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Gentle Giant

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Gentle Giant Giant On The Box album cover
4.64 | 212 ratings | 24 reviews | 75% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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DVD/Video, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

German TV 1974
In 1974 Christopher Nupen, the celebrated classical music director, invited the band to record this concert in a Brussels film studio to be broadcast as a 'Sunday Concert' on German television station ZDF.

1. Cogs in cogs
2. Proclamation
3. Funny ways
4. The runaway
5. Experience
6. Features from Octopus
7. Advent of Panurge
8. So sincere

US TV Concert
Whilst touring in the US in 1975, Giant recorded this TV special at the Terrace Theatre, Long Beach, California.

1. Experience
2. Features from Octopus
3. Advent of Panurge
4. Funny ways

Szene '74
'Szene 74', a topical news show from German television station BRW, filmed this rare footage during Giants European tour of that year. Guitar & drums: from "In a Glass House"

Line-up / Musicians

- Derek Shulman / vocals, saxophone, recorder, bass, percussion
- Ray Shulman / bass, violin, acoustic guitar, recorder, trumpet, vocals, percussion
- Gary Green / guitars, recorders, vocals, percussion
- Kerry Minnear / keyboards, cello, vibes, recorder, vocals, percussion
- John Weathers / drums, vibes, tambour, vocals, percussion

Releases information

DVD Alucard #ALU-GG-03

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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GENTLE GIANT Giant On The Box ratings distribution

(212 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(75%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (3%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GENTLE GIANT Giant On The Box reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars It took a while before I discovered the unique prog rock from GENTLE GIANT. I was heavenly into GENESIS, YES and ELP until there was that stunning TV-appearance from GENTLE GIANT on the Dutch television in the late Seventies, the next day I immediately bought the live 2-LP "Playing The Fool". And what a pleasant surprise: that moment, originally a German TV recording in a Belgian studio with audience, has been released as a special CD/DVD box. The CD contains 8 tracks from the 'Sunday Concert' on the German television ('74) including songs like "Cogs In Cogs", "Funny Ways", "The Runaway" and "So Sincere". The DVD contains the German Concert (same as the CD), a US TV Concert ('75) with 4 songs, Szene '74 (3 minutes from the European tour) and some Extras: Baroque & Roll with 22 minutes live footage and interviews from Italian television and a Photo Gallery.

Back to the music from GENTLE GIANT, that sounds far from mainstream or accessible. I used to call it 'conservatory prog': every member plays at least three instruments, the musicians are very skilled and the interplay is breathtaking, for instance an acoustic duet that for sure has inspired SPOCK'S BEARD! The music is very varied with strong vocals: from bombastic keyboards (lots of clavinet) and fiery electric guitar till a classical interlude with three members on flute or pieces with trumpet, violin or xylophone. GENTLE GIANT: a great discovery!

Review by Menswear
5 stars One word: WoO-HoO!

This is what I call an essential DVD. Oh man, ANY fan of GG should try to save money and get his chubby fingers on this one. Because this is the ultimate GG experience, but also a fun, complete package of GG's history and to finally get to know them better in interview. It is your only chance to see how awesome musicans (especially Ray Shulmann and Kerry Minnear) they were. John Weathers is absolutely bombastic and unchained on the drums. This guy is acting so strangely, it has to be seen. Apart from the relatively obscure setlist there's a flute collective, a percussion bashing and some radical xylophone solos. Dereck is giving all he can by I guess. He acts 'BIG' and it gives a good show I can tell ya that.

Super extras like photos and rare footage, a live cd of the performance in Switzerland gives this a maximum replay value. It's as simple as that. The perfect package they needed to get new fans and make the old ones go crazy. It's so rejoycing to own such a quality product. It blows my expectations away.

It has to be seen. You won't have ANY regrets. You just can't lose with a package like that.

With Rush In Rio and Glass Hammer Lex Rex Live, this takes place in the classic DVD section.

