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Gentle Giant

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iTunes Review

While their music would grow in sophistication over their first few albums, the 1970 debut by this British band is a stunningly crafted crop of tunes. From the start, GG blended classical influences, Renaissance madrigals, folk, hard rock, and avant-garde experimentalism. They introduce themselves to the world on "Giant," shifting between knotty, angular riffs and grandly sweeping sonic surges. The acoustic-based "Funny Ways" starts as a more conventionally melodic tune, evocative of early Genesis' folkier moments, before Gary Green's guitar starts kicking up a fuss. "Alucard" spins strange, sophisticated vocal harmonies around a storming, stomping guitar/synth riff, while "Nothing at All" goes from quiet, contemplative balladry to blistering rock before an effects-laden drum solo shifts things to avant-jazz territory. By the time their wry rock version of "God Save the Queen" ends the album, Gentle Giant has turned your ears in dozens of directions over just seven tracks.

Customer Reviews

Underrated

While this album wasn't as incredible as In the Court of the Crimson King, it was still groundbreaking, and one of the better prog albums I've heard. Gentle Giant is not always for the casual prog fan, they are one of the most progressive bands of all time. Nothing at All is the best song here; epic. Giant and Funny Ways are also good. This is my favorite Gentle Giant album, and if I had to recomend one of their albums to a casual listener, it's this one. Their albums got more and more progressive as they went on.

Well worth your money

In my opinion, this it Gentle Giant's second best album, behind Octopus. It's less progressive than later releases, but it's still very good. Here's my rating of each song: (Out of 5 stars) Giant - **** - Nice opening, but not as good as the rest of the songs. Funny Ways - ***** - Great vocals Alucard - ***** - The trumpet/voice effects that make parts sound backwards are cool. (Alucard is obviously dracula spelled backwards) Isn't It Quiet And Cold? - ***** - The violin and guitar (?) sound really neat, along with the xylophone solo in the middle Nothing At All - ***** - Gentle Giant's Stairway To Heaven, but with a drum and piano solo in the middle instead of a guitar solo. The best song on the album. Why Not? - **** - It doesn't stand out, but it's beter than Giant. The Queen - *** - The only song this album could live without.

Great Album

Wonderful debut album and very representative of the Gentle Giant sound. However, I must ask what happened to In A Glass House, which was actually on iTunes earlier and is probably their best? I'm not complaining for myself, since I purchased it before it was removed, but the manner in which some bands' catalogs are added to and removed from without explanation can be frustrating, to say the least.

Biography

Formed: 1969

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Formed at the dawn of the progressive rock era in 1969, Gentle Giant seemed poised for a time in the mid-'70s to break out of its cult-band status, but somehow never made the jump. Somewhat closer in spirit to Yes and King Crimson than to Emerson, Lake & Palmer or the Nice, their unique sound melded hard rock and classical music, with an almost medieval approach to singing. Gentle Giant was born out of the ruins of Simon Dupree & the Big Sound, an R&B-based outfit led by brothers Derek, Ray, and...
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Gentle Giant, Gentle Giant
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