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GENTLE GIANT

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Gentle Giant biography
Formed in 1970 in London, UK- Disbanded in 1980

GENTLE GIANT is known as the paradigmatic progressive rock band. With an uncomparable musicianship, they went as far as no one ever did into unexplored grounds in the progressive music, navigating over dissonant 20th-century classical chamber music, medieval vocal music, jazz and rock. The multi-instrumentation capabilities of the musicians gave such dynamic to their music, which set parameters to a whole coming generation up to these very days. They explored Moogs, Mellotrons and Fender Rhodes usage with such majesty! Not to mention other instruments like oboes, violins, cellos and horns among others.

The band was able to come across the 70's maintaining an outstanding level on their music, altering their style over the years and keeping the quality as only a few bands were able to do. Among their magnificent discography, all the albums from "Acquiring the Taste" through "Playing the Fool" are essential progressive rock releases (with the possible exception of "Interview"). This portion of the band's career would see a fittingly grand conclusion on the live "Playing the Fool" album. What more is there to say about these masters of progressive music?

See also: Three Friends

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GENTLE GIANT Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy GENTLE GIANT Music


Gentle Giant / Acquiring the TasteGentle Giant / Acquiring the Taste
Bgo - Beat Goes on 2012
$12.19
$16.52 (used)
Power & the Glory (Mixed By Steven Wilson)Power & the Glory (Mixed By Steven Wilson)
Alucard Records 2014
$18.17
$14.84 (used)
Octopus (remixed By Steven Wilson)Octopus (remixed By Steven Wilson)
Alucard Records 2015
$12.97
$9.74 (used)
I Lost My Head: The Albums 1975-1980I Lost My Head: The Albums 1975-1980
Chrysalis Records 2018
$22.48
$31.51 (used)
Acquiring The TasteAcquiring The Taste
Mercury 1990
$5.27
$8.49 (used)
CivilianCivilian
One Way Records Inc 1997
$69.99
$40.78 (used)
Live At The Bicentennial [2 CD]Live At The Bicentennial [2 CD]
Alucard 2014
$9.99
$8.34 (used)
Playing The Fool - The Official Live / SealedPlaying The Fool - The Official Live / Sealed
Capitol
$49.99 (used)
Gentle GiantGentle Giant
Island Def Jam 1990
$6.14
$10.00 (used)
Three Piece Suite (steven Wilson Mix/ 180g GatefolThree Piece Suite (steven Wilson Mix/ 180g Gatefol
Limited Edition
Alucard Records 2017
$25.55
$34.22 (used)

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GENTLE GIANT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GENTLE GIANT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 1183 ratings
Gentle Giant
1970
4.26 | 1476 ratings
Acquiring The Taste
1971
4.11 | 1198 ratings
Three Friends
1972
4.30 | 1899 ratings
Octopus
1972
4.34 | 1628 ratings
In A Glass House
1973
4.31 | 1539 ratings
The Power And The Glory
1974
4.28 | 1456 ratings
Free Hand
1975
3.76 | 727 ratings
Interview
1976
2.95 | 537 ratings
The Missing Piece
1977
2.28 | 467 ratings
Giant For A Day
1978
2.75 | 425 ratings
Civilian
1980

GENTLE GIANT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.52 | 425 ratings
Playing The Fool - The Official Live
1977
3.59 | 26 ratings
In Concert (BBC Radio 1)
1994
4.12 | 59 ratings
Out Of The Woods
1996
2.40 | 33 ratings
The Last Steps
1996
4.14 | 63 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents
1998
4.05 | 31 ratings
Out Of The Fire
1998
1.86 | 16 ratings
In A Palesport House
1999
4.14 | 46 ratings
Totally Out Of The Woods
2000
1.98 | 20 ratings
Live Rome 1974
2000
2.22 | 14 ratings
Interview In Concert
2000
1.85 | 13 ratings
Artistically Cryme
2002
3.74 | 23 ratings
Experience
2002
1.41 | 8 ratings
Endless Life
2003
3.92 | 10 ratings
Missing Face
2003
1.94 | 14 ratings
Way of life
2003
2.21 | 10 ratings
Prologue
2003
3.95 | 3 ratings
Playing the Cleveland
2003
4.25 | 4 ratings
Live In New York 1975
2005
2.53 | 8 ratings
Santa Monica Freeway
2005
3.55 | 23 ratings
King Alfred's College Winchester
2009
3.92 | 28 ratings
Live In Stockholm '75
2009
3.94 | 29 ratings
Live at the Bicentennial
2014

