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Music: Gentle Giant
Classic line-up. 1972-1980 Left to right - D. Shulman, R.Shulman, Green, Weathers, 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."
—Sleeve text from the second album, Acquiring the Taste.

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: Drums (1970-71)
Malcolm Mortimore: Drums (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: Drums, percussion, vibraphone, vocals

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. 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 Youtube videos for clear examples of that)

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"

Marvin GayeCreator/Columbia RecordsThe Stooges
Tony BanksRockGong

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