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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

GENTLE GIANT Videos (YouTube and more)


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Three Piece Suite [Blu-ray]Three Piece Suite [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray
ALUCARD RECORDS 2017
$15.19
$17.41 (used)
Playing The Fool - TPlaying The Fool - T
Remastered
Alucard 2010
$7.81
$6.81 (used)
OctopusOctopus
Remastered
Alucard 2011
$12.68
Free HandFree Hand
Remastered
Alucard 2010
$8.26
$3.64 (used)
Gentle GiantGentle Giant
Island Def Jam 1990
$5.02
$2.04 (used)
Three FriendsThree Friends
Remastered
Alucard 2011
$11.27
$7.17 (used)
I Lost My Head: The Albums 1975-1980I Lost My Head: The Albums 1975-1980
Chrysalis Records 2018
$21.05
$32.49 (used)
In A Glass HouseIn A Glass House
Remastered
Alucard 2010
$19.21
$27.85 (used)
Live At The Bicentennial [2 CD]Live At The Bicentennial [2 CD]
Alucard 2014
$10.64
$10.54 (used)
Acquiring The TasteAcquiring The Taste
Mercury 1990
$5.18
$3.72 (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)

3.93 | 1132 ratings
Gentle Giant
1970
4.26 | 1403 ratings
Acquiring The Taste
1971
4.11 | 1153 ratings
Three Friends
1972
4.30 | 1801 ratings
Octopus
1972
4.35 | 1558 ratings
In A Glass House
1973
4.30 | 1462 ratings
The Power And The Glory
1974
4.28 | 1389 ratings
Free Hand
1975
3.74 | 701 ratings
Interview
1976
2.95 | 516 ratings
The Missing Piece
1977
2.30 | 444 ratings
Giant For A Day
1978
2.75 | 401 ratings
Civilian
1980

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

4.51 | 413 ratings
Playing The Fool - The Official Live
1977
3.57 | 23 ratings
In Concert (BBC Radio 1)
1994
4.11 | 57 ratings
Out Of The Woods
1996
2.40 | 33 ratings
The Last Steps
1996
4.12 | 58 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents
1998
4.05 | 26 ratings
Out Of The Fire
1998
1.86 | 16 ratings
In A Palesport House
1999
4.12 | 43 ratings
Totally Out Of The Woods
2000
1.96 | 19 ratings
Live Rome 1974
2000
2.22 | 14 ratings
Interview In Concert
2000
1.77 | 11 ratings
Artistically Cryme
2002
3.74 | 22 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
2.19 | 9 ratings
Prologue
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Playing the Cleveland
2003
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live In New York 1975
2005
2.50 | 7 ratings
Santa Monica Freeway
2005
3.39 | 20 ratings
King Alfred's College Winchester
2009
3.90 | 25 ratings
Live In Stockholm '75
2009
3.92 | 25 ratings
Live at the Bicentennial
2014

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

4.63 | 189 ratings
Giant On The Box
2004
4.27 | 93 ratings
GG At The GG
2006

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Original Studio Gentle Giant - Vol. 1
1974
0.00 | 0 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
4.09 | 2 ratings
Gentle Giant
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Il Grande Rock
1991
4.39 | 55 ratings
Edge of Twilight
1996
3.13 | 62 ratings
Under Construction
1997
4.23 | 36 ratings
Free Hand/Interview
1998
3.21 | 31 ratings
Scraping The Barrel
2004
4.24 | 22 ratings
I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980)
2012
2.17 | 14 ratings
Memories Of Old Days
2013
4.32 | 32 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
 Three Piece Suite by GENTLE GIANT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2017
4.32 | 32 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 | 1153 ratings

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Three Friends
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Kempokid

5 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.

 The Missing Piece by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.95 | 516 ratings

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The Missing Piece
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

3 stars "The Missing Piece" is the ninth album of the Gentle Giant, successor of "Interview". If we compare Interview (the first song of the homonymous album) with Two Weeks in Spain, we immediately notice a great change in the music of the Gentle Giant: they have gone from progressive rock to commercial music easy listening. It is the end of the group's golden age, and the beginning of their decadence, is not it? Yes and No.

