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Gentle Giant and Van der Graaf Generator albums

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Poll Question: Which of these studio albums seems the most remarkable/ significant?
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Logan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Gentle Giant and Van der Graaf Generator albums
    Posted: March 25 2020 at 20:20
Do you prefer your GG with or without the VD? Which album will be giant for a day?

I thought about doing this as Gentle Giant/ Van der Graaf Generator album combos, but instead vote for the album of these that you find most significant or remarkable. Interpret that how you wish. I have tried to order this poll by release date, if it's off, whatever.

And don't feel like you must have heard all of these albums. I know all of the Gentle Giant albums in the poll, but not all of the ones listed under VdGG -- I know the classics and originally was only going to include those.

And if you feel I am missing a piece, sorry about that.

The Van der Graaf Generator albums:

The Aerosol Grey Machine (1969) - Released September 1969
The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other (1970) - Released February 1970
H to He Who Am the Only One (1970) - Released December 1970
Pawn Hearts (1971) - Released October 1971
Godbluff (1975) - Recorded June 9-29, 1975
Still Life (1976) - Released April 1976
World Record (1976) - Released October 1976
The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome [Van der Graaf] (1977) - Released 2 September 1977
Present (2005) - Released 25 April 2005
Trisector (2008) - Released 14 March 2008
A Grounding in Numbers (2011) - Released 11 March 2011
ALT (2012) - Released 25 June 2012
Do Not Disturb (2016) - Released 30 September 2016

The Gentle Giant albums:

Gentle Giant (1970) - Released     27 November 1970
Acquiring the Taste (1971) - Released 16 July 1971
Three Friends (1972) - Released     14 April 1972
Octopus (1972) - Released 16 November 1972
In a Glass House (1973) - Released November 1973
The Power and the Glory (1974) - Released 22 September 1974
Free Hand (1975) - Released September 1975
Interview (1976) - Released 23 April 1976
The Missing Piece (1977) - Released 26 August 1977
Giant for a Day (1978) - 11 September 1978
Civilian (1980) - Released sometime in 1980

Release dates taken from Rate Your Music.

While I have sometimes called The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other my favourite VdGG, 1971 rules as most remarkable for me in both cases. Both Acquiring the Taste and Pawn Hearts are certain five star albums for me, and both I find remarkable. That said, I give the edge to Pawn Hearts. To me it is one of the greatest albums of progressive rock. It is an album that Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols loved, despite punks apparent antipathy for Prog, and it's an album that is quite divisive -- I think great art, and artistic vision, often does divide people. It's not going to be an easy listen for people who don't get more adventurous than Kenny-G covering the Minipop Kids version of Justin Bieber's "Baby", or at least I would think not.
"You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views..." (Doctor Who "The Face of Evil" 1977).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YESESIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 20:35
Went with 'The Least We Can Do' but it was a tough one. And there are more GG albums that I like. As far as comparing the two bands, for me, I give GG a slight edge but it's tough to compare them really as they're very different. I like them both a lot though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King of Loss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 20:42
Godbluff, but there are many albums on there that I also love!Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Run Home Slow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 20:43
I thought Rotten loves Nadir's Big Chance when it came out...
But Who cares about Rotten Opinion?

Pawn Hearts best here,
but i have all the good Gentle Giant and all the good Van der Graaf too.
But VdGG will always win mostly over any groups for me and over all Gentle Giant Cd even if they are even 5 stars CDs.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Run Home Slow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 20:47
It's not going to be an easy listen for people who don't get more adventurous than Kenny-G covering the Minipop Kids version of Justin Bieber's "Baby", or at least I would think not.

Come on... How Many Kenny G lovers here??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote YESESIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 20:52
Originally posted by Run Home Slow Run Home Slow wrote:


Come on... How Many Kenny G lovers here??


I wouldn't say I 'love him' but I do listen to some Kenny once in a while. It's relaxing and just sounds good(to me anyway).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jamesbaldwin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 21:09
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:



While I have sometimes called The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other my favourite VdGG, 1971 rules as most remarkable for me in both cases. Both Acquiring the Taste and Pawn Hearts are certain five star albums for me, and both I find remarkable. That said, I give the edge to Pawn Hearts. To me it is one of the greatest albums of progressive rock. It is an album that Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols loved, despite punks apparent antipathy for Prog, and it's an album that is quite divisive -- I think great art, and artistic vision, often does divide people. It's not going to be an easy listen for people who don't get more adventurous than Kenny-G covering the Minipop Kids version of Justin Bieber's "Baby", or at least I would think not.


