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GENTLE GIANT

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Gentle Giant biography
Formed in the late 60's by the Shulman brothers, 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?

Compilations Albums: Numerous collections and greatest hits albums have appeared over the years.

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The Power And The Glory (Mixed By Steven Wilson) [CD/Blu-ray Combo][Deluxe Edition]The Power And The Glory (Mixed By Steven Wilson) [CD/Blu-ray Combo][Deluxe Edition]
Alucard 2014
Audio CD$13.29
$13.28 (used)
OctopusOctopus
Remastered
Alucard 2011
Audio CD$12.29
$8.29 (used)
Gentle Giant - Gentle Giant/Acquiring The TasteGentle Giant - Gentle Giant/Acquiring The Taste
Import
BGO 2015
Audio CD$8.94
$7.99 (used)
Free HandFree Hand
Remastered
Alucard 2010
Audio CD$6.35
$4.50 (used)
Playing The Fool - TPlaying The Fool - T
Remastered
Alucard 2010
Audio CD$7.69
$4.49 (used)
Gentle Giant - Three Friends/OctopusGentle Giant - Three Friends/Octopus
Import
BGO 2015
Audio CD$9.04
$9.06 (used)
Octopus (Remixed by Steven Wilson)Octopus (Remixed by Steven Wilson)
Alucard 2015
Audio CD$14.98
$3.97 (used)
InterviewInterview
Remastered
Alucard 2010
Audio CD$6.35
$6.34 (used)
CivilianCivilian
One Way Records Inc 1997
Audio CD$22.39 (used)
Live At The Bicentennial [2 CD]Live At The Bicentennial [2 CD]
Alucard 2014
Audio CD$11.12
$11.26 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Giant Tracks - A Tribute To Gentle Giant Dbl CD USD $49.99 Buy It Now
GENTLE GIANT LP " Interview " CAPITOL Canada 1976' USD $9.95 Buy It Now
GENTLE GIANT LP " The Missing Piece " CAPITOL Canada 1977' USD $9.95 Buy It Now
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GENTLE GIANT I'm Turning Around 7" Blue Label Design B/w Just The Same (chs2160) USD $6.53 Buy It Now
GENTLE GIANT Thank You 7" B/w Spooky Boogie (chs2245) UK Chrysalis 1978 USD $6.53 Buy It Now
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CD Gentle Giant Three Friends DADC CBS Columbia CK 31649 DIDP 71764 Early Press USD $19.99 Buy It Now
GENTLE GIANT - Free Hand 1975 LP on Capitol Records ST 11428 VG+/VG+ USD $8.99 Buy It Now
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GENTLE GIANT Thank You 7" B/w Spooky Boogie (6155226) Pic Sleeve Has Small Initi USD $30.87 Buy It Now
GENTLE GIANT All Through The Night 7" B/w Convenience (102385100) Pic Sleeve GER USD $30.87 Buy It Now
GENTLE GIANT Words From The Wise 7" B/w No Stranger (chs2270) UK Chrysalis 1978 USD $6.53 Buy It Now
GENTLE GIANT Two Weeks In Spain 7" B/w Free Hand (chs2181) UK Chrysalis 1977 USD $8.88 Buy It Now
Vintage Gentle Giant Acquiring the Taste Record 1971 Vertigo England VEL-005 USD $166.69 Buy It Now
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USD $40.00 Buy It Now
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GENTLE GIANT Free Hand LP Original US Pressing in Shrink No Barcode USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 57m
Free Hand by Gentle Giant (CD, Feb-1993, One Way Records) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 27m
Gentle Giant ?- Three Friends 12" Vinyl LP Gatefold 6360 070 USD $55.85 Buy It Now 7h 57m
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Gentle Giant ?- Playing The Foole 12" Vinyl LP TAKRL 1943 USD $73.72 Buy It Now 7h 57m
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Live in Stockholm '75 5050693213923 by Gentle Giant, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P USD $19.50 Buy It Now 9h 21m
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GENTLE GIANT Live: Playing The Fool ** 2XLP orig. US 1977 USD $12.99 Buy It Now 18h 57m
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Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory (Steven Wilson Mix - 2.0 (NEW CD+BLU-RAY) USD $24.85 Buy It Now 19h 34m
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19h 48m
