Gentle Giant Albums Ranked

Gentle Giant was a British progressive rock band active between 1970 and 1980. The band was 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. 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 recognized with the lifetime achievement award at the Progressive Music Awards. Here are all of Gentle Giant albums ranked.

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8. Playing The Fool (1977)

“This album really captures the band at their creative peak. Proof that this band was not a mere creature of the studio. How they were able to play such intricate stuff so flawlessly still leaves me stymied, forty years later. A must for anyone who appreciates progressive rock.”

7. Free Hand (1975)

“Free Hand is the last great Gentle Giant album. Everything here works for me except “Time to Kill,” which seems like a failed attempt to mix the Gentle Giant sound with pop lyrics and pop background harmonies (the beginning of the end?). “Just the Same,” the title track and the other tracks are very solid and therefore this is probably one of the most “complete” Gentle Giant albums. “On Reflection” is an impressive accomplishment, (“Knots” done right, as it were), and Talybont is perhaps the band’s most impressive “medieval” composition.”

6. Acquiring The Taste (1971)

“” ‘Acquiring the Taste’ is the second phase of sensory pleasure .If you’ve gorged yourself on our first album, then relish the finer flavours ( We Hope) of this our second offering. It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporary music at the risk of being very unpopular. We have recorded each composition with one thought-that it should be unique, adventurous, and fascinating. It has taken every shred of our combined musical knowledge to achieve this.”

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5. Gentle Giant (1970)

“The sax on this album from Phil Shulman is a nice addition that adds a swing to the proceedings. The bass from Ray Shulman can range from the funky to powerful to subtle where necessary. Derek Shulman’s wonderful singing really makes the band gel with his soulful screaming, soft melodic whispers and hearty baritone croon.”

4. In A Glass House (1973)

“I think this is one of Gentle Giants better albums although each of their releases are different. The opening track is a winner. listen to Minnears keyboard backing he sounds like a human sequencer! and the subtle vocals are reminiscent of PFM, followed by the wry humour of the second.track about a mental patient.( is this where Pink Floyd got the concept for The Lunatic is on the grass.) later we get a fabulous mellow string arrangement and great slide playing on the song, A reunion . The album finishes with an almost Black Sabbath gone experimental aka odd time signature.”

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3. The Power And The Glory (1974)

“The Power And The Glory is a wonderful musical ride. If you love listening to music, the music of any kind…you will enjoy Gentle Giant’s 1974 masterpiece! The album cover artwork is the cherry on top complimenting the musical art that’s inside. Some call this progressive rock [maybe] all I know is whatever they’ve conjured up it works period.”

2. Three Friends (1972)

“For me “Three Friends” is the band’s first truly great album. It seems more musically solid and cohesive than its predecessors. It’s a bit more laid back than later releases but all the songs seem to fit nicely together from start to finish. Despite the fact that apparently the band never played much of “Three Friends” live, there are some absolute Gentle Giant classics here, including “Prologue,” “Peel the Paint,” and “Mr. Class and Quality.” I believe that this is perhaps the best album for showcasing all the Shulman brothers musical talents, especially Phil. Free-for-alls can be fun (Acquiring the Taste), but rules are nice as well (Three Friends). This is a near-perfect album and still my favorite.”

1. Octopus (1972)

“This album is classified as “progressive rock” but many times I find that to be a category all the critics in the 70s lumped bands into when they were breaking new ground. The genre of this album is a mixture of many things, it is organic, and quite unlike anything else. The compositions are complex and well put together. The musicianship is top quality, and passion is very strong. Most open lovers of Rock music, jazz music, classical music, or just music, in general, will find something to appreciate in this album.”