Reality is more complex. In fact, the album Interview represents the progressive rock of the GG that reels, trudges on itself and continues compulsively to try to get out of a dead end. The effort is always deserving, but there is no longer inspiration (no good melody), lightness, creative urgency; on the contrary: there is a compulsive way of repeating the same compositional schemes until they are consumed, until the patterns are all that is left of the music. From this point of view, Interview represents the decadence, the forced attempt to keep alive the corpse of the GG's progressive rock while The Missing Piece represents the attempt of rebirth of the GG according to the new musical canons of freshness, immediacy, linearity.

Are the GGs reborn? Yes, the GGs are no longer the dying progressive rock corpse of Interview that did not want to die, but a new group, which courageously seeks a new identity, and does so with merit, appreciable inspiration and goodwill. That's why according to my evaluation criteria, The Missing Piece is a better album than Interview (and even better than those of earlier years where the inspiration has failed in favor of the repetition of progressive rock patterns: Three Friends and In A Glass House).

The Missing Piece is a doble face album. First side full of brief commercial (and not high medium quality) rock (and soul) songs, second side with great songs in art-rock style mixed with progressive rock style.

"Two Weeks In Spain" is good rock and roll but too much repetitive (vote 7); "I'm Turning Around" is an atmospheric, melodic ballad, good. Very simple keyboard solo, really not in the GG style but anyway great effect on the listener for the very good melody (vote 8); "Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It" is speed rock and roll (near to punk rock) with repetitive chorus; the beginning works but soon the song become forced and then fade away (vote 6,5/7); "Who Do You Think You Are?" is an electric ballad with good soul cadence but that soon become too much repetitive and not developed: a missing chance (vote 5,5).

"Mountain Time" is a beautiful, funky danceable piano song, which sees for the first time in the career of GG Derek Shulman singing with the voice of black shouters, especially in the finale where the syncopated rhythm becomes percussive and gives way to the splendid singing of Derek to rise up to virtuosity (vote 7,5).

Side B open with the proggy "Old As You're Young", a medieval track sung by the angelic voice of Minnear, very good; here the fan of GG can take a breath of relief: their progressive rock is not dead, rather it is reborn. Vote 8. Memories Of Old Days is the masterpiece of Lp. Beautiful acoustic guitars (Ray played 12-strings acoustic guitar), beautiful romantic melody, evocative renaissance's sound of flute (produced by the synth?). In the song there are no percussions, no rhythm or arrangement variation: this is the difference between this track and the past masterpieces. Vote 8,5. Winning begins in a percussive way that reminds to "Runaway" (In A Glass House) and then become a good rock piece, very supported in the rhythm, with interesting percussion intermezzo. The mood of the song doesn't change from the beginning to the end: the musical chords are always the same: a refrain is missing; fortunately, in the middle of the piece comes a contrast section, although rather similar to the stanzas (vote 7,5). "For Nobody" is a proggy track, similiar to some of Free Hand or Interview. It is speed rock, very supported and in some moments then rhythm is too much forced and compulsive. No great melody but good job of the band. Vote 7.

In this album GG find inspiration and decide to change direction, taking the linearity already partly exhibited in some songs of Power & Glory and Free Hand but with more simplicity in the compositions and arrangements (I miss the violin played by Ray). On the first side, however, this linear approach joins the commercial rock and soul and produces short unpublished pieces for the GG, I would say dignified, who want to keep up with the punk and new wave. In the second part of the disc this approach leads to good results, in line with the past, but at the same time more relaxed and closer to easy listening.

Anyway, The Missing Piece is a good album, effective, which achieves the objectives that it is given. Medium quality of the songs: 7,31. Vote album: 7,5. Three stars.