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GENTLE GIANT: The Official Live (playing The Fool) LP (2 LPs, orange labels, ga USD $8.00 Buy It Now 22h 6m
Gentle Giant Interview EX prog psych USD $8.00 [0 bids]
22h 18m
Gentle Giant The Power And The Glory EX prog psych USD $8.00 [0 bids]
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Gentle Giant Giant for a Day 1978 LP VG++ USD $11.99 Buy It Now 23h 9m
GENTLE GIANT "Playing The Foole" A Stake in The Heart/1975 American Tour bootleg USD $71.99 Buy It Now 23h 37m
Endless Life - Gentle Giant (CD Used Very Good) USD $5.51 Buy It Now 23h 46m
FRIGHT PIG - OUT OF THE BARNYARD SEALED 2013 GENESIS / GENTLE GIANT HAMMOND USD $13.41 Buy It Now 1 day
(CD) GENTLE GIANT - The Power And The Glory USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SCARCE Gentle Giant Free Hand 12" LP 1975 Capitol Records ST-11428 NM- USD $34.95 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT LP Three Friends 1972 Columbia progrock USD $12.50 [2 bids]
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YUSEEF LATEEF LP The Gentle Giant 1972 Atlantic jazz USD $7.00 [0 bids]
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Octopus - Gentle Giant (CD Used Very Good) USD $14.11 Buy It Now 1 day
Gentle Giant - Aquiring The Taste - Vertigo 1971 Stereo VEL-1005 USD $24.95 [0 bids]
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Vintage Gentle Giant Octopus Vinyl Record by Vertigo 33-1/3 1972 England 6360080 USD $179.11 Buy It Now 1 day
ORIG Gentle Giant For A Day LP Vinyl 1978 FRANCE PRESS Album King Krimson VG++ USD $12.49 Buy It Now 1 day
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Vintage Gentle Giant In a Glass House Record 1973 WWA England WWA 002 USD $135.64 Buy It Now 1 day
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Gentle Giant: Gentle Giant [SHM-CD] (Japan) USD $37.29 Buy It Now 1 day
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Gentle Giant - Free Hand - Ultra rare 2012 promo Test Press white label vinyl LP USD $65.41 Buy It Now 1 day
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Gentle Giant: Octopus [SHM-SACD] [Ltd] (Japan) USD $55.92 Buy It Now 1 day
VG Gentle Giant ~ Three Friends (West Germany) (Line Records / 1972/1989 CD) USD $49.99 Buy It Now 1 day
GENTLE GIANT INTERVIEW,LP, UK USD $14.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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7"-Single GENTLE GIANT - Give It Back / Empty City (1976) MINT- GERMANY PS USD $44.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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GENTLE GIANT Free Hand CAPITOL RECORDS 1975 Near Mint PROGRESSIVE ROCK USD $24.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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GENTLE GIANT Octopus Limited Edition Vinyl LP Sealed King Crimson Black Sabbath USD $39.84 [0 bids]
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GENTLE GIANT Three Friends Rare Vinyl 12" LP Sealed King Crimson Black Sabbath USD $39.43 [0 bids]
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GENTLE GIANT - Three Friends LP (RARE UK Import on VERTIGO w/Gatefold Cover) USD $75.99 Buy It Now 2 days
GENTLE GIANT Civilian / EXCELLENT VINYL w/Original Sleeve / Columbia JC 36341 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Prologue by Gentle Giant (CD, Apr-2004, 2 Discs, Voiceprint) USD $19.18 Buy It Now 2 days
Gentle Giant-Out Of The Fire UK 2CD BBC Concerts HUX008 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Gentle Giant Civilian 1980 1st Press NM vinyl Lyric sleeve USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2 days
GENTLE GIANT The Missing Piece CAPITOL ST-11696 VG++/NM- USD $6.49 Buy It Now 2 days
GENTLE GIANT - THE POWER AND THE GLORY (STEVEN WILSON MIX) CD NEW+ USD $22.49 Buy It Now 2 days

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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)

