[[caption-width-right:275:The classic lineup. Left to right - Derek Shulman, Ray Shulman, Gary Green, John Weathers, Kerry Minnear]]
->''"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. It has taken every shred of our combined musical and technical knowledge to achieve this. From the outset we have abandoned all preconceived thoughts of blatant commercialism. Instead we hope to give you something far more substantial and fulfilling. All you need to do is sit back, and acquire the taste."''\\
--Sleeve text from ''Acquiring the Taste''.

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

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 GenreRoulette 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. This is not to say, however, that the band was dry or unemotional. It was noted by one fan that what made this band different from many other progressive rock bands was their almost punkish energy while playing and clear enthusiasm for the music they were performing live. (Just see their Website/YouTube videos for clear examples)

They went to making pop songs in an effort to garner commercial success at the end of the '70s. Their sound, however, still proved too complex to appeal to a wide audience and they disbanded in 1980.

The lineups:
!!!197072 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: Drums (197071)
-->Malcolm Mortimore: Drums (197172)

!!!197280: Classic lineup:
-->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: Drums, percussion, vibraphone, vocals

* ''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 [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} the other wiki]]:


!!! '''''In a Glass Trope''''':
* AlbumTitleDrop: "Hail to power and to glory's way" appears in two songs on ''The Power and the Glory'': "Proclamation" and "Valedictory".
* AllDrummersAreAnimals: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWfmfgHXAfE Sexy animals, as this video and the top comment prove.]]
* {{Alucard}}: They have a song with this title that has lyrics which presumably refer to Dracula.
* BaitAndSwitch: ''Acquiring the Taste'' has a cover that appears from the front to be a tongue licking two flesh-coloured cheeks, but the back reveals that it's just a flesh-coloured peach.
* TheBandMinusTheFace: The departure of Phil Shulman was this. Derek says that he still doesn't know how the album following this departure got made, but they managed to carry on.
* BandOfRelatives: Three Shulman brothers formed the heart of the band in the early days. One of them dropped out.
* BookEnds: ''In a Glass House'' begins and ends with the sound of breaking glass. ''The Power and the Glory'' begins with the song "Proclamation" and ends with "Valedictory", a song [[DarkReprise based off of the same tune but on distorted guitars instead of keyboards]], as well as an overall darker mood.
* BreakUpSong: "Free Hand"
* ChristianRock: After they disbanded, Kerry Minnear, a Methodist convert, tried to make a career in this genre.
* CommonTime: Mostly [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. Sometimes played straight and sometimes [[PlayingWithATrope played with]]: Often the time signature is 4/4, but the rhythms are still incredibly complex such as in the song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIaG8a9ACYY So Sincere]].
* ConceptAlbum: FOUR of them! (Specifically, ''Three Friends'', ''In a Glass House'', ''The Power and the Glory'', and ''Interview'').
* DesignStudentsOrgasm: The cover of ''[[http://a.onionstatic.com/images/articles/article/2150/gentle_giant.jpg Acquiring the Taste]]''.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Before forming Gentle Giant, the Shulman brothers played in a blue-eyed soul group called Simon Dupree & The Big Sound. When their [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imf3NyO27Js attempts in soul]] proved commercially fruitless, they tried their hand at psychedelia (while still going under the Simon Dupree moniker) and got a Top Ten hit with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0svzLY-u7E "Kites"]]. When they couldn't follow that up, they made the Beatles-esque single "We Are The Moles", this time going by The Moles. Due to the hype surrounding the anonymity of the Moles (at one point, it was speculated that Music/TheBeatles themselves had made it), sales of the single started to pick up, but quickly petered out when Syd Barrett (yes, ''that'' [[Music/PinkFloyd Syd Barrett]]) spilled the beans on the project. Eventually, the Shulman brothers gave up on Simon Dupree & The Big Sound and, out of its ashes, formed Gentle Giant.
* EpicRocking: Surprisingly [[AvertedTrope averted]]. Their compositions manage to encompass much more in less time, it seems. They tended to mix things up live and play extended {{medley}}s however.