GENTLE GIANT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.64 | 196 ratings
Giant On The Box
2004
4.27 | 98 ratings
GG At The GG
2006

GENTLE GIANT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
The Original Studio Gentle Giant - Vol. 1
1974
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Original Studio Gentle Giant - Vol. 2
1974
3.49 | 19 ratings
Giant Steps...The First Five Years 1970-1975
1975
3.13 | 4 ratings
Pretentious For The Sake Of It
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Circling Round The Gentle Giant
1981
4.17 | 3 ratings
Gentle Giant
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Il Grande Rock
1991
4.39 | 56 ratings
Edge of Twilight
1996
3.14 | 65 ratings
Under Construction
1997
4.23 | 36 ratings
Free Hand/Interview
1998
3.23 | 33 ratings
Scraping The Barrel
2004
4.26 | 23 ratings
I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980)
2012
2.17 | 14 ratings
Memories Of Old Days
2013
4.31 | 36 ratings
Three Piece Suite
2017

GENTLE GIANT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Rock Power
1971
4.62 | 13 ratings
Prologue
1972
4.50 | 16 ratings
In A Glass House
1973
4.36 | 23 ratings
The Advent Of Panurge
1973
4.54 | 13 ratings
The Power and the Glory
1974
3.83 | 6 ratings
Give It Back
1976
3.00 | 6 ratings
I'm Turning Around
1977
3.88 | 8 ratings
Two Weeks in Spain
1977
4.45 | 11 ratings
Just the Same (live)
1977
3.00 | 5 ratings
Mountain Time
1978
1.56 | 8 ratings
Thank You (edit)
1978
3.33 | 4 ratings
Dando Vueltas
1978
3.17 | 6 ratings
Words from the Wise
1978
2.33 | 3 ratings
Underground
1980
2.20 | 5 ratings
All Through The Night
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
In A Power Free In'terview
2009
1.62 | 4 ratings
The Power And The Glory
2010

GENTLE GIANT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Interview by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.76 | 727 ratings

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Interview
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars Despite having the reputation as one of the most varied, original and extremely talented progressive rock bands of the entire 70s, GENTLE GIANT was unfortunately a bit too eclectic and ahead of the pack to capture the attention of the average prog fan of the day, however it did mean that the few followers they attracted were absolutely obsessed with this band and for good reason. This band sounded like no other. From its exact decade long existence that began in 1970 and ended in 1980, GENTLE GIANT released an album each year and even a second for the year 1972 which ended up with a total of 11 studio albums in that decade long run.

The beauty of GENTLE GIANT was the fact that all the members were multi-instrumentalists and the band was considered the most complex of all prog bands of the era as they performed the uncanny musical alchemy that mixed prog rock, soul, jazz, classical and most importantly crafted some of the most incredibly bizarre yet beautiful vocal harmonies ever heard with the perfect unorthodox mixtures of melody, dissonance and angular instrumental workouts. The band has become legendary for good reason but despite the plaudits of being early pioneers, the band struggled financially to carry on. But carry on they did in prog fashion at least until 1976's release of INTERVIEW, the band's eighth studio album and indisputable last leg of their prog journey before adopting a more mainstream rock switcheroo.

