Gentle Giant

British progressive rock band / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Gentle Giant were a British progressive rock band active between 1970 and 1980. The band were known for the complexity and sophistication of their music and for the varied musical skills of their members. All of the band members were multi-instrumentalists. Although not commercially successful, they did achieve a cult following.[1]

Quick facts: Gentle Giant, Background information, Origin,...
Gentle Giant
Left to right: Derek Shulman, Ray Shulman, John Weathers, Gary Green and Kerry Minnear, in 1977.
Left to right: Derek Shulman, Ray Shulman, John Weathers, Gary Green and Kerry Minnear, in 1977.
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active1970–1980
LabelsChrysalis (UK), Vertigo (UK, US), Columbia (US), Capitol (US), One Way, Alucard Music, DRT Entertainment, Major League Productions (MLP)
Past membersGary Green
Kerry Minnear
Derek Shulman
Phil Shulman
Ray Shulman
Martin Smith
Malcolm Mortimore
John Weathers

The band stated that their aim was to "expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of becoming very unpopular",[2] although this stance was to alter significantly with time.

Gentle Giant's music was considered complex even by progressive rock standards, drawing on a broad swathe of music including folk, soul, jazz, and classical music. Unlike many of their progressive rock contemporaries, their "classical" influences ranged beyond the Romantic and incorporated medieval, baroque, and modernist chamber music elements. The band also had a taste for broad themes for their lyrics, drawing inspiration not only from personal experiences but from philosophy and the works of François Rabelais and R. D. Laing. In 2015 they were recognised with the lifetime achievement award at the Progressive Music Awards.[3]