Giant for a Day

Gentle Giant


The 70’s progressive rock band Gentle Giant was a cross between King Crimson and Jethro Tull. Their self titled debut album, released in 1970 was actually compared to King Crimson’s debut a year earlier with its similar cover art, style and design. The album was not as powerful, and the writing not as strong, however the band did attract a cult following with its mix of medieval harmonies and electric rock. Different from the other prog rock acts of the time this medieval feel, along with the theatrical melodies would continue on their next 5 albums, but the band never broke out of their cult following into popular status. They didn’t rock as hard as Tull or ELP, and they lacked the sweeping soundscapes associated with bands like Yes, King Crimson or even Camel.

In 1978 Gentle Giant put out Giant for a Day. Panned by critics as the band’s worst album, it happens to be the only one I really like. Gone is all the pretentiousness, the complex melodies and cerebral lyrics. No more difficult time changes and the heavy handed mixes that weighed the bands music down for the sake of intellectually literate ambition. What is left is a nice record of rock tunes and pop ballads that are actually pleasant to listen to. It’s got some rockers in Little Brown Bag and Rock Climber, and some beautiful heartfelt moments in Thank You and Friends. The critics would call it their worst album,”the laughing stock of the Gentle Giant discography”. I’ll tell you what, if the band had leaned more in this direction to begin with, they may have had a shot at assembling some mainstream fans during their tenure.

By the way, If you blow up the cover art – click here – and cut it out, you have your Halloween costume for this year 😉

Enjoy being Giant for a Day.

1. Words From The Wise
2. Thank You
3. Giant For A Day
4. Spooky Boogie
5. Take Me
6. Little Brown Bag
7. Friends
8. No Stranger
9. It’s Only Goodbye
10. Rock Climber

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