Frequently asked questions

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This is the Gentle Giant FAQ: frequently asked questions about the band.

Contents

The Band

Who is (or was) Gentle Giant?

A unique, British progressive rock band that released 12 albums between 1970 and 1980. Their music combined diverse elements from rock, classical, blues, Renaissance music, jazz, and the avante-garde. The music is both beautiful and challenging to the ear. If you are a fan of Yes, ELP, 20th-century classical composers, or similarly challenging music, you owe it to yourself to check out Gentle Giant.

What are the members doing now?

Read all about it...

Will there be a Gentle Giant reunion?

No. Several key members are not at all interested in reuniting. Fortunately for us fans, four members did briefly collaborate in 2004 to create three tracks on Scraping the Barrel. Other members are not interested in reuniting due to busy schedules, health problems, lack of practice for 20+ years, and other personal reasons.

Do any members of Gentle Giant use the Internet?

Yes, but I have been asked not to reveal their email addresses. No exceptions. Sorry.

Can you ask a band member to autograph my CD, album, etc?

Sorry, I do not respond to these requests.

The Albums

Can you compare the remasterings of In a Glass House from Alucard (UK) and DRT Entertainment (USA)?

They are both excellent. I have not done a close comparison. Some fans have reported that the DRT release is louder and more punchy, which some people prefer and some don't. You can't go wrong with either one. On the other hand, the DRT "Free Hand" is reportedly the best master yet, with the old Terrapin CD in second place.

Why do the DRT "35th Anniversary" CDs begin with In A Glass House? What about the earlier four albums, and Civilian?

It's a legal issue. DRT Entertainment does not own the rights to these other albums.

I stopped listening to Gentle Giant after they broke up. Have there been any more albums?

Yes! See the full Gentle Giant discography to see all the albums that appeared after the band disbanded.

I have heard two versions of the song "Acquiring The Taste": one with a weird "bend" at the beginning and one without the bend. Which is correct?

The bend is a defect, possibly due to a damaged master tape. This has been confirmed by Kerry Minnear, thanks to Geir Hasnes. Many (perhaps most) versions of "Acquiring The Taste" on both vinyl and CD have the bend. The compilation CD Edge of Twilight has the correct version without the bend.

Fan Jim Redmond explains:

To my ears, it sounds like the tape engineer (during the mastering process) cued up the song to close to the beginning of the music. In other words, there is a certain amount of silence on the recording tape before the music begins. Normally the tape is backed up to a sufficient distance so that when the tape player is started, it can come up to the right speed before the music starts. In this case, the tape player is starting up too late; during the beginning of the music. I doubt it is due to tape damage, because the tape could be sliced to a quiet section of tape, to provide for the necessary time/space to reach the correct speed. The only other possibility is negligence on the part of the tape engineer. He might have been rushed for time, and didn't care to redo the mastering.

Which CD version of Free Hand is the best? I'm confused by the different versions!

The DRT Entertainment (USA 2005) CD release is the best, with the out-of-print Terrapin (UK) CD a close second. The One Way (US) release comes from an alternate master tape with slight differences from the original album.

Why does the compilation album Edge of Twilight have a sticker that says "Includes Many Tracks Previously Unavailable On CD?"

The sticker is incorrect. The album does not contain any unreleased or "previously unavailable" tracks.

Why are some songs missing from the compilation album Edge of Twilight?

Simple: there wasn't enough space for all tracks on all five albums. Voting was held in the On-Reflection mailing list to choose which tracks to delete. Also, no tracks from In a Glass House were included because PolyGram didn't own the rights to them.

What is the album "Dusky Voices?" I see it listed in CD catalogs but have never found the album.

Originally, the compilation album Edge of Twilight was going to be titled Dusky Voices, but the name was dropped. The title erroneously appeared in some CD catalogs.

Are there any rare or unreleased Gentle Giant compositions that did not appear on the original 12 albums?

Yes. See our list of rare Gentle Giant songs.

Is any sheet music available?

We have plenty of sheet music and MIDI files.

What happened to Terrapin Records, who released many GG CDs in the UK?

Terrapin is out of business.

I'm a reviewer or radio station. How do I get review copies of Gentle Giant CDs or DVDs?

Sorry, I have nothing to do with this. Contact Alucard Music.

Videos

Where can I find unofficial (bootleg) Gentle Giant videos and recordings?

Short answer: I don't know.

Long answer: It is the official policy of this web site not to recommend sources for bootleg recordings, as they are illegal in some countries. I also do not want to annoy my Internet service provider or (more importantly) the members of Gentle Giant who occasionally visit the site. Finally, I don't know personally where to get bootlegs. That being said, I am willing to include on this web site any descriptions or artwork from bootleg recordings, if fans send me the data.

The Concerts

Is it true that the band members played 30 different instruments, often switching instruments with one another in concert?

Yes: electric guitar, 12-string guitar, electric bass, drum kit, various drums and percussion, organ, piano, clavinet, several synthesizers, vibes, violin, cello, trumpet, tenor sax, alto sax, tambourine, clarinet, various recorders (the wind instruments), Shulberry (their invention), and more. And five members sang. For more info about GG's concerts, read some memories from fans.

What the heck is a "Shulberry??"

It's the percussive instrument that opens Playing the Game. You can see Derek play it.

Why didn't Kerry Minnear sing lead vocals in concert?

According to Derek Shulman, "[Kerry] had a very weak voice in terms of projection. I mean on tape, when we actually recorded the vocals, the signal-to-noise ratio was pretty heavy on his voice. He's got a great voice but it's weak. You wouldn't have heard it live, you would have just heard the instruments. Also, he wasn't very confident singing live, he was always nervous about that. We had a band with a lot of instruments and if you turned up his vocal, the rest of the thing would feed back. It would have sounded awful." (From an interview conducted by Jason Rubin; submitted by Biffy the Elephant Shrew.)

Fan Activity

What is the Gentle Giant tribute album created by fans on the Net?

It's called Giant Tracks. It used to be for sale on the Internet but is now out of print. There is also another tribute album from Mellow Records, called Giant for a Life, also long out of print.

Is there a fan club?

The On-Reflection mailing list is an active gathering place for fans.

When did the Gentle Giant Home Page begin?

September 4, 1994.

How large is the Gentle Giant Home Page site?

Learn about this site.

When did the Gentle Giant mailing list (On-Reflection) begin?

August 1994, with 16 members. It was invented independently by Malcolm Smith and Geir Hasnes, who merged their two mailing lists to produce On-Reflection.

What is the meaning of IAGH, TPatG, and other strange words that Gentle Giant fans use on the Net?

They are album titles, abbreviated: ATT=Acquiring the Taste, EOT=Edge of Twilight, FH=Free Hand, GFAD=Giant For a Day, GG=Gentle Giant, IAGH=In A Glass House, MP or TMP=(The) Missing Piece, OOTW=Out Of The Woods, PTF=Playing The Fool, TF=Three Friends, TPATG=The Power and the Glory. The capitalization varies.