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Gentle Giant - The essential?


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I finally bought a Gentle Giant disc the other day and I'm seriously diggin' on it. Acquiring the Taste just seemed to be the logical album to buy; that and it was one of the only two at the store... I would like to know from all you other fans out there what your 'must have' albums are from this often over-looked band.

 

Discuss.

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Bump, you have opened up my kettle of fish. I currently own every GG album, in both domestic and import pressings, as well as live, compilation, and bootlegs.

IMO, Acquiring The Taste is typical of their earliest stuff. I have a couple of the Shulman's albums from bands pre-GG, and they were definitely more hippy-dippy at that time.

 

Across the band's whole career, my favorites would be In A Glass House, Three Friends, Freehand, Interview, The Power and The Glory, and Octopus, as well as the live set Playing The Fool-Live. Essentially, this is the whole of their middle-era output, but if you have an interest, these are must-haves. This is when the proper drummer and a creative peak hit all the high spots.

The earlier and later discs suffer from label interference AFAIC, the earlier to be "more out-there, you know, for kids", and the later to be "more radio friendly, you know, for kids".

No one should force a band that doesn't typically write singles to do so.

 

Any other questions? :D

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

p.s. The lead singer of Giant later became a label head, I believe for ATCO. He signed Cinderella, but don't hold that against Giant.

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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what Wraub said!

that was one of my very favorite bands and most definitely my favorite European band- even more than Yes.

( i got into all kinds of strange bands- PFM, Magma, Banco, etc..)

imagine my surprise when one night i thought i was going to see Renaissance ( for free) and Gentle Giant was the opening act !

All the recordings Wraub mentioned are amazing. I especially like The Power and the Glory, Freehand, and In Glass House-

is this stuff available on cd?

a treasure of music there, Bump - the Kings of odd time signatures blended with great musicality !

Praise ye the LORD.

....praise him with stringed instruments and organs...

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.

excerpt from- Psalm 150

visit me at:

www.adriangarcia.net

for His glory

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I've definitely got to get into Gentle Giant.

 

Meanwhile, speaking of lesser-known but musically great bands from Europe...I'll throw in another plug for The Flower Kings (Sweden). They are the one "modern" prog band that I would put on the same list as groups like Crimson, Genesis, ELP, Yes, or Gentle Giant. They're that good, and have a voice of their own. They put out a live DVD in 2003...it is INSANELY good.

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Originally posted by forceman:

Originally posted by bassaddik:

imagine my surprise when one night i thought i was going to see Renaissance ( for free) and Gentle Giant was the opening act !

What year was this? I really dug the mid-70's Renaissance (have a couple of their records on vinyl).
oh, gosh! about a million years ago!

i was working at a record store ( i was a kid ) and we got tickets to all these concerts, so i said " Renaissance, yep, they're cool" but when i arrived at Gusman Theater in Miami and saw the big smiling Giant backdrop, i couldnt believe my luck! i was all into that band!

Praise ye the LORD.

....praise him with stringed instruments and organs...

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.

excerpt from- Psalm 150

visit me at:

www.adriangarcia.net

for His glory

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Hi my bass playing friends:

 

Knowing my appreciation for Gentle Giant, Tom Capasso steered me in this direction. :) (Oh, and thanks again, Tom, for notifying me that the Gentle Giant DVD was finally out! :thu: )

 

I know that for some folks Gentle Giant might be an acquired taste, but I fell in love with their music immediately. My first exposure came upon hearing "Playing The Game" from The Power And The Glory on Phoenix's former progressive rock radio station, KDKB. I went out and nabbed that album right away!

 

I agree with wraub and Adrian who favor albums from Gentle Giant's middle years, in which they had perfected their sound and not yet gone commercial. My favorite Gentle Giant album is Free Hand with The Power And The Glory a close second. My third favorite is harder to pick, but it would be one of the following:

 

Interview

In A Glass House

Octopus

 

The first time I went to see Gentle Giant, on The Power and The Glory tour, was also when they were the warm-up act for Renaissance; and of course, Gentle Giant blew everyone away!

 

When I next saw Gentle Giant on their Free Hand tour, they were able to cover a lot more of their material because they were they only act on the bill. Both of those concerts were unforgettable experiences! :thu:

 

BTW, Gentle Giant lead vocalist Derek Shulman (during his record exec years) was also responsible for signing Bon Jovi. Click here for more of Shulman\'s signings .

 

It does my heart good to see so many Gentle Giant fans at this site!

 

Best,

 

Geoff

 

-----

 

http://homepage.mac.com/musicproduction/.Pictures/GentleGiant.jpg

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Originally posted by way2fat:

I had a later album called "missing Piece" I think. It wasn't bad.

Nowadays I can agree that it wasn't bad. However at the time, I knew it was the beginning of the end; and it depressed the hell outta me!

 

It was 1977, and the writing was on the wall for progressive rock and jazz fusion. Bands in those categories were losing their record deals, my local progressive rock station (in Phoenix) had switched to mainstream rock, and punk rock was on the rise.

 

I heard that Gentle Giant had released a new album and I rushed to my neighborhood record store to check it out. I walked in the door and The Missing Piece was already playing on their turntable. The cut spinning was "Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It," a three chord rock piece in 4/4 time! :(

 

Regardless, I bought The Missing Piece and the rest of Gentle Giant's later releases. Even though they had backed away from their most adventurous spirit, Gentle Giant still remained worth listening to, IMHO.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

 

-----

 

http://homepage.mac.com/musicproduction/.Pictures/GentleGiant.jpg

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Originally posted by Prague:

Bump, you missed the memo!

 

All Seattle bass players are required to listen to, AND love, Gentle Giant. Now you have to bring a treat to the next meeting.