3.90 | 987 ratings
Gentle Giant
1970
4.24 | 1221 ratings
Acquiring The Taste
1971
4.11 | 1017 ratings
Three Friends
1972
4.28 | 1562 ratings
Octopus
1972
4.36 | 1362 ratings
In A Glass House
1973
4.29 | 1263 ratings
The Power And The Glory
1974
4.28 | 1215 ratings
Free Hand
1975
3.75 | 616 ratings
Interview
1976
2.94 | 448 ratings
The Missing Piece
1977
2.32 | 384 ratings
Giant For A Day
1978
2.78 | 349 ratings
Civilian
1980

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

4.49 | 372 ratings
Playing The Fool - The Official Live
1977
3.55 | 23 ratings
In Concert (BBC Radio 1)
1994
4.11 | 55 ratings
Out Of The Woods
1996
2.40 | 33 ratings
The Last Steps
1996
4.12 | 52 ratings
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents
1998
4.05 | 24 ratings
Out Of The Fire
1998
1.91 | 16 ratings
In A Palesport House
1999
4.12 | 37 ratings
Totally Out Of The Woods
2000
1.94 | 17 ratings
Live Rome 1974
2000
2.26 | 13 ratings
Interview In Concert
2000
1.78 | 9 ratings
Artistically Cryme
2002
3.74 | 21 ratings
Experience
2002
1.47 | 6 ratings
Endless Life
2003
3.92 | 10 ratings
Missing Face
2003
1.95 | 13 ratings
Way of life
2003
2.23 | 7 ratings
Prologue
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Playing the Cleveland
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live In New York 1975
2005
3.00 | 5 ratings
Santa Monica Freeway
2005
3.42 | 20 ratings
King Alfred's College Winchester
2009
3.79 | 30 ratings
Live In Stockholm '75
2009
3.95 | 19 ratings
Live at the Bicentennial
2014

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

4.63 | 178 ratings
Giant On The Box
2004
4.26 | 90 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
3.46 | 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
0.00 | 0 ratings
Il Grande Rock
1991
4.38 | 52 ratings
Edge of Twilight
1996
3.13 | 58 ratings
Under Construction
1997
4.29 | 32 ratings
Free Hand/Interview
1998
3.20 | 32 ratings
Scraping The Barrel
2004
4.19 | 17 ratings
I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis years (1975-1980)
2012
1.95 | 11 ratings
Memories Of Old Days
2013

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
4.34 | 22 ratings
The Advent Of Panurge
1973
4.50 | 12 ratings
The Power and the Glory
1974
3.33 | 6 ratings
Give It Back
1976
3.00 | 6 ratings
I'm Turning Around
1977
3.75 | 8 ratings
Two Weeks in Spain
1977
4.11 | 9 ratings
Just the Same (live)
1977
2.40 | 5 ratings
Mountain Time
1978
3.17 | 6 ratings
Thank You (edit)
1978
3.25 | 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
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Power And The Glory
2010

GENTLE GIANT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Gentle Giant by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.90 | 987 ratings

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Gentle Giant
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars Somewhere in between the pop stardom of Simon Dupree and the Big Sound and the ostentatious prog pinnacles of the post-Phil bi-Shulman era, Gentle Giant cranked out one of the most solid, consistent and unique debut albums in all of rock music.

The band's debut often gets criticized by prog fans because it's "not as complex" as the group's later works. In all due respect, though, who cares? "Gentle Giant" is a vicious blues-fused prog attack that sounds like the bastard child of Deep Purple and Genesis. Who doesn't like Deep Purple and Genesis? All seven songs on this album are classics. "Giant" is the perfect opener, with its hard-hitting horn arrangements and drums-bass-mellotron groove that almost seems like a precursor to the Yes classic "Heart of the Sunrise". "Funny Ways" is the first indication that Gentle Giant is capable of compositional greatness, though. This seemingly awry tune manages to churn out more quality musical ideas in under 5 minutes than I've ever heard, from mystical bard-style acoustic sections to boogie woogie funk to heroic battle trumpets, "Funny Ways" has it all, and a little extra.

