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Gentle Giant - for all you prog lovers


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Gentle Giant was one of the best prog bands of the 70's, but they were always a cult band. Because of their refusal to do something mainstream, and their refusal to copy another band, they never became a huge prog monster such as Yes or King Crimson. Also, unlike many prog bands, Gentle Giant does not try to blow the listener's mind. Gentle Giant just makes beautiful and interesting music. The band they sound most like is Yes, except Gentle Giant sounds more electronic, more concise, less folksy, less poppy, and has a medeivel flavor. They are highly appreciated by musicians, who admire the fact that each member can play multiple instruments. They are a very experimental band. They take a lot of risks with their songs. For instance, in their song "Inmate's Lullaby," they only use percussion instruments, and are still able to make a melodic, cheerful song, with hidden undertones. Or in the song "Knots," they take a risk by doing most of it accapella. One of my favorite things about them though, is how they are so good at using hidden emotions and undertones. Take "Inmate's Lullaby." While on the surface, the verses sound cheery, after a few listens, you can sense a brash playfulness to the song, a kind of quiet explosion. Or in the main xylophone riff, while on the surface it sounds cheery, after a few listens it also sounds creepy. They are a truly unique and talented band. If you like bands such as Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson, you might like Gentle Giant. They are by no means accesible, and for most, it takes a few listens before you can really enjoy the music. But take it from me, once your a fan, you are addicted to Gentle Giant!

Here are the albums I have:

Octopus - thought by many to be their best album. Their early albums were a little simpler than their late albums, and this album bridges the gap very well.

Free Hand - Very medeivel and creative. Probably the most complex album out of the ones I own.

In A Glass House - My favorite Gentle Giant album. It starts off with the amazing "The Runaway" which is one of my favorite GG songs. It's got the upbeat experimental dance song "Way of Life." It's got the terrific "Inmate's Lullaby." There is the epic "In A Glass House." There is the medeivel "Experience." If you are going to get a Gentle Giant album, get this one.

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I think they are 'difficult' in the sense that you either 'get' their music or you need to work at it (Gentle Giant that is). As for Soft Machine....I loved Bundles the first time I heard it and I still do now...but many folk would find it challenging too...superb drumming and million notes per second guitar (in places)...I am not a huge fan of 'progressive' rock...more a jazz fusionist. Rock purists would hate it.

JMHO

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I think they are 'difficult' in the sense that you either 'get' their music or you need to work at it (Gentle Giant that is). As for Soft Machine....I loved Bundles the first time I heard it and I still do now...but many folk would find it challenging too...superb drumming and million notes per second guitar (in places)...I am not a huge fan of 'progressive' rock...more a jazz fusionist. Rock purists would hate it.

JMHO

I missed your posts H...glad you're back :P

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The banal perception of progressive rock band, GENESIS, is that Peter Gabriel is exaggeratedly flamboyant and his voice is disturbing. People naturally dismiss this supergroup as with "Invisisble Touch" and "I Can't Dance, granted, they are good songs, they do not define the band Geneis as a whole unit.

Well, anybody who doesn't have there head up their ass is acutely aware of the stellar musicianship and poingant lyricism Gabriel brings to the table. WhilE Gabriel was apart of Geneis, he created some of the finest progressive rock of the era. It trulY pains me to see many of my friends who enjoy progressive rock to dismiss them as gay or stupid. Do not make this mistake. LISTEN TO GENESIS.

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The banal perception of progressive rock band, GENESIS, is that Peter Gabriel is exaggeratedly flamboyant and his voice is disturbing. People naturally dismiss this supergroup as with "Invisisble Touch" and "I Can't Dance, granted, they are good songs, they do not define the band Geneis as a whole unit.

Well, anybody who doesn't have there head up their ass is acutely aware of the stellar musicianship and poingant lyricism Gabriel brings to the table. WhilE Gabriel was apart of Geneis, he created some of the finest progressive rock of the era. It trulY pains me to see many of my friends who enjoy progressive rock to dismiss them as gay or stupid. Do not make this mistake. LISTEN TO GENESIS.

uh...right...so what do you think of Gentle Giant?

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