The band had been building momentum up to "Free Hand" which was released before but that was really the last year prog was en vogue before the changing tides ushered in the new wave, disco and punk era. INTERVIEW did not fair well in these musical eddies and got panned both critically and suffered commercially but in reality, INTERVIEW is a fascinating development from "Free Hand" in many ways although it is in many ways the very continuation of its excesses. This collection of seven tracks was presented as a concept album that engaged in a faux radio dialogue and even incorporated a bit of chit chat in between tracks and at the beginning of the album. The lyrics reflect the band's experiences within the music industry and trials and tribulations of being an "outsider" band that existed on the fringe of what was popular.

INTERVIEW has been a divisive album amongst fans with some loving the bold new statements on board musically speaking and others who deemed the album as driving off the cliff from which the band would never recover. Personally i'm on the love it side of the equation. While clearly a slight detour from the magnanimous brilliance that graced the band's first seven albums that began on the self-titled debut and culminated with "Free Hand," INTERVIEW is hardly the waste of time that so many have made this out to be. In fact in many ways, GENTLE GIANT had created a business as usual sort of album replete with all those frenetically tight-knit progressive workouts that incorporated jittery time signature antics, wildly creative vocal harmonics, polyrhythms and those utterly unique pseudo-melodies that were part jazz, part rock and part who knows what it was!

While all those scrumptious GENTLE GIANT-isms are full abundance and at times on steroids with power organ swells, guitar riffs on fire, exotic scales interwoven into the fabric of the musical tapestry, many seem to dwell on the aspects that set this album apart from all its predecessors. Perhaps the most noticeable comes on the second track "Give It Back" which to the fans' chagrin committed the crime of implementing reggae into the mix and thus receiving the wrath of those who cried that the band was going contemporary and following trends. Oh for bleep's sake. The song is brilliant. Reggae is nothing more than a form of musical syncopation and GG wove it into the proggy musical canvas like champs. It offered a slightly contemporary feel that the band eschewed on earlier albums but so what!

Overall the album is chock full of tasty knotty musical workouts, some of the most daring and energetic of the band's entire career. Take the guitar soloing on "Timing" for example. Gary Green delivers some of the best guitar work on ANY GG album and the mix of polyrhythms that incorporate piano rolls, violin screeches and multi-layered percussive tracks is stunningly brilliant in its depth. It is true that one can hear some of the poppier aspects of the future albums like "The Missing Piece" starting to come into play but at this point everything is still decked out in an over-the-top prog frosting which makes the cake that much more sweeter. My guess is that INTERVIEW comes off as a lot more abstract than the album's prior and it fails to deliver the same emotional connection for all its technical excesses may be a little show offy for some. Personally i find this album every bit as compelling as what came before. The end of a long line of great albums where the train stops, the prog band disembarks and a new mainstream musical group boards.

I will go as far as to say i enjoy this one much more than "Free Hand." It has all the elements only amplified several notches. The times were a-changing and GENTLE GIANT, despite appealing to musicians and seekers of eccentric complex prog who worshiped this band like gods, had run out of time as even the popular prog bands were waning in popularity. As far as the classics of GENTLE GIANT are concerned, INTERVIEW is the last great album to emerge from this ridiculously gifted group of English rockers. True that three more albums would be made and they weren't all that bad either for what they were, but to my ears INTERVIEW is one of the most brilliant prog albums ever made and more than holds its own in relation to the seven albums that preceded it. I seem to be in a lonely room with that opinion but i personally love the extra elements that they added. I'm actually quite fond of the reggae and new wave elements tucked in here and there. The secret to loving the heck out of INTERVIEW is by NOT comparing it with what came before. It is its own unique little slice of heaven.

 Playing the Cleveland by GENTLE GIANT album cover Live, 2003
3.95 | 3 ratings

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Playing the Cleveland
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was originally a bootleg release, but was "reclaimed" by the band when they gave it an official release on the Glass House label. The title is slightly misleading since it's actually a mashup of two performances - the majority of it is indeed from a Cleveland concert, but the last three tracks are from New York's Academy of Music.