"Alucard" is classic early Uriah Heep-style horror prog, with an extra dose of jazz and "Isn't It Quiet and Cold?" offers some nice breathing room after its predecessor's train wreck ending. "Nothing At All" is truly a testament to how incredible the Shulman brothers are. One minute you'll be shivering and tearing up from its absolute pastoral beauty and the next minute you'll be air drumming to what is probably the only drum solo in a ballad. The album finishes off with two great blues rock numbers, including a rendition of God Save The Queen that makes what is debatably the most boring national anthem on the planet into a bombastic, no-holds-barred rock and roll fanfare, because why not? (pun intended)

"Gentle Giant" is the absolute gem of the Gentle Giant discography. Though it may not be as over-arranged and needlessly busy as "The Power and the Glory" or "Free Hand", it is still subtly complex, and more importantly, it has SOUL. This is absolutely essential listening for anyone who likes quality progressive music and isn't too worried to listen to something with slightly muddied production. THE quintessential Gentle Giant work; 5 stars.

 Octopus by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.28 | 1562 ratings

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Octopus
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Scorpius

5 stars At the time of my first run-through of this album, I hadn't ever heard anything nearly as complex as Octopus. Songs like "Knots" left me confused yet satisfied. After several listens, I can state with confidence that this album is a must- have for every prog fan out there. Gentle Giant is one of the most underrated prog bands, and one of the most talented too. This album is the apex of the bands talents and creativity. Every track is an instant classic. "The Advent of Panurge", "The Boy's in the Band", and "Rivers" should all be regarded as some of the best prog tracks ever recorded.
 Acquiring The Taste by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.24 | 1221 ratings

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Acquiring The Taste
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars As a natural progression from their incredible (and incredibly bluesy) debut, Gentle Giant finds themselves at their creative peak, and perhaps the peak of their career. What we have with "Acquiring The Taste" is a collection of 8 highly original compositions, as mentioned in the oft-quoted album artistic mission statement. In the sense of creativity, this is perhaps one of the greatest masterpieces in prog, if not 20th century popular music as a whole. As far as a listening experience, Gentle Giant doesn't push the envelope quite as effectively, but that doesn't mean that this isn't an album worth investigating. Anything but that, actually.

As far as an experience, "Acquiring The Taste" gives a very nocturnal mood. This is especially reflected in songs like "Edge of Twilight" and "The Moon Is Down", though the same vibe permeates throughout. As I, and many others, have said, this is quite an experimental album. About 50% of the time, the experimentation has turned out wonderfully, with half of the songs blossoming out into gorgeous sonic pictures and thrilling escapades into very abstract - perhaps fantastical - though relatable worlds. The other half of the songs are still good, but don't resonate quite as profoundly and are the reason that I rate this album 4 stars as opposed to 5.

The four standout tracks include "Pantagruel's Nativity", a symphonic-like composition about the namesake giants of Francois Rabelais' writings, and "The House, The Street, The Room", which wouldn't be out of place on the debut and features one of the most well-placed guitar solos in history. Off of side two, "Wreck" is the absolute highlight, an unlikely title to be given to a rocked-out sea shanty. The concept is weird, but believe me, it works so, so well. The final piece of magic on the album is "The Moon Is Down", which is one of the most beautiful compositions in the Gentle Giant catalog.

So while it may not be a perfect album, this is one that every fan should investigate, even those who have been turned off of the more complex era of Gentle Giant (Power and The Glory, Free Hand). 4 stars for a classic, innovative and wildly unique piece of prog.

 Gentle Giant by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.90 | 987 ratings

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Gentle Giant
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle

5 stars This is the album that got me into progressive rock. I remember having a weird image of prog rock - very medieval and in a way much more theatrical than it really was, a different medieval world of witchcraft in a strange, forgotten land. This album was a perfect foundation for that image. One of the moodiest albums in the history of progressive rock. A very renaissance, European feel with some blues, jazz and chamber music influences.

Gentle Giant were formed by three Shulman brothers: Derek, Phil, and Ray. They were all multiinstrumentalists and had previously played in a psychedelic pop band Simon Dupree and the Big Sound. In 1970, the siblings teamed up with a guitarist Garry Green and a classically-trained keyboardist Kerry Minnear. They also took a drummer Martin Smith onboard, previously also of Simon Dupree and the Big Sound. The very same year, the sextet signed a contract with Vertigo label to record their self-titled debut album.