Well son of a... I'm always the last to know these things.

 

That does it. I'm hosting Seattle Bass Players Get Together at my fly-ass place.

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The only Gentle Giant, I'm familar with is Three Friends. To me this is Progressive to maximum threshold, at points seems to be progressive just for sake of being extremely progressive. Overall incredible level of musicianship, but its not one of my favorite things to listen too. I prefer a bit more organic flav than that. How does Three Friends compare with other GG albums? I hate to make a judgement on this alone, since it is a concept album.

Together all sing their different songs in union - the Uni-verse.

My Current Project

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I find it heartening that there are so many Giant fans! I vividly remember long, lonely years full of blank stares from friends, loved ones, and record store clerks as I hunted for treasures.

 

I also find it interesting that the above posts from Geoff Grace could have been written by me, right down to geographic particulars. :D

 

I had the exact same reaction to The Missing Piece when I first heard it, but also have come to quite like parts of it. "Memories of Old Days"

and "Mountain Time" (fun to play!) are pretty good "pop" tunes (by GG standards), but truly fail to do the band justice.

 

A definite listen must be given to Playing The Fool, the live set. Amazing musicianship all around, with each member of the band playing multiple instruments and singing as they do so.

 

It is hard for me to pick just one favorite studio album, but at this moment, it's

In a Glass House.

Or maybe Freehand, or Interview.

No, In a Glass House it is. I think.

 

Jimbroni , I would say that Three Friends is a very good album for early Giant, but I get what you are saying about the presentation. GG were often called pretentious for the sake of it (there is even a compilation album called just that), but I saw it as more of an attempt to try something different creatively rather than an attempt to be different just to be different.

You might try The Power and The Glory, a bit of a concept album as well, less overtly so than Three Friends, but more of a "rock album" IMO.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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My favs, in order:

 

Freehand

Octopus

Three Friends...wait, does Three Fiends have Peel the Piant on it.

 

My Experience with Missing Piece was the same as Geoff's. At first I found it outrageous. Then it grew on me.

 

I saw them on the Missing Piece tour. The opening act was eary Brit punk progenitors Dr. Feelgood. Talk about a lively mismatch!

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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Originally posted by wraub:

I also find it interesting that the above posts from Geoff Grace could have been written by me, right down to geographic particulars. :D

wraub, small world. When did you live in the Phoenix area? It's too bad you missed our dinner when I was in New York last year. We had a great time and it would have been fun to have included you in the conversation mix! (John/Magpel was there, BTW.)

 

Free Hand was released during my senior year at McClintock High School and Gentle Giant's final album (Civilian) came out during my senior year at Arizona State University. (I was a music major there.) Where did you go to school?

 

Originally posted by wraub:

I had the exact same reaction to The Missing Piece when I first heard it, but also have come to quite like parts of it. "Memories of Old Days"

and "Mountain Time" (fun to play!) are pretty good "pop" tunes (by GG standards), but truly fail to do the band justice.

I often wondered if "Memories of Old Days" was a hidden lament by Gentle Giant of the loss they might have felt by having moved in a more commercial direction. It's a beautiful song.

 

Originally posted by wraub:

Better late than never...

 

Gentle Giant web page

That link has actually been hidden like an Easter egg in all of my posts in this thread. Can you find it? ;)

 

Originally posted by wraub:

"You may know what I don't know, but not that I don't know it, and I can't tell you, so you will have to tell me all."

Hmm... now where have I heard that before ?

 

Originally posted by Magpel:

My Experience with Missing Piece was the same as Geoff's. At first I found it outrageous. Then it grew on me.

John, you'd think that when something outrageous grew on us, we'd have seen a doctor! I seem to recall that we both also caught the XTC virus a few years later! :D

 

Best,

 

Geoff

 

-----

 

http://homepage.mac.com/musicproduction/.Pictures/GentleGiant.jpg

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Geoff, just a quick response, I'll PM you with answers to your questions, but I had to wonder here:

What is it with the XTC thing? I was heavily into them for a while as well, collected the Dukes' singles and everything. Giant-the gateway to XTC!

Seperated at birth? :D

 

Too bad I missed that dinner. Maybe again soon, here or there?

 

Originally Posted by Geoff Grace--

 

Gentle Giant web page

 

That link has actually been hidden like an Easter egg in all of my posts in this thread. Can you find it?

 

I might need a Gargantuan hint. :D

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Long before CDs were even dream't up, I had three GG albums on vinyl. The one that comes to mind was entitled 'Giant For A Day'.

 

http://www.blazemonger.com/GG/pix/big/gfad.gif

 

Many hardcore Giant fans thought it was their weakest album, but I liked all three albums I had. One of the things that attracted me to the band was their fearlessness when it came to change and experimentation. They were fearlessly all over the map from album to album. Sometimes it worked, and soemtimes it didn't, but there was never a dull moment.

 

Great band! Way ahead of their time for sure!

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Originally posted by wraub:

Geoff, just a quick response, I'll PM you with answers to your questions, but I had to wonder here:

What is it with the XTC thing? I was heavily into them for a while as well, collected the Dukes' singles and everything. Giant-the gateway to XTC!

Seperated at birth? :D

wraub, you're one of us! (Cue Halloween sounds...) :wave:

 

Originally posted by wraub:

Originally Posted by Geoff Grace--

 

Gentle Giant web page

 

That link has actually been hidden like an Easter egg in all of my posts in this thread. Can you find it?

 

I might need a Gargantuan hint. :D

Somehow, I don't think you need a hint at all; but for those who do, click on the Giant JPEG at the bottom of my posts. :)

 

wraub, I'm looking forward to your PM.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

 

-----

 

http://homepage.mac.com/musicproduction/.Pictures/GentleGiant.jpg

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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