Gentle Giant

Gentle Giant was a British progressive rock band around the brothers Phil, Derek and Ray Shulman. The group was active between 1970 and 1980 and known for the complexity of their music and the varied musical skills of its members. All except the first two drummers Martin Smith and Malcolm Mortimore, were multi-instrumentalists.

Band History

1966, coming from Glasgow, Scotland brothers Shulman founded the first pop band Simon Dupree and the Big Sound. One of the members was temporarily Reginald Dwight, who later became known as Elton John. With Kites, the group arrived in 1967 to No. 9 of the British charts. Any further commercial success achieved not Simon Dupree and the Big Sound; In 1970, the band renamed itself Gentle Giant and radically changed their style.

The band coined within the progressive rock own direction, characterized by experimental sounds, complex rhythm structures and advanced principles of composition from classical music (for example, counterpoint). Gentle Giant combined rock, classical, jazz and pop. The band played in the studio and on stage for over thirty instruments and all five musicians also sang. In addition to the usual rock instruments guitar, bass, drums and keyboards instruments such as violin, cello, flute, trumpet, saxophone, vibraphone and glockenspiel were used also passages with up to five-part choral singing in the compositions are included.

Although the group their style simplified in the late 1970s at the urging of her former record company Chrysalis, and reinforced recorded elements of rock, she could no longer meet coined by punk and new wave, but also on the disco music musical zeitgeist of pop music. Despite their high musical competence Gentle Giant never reached a time comparable with other bands of that popularity and remained a priority for a specialized audience of interest. Nevertheless, they influenced a number of later bands, which are associated with the genre of Neo - Progressive Rock, Neo -Prog shortly. So called the Canadian band Saga Gentle Giant as a major influence.

For enjoying music critics and fans, especially the album Three Friends (1972 ), Octopus ( 1972), In a Glass House (1973 ), The Power and the Glory (1974) and Freehand (1975 ) high reputation. In 1980 appeared with the Civilian last album of the band, on which they had already solved completely by the style of the early years.

Since 2008, Malcolm Mortimore and Gary Green appeared with some other musicians as Rentle Giant; this band was renamed with the entry of Kerry Minnear in Three Friends. Minnear rose in October 2009 again.

Ray Shulman, 1974

John Weathers, 1974


Studio albums

Live albums


  • 2004 - Giant on the Box