The multiinstrumentalist abilities of Gentle Giant are to a high degree reflected in the music. The band's sound is varied and diverse, characterized by incredibly clever musicianship. The influences include European art music of the middle ages and renaissance, chamber music, jazz, soul, blues, and folk to name a few. All of these combined with bright sophistication create a distinct musical extract that only Gentle Giant were capable of creating.

The album opener, "Giant" is a fast-paced very melodic with influences of jazz and soul as well as a hint of English folk. "Funny Ways" is a chamber-influenced ballad, which features a cello and a violin, showing band's renaissance art music influence. "Alucard" has a heavy rhythm a la Manfred Mann's Earth Band with great horns and synths (read the title of this song backwards). "Isn't It Quiet And Cold" is at times similar to "Funny Ways" with chamber music influences being put at the first plan. "Nothing At All" is perfect in every aspect. The main theme is a beautiful, feminine, folk-esque love song with a very proggy movement in the middle with classical piano playing "disturbed" by heavy drumming. The song resolves into "Why Not?", which fuses influences of dry blues rock with intricate English folk parts. "Queen" is the shortest track of the album, driven by majestic horns. There is a rapid synthesizer passage that appears all the way throughout the album on different occasions, sometimes in the middle of the songs, sometimes at the end of the songs, giving the album a very mystic touch.

All in all, Gentle Giant's self-titled debut is an exceptional work characterized by excellent musicianship, eclecticism, and diversity. Perhaps not a must-have, but definitely a must-listen for every prog nut. Five stars!

 Three Friends by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.11 | 1017 ratings

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Three Friends
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by ster

4 stars I have had a strange relationship with this album. When I first go into GG, this was the one album out of the highly rated ones, that I couldn't get into. As the years went by, Three Friends ended up being one of the GG albums I tend to listen to the most.

Even though most of their material takes time to fully digest, this one couldn't hold my interest at first for some reason. I remember thinking that it was quite a letdown after Acquiring The Taste. ATT is such a monster album that is loaded with ideas and must have used more tape that any album due to the multitude of instruments, voices etc.

Three Friends whittles away some of ornaments, studio tricks and some musical tangents from its predecessor and begins focusing on the bands biggest strength: playing as an ensemble. While still not as tight and complex as Octopus onwards (John Weathers hasn't joined yet), some of the dynamics displayed on ATT resurface here and it serves the storyline well. Newcomer drummer Malcolm Mortimore while competent, mainly serves as a time-keeper and rarely adds much of a stamp on this record. Here they take a stab at making themselves a concept album which as it turns out not a very cerebral one but more direct. Not a concept that is terribly emotional or awe-inspiring but a simple story about three boys who were best friends as classmates and end up in three different social classes as adults. The artist, the laborer and the white collar worker. The playing and the compositions are of high quality and each song does a fine job of evoking the feelings and describing the joys of childhood, (Schooldays), the tiresome lower middle class laborer (Working All Day), the frustrations of creating (Peel The Paint), and success and arrogance (Mister Class and Quality?). A unique and very detailed album and a great listen.

 Interview by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.75 | 616 ratings

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Interview
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 58

Gentle Giant was a British progressive rock group formed in 1970 and that has remained in action until 1980. The group was considered as one of the most experimental bands of the 70's and one of the bands that most contributed to the evolution of the progressive rock music. The band was known for their diverse musical influences, the varied musical skills of the band's members and also because the band's members were multi- instrumentalists. Another main feature of the band was their multiple and synchronized vocal work, which was very unusual at the time.

"Interview" is the eighth studio album of Gentle Giant and was released in 1976. Some regards it as the Gentle Giant's last great studio album, while others claim that it was the band's first album in their downward spiral toward the late 70's. It's definitely weaker than "Free Hand" is, but the first class progressive rock in the typical Gentle Giant vein can still be found here. It's a conceptual album centring on a fictitious radio interview based upon the music business. Some tracks have brief sections of diverse interviews made in studio, and even the title song has lyrics based on questions and answers between the band and the music press. Of all the Gentle Giant's albums, the sound of it is the most similar to their preceding seventh studio album, "Free Hand" released in the year before, 1975. However, this new musical work isn't as good and strong as are their previous works. However, we even can find even on their next ninth studio album "The Missing Piece" released in 1977, some very interesting musical moments too, I think.

