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File:Gentle Giant 6879.jpg
"It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of being very unpopular. We have recorded each composition with the one thought - that it should be unique, adventurous and fascinating."
—Sleeve text from the second album.

Gentle Giant was an English Progressive Rock band active in the 1970s.

The line-up's:

1970-72 Early line-up

 Phil Shulman: Lead vocals, clarinet, saxophones, trumpet

Derek Shulman: Lead vocals, saxophone, recorder

Ray Shulman: Bass, violin, trumpet, recorder, vocals

Kerry Minnear: Keyboards, vibraphone, cello, recorder, vocals

Gary Green: Guitars, recorder, vocals

Martin Smith: Percussion (1970-71)

Malcolm Mortimore: Percussion (1971-72)

1970-1980: Classic line-up:

 Derek Shulman: Lead vocals, saxophone, recorder

Ray Shulman: Bass, violin, trumpet, recorder, vocals

Kerry Minnear: Keyboards, vibraphone, cello, recorder, vocals

Gary Green: Guitars, recorder, vocals

John Weathers: Percussion


They are notable for being one of the most experimental and versatile of the prog bands of that era. All of the members were multi-instrumentalists who often switched instruments during a single song. This made up for very intricate arrangements and a Genre Roulette style of music in which one song could vary between hard rock, jazz, medieval tunes, baroque counterpoint, modernist sounds and soft ambience. Many prog-heads consider them to be one of the 'hardest' prog bands out there. In fact they are not that hard to listen to, however, since the compositions focus on catchy melodies, rhythms and clever songwriting in general. The compositions are very concise, not as long as the typical prog-fest and played almost totally clinically.

Sadly, the band burned out creatively at the end of the decade and went to making pop songs - an endeavor frowned upon by the band in it's earlier stages. Their sound, however, still proved too complex to appeal to a wide audience and they disbanded in 1980.

The discography:

  • Gentle Giant (1970)
  • Acquiring the Taste (1971)
  • Three Friends(1972)
  • Octopus (1972)
  • In a Glass House (1973)
  • The Power and the Glory (1974)
  • Free Hand (1975)
  • Interview (1976)
  • The Missing Piece (1977)
  • Giant for a Day (1978)
  • Civilian (1980)

They have a very extensive article on the other wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentle_Giant

This band contains examples of the following tropes

 "Things must stay, there must be no change; anyway, time to rearrange"

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