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petewhit View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote petewhit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Gentle Giant
    Posted: April 14 2017 at 22:02
I Know that I am a newb here but as far as I'm concerned to earn credibility in this group I must fist past the test.  This is my favorite Gentle Giant song


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Tom Ozric View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2017 at 22:07
^ well, you fail
Just kidding !! Interview is the last, truly exciting album from GG.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote petewhit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2017 at 22:27
Agreed Tom,  I'm going for the bizarre as you now.  Freehand is actually my fav. Octopus is great.  Interview is obscure. Design is a deep cut.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2017 at 22:46
I obsess over the first 5 GG albums. All 5 star records. The only cop-out they've done was Giant For A Day. Even Civilian was much better than that one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote petewhit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2017 at 22:54
Right on Tom on all accounts.  Actually there are some good Civilian moments. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2017 at 23:22
^ The song 'Underground' is a ripper !!
BTW, welcome here at P.A.

Edited by Tom Ozric - April 14 2017 at 23:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kepler62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2017 at 04:30
There's not a bad Gentle Giant album. I do agree with the Giant For A Day / Civilian comment though. Arguably my favourite band of all time. Beyond categorization. In A Glass House was perhaps their best. What a cool cover concept. I have 4 original copies of that one! Never did understand why it was never released in North America. I mean none of their albums had any freaking commercial potential.None of their songs were ruined by radio. The only album I ever heard on FM radio back in the seventies was Giant For a Day. 

This is the one band that I wish I had seen live. And even though they haven't been around for almost 3 decades they have one of the best websites of any prog band from the seventies. 



The book Rocking the Classics by Ed Macan has this to say about Gentle Giant.

"Gentle Giant added elements of cool jazz and renaissance music to the symphonic/folk framework, creating a dauntingly complex approach characterized by spasmodic rhythms, dense textures, and an extraordinarily varied instrumentation. Their almost manneristic progressive rock can be heard to best effect on OCTOPUS (1973) and the excellent FREE HAND (1975)."

"Suffice it to say that no one is likely to confuse the savage energy of King Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator in their mid-1970's incarnations with the disinterested density of Gentle Giant..."

"Progressive rock was able to solve yet another challenge posed by the psychedelic jam - how to create a sense of direction - by drawing on 19th-century symphonic music's fondness for building up tension until a shattering climax is reached, upbruptly tapering off, and then starting the whole process anew.... An effective extension of this technique involves marking off a climax by using electronic instruments to give a heavy rock treatment to a theme that had initially been stated quietly in an acoustic setting (notice once again the feminine/masculine dynamic at work again). ELP's "Trilogy," UK's "30 Years," Gentle Giant's "His Last Voyage"..."




Edited by Kepler62 - April 15 2017 at 04:36
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grantman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote grantman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2017 at 08:04
listen to the 1st album it took about 12 listens it became the best album as far as im concerned.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2017 at 09:57
The first album is very under rated for sure. 

Not really one of my favorite bands but I do enjoy them from time to time. That being said I nonetheless do think they were more or less on the same level as just about anyone from back in the day. As far as musicianship and musical ability(composition) goes I think maybe only a few bands were as good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2017 at 18:43
Hi,

GG, for me, makes more sense when you start at the beginning, and you can see the folk, and other influences at work and play. By the time of "Interview" it was much more of a rock band with a lot of strangeness and weirdness to make it interesting, but I'm not sure it was as nice and crazy and exciting, as all the early material for this band. 
... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the inner art is all about!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2017 at 20:28
I only have their first 4 albums, plus the live Playing the Fool, and I have heard The Power and the Glory and Free Hand on Youtube. For what I have heard, it is mostly the albums with Phil the ones I like, after that they became too unmelodic for my taste. And mainly, it is the first 2 albums that I really love, the next two aren't that very great either (perhaps it was that shifting of direction what made Phil leave the band, and once he was gone the shift was completed?).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 07:22
^ yeah....  their sound went off the rails after Phil left the band.  Became more prog for prog's sake (look how complex and talented we are... forget about great songs and melodies) which is a cardinal sin of prog rock.  The early albums had a sense of atmosphere and air space that the later albums completely forgot.. not to mention missing Phil's unique vocal contributions...  adore the first 4... care very little for the rest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mascodagama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 08:01
^ Largely agree, but the one post-Phil album that really nails it for me is TPATG.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 08:53
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

^ yeah....  their sound went off the rails after Phil left the band.  Became more prog for prog's sake (look how complex and talented we are... forget about great songs and melodies) which is a cardinal sin of prog rock.  The early albums had a sense of atmosphere and air space that the later albums completely forgot.. not to mention missing Phil's unique vocal contributions...  adore the first 4... care very little for the rest.

So you don't like IAGH? Usually that's considered their best or one of their best. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 09:04
I love all Gentle Giant even the oft hated later ones (except Civilian)
Gentle Giant were master of melody, complexity and counterpoint
Personally i love their so-called complexity-for-complexities sake phase
Despite claims that melodies don't exist i would just say there are such things as highly advanced melodies that need indoctrination to sink in. Basically one of the best bands of any genre EVER!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timothy leary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 09:11
To acquire the taste I would recommend starting your exploration of GG with a DVD Giant on a Box. Seeing them will help you get it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 09:40
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

^ yeah....  their sound went off the rails after Phil left the band.  Became more prog for prog's sake (look how complex and talented we are... forget about great songs and melodies) which is a cardinal sin of prog rock.  The early albums had a sense of atmosphere and air space that the later albums completely forgot.. not to mention missing Phil's unique vocal contributions...  adore the first 4... care very little for the rest.

So you don't like IAGH? Usually that's considered their best or one of their best. 


I sure wouldn't be batsh*t crazy enough to call it their best... but that is not the same as saying I don't like the album which I've never said I didn't LOL. It is an decent album..one of about several thousand such albums in our collection.. nothing more .. nothing less. Of their second phase albums I'd put TPatG over IAGH in terms of the songwriting and execution of them.  Pure personal preference I suppose... some people get off on emotionless, cold impersonal 'complex for complexities' sake music.  I don't
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lostrom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 09:41
Acquiring the taste is my favourite album of theirs:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acquiring_the_Taste
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 10:16
I think their best album is Free Hand, and second to that The Missing Piece! Three Friends has always left me cold. Interview is a great record, and I have never heard Civilian. Giant On The Box is my fave prog video. (that is, until the Triumvirat PBS TV Spartacus one turns up)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maryes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 16:01
Gentle Giant is one of my favorite bands, Acquiring the Taste, In a Glass House and Freehand are my top albums... from other albums I can cite some other great songs: 
 
Cogs in Cogs ( Power and the Glory ) 
Prologue (Three Friends) 
I'm Turning Around and Memories Of Old Days (Missing Piece) 
 
Although I don't consider Interview a "weak" album I can't detach any song !
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