Jump to content

Let's talk about... Gentle Giant.


Recommended Posts

Hey gang

Gentle Giant have completely passed me by until recently. I'm now starting to chip away at the catalogue, and I really like some of it.

I've always been fascinated with the history and musical evolution of bands - even those I don't really like - and GG's seems to be more interesting than most. Lots to take in, most of it bonkers.

And what a rhythm section, eh?

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, wateroftyne said:

I've always been fascinated with the history and musical evolution of bands - even those I don't really like - and GG's seems to be more interesting than most.

Great band, great rhythm section - with a fantastic bass player and a hard hitting drummer who nicely contrasts the intricacies of some of the arrangements.

Love them - especially their earlier period (until '76, incl the Interview album)

Which tracks do you like most, WoT?


BTW, this footage from '78 shows both their old style, with tracks like Free Hand, Just the Same, Playing the Game, and even a fugue exposition starting off On Reflection for example, and the style of their latter years of being frustrated at not gaining real success, with some clear nods at punk and tracks like Two Weeks in Spain, I'm Turning Around and Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It.
 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW2, this footage is of their first gig in the UK after a hiatus, and the audience reportedly consisted of people on a studio visit - clearly not GG fans.

Edited by BassTractor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, BassTractor said:

Which tracks do you like most, WoT?

It was Proclamation that started the ball rolling, specifically the brilliant fan video that I clicked on by accident.

I was, like, ‘what the hell’s this??’, and off I went. 
 

Enjoyed The Power and the Glory (even the title track which I don’t think the band are very keen on) and getting into Free Hand at the moment.

Terrible album sleeves though (apart from The Power and the Glory which is mint).

Quite looking forward to getting into the later years. The unpopular stuff is always interesting…

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 19/06/2021 at 15:23, wateroftyne said:

It was Proclamation that started the ball rolling, specifically the brilliant fan video that I clicked on by accident.

I was, like, ‘what the hell’s this??’, and off I went. 
 

Enjoyed The Power and the Glory (even the title track which I don’t think the band are very keen on) and getting into Free Hand at the moment.

Terrible album sleeves though (apart from The Power and the Glory which is mint).

Quite looking forward to getting into the later years. The unpopular stuff is always interesting…

 

Proclamation here too.
Heard that and the intricate So Sincere, and was (floored)2.

The title track TPatG was a non-album single, IMS due to contractual obligations, and was only added to a CD in the 90s.
Yeah, I do seem to remember The Boys in the Band hated it themselves.

As to popular and unpopular, I may have worded carelessly.
The last three (some say four) albums were their attempts at more popular stuff, as their frustration about the lack of success had grown during their first five or six years. 
However, with these last albums they lost many fans of their classic stuff whilst gaining few new ones, and the band folded in 1980.
 

Edited by BassTractor
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Free Hand" is ace.

You may be interested to know that they were were always referred to as "Giant Genital" in the music retail industry...

Edited by rushbo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, toneknob said:

Octopus is a winner. Love the album art as well. 

No tongue, only tentacles. Reminds me of an ex girlfriend. 

Oh yes - that’s a classic cover. Forgot that one. Good record, too - starting to get into that one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember that S&S gig from when it was on the telly all those years ago. 

I finally listened to their albums last year during lockdown and home working (along with a million other artists). They’ve done some pretty cool stuff, but so far I haven’t managed to love them in the way I love bands like Yes, Genesis, Caravan, Camel and Focus. They’re certainly clever and I enjoy them, but they don’t carry any real emotional impact for me and for me that’s what really matters.  
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

During my own journeys playing Prog (first through the 70's, then through the 90's to the present day), Gentle Giant figured strongly on my radar (along with Egg, Hatfield & The North, National Health, etc.) and I had a few of their albums on vinyl. The Shulman brothers, along with the rest of the band, had this amazing multi-instrumental aspect which I loved and seeing them live at Hammy Odeon in the 70's, when the album "In A Glass House" came out, cemented that love for a good while longer. But there were always certain aspects of their material that didn't quite gel with me so I guess I eventually fell out of love with GG for a while, subsequently off-loading the vinyl. (Doh! 🙄). Well, all except In A Glass House, which I still have to this day. It's good to know that Ray and Derek Shulman are still going strong today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to encounter Terry Shulman regularly at a jazz jam I played at, in the mid 70s. He was a brilliant trumpeter and a street cleaner by trade. A lovely guy.

I confess to seeing National Health and saw them support Steve Hillage at Lancaster University. I'm afraid I was praying for their set to end from very early on (apologies to a certain BC member who was present at the time).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI guys, newbie here. Gentle Giant are one of my all time favorite bands. I grew up in the 70s loving the prog rock genre and metal. Funny how my favorite genre now (at 61 years of age) is a fusion of the two, prog metal/Djent ! 

Are there any Gentle Giant tribute bands out there I wonder? Cheers Steve 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Canalbass said:

Are there any Gentle Giant tribute bands out there I wonder? Cheers Steve 


Welcome to BC, @Canalbass !

I believe these are or were dedicated tribute bands
- Five Friends
- Gende's Giant
- Giant Steps
- Three Friends, originally called Rentle Giant.

As you maybe know, Rentle Giant started with two GG members, Gary Green and Malcolm Mortimore, and when GG member Kerry Minnear joined too, they changed their name to Three Friends, after GG's third album.
Minnear left soon though, officially for "family reasons" but reportedly because one or two of the Shulman brothers had expressed not liking the idea.

Other bands may have been more ad hoc, maybe only related to tribute CD projects, like
- Gentle Dwarf
- Glass Haus
- In a Glass House

Also, there's a plethora of people having performed some GG songs, and many of those are on YouTube.
For example Israeli singer Esther Ofarim did a version of "Aspirations" called "Aspiration".

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, BassTractor said:


Welcome to BC, @Canalbass !

I believe these are or were dedicated tribute bands
- Five Friends
- Gende's Giant
- Giant Steps
- Three Friends, originally called Rentle Giant.

As you maybe know, Rentle Giant started with two GG members, Gary Green and Malcolm Mortimore, and when GG member Kerry Minnear joined too, they changed their name to Three Friends, after GG's third album.
Minnear left soon though, officially for "family reasons" but reportedly because one or two of the Shulman brothers had expressed not liking the idea.

Other bands may have been more ad hoc, maybe only related to tribute CD projects, like
- Gentle Dwarf
- Glass Haus
- In a Glass House

Also, there's a plethora of people having performed some GG songs, and many of those are on YouTube.
For example Israeli singer Esther Ofarim did a version of "Aspirations" called "Aspiration".

 

Thanks BT, I'll check them out.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...