Review by richardh
5 stars One of my favourite DVD's. Gentle Giant are something to behold live ..the energy and brilliance in their playing is quite startling at times.This concert footage from German and American TV shows captures them at their best without doubt.Can't recommend it enough even if the sound is mono and the picture quality is slightly grainy.
Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars About time this band released a DVD and it surely didn't disappoint. It includes a 50-minute show from Germany, a 30 minute show from Long Beach in California, a few interviews and some photos from guitarist Gary Green's private photo collection. The Germany show was absolutely wonderful and really shows the band at their peak on performing. The setlist mainly focus on the "Octopus", "In a Glass House" and "Power & the Glory" material although a great version of "Funny Ways" from their debut album is performed here too. This track includes one of keyboardist Kerry Minnear's brilliant vibraphone solo's which has to be seen to be believed, it really shows his multi-musician talent. The shows ends with "So Sincere" and the "Drum and percussion bash" which is an entertaining ending climax for the already amazing show! The Long Beach performance was nearly as good and again shows the band's wonderful engagement and usual perfect playing on the stage. As mentioned, this show is shorter but has similar setlist as on the Germany show (although only four songs from it.) The rest of the material featured on the DVD should interest fans of this band, while more causual listeners should get this for the two live performances.

Overall, absolutely essential if you are a Gentle Giant fan. It's very solid put together and the shows are definitely must sees of the highest grade if you are into GG. Check out Kerry's newly composed music on the title menu of the DVD as well, sounds like a modern reincarnation of Giant's "Free Hand" days! Also check out the special edition which features an audio cd of the Germany show! Highly recommended!

Review by soundsweird
4 stars I couldn't wait to see and hear this, after reading all of the glowing reviews here and elsewhere. Nowhere had anyone mentioned whether the sound was mono or stereo, so I was holding out hope that, somehow, these live recordings made for television might be in true stereo. Well, they're not. That's the bad news. Once you get past that, and start watching these guys do their thing, it almost doesn't matter. It helps that I saw them at the Armadillo World Headquarters at about the same time these were done (and I can assure you that I consider that concert one of the very best I've ever experienced). Sometimes, the sound quality is a problem in that the performers are playing such fast, intricate music that the whole thing gets muddy and/or distorted. And others have already mentioned that the unprofessional camera work and unappreciative audience occasionally drag things down. It's criminal that this band, who did everything well, is virtually unknown today, except to the "enlightened few".
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This DVD / CD box set is a must have for those who love seventies prog rock music. Having been approximately thirty years listening to the band's music and has never had a chance to see them on stage or through video, the release of this Giant On The Box, presented in DVD (plus bonus CD), has created an excitement for me to enjoy their 70's live performance. The first time I watched the DVD at the first track "Cogs in Cogs" performed on the German TV station ZDF my pulse was racing very rapidly, being amazed by what I saw on my TV screen. I could not believe what I saw. Spontaneously, I shout: "Oh my God . What a fabulous live performance!". I was then hooked to the show, sitting on the couch watching the show until it ends and repeating it again. Speechless. Oh man . this show is really great! I remember vividly when I first listened to their double LP "Playing The Fool" or "King Biscuit Flower Hour", "Out of The Fire (BBC") and some bootlegs, I always imagined how the band played the instruments as I heard so many sounds produced from different musical instruments. And the next question was: Who played that instruments? Other additional musicians? But how come the band did not mention the guest musicians? Yes, this live DVD has answered my question (in nearly 30 years!): each member of the band plays at least four types of instruments!

It's a highly recommended purchase. You will not regret owning it. Even though the picture quality is not excellent. But, what do you expect, it was recorded in the seventies!

Review by Melomaniac
5 stars I have been a GG nut ever since I discovered them in 1992 (my eternal thanks to my friend Hugo for allowing me to discover them) and I obviously never saw them in concert. So when I heard this DVD was to hit the market, I was so thrilled. When I viewed the concert, my jaw was wide open all the way through. I knew each of these guys played many instruments, but man, this is crazy!!! Each member is a one-man band! Kerry Minnear's vibes solo in Funny Ways is simply breathtaking to behold and to listen to. What really amazed is that GG managed to make such complex music groovy!!! Even if the performance here is not flawless (though they were a hair close to it) and the sound is not that great (this was filmed in 1974 in a television studio), the mere fact of having this chance to see the most talented band of all time live onstage is worth five stars.