** Well, ''mostly'' averted. There are exceptions; "Nothing at All" from the first album is over nine minutes long and they have other fairly long songs. Atypically for a ProgressiveRock band, however, their average song length is about five minutes long.
** A complete list of studio songs from their first eight albums over six minutes long: "Giant" (6:24), "Alucard" (6:02), "Nothing at All" (9:08), "Pantagruel's Nativity" (6:52), "The House, the Street, the Room" (6:03), "Plain Truth" (7:36), "Prologue" (6:14), "Schooldays" (7:37), "Peel the Paint" (7:32), "The Runaway" (7:16), "Way of Life" (7:53), "Experience" (7:50), "In a Glass House" (8:26), "Proclamation" (6:56), "Playing the Game" (6:46), "Free Hand" (6:16), "His Last Voyage" (6:27), "Interview" (6:54), "I Lost My Head" (6:59), for a total of nineteen examples. Most of their prog albums have two or three really long songs; the only one without any is ''Octopus'' (which still has "River", which almost qualifies for this trope at 5:51), while ''In a Glass House'' stands out having the most at four. Still, by prog standards their material is pretty short (as mentioned above their average song length on these albums is just upwards of five minutes), so one could say the trope is ZigZagged. Live, however, they could definitely indulge in this trope; the medley of ''Octopus'' material on ''Playing the Fool'' is almost sixteen minutes long, which qualifies even by prog standards, and that's not all.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The album ''Interview'' is a concept album of an interview.
* FullCircleRevolution: The {{concept album}} ''The Power and the Glory'' seems to speak of this; the first song describes an autocratic ruler asserting his authority over the people; the following songs talk of an ambitious person attempting to gain power and set things right, but the final song on the original album is a [[IronicEcho reprise]] of the first, with the new chorus "Things must stay, there must be no change; anyway, time to rearrange"
* GenreRoulette: UpToEleven
* GentleGiant: Yes, the band also has a literal example of this trope - [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_hM3Q0KU2aV0/TLi8GzvSFEI/AAAAAAAAApM/PZyXqDHuDtU/s1600/Gg-high-res-geiger.jpg Their mascot]].
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The album cover for ''Acquiring the Taste'', which shows a tongue drooling over someone's buttocks. [[spoiler: It's actually a [[BaitAndSwitch peach]].]]
* GratuitousPanning: Required so that the listener may keep up with different simultaneous lines in the music.
* HappilyMarried: Most of the band these days. Phil Shulman left the band to keep it so.
* LargeHam: Derek Shulman's stage performance may come off as this.
* LoveNostalgiaSong: "Think of Me with Kindness" from ''Octopus''.
* MinimalisticCoverArt: ''The Missing Piece''.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: 15.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: Early on, they were very blues-influenced, but later had mediaeval and classical influences as well. Later albums included reggae-, new wave- and punk-tinged songs.
* NewSoundAlbum: Though every album has a certain continuity, they vary things up quite a bit.
* NonAppearingTitle: "Alucard", "Pantagruel's Nativity", "Prologue", "The Advent of Panurge", "Knots", "An Inmate's Lullaby", "A Reunion", "Proclamation", "Valedictory", "Mobile", "Interview", "Design", "Empty City" and all the {{instrumentals}}.
* ProgressiveRock
* PunBasedTitle: The fourth album ''Octopus'' is a work consisting of eight tracks: an octo - opus.
* RockOpera: ''The Power and the Glory'' is an unusual one at that. It speaks of government corruption.
* RockstarSong: Most of the songs from the concept album ''Interview'' deal with rockstardom.
* SanitySlippageSong: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWTEKTcajg8 An Inmate's Lullaby]] is about a man in a mental hospital.
* SelfTitledAlbum: Their debut.
* SomethingSomethingLeonardBernstein: The band has polyphonic songs in which multiple lyrical lines are sung simultaneously. Makes following the lyrics almost impossible without looking them up.
* StudioChatter: Intentional on ''Interview''.
** A somewhat humorous example also occurs on the song "The Face" from ''The Power and the Glory'', when one can quite audibly hear an enthusiastic "Oh, WOW!" after a very fast electric violin solo. Liner notes from a CD release reveal that this was Ray realizing he ended the solo a few bars too soon.
* UncommonTime: As humorously illustrated [[http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ggnotation.jpg here]]. A few songs utilize polymeter, such as "Just the Same", which uses simultaneous 6/4 and 7/4 in its verses.
* VocalTagTeam: All of the members sung. In the early stages the band had three lead vocalists: Derek for the rocky songs, Phil for the folksy, dreamy songs and Kerry for the classically-inspired ones. Gary Green & Phil Shulman both often sang harmony vocals, and John Weathers has been known to sing lead on a couple songs.
* WordSaladLyrics: "Knots" is described as a "musical jigsaw", inspired by Creator/RDLaing. It's further complicated by the complexity of the music.