 Octopus by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.30 | 1801 ratings

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Octopus
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

4 stars After a problematic disc as Three Friends, arrives Octopus, where the songs have been simplified by structure, arrangements and duration. The deflagrating guitar solos and the drums solos of the previous albums are totally missing. The dominance of Minnear is complete: instrumental variations even those hard rock are completely entrusted to his keyboards, which more often have math rock little pieces.

The violins are still present in two songs, one on each side. Knots' vocal and rhythmic interweaving is remarkable. The only piece that aspires to remember the long hard rock pieces of the past is River, where the guitar is less powerful but reaches a great rock charge, and it is then quickly goes around again to math rock, albeit with interesting interludes. The winds have an important role only in three songs, the best on the album. The album has therefore lost any symphonic orchestral connotation of the previous ones, especially the first two.

GG are arrived at a formal progressive song formally perfect, of medium length, driven by keyboards, with changes of rhythms and arrangements (violins, winds) unpredictable but overall very composed and measured, with some moments of pathos very beautiful although immediately shredded by intermezzos math rock or complicated vocal harmonies.

It is not a case that this album is the favourite of classic rock fans: it has not the typical faults of progressive rock: it is not pretentious, it does not dilate the times and the duration of the sound solutions. It is a layered album, with many complex formal solutions, but all within medium and "light" songs, which do not require particularly demanding listening (especially the first three of the second side)

The first song is excellent, the best of the album, with continuous changes of rhythm, vocal harmonies and passages from the melodic to the hard powerful rock. The second song is in the style of Funny Ways but less melodic, more rhythmic, and more unpredictable. The third song is a fairly simple rock where the keyboards alternate with the strophes sung with continuous improvisation. The fourth piece is difficult, an exercise in style for vocal harmonies and rhythm, but with remarkable instrumental passages, which in some cases reach a great pathos.

Side A: 1) The advent of Panurge 8+; 2) Raconteur, Troubadour 8; 3) A cry for everyone 7,5; 4) Knots 7,5/8:

The second side is lighter than the first: it begins with an instrumental song, good, then there is the piece more easy listening, with a very simple melody. Then arrive one of the most romantic songs of the GG, Think of Me With Kindness, which has moments of great pathos, this is a song that speaks to the heart, but when the melody become too much pathetic arrive the cerebral math rock variations of Minnear, that partially ruins the pathos. Anyway, a very romantic and delicate song. The second side in this way is very melodic but in the end arrive The River, the only track of long duration: not a particular inspirend song but with great instrumental passages, that make more heavy the final of the album.

Side B: 5) The boys in the band 7+; 6) Dog's life 7; 7) Think of me with kindness 8; 8) River 8;

Medium Quality: 7,72. Vote: 8,5. Four stars

 Giant For A Day by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.30 | 444 ratings

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Giant For A Day
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

2 stars After the good " The Missing Piece", Gentle Giant lose their inspiration and they could not make progress along the new direction they have taken. In fact, GIANT FOR A DAY is the album of the definitive detachment from progressive rock, the only one where Minnear does not sing and has a clearly secondary role in the group's music, being a quite trivial guitar-oriented album.

After the nice but repetitive vocal harmonies of the opening piece (Words From the Wise, vote 7,5), follows a simple acoustic ballad, in Roger Hodgson style (Supertramp) but not very effective, sometimes inascible (Thank You, vote 5,5/6). The third song (Giant for a Day, vote 7,5/8) is at least original and introduces new sounds and new singing in the production of GG. The fourth piece is an instrumental worthy of a soundtrack of a grotesque film (Spooky Boogy, vote 7). "Take Me" is a funkpop that follows the easy listening of side A (vote 7+).

With "Little Brown Bag" (vote 7) the sound goes to the land of hard rock, but without real conviction. The GG seem beginners or retired musicians who write just to earn some extra money. The two minutes of "Friends" (written by the drummer Weathers) seem to say that the GG do not take it seriously (vote 6,5). In fact, another song comes, "No Stranger", where the group's commitment is minimal (vote 6+). Instead with "It's Only Goodbye" (vote 8), the GGs look for the epic melody, and they succeed: the most beautiful romantic and commercial melodic ballad of the group comes out. The last piece (Rock Climber, vote 7+) is a bogie rock.