In my opinion, GG and VdGG have done their best in 1970 and 1971.

Gentle Giant and Acquiring the Taste are the most remarkable albums by GG (then, Octopus but Octopus is more easy listening, lighter). I prefer Gentle Giant, that I consider a real masterpiece, the only one I gave 5 stars to. 

The three VdGG albums of 1970-71 are in my opinion absolute masterpieces and so far, in my personal chart, they are the trilogy that I consider the most remarkable in the history of rock (but my knowledge is limited). 

Tim Buckley with Happy Sad, Lorca and Starsailor, The Soft Machine with I, II and III, Hammill himself with Chameleon, Silent Corner and In Camera have done something like that. 

I agree with the fact that Pawn Hearts is the most divisive artwork of the Van der Graaf trilogy, because The Least is still quite linear and melodic, From H to He is perhaps the one with the most progressive compositions (three songs out of five are long and have continuous changes in rhythm and atmosphere and melody), Pawn Hearts is progressive but builds a music where there is a lot of avant-garde, where you get to new sound extremes, VdGG create a new and original musical world, and then in my opinion it becomes one of those operas that, as I wrote in my thread on Rock Bottom, they no longer belong to the prog but become universal, and then in my opinion Pawn Hearts represents one of the absolute masterpieces of rock history, not just of prog. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Man With Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 21:44
Pawn Hearts 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 21:57
Originally posted by YESESIS YESESIS wrote:

Originally posted by Run Home Slow Run Home Slow wrote:


Come on... How Many Kenny G lovers here??



I wouldn't say I 'love him' but I do listen to some Kenny once in a while. It's relaxing and just sounds good(to me anyway).


It was either going to be Kenny G or Zamfir.

As I recently wrote in another topic, "I think I lost my sense of humour after a certain someone said "I could stand in the middle Of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters", but then later failed to demonstrate this by standing in the middle of Fifth Avenue, while slowly pulling out his piece, only to get run over by a taxi cab driven by an immigrant in the process."

I'd say that as long as people know Kenny G by reputation, then hopefully they'll "get" it. Just as I would hope when I ended my review of Eddie Henderson's Realization with "A word of warning: I don't recommend "Realization" to those who can't take their jazz more adventurous than Kenny G" they would get it, As for Johnny Rotten, who likes Peter Hammill and various music we have in PA, it's more of an in-joke (that references some past discussions at PA) than mentioning Kenny G covering the Mini Pop kids doing Bieber's "Baby".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Enchant X Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 22:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 22:57
Originally posted by jamesbaldwin jamesbaldwin wrote:

Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:



While I have sometimes called The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other my favourite VdGG, 1971 rules as most remarkable for me in both cases. Both Acquiring the Taste and Pawn Hearts are certain five star albums for me, and both I find remarkable. That said, I give the edge to Pawn Hearts. To me it is one of the greatest albums of progressive rock. It is an album that Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols loved, despite punks apparent antipathy for Prog, and it's an album that is quite divisive -- I think great art, and artistic vision, often does divide people. It's not going to be an easy listen for people who don't get more adventurous than Kenny-G covering the Minipop Kids version of Justin Bieber's "Baby", or at least I would think not.



In my opinion, GG and VdGG have done their best in 1970 and 1971.

Gentle Giant and Acquiring the Taste are the most remarkable albums by GG (then, Octopus but Octopus is more easy listening, lighter). I prefer Gentle Giant, that I consider a real masterpiece, the only one I gave 5 stars to.

The three VdGG albums of 1970-71 are in my opinion absolute masterpieces and so far, in my personal chart, they are the trilogy that I consider the most remarkable in the history of rock (but my knowledge is limited).

Tim Buckley with Happy Sad, Lorca and Starsailor, The Soft Machine with I, II and III, Hammill himself with Chameleon, Silent Corner and In Camera have done something like that.

I agree with the fact that Pawn Hearts is the most divisive artwork of the Van der Graaf trilogy, because The Least is still quite linear and melodic, From H to He is perhaps the one with the most progressive compositions (three songs out of five are long and have continuous changes in rhythm and atmosphere and melody), Pawn Hearts is progressive but builds a music where there is a lot of avant-garde, where you get to new sound extremes, VdGG create a new and original musical world, and then in my opinion it becomes one of those operas that, as I wrote in my thread on Rock Bottom, they no longer belong to the prog but become universal, and then in my opinion Pawn Hearts represents one of the absolute masterpieces of rock history, not just of prog.