The Cleveland portion of the set by itself - reunited which an absolutely barnstorming version of Mister Class And Quality? that this collection omits - has also more recently seen the light of day (and further tidying-up) in the Unburied Treasure boxed set. It is also by far the real meat of this collection in whatever configuration you obtain it, since the New York tracks are merely renditions of songs you've already heard a few minutes prior in the Cleveland set - it comes across as an ill-advised attempt to try and pad the running time out to 70 minutes when the 55 minutes from Cleveland are satisfying enough as they are.

The material is apparently sourced from a radio broadcast of the concert, so whilst it's free from a lot of the shortcomings of audience tapes, it doesn't quite have the fidelity of a multitrack live recording, or even a soundboard tape for that matter, but if you can look past that what you get here is Gentle Giant in the middle of what was arguably their creative zenith - The Power and the Glory material has now been played enough to be very well-integrated into their setlist, the recording sessions for the classic Free Hand are just on the horizon, and the band are on fine form.

 Free Hand by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.28 | 1456 ratings

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Free Hand
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

5 stars This album is their most underrated masterpiece, it has the most jazz influenced moments I've heard in the band without it sounding overly jazzy. Of course it has the recording quality problems but... it comes to perhaps noones surprise that I have the 2009 remaster.

Which of course... that just brings the album an entirely new light that I didn't think I'd hear in the band ever but... it happened. "Just The Same", Plenty of fun odd times, that classic GG quirk and a fresh spin on their sound. Overall, this song really had such an amazing structure, great chord progression and good lyrics. "On Reflection", ok... this one is interesting. Weird, calm but sweet sound with that classic quirk. The Title Track... now... no need to explain this one, good time signatures, good chord progressions, chord changes, etc. Great song overall, just an added bonus to this masterpiece. "Time To Kill" has great vocal harmonies, interesting instrument interplay, etc. "His Last Voyage"... such a strange track but ... I really love it. It's very interesting but it has its quality so... you know. "Talybont"... instrumental that fits very well on this album... can't say much about it. "Mobile", this ending track, good ending to a great album, it's a tad anticlimactic but GG has been known for that so. No complaints! 5/5.

 Civilian by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.75 | 425 ratings

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Civilian
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Mirakaze

3 stars Genesis trying out post-grunge may have been an embarrassment, but can you believe Gentle Giant trying out post-punk is actually somewhat decent? No, it's not prog, so if you expect to hear something in the vein of Octopus, you will have a bad time. What's worse though is that the arrangement is extremely sterile for Gentle Giant standards: the former massive array of exotic instruments has been replaced by a standard rock setup with generic 80s guitar and synthesizer. BUT, the actual songs are quite catchy, sometimes even moving, and show a good deal of energy and dedication (even though the band reportedly hated working on them). The bland instrumentation actually enforces the album's concept, centered around the alienation of man in the soulless modern world. I see this concept as semi-autobiographical for the band, almost like a final middle finger salute to the music industry and general public that wouldn't support them in making the music they really wanted to make. I can't really call this a great career end for Gentle Giant, but it is a genuinely poignant picture of a band mourning their imminent demise.
 King Alfred's College Winchester by GENTLE GIANT album cover Live, 2009
3.55 | 23 ratings

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King Alfred's College Winchester
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Octopus by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.30 | 1899 ratings

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Octopus
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Gentle Giant has always been celebrated as one of the more out there classic prog bands, at least out of the fairly widely known ones. They has a consistent track record of putting out album after album of short albums that focus more on dense, ever changing compositions as opposed to longer, more grandiose strectches of music, with a major part of their sound being centred around complex vocal arrangements. This album is the first of the three albums by the band where they took this complexity to another level in certain respects, especially these vocal arrangements, at times being downright labyrinthine. With that said, Octopus is also one of the most accessible ones albums by Gentle Giant, having more melodic moments and embracing a medieval folk sound. Despite all that has so far been said, I can also say with fair certainty that this is my least favourite of the classic era GG albums, as I find a couple of the songs to either be quite dull or at the very least, nothing special. I feel like a lot of this comes down to these extremely short song structures causing there to be very little breathing room, eliminating the expansive nature of many of the prog greats. That said, the album still isn't a bad one, just a less appealing one to me when stacked up against the rest of the band's discography.