Giant for a Day is a commercial album of pop and rock easy listening, with melodic interventions, which has no internal consistency but that seeks only the success of the charts but does not succeed. The GG are wasted for this type of music (and Derek Shulman does not have the right voice), and we see that they do not take it seriously as those who really breaks through the charts.

Medium quality: 7,025; Vote album: 6+; Two Stars

 In A Glass House by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.35 | 1558 ratings

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In A Glass House
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

2 stars If I consider the score and the number of reviews here on PA, In A Glass House is the masterpiece of GG. It is the first in this ranking. Instead I think it is one of their worst albums, despite being one of the most progressive.

Side A. 1) The Runaway 8; Brilliant the initial rhythmic rock of the first song, which then rattles off in a thousand variations and in some steps of their typical math rock, which towards in the end results a bit exasperated and repetitive. 2) An Inmates Lullaby 6.5/7; The second piece, as the title suggests, it's a lullaby; an original piece compared to the previous production, all choruses and percussions; it could remember (and make to regret) Edge of Twilight or Moon is Down. 3) Way of Life 7+; Third piece of a compulsive rock, very sustained, all keyboards, with reinassance variations, which in some places almost reaches an epic inspiration that however expires in math rock.

Side B. 4) Experience 6.5; Second side (worse than the first) with the same structure: two long rock tracks interspersed with a classic bracket. It starta with a rock piece that begins undertone, continues with a medieval intermezzo and continues in a very forced way (with bad guitar solo), little inspired. 5) A reunion 6+; Follows a brief parenthesis with the strings: an anonymous piece, without a great melody, subdued; 6) In a Glass House 7+; Conclusion with the piece that gives the title to the album (the longest of the GG after Nothing at All), a folk rock characterized by the violin and the sustained rhythm, that changes continuously, and suddenly, in a completely forced way: the piece doesn't know what direction it wants to take.

There is a lot of technique and a lot of sophistication, a lot of skill, but - with the exception of the first piece - there is not much inspiration in the pieces of this album, which in fact are the ones that remain the least in mind of all the classic production of the Gentle Giant. There is in fact no masterpiece, no classic, no melodically remarkable piece. In terms of arrangements, nothing new compared to Octopus, if not the absence of the winds, which makes the music more monotonous, also because compared to Octopus has lost in clarity and conciseness, as well as in melody, to become more convolute and repetitive . It is the progressive in full of its faults. In this album there is a band without inspiration that uses all his craft to create compositions according to the crism of progressive rock: but when you compose art without a real expressive urgency, thinking only of making a pedantic execution of the canons of a genre (musical or literary ), you get a formally flawless product, perhaps exalted by some lovers of the genre, but that is completely insipid emotionally and that seems unbearably didactic for those who do not like the genre.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,00. Rating = 6.5 / 7. Two stars. Very Overrated.

 The Power And The Glory by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.30 | 1462 ratings

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The Power And The Glory
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

3 stars The first song, a masterpiece, sliding, simple in the arrangement, resumes the discourse undertaken in Octopus with Advent of Panurge (which however lack the variety of the arrangement and the volatility of the music), extending the time and adding an excellent electronic interlude. This leaves a foretaste of a great album: it will not be like that. The second song is the most difficult to perform, almost a piece of avant-garde, with odd rhythms, dissonances, choirs, counters; a huge job for the voices and the rhythm. Its complexity satisfies the intellect but makes physical pleasure of listening difficult. The third piece is a slow, romantic, sung with the delicious and suffused voice of Minnear, far too monotonous in structure and music: it does not come close to Think of me with Kindness of Octopus: the pathos and the crescendo are missing. So far we have heard three extreme songs in the arrangements, very different from each other. The fourth song, which has an intermezzo for a time not medieval but only slow, has a pleasant and smooth progress but it seems that the GG have settled down to reproduce the same rhythm from slow going up to exasperation without asking themselves any development and variation.

