Gentle Giant

Gentle Giant (Reissue)

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Astonishingly daring debut album, not as focused or overpowering as King Crimson's first but still crashing down barriers and steamrolling expectations. The mix of medieval harmonies and electric rock got stronger on subsequent albums, but the music here is still pretty jarring. Kerry Minnear was probably the only prog rock keyboard player of the era who allowed his synthesizers to sound like themselves and not mimic orchestras; Gary Green's guitars are alternately loud and brittle or soft and lyrical, and always surprising; and the presence of saxes and trumpets (courtesy of Phil Shulman) was unusual in any rock band of the era -- all of which explains how Gentle Giant managed to attract a cult following but hadn't a prayer of moving up from that level of recognition. "Funny Ways" was the softest prog rock song this side of Crimson's "I Talk to the Wind," but a lot of the rest is pretty intense in volume and tempo changes. "Nothing at All" by itself is worth the price of purchase.

A1 Giant 6:24
A2 Funny Ways 4:23
A3 Alucard 6:01
A4 Isn't It Quiet And Cold? 3:53
B1 Nothing At All 9:08
B2 Why Not? 5:31
B3 The Queen 1:40