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Gentle Giant celebrate 50 years

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BarryGlibb View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 29 2020 at 02:42
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BarryGlibb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BarryGlibb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2020 at 02:45
^On November 27th, 1970 Gentle Giant released their debut album. Thank you to all our fans and friends from around the world for 50 years together. -The Boys in the Band "Multi-instrumentalist siblings Phil, Derek and Ray Shulman enjoyed mixed fortunes in the late 60s. As part of pop-soul act Simon Dupree And The Big Sound they released several non-charting singles for EMI. Later, on the advice of their management, they embraced psychedelia and scored a UK Top 10 hit with ‘Kites’ in 1967. However, the brothers hated the song and, fed up with both the mechanisations of the pop music machine and with the poor musicianship of most of their bandmates, they quit the group in 1969. They formed Gentle Giant the following year, enlisting former Big Sound man Martin Smith on drums, alongside virtuoso guitarist Gary Green and classically trained pianist Kerry Minnear. Continuing to play a multitude of instruments themselves, Derek took charge of saxophone duties, with Ray playing bass and violin, and Phil also on saxophone. Snapped up by Philips/Phonogram offshoot Vertigo, the label arranged for David Bowie producer Tony Visconti to oversee recording of the Gentle Giant debut album. What emerged from the sessions was a radical departure from their previous work, as the Gentle Giant debut album, released on 27 November 1970, saw the group immersed in the nascent prog rock sound, expanding the genre’s horizons with a variety of different styles and influences. Hard rocking opener ‘Giant’ signalled their seriousness as musicians, with a host of complex tempo changes, while the gentle ‘Funny Ways’ utilised folk, medieval and classical music tropes – all styles to which the band would return to repeatedly over their subsequent career. ‘Alucard’ (“Dracula” spelt backwards) found Kerry Minnear taking centre stage, with his riotously inventive synth- and organ-playing punctuated with blasts of horn and Gary Green’s bluesy guitar. Best of all, though, was the epic ‘Nothing At All’, whose stunning mix of multiple vocal harmonies and epic guitar riffs manages to recall both Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young, and Led Zepellin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’. Released as a gatefold LP adorned with an iconic cover illustration of the titular giant holding the band in the palm of his hand, the album established the group as one of the most distinctive and forward-thinking of the new wave of prog rock bands to emerge that year. While the decade that followed confirmed Gentle Giant’s greatness with a wave of brilliant, if commercially unsuccessful, works, their self-titled debut contains the genesis of all that followed, and remains a rewarding and vital listen to this day."
-Paul Bowler, UDiscoverMusic -- GentleGiantBand.com
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Frenetic Zetetic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frenetic Zetetic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2020 at 03:37
Bravo! Clap

One of my favorite prog acts of all time, just behind Yes!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Spacegod87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2020 at 07:31
Beautiful.
One of the best bands out there imo. I hope people keep celebrating their music for another 50 years!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Awesoreno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2020 at 10:10
Love the band! Though I take issue with the video since it keeps showing footage from 1974 and onward with John Weathers on drums and no Phil. Though that's some of the only footage they have I think, so I'll give them a pass. Cool editing anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2020 at 10:57
I'm sorry but a band can't really celebrate 50 years if they broke up 40 years ago. Is Paul McCartney celebrating 60 years of the Beatles with Ringo? Yeah, they are getting together with a big birthday cake with an apple on it. Sure.

If we just mean fifty years of the first album that's a different story. The debut is probably their most underrated album. 


Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - November 29 2020 at 10:59
When you list all the qualities that you despise and you realize you're describing yourself.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote progaardvark Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2020 at 13:26
My hat off to Gentle Giant for 50 years! I wish I had discovered you when I was younger, but better late than never as the saying goes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frenetic Zetetic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 01 2020 at 00:00
What's everyone spinning for GG this week in celebration?

I'm going from top to bottom on their discography.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 01 2020 at 10:12
Probably the first 2 and as Mike said the debut  is underrated and I prefer it to many of the later ones that fans rave about that are rated over 4 stars.

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Frenetic Zetetic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frenetic Zetetic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 01 2020 at 23:11
Mid to late Gentle Giant is an ACQUIRED TASTE bro, lol LOL.

Cogs in Cogs is still one of my fave prog pieces ever!

I ran the GG gauntlet yesterday:

Gentle Giant
Three Friends
Acquiring The Taste
Octopus
In a Glass House
The Power and The Glory
Free Hand
Interview
Playing The Fool
The Missing Piece
Giant for A Day
Civilian

In that order, straight through Cool!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iluvmarillion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2020 at 23:05
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Probably the first 2 and as Mike said the debut  is underrated and I prefer it to many of the later ones that fans rave about that are rated over 4 stars.


Their debut album is absolutely brilliant. You can never tell artists what to do. However if only they had built on that debut album instead of going in an altogether different avant garde direction in Aquiring The Taste, I'm sure the band would have been much more successful than they were. It's almost criminal they didn't sell more albums than they did. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frenetic Zetetic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2020 at 23:24
Originally posted by iluvmarillion iluvmarillion wrote:

Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Probably the first 2 and as Mike said the debut  is underrated and I prefer it to many of the later ones that fans rave about that are rated over 4 stars.


Their debut album is absolutely brilliant. You can never tell artists what to do. However if only they had built on that debut album instead of going in an altogether different avant garde direction in Aquiring The Taste, I'm sure the band would have been much more successful than they were. It's almost criminal they didn't sell more albums than they did. 

I'll go out on a limb here and speak for myself, but I'm glad they did the band exactly as they did, as we have enough of the same symphonic/eclectic approaches to prog. GG shattered that entire paradigm, and their lack of mainstream success, yet obsessive popularity with prog enthusiasts, proves this IMHO!

Not that it couldn't be either more mainstream and still good, but alas, thought exercise lol.

I'm curious, does anyone on PA know of a legit resource for GG record sales numbers? I'd imagine Octopus probably sold highest?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Awesoreno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 07 2020 at 00:43
^I think Free Hand did at the time. At least by the original record sales. Nowadays, I expect Octopus has maybe overtaken it?
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