Civilian

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Civilian.gif

About the Album

This album shows Gentle Giant's "rocking" side with short, simpler tunes. Some fans hate this album. Others like it, claiming that even though it is more pop-influenced than previous Gentle Giant works, it is still a good album. An [[essay] is available from the Truck CD liner notes, and an [essays/bewareradio84.html article from Musician Magazine]] discusses the politics behind the album.

Civilian was Gentle Giant's final album, not counting the compilations and live albums released after their breakup.

The bonus track Heroes No More appears on both the One Way and Terrapin CDs. The Terrapin track is taken from an old cassette recording, but the One Way track comes from the original master tape.

Musicians

Gary Green - All guitars

Kerry Minnear - Keyboards, vocals

Derek Shulman - Vocals

Ray Shulman - Bass, acoustic guitars, backing vocals

John Weathers - Drums, backing vocals

Other liner notes:


  Words and music by Gentle Giant
  Recorded August-November, 1979

  Thanks to: Skinny Bishop for providing fine vintage equipment, etc.
  Sibecor Corp. for their Norman guitars, Yamaha drums and Rotosound strings

  All songs © 1980 Alucard Publishing Ltd.

  An Onward U.S. production engineered and remixed by
  Geoff Emerick at Sound City, Van Nuys, California
  Tape operator: Torrie Swensen;
  Bijou Studios, Hollywood, California
  Second engineer: David Zammit;
  Wessex Studios, Highbury, London
  Second engineer: Mike Shipley
  Design: Nancy Donald/Ginger Canzoneri
  Photography: Dan Weiner

Track List

  1. Convenience (Clean And Easy) (3:14)
  2. THROUGH THE NIGHT All Through The Night (4:20)
  3. ON THE STREET Shadows On The Street (3:18)
  4. ONE Number One (4:39)
  5. Underground (3:48)
  6. AM A CAMERA I Am A Camera (3:33)
  7. OUT Inside Out (5:51)
  8. [[NOT IMAGINATION It's Not Imagination] (3:59)
    [#THATS ALL THERE IS Ending of the album]] ("That's All There Is")
  9. [[Heroes No More] (4:25) [bonus track]]

Lyrics

All lyrics reproduced with the permission of DRT Entertainment (USA) and Alucard Publishing, Ltd. (UK).

We also have the lyrics in French: [[page 1], [../pix/misc/civf2.jpg page 2], [../pix/misc/civf3.jpg page 3], [../pix/misc/civf4.jpg page 4], [../pix/misc/civf5.jpg page 5]]. (Thanks to Christophe Arseau.)

- English lyrics submitted by Jerry McCarthy

Convenience (Clean And Easy)

Lead vocals: Derek


Plastic, plastic, take the modern way.
Simulation, for my instant day.
Why should I care, if you say that it's no good.
It's for me, can't you see?
Convenience, everything is clean and easy.

I can't read, but then I watch T.V.
Stimulation, they can do it for me.
How can you say, what is right and what is wrong.
It's for you, for me, too.
Convenience, everything is clean and easy.

Just believe me, it runs like a big machine
It's just for me, can't you see?
Convenience, everything is clean and easy.

All Through The Night

Lead vocals: Derek


Everyday they clock me, everyday is just the same.
And the people I see, wear the same face as me.
As I turn the handle, time goes slowly by.
Is that all that there is until the day that I die?

[Chorus]
All through the night.
Through the night.
All through the night.
I can't believe I'm free til morning.

If I wipe the dirt and sweat,
Then I find that more's still there.
If the summer don't get you,
Then the winter always will.
Try not to think, it never gets nowhere.
But at least everyday ends, and the night's always there.

Chorus

Shadows On The Street

Lead vocals: Kerry


And we're sitting here
Wondering where the peaceful night has gone.
Over factories.

Shadows on the street, our lives still go on.
Another day, the songs the same.
Forget our dreams, and play the game.

The shadows on our street are clearer now, in light,
We see, this is as it's meant to be.
Don't look there, just look at me.

And it's waking now
And the grayness of the day will be here,
Want you near.

Number One

Lead vocals: Derek


You walk in here, and it seems you think
You own the place.
You ruin the sinks and you write on the wall.
After all the consideration given you,
I thought you would be grateful,
But no, you're not at all.

[Chorus]
What can I do, what can I do, I've tried.
What can I say, do it my way.
Don't you forget, never forget,
I'm Number One, yes, I'm Number One.
Number One, and you're still no one.

You say you're angry,
It doesn't make much sense to me.
You're paying your rent,
And at least you've got a job.
I've explained all the sacrifices offered you.
You take them without thanks,
I forget that you're still slobs.