So, because "Interview" represents really the last great Gentle Giant's studio album, it's now time to write some lines about one of the band's members, the keyboardist of the group Kerry Minnear. He is, for me, one of the greatest keyboardists of the 70's and one of the pillars of the group. He also was one of the main composers of the band and, after the departure of Phil Shulman, his musical influence in the band's music became even more evident, particularly the major influence of the medieval and renaissance music in the group. Like the similarities between Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator, reported by me when I reviewed "Free Hand", I can also see some similitude between Minnear and Hugh Banton, the keyboardist of Van Der Graaf Generator. It's true that the contribution of Banton, in terms of composition, was very small due the dominance of Peter Hammill, but his musical influence on the band is clear and central into their sound. So, I sincerely think that Minnear and Banton deserve a heartfelt tribute for what all they did in the progressive rock music. Without them, the sound of these two bands would never have been the same.

"Interview" has seven tracks. The first track "Interview" is the title track song. It's a very experimental track and represents an excellent song. This is one of my favourite songs on the album. The second track "Give It Back" is a song a little bit bizarre with a melody sometimes close to the reggae music. Sincerely, this is the album's music that I like less. The third track "Design" is a song with their typical and truly amazing vocal style of renaissance and cappella music. This is also a very experimental song. The fourth track "Another Show" is, for me, one of the best and most spectacular songs recorded on this album. It has also a great keyboard working. It's another fantastic song on the album. The fifth track "Empty City" is a song with great acoustic and electric guitar working and it's also very well accompanied by a very strong vocal working. It's a piece of music that changes very often and it's also a very calm song. The sixth track "Timing" is the most popish song on the album. It's very well composed with good instrumental work, but it isn't one of my favourite songs on the album. The seventh track "I Lost My Head" is another song with some medieval influences. It's sung by Minnear and represents a truly final classic Gentle Giant's composition. This is also one of my favourite tracks on "Interview". This is a great final song to close this very interesting album.

Conclusion: As I wrote before, some may think that "Interview" is a minor musical work in the band's career. I don't agree with that point of view. It's true that this album isn't as good as their entire previous studio albums are. But however and despite being a little more experimental than "Free Hand" is, "Interview" has all the ingredients of the Gentle Giant's music and contains also some of the most aggressive and electrified music ever composed by them. With some modesty, I think I know perfectly well what I'm talking about, because I have the vinyl versions of the two albums, since the 70's, when I bought both albums. The main problem with the album is that it's less commercial and less balanced than "Free Hand" is which it would become perhaps fatal for their future musical career. As a final conclusion, we can say that the Gentle Giant's legacy to the progressive music, began with their eponymous debut album and ended with this. During this very short period of time, we may say sincerely, that they were really Giants.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Octopus by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.28 | 1562 ratings

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Octopus
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle

5 stars After a relatively acclaimed concept album Three Friends, Gentle Giant decided to carry on experimenting with diverse ranges ideas and styles. The drummer Malcolm Mortimore left the band and was replaced with John Weathers - an experienced multiinstrumentalist, who allowed the band to go to real musical extremes. With little concern for fame, the band decided to conquer forgotten areas of music. The fruit of this experimentation was Octopus, which is considered one of the band's

Gentle Giant's music on Octopuss is heavily inspired by English folk music, especially from the middle ages and renaissance. The medieval/reneissance influence is evident not only musically, but also lyrically, the lyrics often tell a story with an overall mood of the times (notably on "The Advent Of Panurge"). The band's sound is rich in feminine pastoral acoustic passages ("Dog's Life"), liturgical-esque choir parts ("Knots") as well as influences of British plainsongs that picture country's pleasant countryside. There are however elements of other genres. Although not at the first plan, components of classical music are evident. Kerry Minnear, the band's keyboardist and main composer always remarked the influence of the English composer Ralph Vaughn-Williams on Gentle Giant's music.