I really like those first two albums by Giant Giant, and each has been my favourite by GG at different times, My other favourite is Three Friends, which is quite different. Octopus is very good, probably my fouth favourite, but not wholly satisfying for me.

I love that whole VdGG trilogy, and actually they are the only VdGG albums I love. There is more Peter Hammill solo that I love than VdGG, but those albums you mention are awesome Well, I love all the albums you mentioned by Buckley, Soft Machine, and Wyatt's Rock Bottom of course, which is totally a desert island disc for me. I now that VdGG is in Electic prog, but The Least We Can Do is I think a particularly eclectic album, which does mix easy-listening songs with more avant-garde, out there expression. H to He would also be an easier listening album than Pawn Hearts for most Proggers and rockers, but I would call Pawn Hearts more progressive because of its avant-garde qualities, but not more Prog possibly? Not sure as I have thought of Pawn Hearts as quintessential art rock Prog (earlier album having a more mainstream, popular music/ rock approach). Some would call it excessive __its a bit like they took some of the earlier music and put it in on steroids. It's more progressive in that it takes it farther, I'd say. Of course it depends upon how one defines progressive (I tend to use "progressive" as an adjective and Prog as a noun in a generic sense). It's the kind of album that would be more likely to appeal to those into our Avant Prog category than, say, our Neo-Prog or Symphonic Prog category.

Rock Bottom to me transcends genre, and genres, and has a timeless and immediate quality to me. It remains fresh and unique. I might go so far as to say that Pawn Hearts is a masterpiece of modern music (meaning say, post 1950 music), not just rock or any subset of it, but it's still locked into what it is in a way that Rock Bottom isn't -- a theatrical, jazzy, avant-garde, poetic rock album. Rock Bottom being that much more intimate and more folksy, but also invigorating/ lively and also having contrast. Calling it a masterpiece of rock works for me. Two wonderful albums there, methinks, however someone might want to try to understand and classify them.
"You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views..." (Doctor Who "The Face of Evil" 1977).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iluvmarillion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 23:36
I give Gentle Giant the edge as a band, but Pawn Hearts is an out and out masterpiece so that's the way I voted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote someone_else Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 01:07
Still Life is top 20 for me. Free Hand and Godbluff come close.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 01:15
Tough , comes down to The Power and The Glory v Pawn Hearts for me. Went GG. That album has a mathematical precision about it. Just very impressive. VDGG were like mad scientists that could blow the place up , but in a good way LOL. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frenetic Zetetic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 01:27
What a premise and poll, lmao.

I like GG better as a band - playing wise, they are tight. Nothing can top them.

VDGG has a better album, and a more important one, though; Pawn Hearts. The fact this came out a full year before CTTE is mind blowing. There wasn't a template yet. Even I thought Yes was the first to run 90 yards with the ball. VDGG set that pace w Pawn Hearts IMHO!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 03:17
Free Hand - the first time the GG philosophy gelled perfectly without over-complication.
Every track is first class, which wasn't true of any of those that went before.
VDGG do nothing for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VianaProghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 03:39
I agree with many of the comments here. May be I prefer Gentle Giant, but I agree that Pawn Hearts is a terrific album. So, I voted Pawn Hearts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote I prophesy disaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 04:12
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

I give the edge to Pawn Hearts. To me it is one of the greatest albums of progressive rock. It is an album that Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols loved, despite punks apparent antipathy for Prog, and it's an album that is quite divisive -- I think great art, and artistic vision, often does divide people. It's not going to be an easy listen for people who don't get more adventurous than Kenny-G covering the Minipop Kids version of Justin Bieber's "Baby", or at least I would think not.
 
Reminds me of Thomas Nagel's paper "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?". In my case, it's "What Is It Like to Be a Person Who Does Not Like Pawn Hearts?". It's a concept I find incomprehensible.
 
 
 
I was thinking about thinking but it really didn't get me very far.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 07:02
I'll be the lonely The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome voter. That's such a special magical album, wish more could appreciate it. Pawn Hearts and Still Life are about as good though. I do dig GG from time to time but am rarely in the mood to play a full album of them beginning to end. I love Playing the Fool live though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dwill123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 07:13
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