The Advent Of Panurge starts off the album in a very strong way, with a quiet, pretty melody that quickly begins the wonderful layering that the band applies, backed up by occasional hints of guitar. The song picks up very quickly however, with a groovy bassline backed up by what almost feels like random piano keys being played, some moments with high energy, others being soft and dreamy, right before kicking back in with another idea, all around very jazzy, never sitting still, but with a great central melody. Raconteur Troubadour is a more conventional song in certain respects, with a more focused central theme and a more beautiful, heavily medieval sound. As with the previous song, this one quickly picks up as well, briefly becoming frantic before settling right back down with its main verse, the chorus being rhythmically interesting as it constantly sounds as if it's lagging slightly behind, before making a quick sprint to catch up, repeating this process many times over. My favourite part of the song is definitely the instrumental section in the middle, softly building up with an increasingly fast drum while violins are played wonderfully, before it briefly bursts into a cheery, almost regal sounding section filled with trumpet. Unfortunately, after these first two amazing songs, the album doesn't leave the listener with too many great tracks, one of the most notable ones being A Cry For Everyone, which is more energetic and more rock oriented, but this energy ends up feeling extremely wasted thanks to the weakness of every part involving vocals, and the keyboard use does come off as very cheesy and underwhelming for the most part.

The album manages to avoid falling flat here by following up this weak track with the absolutely perfect Knots, which is easiy one of my favourite songs by the band, and undoubtedly the highlight of this album. The vocal layering present here is absolutely spot on all the way throughout, sounding so incredibly precise, starting out minimalistic, including literally no instrument other than the voice, before briefly including some quick xylophone, before going back to the minimal amount of instrumental work. the song then takes it to another level when it follows the near non existent rhythm and becomes bouncier and more cold and otherworldly, before gradually singing higher notes until the instrumentation fully comes in, sounding almost apocalyptic in nature. The layering of the vocals all throughout the song are nothing short of mind bending , and become more and more impressive the more you try concentrating on the insane rhythmic interplay going on. The Boys in the Band is a better showcase of the band playing something energetic than the poor Cry For Everyone, still displaying a lot of the intricacies of the slower, more calcukated tracks, but giving it enough of a powerful twist to make it interesting, especially that really great saxophone that appears about midway through.

Dog's Life is a folksy little ditty that really does nothing for me. It has a saccharine quality to it that turns me off immensely, and the overbearing classical sound really doesn't seem to work as well here as it did in Peel The Paint, this one just coming off as cheesy. Think of Me With Kindness is better than Dog's Life, but I'm just not as keen on the ballad type songs that the band puts out, I feel like they're far less adventurous and that the band lacks the ability to make a truly beautiful melody that has any impact for more than a few seconds, with them being fun and quirky almost always working out far better for them. That said, this is at the very least a pleasant song, which is better than can be said about a couple of other songs here. River is a strange song, on one hand, I like the abrasive edge it has, with the vocal melody being quite wonky and seemingly out of place with the instrumentation, but on the other hand, I feel like there are too many moments of this in which it just ends up working terribly, such as the quieter section near the start where Derek Shulman tries and fails to sing decent high notes. I also feel like the song ends up meandering quite a bit, with the middle section transitioning right back into more off key singing that's just retreading the opening section, which also wasn't particularly great. Overall, while the song is definitely interesting, I can't say it works particularly well on a level beyond this.

