March 19, 2012

Gentle Giant - a lot of bands owe a debt of gratitude to these guys.

I am sure that, had there not been a Gentle Giant getting started in 1970, the Progressive Rock Movement might have taken a different turn, or just not gotten off the ground at all.

Gentle Giant, formed in 1970, immediately hit it off with an audience looking for music to think about. Rock had it's place and it was everywhere, but Progressive was something new - the mixing of Classical and Jazz and elements of Art Rock into music you really didn't want to dance to but sit and listen to.

Tonight's session comes from the BBC John Peel Program, recorded on July 21,1970. It features two tracks, City Hermit and Isn't It Quiet And Cold.

I'm not sure these were issued commercially. I'm familiar with the first three Gentle Giant albums and neither of those tracks ring any bells.

But Gentle Giant were a unique and forward thinking band and that was in short supply in 1970. They were, when they first played a concert, a breath of fresh air. And because of that, many bands considered at the forefront of the Progressive movement cite Gentle Giant as one of the most innovative and influential bands to come along in a very long time.

If you aren't familiar with Gentle Giant but have only heard about them, now's your chance. If you are familiar, maybe these songs will be a new discovery for you.

Either way, you win.

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