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Gentle Giant

Gentle Giant was a British progressive rock band with strong classical influences that emerged from Simon Dupree and the Big Sound[?] in 1970 and existed continuously until 1980. Their music is described by one critic as "an unlikely mix of dissonant 20th-century classical chamber music[?], medieval vocal music[?], jazz and rock."

Gentle Giant stands as a very representative example of the 1970s progressive rock movement, as it embodied all of the aspects that defined the movement in a text-book fashion:

  • Rapid, frequently changing tempo
  • Complex melodies, frequently constrasting harmonies with disharmonies
  • Grand arrangements, featuring unusual instruments
  • Unconcentional use of classical instruemnts
  • Multi-part vocal harmonies
  • Concept albums, long songs (often limited only by the 22 minute capacity of an LP side)
  • Complex lyrics


  • Derek Shulman
  • Phil Shulman (1970-1972)
  • Ray Shulman
  • Gary Green
  • Kerry Minnear
  • Martin Smith (drums 1970-1971)
  • Malcolm Mortimore(drums 1971-1972)
  • John Weathers (drums 1972-1980)


  • 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)
  • Playing The Fool (1977, live)
  • The Missing Piece (1977)
  • Giant For A Day (1978)
  • Civilian (1980)

The album The Power And The Glory received the highest critical acclaim; however, according to fans, Playing The Fool provides the best introduction to the works of Gentle Giant..

One Gentle Giant album listed a total of 46 instruments in the musician credits.

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