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Topic ClosedGentle Giant Funky?????

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Proglover View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Gentle Giant Funky?????
    Posted: June 23 2005 at 19:43

As I was listening to Gentle Giant (one of my all time favorite bands), it occured to me, that their music, besides being totally amazing, complex, beautiful, inspiring, and incredibly well written, can at times be extremely funky....I mean just pure unadulterated FUNK. And I think to myself, where did this influence come from.....because to be quite honest...funk isn't thought of to be a prog element, infact I dare say that most people would think anything with a beat that you can grove your head to, wouldn't be prog....I think most people think that that's an attempt to be commercial, which I totally disagree with. I find myself dancing and groving to their beats....HAHAHA, and I dont think that there is anything wrong with that....The strange thing is, I can not think of another progressive rock band that conjures up this heavy grove. Gentle Giant is the only prog band that I can think of that is downright...well as stated before...FUNKY.....(of course besides the fusion bands, but once again there is a uniqueness with Gentle Giant, and how they accomplish this funk)...oddly enough it would seem that they use classical composition technique to do it. .......actually some of the music from the band Focus is funky too.

There is no doubt in my mind that these guys loved and listened to TONS of black music. Along with the classical elements, we can also hear jazz as well...those two ingredients are a given somewhat.....but other than jazz, Gentle Giant draws on other genres of quote on quote black music. This is not surprising considering these guys are a British band.....I mean after all that was what the whole British invasion was about, British bands rehashing black music that America condemned in the 1950s.....British bands simply did not have a probem with the race issue.

Of course the funkiness of Gentle Giant is engulfed in complex, sophistocated, intertwining, polyphonic lines. Not your run of the mill beats...LOL

Also we know that popular prog bands from britian such as YES, in their early stages started out performing doo-wop and R&B and MOTown songs. So I was just wondering what you guys thought about this...do you agree or disagree....or perhaps feel that it is a little deeper than this. Let me know what you think.  

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The Hemulen View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2005 at 19:50
Anyone who owns "Giant on the Box", stick it on and listen to the menu music. Gentle Giant funk in it's purest form!

I agree with everything you've said in this post, by the way. Good stuff!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2005 at 20:50
well let's not forget Gentle Giant had rather simple begginings as an R&B cover band in the mid to late sixties, Simon Dupree & the Big Sound - (they were one hit wonders with the single "Kites", which was psychadelia, not R&B)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2005 at 20:59
I agree as well. You made some very good points. And i think it is possible to dance to prog. Of course, it can only be the robot.
Dig me...But don't...Bury me
I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2005 at 00:39
Gentle Giant is definetly funky...I agree however you can also dance to some things from Ozric Tentacles
"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2005 at 00:48
Yup GG can definitely set down a mean groove, just check out Playing The Game from The Power & The Glory. Its like prog/funk. This hybrid should obviously only be attempted by professionals.Cool


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richardh View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2005 at 04:51
I would agree as well.Most prog musicians come from a symphonic/classical background but GG seem to embrace just about everything.I don't think any other band did what they did.Playing The Game is a cracking track!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2005 at 06:47
There's a great deal of funk to be found in progrock, just think of:

-All the staccato guitar, bass & keyboard interplay over a straight back
beat on Pink Floyd albums. ('Funky Dung', 'Echoes' or 'Time')

-Some of Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, particularly 'Riding
the Scree'

-Meurglys III by VDGG... music doesn't get funkier than this!
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