defending gentle giant


Woe to the musician who can actually play his or her instrument. In that direction ridicule lies. Ridicule by reason of excessively long solos, of leaden grooves, of unpleasant facial posturing so as to simulate profundity.

In this regard: consider the plight of Gentle Giant. They are among the most reviled of prog-rock outfits from the ’70s. They made concept albums; they were heavily influenced (or so it was said) by the French Renaissance writer Rabelais; they were all capable of playing recorders; and, after the advent of punk, they tried to sell out and make New Wave albums. If all that were not bad enough, they started life as a soul band (Simon Dupree and the Big Sound), electing to go prog in 1969.

It would seem impossible to defend Gentle Giant, and yet that is what I mean to do.

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