Despite the fact that this album has some of the best songs that Gentle Giant would make, and the shift towards even more complex music is one that I personally love, the uneven nature of this album really drags it down. Certain song just bore me, with a couple being straight up bad in my opinion. However, due to the fact that I am a big fan of the songs here that are good, I would still say that this album is one to listen ot at least once, as when it's good, it's really good. I personally believe that the band would move on to make the two best albums of their career past this point, and this album is definitely responsible for sowing the seeds that would eventually grow into those absolute gems, showing greater prominence in rhythmic interplay and all around instrumenal weirdness. Definitely an interesting album for sure, just not one I personally can enjoy to its fullest extent.

Best songs: The Advent Of Panurge, Raconteur Troubadour, Knots (this one is especially recommended)

Weakest songs: A Cry For Everyone, Dog's Life, River

Verdict: Despite being more accessible in certain ways, this is also the start of Gentle Giant taking their already complex songwriting to the next level. It unfortunately falters in some places, but definitely at least partially makes up for it with the great tracks. I'd recommend listening to their previous 2 albums, Acquiring the Taste and Three Friends first before trying this one out, but this has enough good material to warrant at least one listen, especially if you're a fan of more calculated, intricate music.

 Civilian by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.75 | 425 ratings

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Civilian
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Contre-emploi.

Robert deNiro making a comedy, Jim Carrey acting as a depressed person, Tom Cruise as a bad guy, Meryl Streep as a rockstar: it's called contre-emploi. Here Gentle Giant is less gentle but more giant and dropped most of it's panache at the door. So what to expect in this contre-emploi?

A straightforward rock album. Like Kelsey Grammer in X-Men Last Stand, Gentle Giant is trying to fit in but their style is still recognizable. The songs are rocking hard and mostly fast-paced but it's still GG, no doubt.

So why the bashing? I don't entirely get it. It's an attempt to attract a larger crowd, to broaden your horizons. It didn't quite got the welcome they wanted, but it's far from a bad record, and certainly not a boring one.

I've heard much more pathetic attempts at being hip with Kiss, Aerosmith or Guns N' Roses so cut Gentle Giant some flippin' slack, will ya? Geez.

 Civilian by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.75 | 425 ratings

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Civilian
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "Civilian" is a completely different record in comparison to "Missing Piece" and "Giant for a Day", because the aforementioned were transition, transformation albums: they had an uncertain identity, while Civilian has its own clear identity, it is a very well defined, homogeneous album that proposes a new sound. The transformation has been completed: Gentle Giant have become a rock band in step with industrial, citizen new wave. Progressive rock has been definitively abandoned, archived: it is part of the past.

The nine songs of Civilian present a new band, which we don't know, a real discovery. "Convenience" is a fast rock song with an industrial sound (vote 7+). "All Through The Night" is a conventional piece strophe-refrain, with a good work by Gary Green at the electric guitar (vote 6,5). Kerry Minnear sings in "Shadows on The Street": good piano ballad, with sophisticated beginning, but it fades too quicky (vote 7,5). The hard rock guitar by Green, protagonist of the album along with the drums of Weathers, back in, a good conventional rock song: "Number one" (vote 7+). Noises of urban transport describe the beginning of the song that is perhaps the most emblematic of the album, fully representing the concept of the Lp: the alienation of people in the mass industrial society, in modern cities (vote7,5/8). Shots of photography introduce "I Am to Camera" (vote 7,5), very sustained rhythm, good singing. The album has now a beatiful passage with the sequence of the two previous tracks. Kerry Minnear is really in the background, but luckily with the next song, "Inside Out" (the longest, almost six minutes) we can listen to his keyboards (I guess electric piano). It's difficult to hear Ray Shulman's bass. Anyway the song is too much repetetive (vote 7).

The last two songs are the final rush. "It's Not Imagination" is fast and sustained, and includes some dissonances of the old times. It recall some prog songs of the past. Good solo on the guitar. Anyway, the track is weak (6,5). "Heroes No More" is a good rock and roll, mid- tempo, very solid (vote 7,5)

Civilian is a record of discreet musical quality, well-made, but all in all not very inspired. It's a Lp made more with the experience and the tricks of the trade than for an artistic urgency. It remains a brave album of a band that wanted to change skin and present himself new to the eighties. In fact it's a debut. It had to be a new beginning, but, given the bad commercial response, it was the end of Gentle Giant. Honor to Gentle Giant

Medium quality of the songs: 7,17. Vote album: 6,5. Rating: Two Stars.