1) Proclamation 8,5; 2) So sincere 7,5; 3) Aspirations 7+; 4) Playing the game 7+;

The second side opens with a whimsical song, fast at the edge of the paroxysm, almost hard but for the rhythm and the electronic keyboards, not for the guitar that in the whole album is in the background. No God's a Man resumes the bland pace of Playing the Game, but it is anything but smooth, a continuous go stop start again, with continuous variations that are wrapped around themselves giving the impression of not knowing where to go: less successful piece. In an album where there is not a slow song with strings, comes The Face, a sort of interesting rock (that resembles Proclamation) as forced and compulsive at the end that sounds asphyxiating: its best is where the violin it plays a dissonant music, then giving way to the guitar, for the best instrumental moment of the album. Valedictory takes up the initial theme, making it even more electronic and paroxysmal, and proceeds in a crescendo screamed at the limits of the voice of Shulman up to curl up on itself. Second side with three songs out of four with highly anxiety-inducing, almost frantic, which makes the side hard to hear.

5) Cogs in cogs 7,5; 6) No God's a man 6+; 7) The Face 7+; 8) Valedictory 7,5;

Medium quality: 7,375. Vote: 7,5/8.

Overall it is a more than discreet album, which abandons the long, convoluted and pretentious songs of Glass House to chase a smooth and (quite) simplified sound; presents an initial isolated peak, and which continues based on already tested instrumental numbers, alternates slow pieces to other frenzied or dissonant: in the first side we find more varied atmospheres, in the second side songs too screamed and frantic, and the frame, the beginning and closing, touch an electronic hard rock.

Three stars.

 Free Hand by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.28 | 1389 ratings

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Free Hand
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

3 stars Free Hand continues with simple and linear songs, very clean sound, driven by the keyboards of Minnear, which characterized the previous Power and Glory. Also in this album are missing major innovations in the arrangements, and Derek Shulman as already in Power and Glory tends to a sung too screamed in rock songs, however here are also important ethereal moments, slow, dominated by an atmosphere of silence that are missing in the his predecessor.

First side that starts with a very strong rock piece, with Minnear that makes the numbers in the instrumental parts; then in the second come the choirs and medieval music left to the angelic voice of Minnear, alternating with percussive moments. The third piece, Free Hand, which has a great start with the piano, soon becomes a rock screamed with continuous dissonant piano phrases reminiscent of the pieces of Glass House. 1) Just the same 8; 2) On Reflection 7,5/8; 3) Free Hand 7,5;

Second side with a first minor rock song, fast, a bit 'anonymous, with instrumental pieces that recall those just heard in Free Hand. It follows a beautiful composite piece (His Last Voyage), with Minnear singing the ethereal Renaissance part, which fades into a good instrumental interlude with the best guitar solo of the album, which finally brings back to the initial theme. The song is the best piece on the album. Talybont is the short medieval instrumental piece that, together with the others, creates this renaissance atmosphere on the album, diffused in the less rock pieces. Mobile ends with a pulsating rock, very strong, where there are also violins to create continuous rhythmic and timbral variations, which are more connected to the sound of Glass House than of Power and Glory. 4) Time To Kill 7; 5) His Last Voyage 8; 6) Talybont 6,5/7; 7) Mobile 7;

Overall, it is a good album, measured, very homogeneous, with no peaks or drops, which alternates, and partly melts, a rock soul, which combines Power and Glory and Glass House in good and bad moments, and is full of medieval atmosphere , which expresses the best of the album.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,43. Vote: 8. Rating: three (and a half) stars.

 Interview by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.74 | 701 ratings

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Interview
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

2 stars "Interview" is the record that marks the beginning of the end of the Gentle Giant. Quickly recorded to exploit the success of "Free Hand", it shows obvious gaps in the arrangements. And one wonders: how they thought to climb the charts with songs so ardous? In fact, compared to "Power and Glory" and Free Hand, the songs are not linear and flowing but pervaded by cybernetic, robotic, redundant cadences, which cancel every melody and every rock moment, and in fact are missing medieval moments and rock explosions. Remains a music driven by a spastic rythm.