Hail to Power and Glory's Way !!! Hail Gentle Giant !!!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars One of the best DVDs I ever saw and a must have for any GG fan! It was a dream come true when I found it. I remember when I was 17 seeing some excerpts from the Octupus album being played on TV and my friends and I were completely mesmerized by their incredible perfomance. It took me almost 30 years to see the whole concert. But it was worth it!

This DVD is composed of two different shows: one for a german TV in 1974 and the other was a special recorded during a concert in Long Beach, USA, in 1975. Musicly speaking the german shots are better, for it has more songs and the final percussive bashing with all the band members is really jaw dropping. Unfortunatly the film quality is not really good, grainy and with bad coloring, and the camera angles are sometimes very amateurish (it seems they were fascinated by drummer John Weathers). On the other side we have a shorter, but much more professionaly recorded, set for the Rock Concert series. Although the sound is not perfect (just listen to the beginning of Derek Shulman´s vocals in Experience. It is very low in the mix. Fortunaly it is quickly fixed as the song goes on), it is also prog´s delight: Gentle Giant was not only one of the most talented, complex, intriguing and original bands in the world. They were great live, not only capable of playing those intricated tunes outside the studio´s trickery, but also had a strong stage presence. I was amazed by how convincing and exciting they were in person. Certainly Derek Shulman was the right frontman fro the band. And their musicanship (including the swapping of instruments) is something you have to see to believe.

Gentle Giant was one of the most amazing bands I ever heard and this DVD proves they were really one of a kind type of group. I would love to give a 5 star rating for its muscianship and performance. But due the annoying technological flaws on both concerts, four stars is more fitting overall. Still, Giant On the Box is an essential item for any prog fan.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars One of the two definitive DVD about the proggiest of all 70's groups, , GOTB captures the group around the years 74 and 75, while GGaGG concentrates between 76 & 78. We're catching the band after the release of TP&TG, so we are without Phil Shulman (and so is the group)?. But the group proposed tracks from as early as Octopus in their everyday concerts.

Starting with a 50 minutes German TV concert, the set is magical and we gert to see plenty of individual shots, the multiple cameras catching the players when they're at the start of their solos, which means that the montage was extremely well done. Seeing Ray fill in (no pun intended) for his brother on vocals and regrouping the sax and violin playing gives the band new stage tightness. Weather's madman appearance is almost confirmed with his all-enthusiastic stool dance. Green is his equal self, opposite the stage fro Minnear in his all white outfit keyboards and cello, with only his flute being black. The two Shulman (both sporting white pats and dark shirts) left occupy centre front stage on vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, sax, violin and the other flute. The only two bad points from this broadcast footage is that Ray's sax is inaudible in the mix and weird keyboard loop passage where the band recup at the risk of being thought of play back. The group features tracks from TP, GH and Octopus mainly in that order and the interest of the set is constantly on the rise.

The US TV broadcast of the following year is shorter but carries almost the same second half so the main difference will be the TV shooting and settings and sound, which is . Minnear is not nearly as white (his instruments aren't anymore), Derek's stage presence is a bit exaggerated, Weathers still running the drum stool in the ground et... Most of this 30- mins broadcast is around the Octopus feature, so you'll have plenty to compare. I prefer the German performance

The remaining features are an almost forgettable German tidbit from a single camera and awful saturated sound (they sound like early Rush) while the Italian appearance again featuring the Octopus excerpts and a funny/interesting interview in which they seem to be getting an extremely appreciative welcome.

An excellent DVD that comes coupled a bit needlessly with a Cd of that German broadcast. I find it to be mostly useless because most fans will have the previous posthumous release holding concert from that era (the Woods/BBC releases, for ex.)