 Three Piece Suite by GENTLE GIANT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2017
4.31 | 36 ratings

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Three Piece Suite
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by WFV

3 stars Good music, but not really treading any new ground. It seems Steven Wilson is only involved with one item here, a single length version of "Nothing at All" one of Gentle Giants many classic songs. Still, as with any authorized release, the quality and craftsmanship is awesome. The real attraction for the initiated is the unreleased track but there's no fireworks on that one. Overall, the material is from their first three albums so it's not a complete overview and while it has some great and good tracks, it leaves fans wanting more. This album did solidify my thinking "Nothing at All" ranks among the classic rock era's great songs side by side with mainstays like Stairway to Heaven etc. and "Schooldays" I rank among their best work.
 Three Friends by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.11 | 1198 ratings

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Three Friends
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars I would say that this is definitely the most accessible of the main era of Gentle Giant (ranging from self titled to Free Hand), having very few moments of dense, experimental works like they are known for, and instead having more moments that are simply beautiful, still maintaining enough of the classic Gentle Giant feel, making a truly great record. This is where the band began making full use of their signature layered vocals, making it more than just a gimmick or cool effect, and instead making it one of the main features of the album.

The first two songs, 'Prologue' and 'Schooldays' demonstrate this perfectly, both using it as a central aspect of the compositions, full of mellotron and pleasant melodies. The main acoustic line in 'Schooldays further improves upon the tone that the album has, being quite pleasant in general, with each element not standing out as quirky or difficult as what is generally the case with Gentle Giant, instead simply making each song quite complex in composition in a subtle way, so on the surface, it seems quite simple. 'Schooldays' also has a really great middle section, becoming mildly creepy as it increases in volume, before going back to the wonderfully happy main section of the song.

After these first two songs, the album takes a harder rock approach, with more catchy elements thrown in. 'Working All Day' makes excellent use of the saxophone and Hammond organ, with the saxophone producing an excellent main melody that is incredibly catchy. The Hammond organ solo is also quite good, providing something to mix up the song, stopping it from being dull. 'Peel the Paint' is easily my favourite song on the album, and one of my favourites by the band as a whole. The way the beautiful classical sound slowly changes into a full blown rock track is such an amazing moment, the powerful vocals further improving this. The song increases in density significantly, full of saxophone and guitar, reminding me of 'Van Der Graaf Generator' in terms of instrumentation, with the heavy use of the saxophone being especially reminiscent. This song also is slightly more jam oriented, including a fairly long guitar solo, something that is fairly against the norm for the band, since they usually focus on making short, dense songs that jump between ideas. I find this a welcome change in this case, as I really think that the rock focused portion of the track really did deserve the longer period of time to flourish. The final two tracks blend into one another, bringing back the heavy use of mellotron and keeping up the building energy. These songs also still sound much more like standard prog compared to their past and future works, focusing heavily on melody rather than cramming ideas in, and make an excellent closer to the album.

Everything about this album is significantly more understated than other Gentle Giant works, relying on subtlety and nuance in each track, rather than the usual quirky experimentation that the band is known for. Even the concept of the album is wonderfully understated and humble in nature, without any majorly bombastic moments or anything of the sort. This is overall one of my favourite Gentle Giant albums, as it feels like one of the most complete works by the band, without a single note sounding out of place and with some seriously strong high points.

Best tracks: Schooldays, Peel the Paint, Three Friends

Weakest Tracks: None

Verdict: The most subtle, complete work of Gentle Giant, sacrificing the fiercely experimental and quirky nature of their first two albums in favour of some more subtle, easygoing moments, while also further solidifying the musical identity of the band.

Thanks to Ivan Melgar M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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