A characteristic quality in the band's sound is the tonal ambiguity that the music has. This is very much the case on this album. "Knots", a legendary prog rock piece is driven by harmony vocals, every single one of which sings its own different theme. Together, they create a beautifully twisted whole very much in the English pastoral folk style. As always, the musicianship on this Gentle Giant release is out of this world with many different instruments being utilized and put into a progressive rock context. Kerry Minnear uses instruments as diverse as an electric and acoustic piano, organ, a harpsichord, a Moog synthesizer, a Hohner Clavinet, a vibraphone, a cello, and a regal. Other band members also contribute to a fantastic effect with a wide plethora of instruments. Countless different sounds do not create a feeling of musical overabundance that is common in progressive rock.

All in all, Octopus is in my opinion one of the finest and most accomplished progressive rock albums of all time. Mature experimentation, exploration, musical intelligence, allusions to the English music traditions ? this is what this album is all about. It's just plain fun to listen to. I firmly believe that despite many great works that were to come, Gentle Giant never got better than this. Highly recommended! Five stars!

 The Power And The Glory by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.29 | 1263 ratings

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The Power And The Glory
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle

5 stars After their successful work In A Glass House, Gentle Giant started shifting towards more avant-garde territories. The band didn't estrange their signature "Britishness", however, characterized by English middle-age or renaissance art music influence. At the turn of 1974, Gentle Giant recorded Power And Glory, the concept album dealing with corruption and ruling with medieval context as a metaphor. It was released a few months after Watergate Scandal, which made the subject matter even more ambiguous.

The music of Power And Glory shows a group in their creative peak. I firmly believe this is Gentle Giant's Close To The Edge. The band fuses English folk music with than pioneered avant-rock influences retaining the classic Gentle Giant sound. The elements of what we now call symphonic prog are still very much present.

As always, the band's musicianship is excellent. Kenny Minear's phenomenal minimalistic keyboard playing is now enriched with a jazzy bass electric piano sound. Gary Green's dark overdriven guitar sound plays a prominent role on various rhythm parts, while on some parts he imitates traditional folk instruments like lute. Ray Shulman's signature bass tone appears once more with Derek Schulman's one-of-a-kind vocals. The new drummer John Weather has a dynamic, precise and accurate playing style and deals perfectly with rhythm changes.

The album consists of ten songs, all fairly short but with a great variety to them without standing in different musical territories. "Proclamation" and "No God's A Man" are probably the most representative of the album, but all of the songs play a crucial role in the album's overall feel.

In conclusion, Power And Glory is a very accomplished work. Musicly, it is a highly eclectic and a very rewarding journey. Furthermore, it showcases Gentle Giant's erudition through the lyrics and the conceptuality. This is an essential progressive rock album, so obviously it belong in every progressive rock fan's collection. Highly recommended, five stars!

 The Missing Piece by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.94 | 448 ratings

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The Missing Piece
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by ProgressiveHypocrite

3 stars My initial reaction when I listened to this album was "My god, this is udder you-know-what. Nothing like the old Giant." The latter is pretty much true. Gentle Giant have given up being anti-establishment in an attempt to sell lots of records be big stars like Genesis. But today I decided a reassessment was in order.

The album starts with "Two Weeks in Spain" which is about office business trips. I don't really like it, but man is it catchy. Most of these songs are. In fact, a lot of these songs sound like prototypes for the bad 80's music, like "I'm Turning Around", which is a bit similar to Genesis, and "Winning", which sounds like Huey Lewis and the News (they weren't around yet, I know. Coincidentally, they were also signed to Chrysalis Records!). "Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It" is a punk rock pastiche (with a keyboard solo! *GASP*) about how they made the transition to 4/4 pop songs in order to survive. This album is quite the potpourri of styles. "Mountain Time" sounds like blues rock! In my opinion, the only songs on this album that sound remotely like the old band are "As Old As You're Young", "Memories of Old Days", and "For Nobody". In fact, I think "As Old As You're Young" is the best track on the album. These songs shine like diamonds in the waste.

Overall, I liked this album a bit better than when I first heard it. For the true Gentle Giant fan however, stick with their first eight LPs. This band is probably best approached chronologically, because little by little they start to decline. But there are some ok songs on this. Probably for the casual fan.

