of the band and the detailed chronicle of their live exploits, would more than justify the price of entry by itself. When they were hot - as they were for most of their career - Gentle Giant were at the pinnacle of the progressive rock field; even in their last three years or so, when their creative batteries seemed to be running out and they appeared to struggle to find a new direction, they still managed to pull out some nuggets of interest.

On top of that, you get an absolute treasury of carefully restored live recordings here. Admittedly, not all of them are of equal sound quality - but even those which don't sound that good can't obscure the finer points of the band's sound, and those which do sound better are excellent. These recordings range from material that's been released officially (whether endorsed by the band from the beginning or as reissues of material previously put out as bootlegs in a "beat the boots" fashion), along with some of the superior bootlegs out there such as Gargantua, but it also includes a great store of material which has yet to see the light of day.

There's a 1972 BBC session which somehow didn't make it onto Out of the Woods, its expansion Totally Out of the Woods, or their companion Out of the Fire. (None of the material from those releases are found here, so if you already have them they won't be rendered redundant by this - and given they're BBC recordings, they may represent some of the few decent-sounding Gentle Giant releases not to be incorporated in this box.)

The New Orleans show extract here is pretty decent in terms of sounds quality, but brief - barely more than 20 minutes, but it at least shows the band succeeding a little better at connecting with an American audience than the infamous Hollywood Bowl stint from the same tour (where they were supporting Black Sabbath - and if you can find two Vertigo bands who were further apart in demeanour, you win a prize).

The Vicenza show from early 1973, though an audience bootleg, finds the band enjoying a more receptive audience in Italy. The effort undertaken in tidying these audience recordings up well and truly hasn't been wasted, and this is an example of why - despite clearly being a low fidelity recording, the tape still manages to capture the subtleties of Gentle Giant's music and exists as a testimony to just how well they were able to convey their music onstage.

We also get the tapes from the Torino show in October 1973, from the In a Glass House tour. This had previously seen the light of day as MP3s on the MP3 CD included with the Scraping the Barrel boxed set, but it's nice to get this on a conventional CD. There's some evident tape hiss and at least one major fault, but the tapes are presented warts and all, and we can be glad of that - the sound quality is appreciably above that of the audience recordings in the set and the band themselves are on top form.

Another fairly substantial live recording hails from St. Gallen in 1974. We're back to the audience bootlegs on this one, but it still captures the band in fine form as they work their way through the Power and the Glory material. The Basel 1975 show is supposedly also an audience tape, but it sounds incredibly good - either it's a soundboard recording or the taper in question both had excellent equipment and a very fortuitous position to record from - and is a superb live document of the Free Hand tour.

The most significant live material on here, though, is the full recordings from the four concerts - Dusseldorf, Munich, Paris, and Brussels - which would later be condensed and edited into the Playing the Fool live album. No one individual set is captured perfectly (had that been the case, there'd have been no need to combine them into one live album!), but all of them include extremely compelling unheard material which didn't make it onto the album but is just as strong as the takes that did. This material doesn't render redundant the original Playing the Fool (presented here in lovingly remastered form), since it remains an expertly compiled live set based on the best takes from here, but the four individual shows form a sort of "expanded Playing the Fool" ("Playing the Complete and Utter Fool", perhaps?) which fans will most likely want.

After here, we get into the band's twilight years. There's a rather nice archival piece offered up here in the form of the Pinewood Studios rehearsal tapes from early 1977. This was previously found as MP3s on a data CD provided with the Scraping the Barrel boxed set and was also included on the Memories of Old Days collection, but it's nice to have it as a distinct, spruced-up release here. As well as an interesting insight into the band's working process as they rehearse their next tour, we're also treated to a setlist which includes versions of all four of the songs from the second side of the Missing Piece - which is generally held to be the side that's truer to the band's classic sound. It's interesting to see how these pieces seem to have come together comparatively early, whilst the rest of the album's offerings - constituting, as they do, a bit of a departure from the band's old sound - apparently evolved later.

After this, the live material suddenly thins out dramatically. We get a Chester show from the Missing Piece tour, which shows that the band can still get the best out of their prog material but where the new non-prog material at best comes across as brief palette-cleansers as opposed to fully-fledged parts of the repertoire worthy of the same consideration as the band's classics. We get nothing from the period between Giant For A Day and Civilian at all - because they essentially weren't touring at that stage - and then the live offerings are rounded off with the Roxy show which would be the band's last act as a performing unit, which has been released previously as The Last Steps.

Is this all the Gentle Giant you could ever want? Maybe, maybe not - superfans might quibble about which archival live releases got represented here, and there's a few extant official releases and bootlegs not represented here. At the same time, however, this is not only all the Gentle Giant you need, but substantially more besides.

Yes, the set is expensive by itself, but the sheer value for money is incredible - you get a lot of bang for your buck here. That said, if you aren't that keen on the live material, it might be less of an exciting proposition. Hopefully individual releases of the "canonical" albums will foillow; certainly, the remasters here are so adeptly managed that I'd say that they set a benchmark for future issues of this material.

It is a particular pleasure to know that the set was assembled with the supervision and approval of the band members as a whole, and delightful that all the band members aside from the late Martin Smith have survived to see this release. Some archival sets are slung together in a slapdash fashion, but this is quite the opposite; the work done in compiling this material will ensure that the history, legacy, and music of Gentle Giant will be better understood in the future, having been explored here to a rare depth. Music industry, take note: this is how you do this sort of project.

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