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is probably the most deceiving "5" around. The concert is absolutely essential - this band is AMAZING live. And I'm not the type to abuse capital letters. It's only serious deficiency is that the shorter show is completely unnecessary - the longer show encompasses all the same songs and more ... (read more)

Report this review (#354680) | Posted by KyleSchmidlin | Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As one of the most original bands of pregresive, Gentle Giant bring us a marvelous experience with this material on stage. This Dvd is a piece that any fan of the genre must have. The perfomance of the band is great, we can see the develpment of their most popular songs alive, first in a germ ... (read more)

Report this review (#171878) | Posted by FrippZappa | Wednesday, May 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For those of us that have been tracking down Gentle Giant live material for years, there is nothing new here, with the exception of finally have a good sounding live version of Cogs in Cogs. Most of this material can be found on Playing the Fool, the King Biscuit live album, Totally Out Of The W ... (read more)

Report this review (#162361) | Posted by infandous | Friday, February 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Gentle Giant has released a great document from 1974 and 75. A truly unique band that deserves wider recognition. The band strove to play music which satisfied artistic ambitions but did not gain mass appeal. I like the social comentary they include in the lyrics and as the 70's progressed th ... (read more)

Report this review (#162360) | Posted by mayod1 | Friday, February 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the first Gentle Giant I've listened to. At first, I thought it was really good, just the recording was bad (FYI, I wasn't quickly aware that it was a live album, since I had it in audio). Then I started listening to more albums and quickly found out that this was a actually a live album. ... (read more)

Report this review (#159006) | Posted by Grimfurg | Saturday, January 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Simply put, it is a must see. This is the first DVD ever released by the band and it is not disapointing. Two shows are on the DVD and were recorded shortly after the release of The power and the glory. One is in Germany with a really death crowd and one in the US. The only negative point is t ... (read more)

Report this review (#126875) | Posted by JR222 | Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is one of the best Prog DVD releases ever! It contains two full giant concerts from the The Power and the Glory tour, one shot in a sterile German TV studio and the other in a small Los Angeles Theatre. This is truly the band in their prime days, the glory and confidence each member has whil ... (read more)

Report this review (#115458) | Posted by OGTL | Saturday, March 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This DVD contains all the great GENTLE GIANT song's that fans of this band love so much. It is a pleasure to see how technically good those guys are, just take the bassist RAY SHULMAN: He plays bass, violin, trumpet and he sings, or take GENTLE GIANT's keyboarder KERRY MINNEAR: He plays the keys, ... (read more)

Report this review (#89166) | Posted by Badabec | Thursday, September 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars To all the fans of good music, that is an excellent purchase. But to a real progressive fan, this is a must. If you don't know gentle giant yet, you can expect one of most complex bands, along with ELP. Mind blowing, just like almost every prog band should be. A demonstration of how a musicia ... (read more)

Report this review (#60980) | Posted by Rafael In Rio | Tuesday, December 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is incredible stuff. The musicianship these five guys display here is jaw-dropping. Watch in astonishment as Ray Shulman, Derek Shulman, Gary Green, John Weathers and Kerry Minnear flawlessly play over a dozen different instruments, including vibes, violin, cello and recorders--sometime ... (read more)

Report this review (#44746) | Posted by | Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Thanks the lord we can see Gentle Giant live with this dvd,I am so happy to see them perform and play a lot of great songs and give their best on stage.Look the drum solo with all the guys playing on one drum and rock the place...the vibe solo is wonderful.The only way to see them,run to your lo ... (read more)

Report this review (#42260) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars At last GG releases a dvd. All I can say is that it's been a 30 year wait to see this band in action. One of the greatest progessive acts to ever hit a stage. I really like the way they animate and kick their legs. The drummer is very good with his facial and body movements. Of course GG ... (read more)

Report this review (#35937) | Posted by | Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is soooo simple. It's Gentle Giant at their peak. I saw GG seven times in two different countries, and there has never been a band (outside of the seventies YES or GENESIS w/Gabriel) that had the dynamics , and yes, the POWER and the GLORY of GG. The great sadness is that this band of vir ... (read more)

Report this review (#33607) | Posted by | Sunday, March 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Whoa ! Just got this about sheer prog heaven! Been a fan for years but never got to see them I have them in my living room! They were and still are so funky for a prog band!!! Vibes solos by Kerry are absolutely brilliant. Gary & Ray on the acoustic guitars are also ... (read more)

Report this review (#33606) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Freakin' Amazing. I was too young to see Gentle Giant live when they were at their peak. I've been a Giant fan since the first time I heard "In A Glass House", and I've always been stunned by their pure musicianship, mastery of instruments, and ability to utilize time signatures and insane ... (read more)

Report this review (#33605) | Posted by | Thursday, March 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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