 Free Hand by GENTLE GIANT album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.28 | 1215 ratings

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Free Hand
Gentle Giant Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review Nº 57

Gentle Giant was a band formed in 1970 by the three brothers Shulman, Phil, Derek and Ray. The group was known for the great complexity and sophistication of their music. The band had diverse musical influences like rock, jazz, classical music, blues and medieval music. They never were a huge commercial success but they managed to achieve a great cult of followers, while they still existed. I always saw similitude between the careers of Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator. Both wrote some of the best, most complex, original, creative and beautiful musical pages in the history of the progressive rock music. At the same time, and despite they're now being considered two of the best groups and that most contributed to the progressive music history, both had some problems with the record industry and both had also a small base of support fans, thought faithful and unconditional in the supporting of both bands.

'Free Hand' is the seventh studio album of the band and was released in 1975. Strongly influenced by the music of the renaissance and middle Ages, it became as one of the most popular and accessible studio musical releases made by the group. The lyrics on the album reflect the lost love and the damaged relationships between people. With 'Free Hand', Gentle Giant produced one of the most creative and complex recording releases in all the progressive rock musical history. However, despite the complexity of their musical arrangements, their music is very accessible and melodic and their vocal approach was really very revolutionary for those times. 'Free Hand' is unique and unpretentious progressive rock album that couldn't have been delivered by any other band besides Gentle Giant.

'Free Hand' has seven tracks. All the songs were written by Kerry Minnear, Derek and Ray Shulman, except 'His Last Voyage' which was written by Minnear and Ray Shulman. The first track 'Just The Same' is a song with one of the traditional beginnings of some of the Gentle Giant's tracks. The song opens with fingers snapping and curiously ends in the same way. It's a very slow rock song with good keyboard work that has also some jazz influences. This is a great song to open the album. The second track 'On Reflection' starts with one of the most spectaculars Gentle Giant's traditional trademarks, the polyphonic vocal inspired by renaissance and the cappella music. Musically, it's a very interesting track due to the changes between acoustic and electric instruments, but is essentially an acoustic song. It's clearly a song strongly influenced by the troubadour's songs of the medieval era. The third track 'Free Hand' is the title track song. It's a more elaborate and complex song than the two previous tracks. We may say that this is a traditional Gentle Giant's track with some dissonant parts and with constant changes of rhythm and tempo. It's without any doubt one of the best songs on this album. The fourth track 'Time To Kill' is the rocker song on the album and is also a song with other traditional Gentle Giant's overture, this time with a computer game. It's probably the simplest song on the album and it suffers also of some jazz influences. The simplicity of the song and the vocal parts are probably the main reason why this song is the least loved on the album. The fifth track 'His Last Voyage' is the most tranquil piece of music on the album. It's probably one of the most beautiful songs ever created by the band. It has good keyboard and guitar workings with particular emphasis to the way how Minnear sings it, which makes us feel the departure of someone to his last voyage to the afterlife. The sixth track 'Talybont' is another baroque song with the clear influence of the musical era of the middle Ages. It's almost a folkloristic instrumental medieval song very beautiful and agreeable, and seems that was composed for a sound track to a Robin Hood film, which I think never saw the light of the day. Anyway, Gentle Giant decided included it on the album. The seventh track 'Mobile' is a track that combines a nice acoustic guitar, keyboards and violin working, during the open of the track, with a perfect harmony. It's another song with some complexity and where each instrument seems to play free and disconnected of the other, but always with an excellent harmony. This is a song perfectly chosen to close this magnificent musical work.

Conclusion: 'Free Hand' is one of my favourite Gentle Giant's albums and is one of my favourite progressive albums too. 'Free Hand' is the last masterpiece created by the band and is also one of the most accessible of the Gentle Giant's albums. The combination of superb musicianship, dry wit, and creative compositions make of 'Free Hand' an essential piece and an historical recording. All of this proved that the band could write all type of songs that they wanted to do and that could be good, creative, complex and at the same time accessible and melodic. The album has great instrumentals, advanced vocal numbers, good ballads, acoustic and electric parts and exceptionally very well structured songs. Unfortunately, the future came to show us that this wasn't the route that would be taken by them.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Thanks to Ivan Melgar M for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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