[[caption-width-right:330: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 ProgressiveRock band active in the 1970s.

The line-ups:
!!!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)

!!!1972-1980: 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 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 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 its 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 [[{{Wikipedia}} the other wiki]]:


!!This band contains examples of the following tropes

* AlbumFiller: The last three albums were made wholly of these.
* AlbumTitleDrop
* 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 appear from the front to be a tongue between 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''
* CanonDiscontinuity: Fans generally disregard the last three albums.
* ChristianRock: After the group 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 their second [[http://a.onionstatic.com/images/articles/article/2150/gentle_giant.jpg album]] is a tongue licking a peach. [[UnfortunateImplications It looks like something else, if one only views the front however.]] This is intentional.
* 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 Beatle-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.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The album ''Interview'' is a concept album of an interview.
* FullCircleRevolution: The [[ConceptAlbum 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 what appears to be someone's buttocks. [[spoiler: It's actually a 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 Shulmans stage performance may come off as this.
* LoveNostalgiaSong: ''Think Of Me With Kindness'' from ''Octopus''
* MinimalisticCoverArt: ''The Missing Piece''
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: 1-5.
* 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 octa - 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 Inmates 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.
* 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.
* UncommonTime: Gentle Giant's music, as humorously illustrated by [[http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Ggnotation.jpg this picture]]
* VocalTagTeam: All of the members sung. In the early stages the band had three lead vocalists: Derek for the rock'y songs, Phil for the folky, dreamy songs and Kerry for the classically-inspired ones.
* WordSaladLyrics: "Knots" is described as a "musical jigsaw", inspired by Creator/RDLaing. It's further complicated by the complexity of the music.