The songs: 1) Interview is the best song, for its aggression and variety (vote 8); 2) Give It Back accentuates these robotic rhythms but keeps well (vote 7.5 / 8); 3) Design got original chorus and percussion but without adequate music, it appears unfinished and has rough lines almost unattainable (vote 7); 4) Another Show, short and fast, does not go anywhere (vote 5.5); 5) Empty city, with its relaxed rhythm, seems an instrumental piece, at first, but then develops, little and badly (vote 6+); 6) Timing at least has violins and a guitar solo, but again presents moments with unlistenable rhythms, even for the dissonance of violins, excessive (vote 6,5); 7) I Lost My Head has intimate part and then become rock, but the chords are always the same: the arrangement this time hides the poverty of writing (vote 7.5).

Interview, apart from the first two pieces, and in part the last, is a mediocre album, which brings the GG out of the progressive and close to an electronic and cybernetic rock. It remains an original Lp, but overall little more than enough.

Medium quality: 6.93. Vote 6.5 Two stars.

 Acquiring The Taste by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.26 | 1403 ratings

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Acquiring The Taste
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

4 stars The album consists of 3 masterpieces (Pantagruel, The House, Plain Truth) and 5 minor tracks, almost fillers without great development but with various instrumental solutions. The three masterpieces are long pieces, which alternate slow parts with a rock progression with a great Green guitar solo. Alongside these three great songs (similar to the 4 rock songs of the first album), there is another medium-length rock piece, Wreck, with medieval intermezzo that resembles "Why Not?" But Wreck is very repetitive in the part hard-rock, because the choral solutions make the song proceed automatically with the rhythm, making it become a long lament, always the same, sometimes unfathomable. Wreck, which is also pleasant in the medieval part, is the only unsuccessful piece on the album.

The general climate is nocturnal, intimate, at a medium-slow pace, with medieval digressions and powerful hard-rock explosions of Green's guitar, all seasoned with wind arrangements that give a sense of orchestra, as in the first album. It is progressive rock orchestral, with solutions ranging from wind instruments to violins, and music that ranges from hard-rock to medieval, in a mix that has a great originality and that indulges only sometimes in instrumental pieces a bit offensive if not cloying. The often choral chant recalls the Gregorian chant, especially in Pantagruel's Nativity, which has a symphonic structure: a unique piece of its kind. The third song, The Home ... is the second long piece, which indulges in math rock on the edge of jazz in the soft parts and then explode with the hard-rock guitarism. The last long piece, finally, Plain Truth, is the most sustained rock piece: it has a violin wah wah, great found on the album, and a hard-rock structure that recalls (more than the other two masterpieces) the songs from the first album. Finally, there are the novelties: three nocturnal ballads, sometimes cloying. Edge of Twilight and The Moon is Down resemble both in music and in the text, which has references to reciprocal titles; Edge of twilight is slower, has an interlude suspended with percussion; Moon is Down is more rhythmic and has a beautiful fiatist interlude. Black Cat is a ballad with dissonant accompanying violins.

Compared to the debut album, Acquiring is less creative, less powerful, less varied; it has no decidedly rock pieces or decidedly classical pieces, with the violins in the foreground. Acquiring presents half masterpieces and half gregarious pieces, which contribute to create a nocturnal Lp, formed largely by orchestral ballads, which find rock moments only in the longest pieces. It remains a great album, certainly valuable and original for the mix of sounds, which in the best moments are melodically inspired and well arranged, or dragging rock, and in the worst moments sound like refined arrangements but artifacts and cloying.

The songs: 1) Pantagruel's Nativity 8+; 2) Edge of Twilight 7+; 3) The House 8,5; 4) Acquiring the Taste 6+ (no vote); 5) Wreck 5,5; 6) The Moon is Down 7,5; 7) Black Cat 7; 8) Plain Truth 8,5.

Vote album: 8.5. Four stars.

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

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