Chorus

Underground

Lead vocals: Derek


Wheels go 'round, from end to end,
A passage run, go down, descend.
And underground the air is stale
With blurring light and endless rail.
On the wheels in motion, underground.

Silent noise, relentless sound.
Through shuttered aisle, the wheels go 'round.
The day is night, yet never still,
>From port to port, with miles to kill.
On wheels in motion, underground.
Just the locomotion, underground.

Windows dark, no view obscured.
With moving eyes, no sight assured.
Yet moving on, from place to place,
Through corridors, without a face.
On the wheels in motion, underground.
Just the locomotion, underground.

I Am A Camera

Lead vocals: Derek


My eyes are ready,
They're focusing on you.
I'm watching every move and all you do.
I see you everywhere,
I'm here and now I'm there.
Nowhere you can hide, you're still in view.

And when the shutter's open,
Images on my screen,
Sent to the people waiting,
People you've never seen, 'cause

[Chorus]
I am a camera,
Looking at pictures of you.
I am a camera.
SMILE,
Now you see me, now you don't.

I'm always working,
At night and in the day.
I'm your security, that's what they say.
And if you think you're free,
Then turn your back on me.
I'll catch you as you look the other way.

And when the shutter's open,
Images on my screen,
Sent to the people waiting,
People you've never seen, 'cause

Chorus

Inside Out

Lead vocals: Derek


As I sit, as the world goes 'round,
In the room I've known before.
Is it me? Am I inside out?
In a dream, as I watch the floor.

Everywhere, see, they are closing in,
(Do I need lifting, do I need lifting.)
But you say, no, there's nobody there,
(Do I need lifting, do I need lifting.)

How the colors seemed so bright,
Now it feels they've lost their glow.
And the dreams, only nightmares now,
Images, from down below.
Everything is spinning 'round,
'Round and 'round I go.
(Do I need lifting, do I need lifting.)
Where's the door, now I don't know.
(Do I need lifting, do I need lifting.)

Funny how I lose control.
Funny how, I don't feel me.
But I do feel I'm inside out.
But I hear, I feel, I see.
Everything is getting dark.
No, please don't lock me in.
Am I here, the light is growing dim.
(Do I need lifting, do I need lifting.)

It's Not Imagination

Lead vocals: Derek


Looked in the papers, looked in the magazines
Wanted to find out, to know.
Was there an answer, was there really something.
Hidden beneath them below.
Searched in the light and underneath the pictures.
Something was written there.
And through the smiles and under all the color
A message on everything there.

[Chorus]
But it's not imagination
Not imagination
It's not me, look and see for yourself.

Didn't believe it, although I saw myself.
Wanted to look there again,
But it was real and everybody saw it.
When it was shown, pointed out to them,
S.e.xisting, s.e.x.exciting
Written where it doesn't show.
What do we see, the product or the message.
So hard to tell I don't know.

[Chorus]
But it's not imagination
Not imagination
It's not me, look and see for yourself.

That's... All... There... Is....

At the end of the album, four words are sung: "That's all there is." (Some CD and vinyl releases are missing this ending, unfortunately.) This sentence was created from music that appeared in four different songs on the album. The words were extracted from the songs and then spliced together.

The words come from: "I'm your security, that's what they say" (from [#I AM A CAMERA I Am A Camera], 1:38), "All through the night" (from [[THROUGH THE NIGHT All Through The Night], various places), "Now they're mine no more" (from [#HEROES Heroes No More]], 1:29), and "Everything is spinning 'round" (from [#INSIDE OUT Inside Out], 4:27).

This information was uncovered by Daniel Barrett and Marc Caroul.

Heroes No More (bonus track)

- from Proclamation #4

Lead vocals: Derek


They were standing there - they were so near, yet so far away.
Were they so unreal?  Just a dream of someone to be one day?

There was endless fame.  They were heroes, now they're souvenirs.
And through changing years I can still remember - no quite so clear.

Heroes no more -
Stay with me still.
I dream.  I hope.  I always will.

Now they're mine no more as they stand there in the glowing light.
I see every face like my own, but that was another night.

Now they're just a dream of the time known ever left to fall.
Soon the game begins, but those heroes yours always to recall.

Heroes no more -
Stay with me still.
I dream.  I hope.  I always will.

Release Information

CDs currently in print
Sound quality - read me before you buy this album on CD.

Reviews and Ratings

Steve Lottich
Jason Rubin
Rankings:
On-Reflection album ranking
Proclamation album ranking