Gentle Giant

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1995 (The 1996 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?


Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Proclamation (1974)

Gentle Giant @ Wikipedia

Gentle Giant Videos

Will Gentle Giant be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."
   

Comments

17 comments so far (post your own)

Another prog group that came before Rush. i don't understand why I am the first to post on it

Posted by roméo on Saturday, 06.2.07 @ 15:04pm


Because you, my friend, are in the top 10 percentile of informed progers.

This Nominating Committee with a 3 inch wide hole in its skull doesn't even know who The Moody Blues, King Crimson and ELP are.

If you asked them what Gentle Giant is they would say, "Duh, isn't that the guy on the side of the can of green beans?"

Posted by SG on Friday, 06.29.07 @ 01:01am


they should get in but they wont not even King Crimson can get in (because the nominating committee hasn't heard of them yet and probably never will)

Posted by jeff on Wednesday, 12.5.07 @ 17:37pm


Gentle Giant sets the standard for quality musicianship. What they lacked in vocal quality (at times...see live dvd's folks!) they more than made up for with true musicianship. I had the honor of seeing them several times and I can honestly say that each musician played at least 3-5 instruments (and played them well mind you) and it was always a grand time and great concert. They should get in but sadly, the Monkees or Genesis will probably be in before Crimson, Mahavishnu, Giant or Yes will be in.

Posted by Curt on Friday, 05.16.08 @ 22:21pm


One of the most talented bands in the history of music! if someone disagrees, give them a listen!

Posted by Child in Time 27 on Saturday, 12.20.08 @ 19:29pm


This band deserves induction for their writing and their ability to pull off the ingenious orchestration of their studio albums in a live setting.

That's something even the Beatles didn't attempt.

Their arrangements also evolved from recorded versions. Medleys of entire albums were rehearsed and executed in concert.

There's also the fact that the writers of "Spinal Tap" HAD to have known about Gentle Giant.

Posted by chillman on Sunday, 01.11.09 @ 21:45pm


Wow, I am amazed that no one has commented on this blog about Gentle Giant in almost five years. Gentle Giant appears to be a much more obscure band, than most of the other "progressive rock" bands. Yes, I am familiar with them. They were probably the last of the major "progressive rock" bands that I had heard. Their musicianship was astounding; yet they were not not as successful as they should have been.

Former lead vocalist, Derek Schulman has been a record company executive for many years, he had even signed Dream Theater.

They have a plethora of magnificent albums, very worthy of very high ratings:

Gentle Giant *****
Acquiring The Taste *****
Three Friends **** 1/2
Octopus *****
The Power And The Glory *****
Freehand *****

In my honest opinion, they are one of the most unique "progressive rock" bands that I had ever seen. Not only is each member a virtuoso on his own instrument, but they can switch instruments in the middle of a song and not skip a bit. Their music is complicated, but quite melodic, for the most part. The definitive lineup, as far as I am concerned, was: Kerry Minnear, Derek Schulman, Ray Schulman, Gary Green and John Weathers. All of the aforementioned musicians are multi-instrumentalists. Phil Schulman, their elder brother was also a great musician, as well.

They had influenced several other progressive rock bands. Correct me, if I am wrong, but I still hear their influence in the music of Kansas, as well as Echolyn.

Do they deserve induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame? Absolutely! But will they be inducted?

Posted by Enigmaticus on Saturday, 12.28.13 @ 11:44am


Gentle Giant has little to no chance of being inducted any time soon. For better or worse, the powers-that-be are mostly American in origin and perspective. GG had no charted songs in the U.S. (and my cursory research shows none in the U.K. either), no "uncharted classic" songs that classic rock stations play (like "Stairway To Heaven" is for Led Zeppelin, or "Under My Thumb" for the Rolling Stones, etc.), only one album reaching the upper quarter of the album charts. I don't know if they were bigger in the U.K. than the U.S., but the NomCom, as reluctant as they are to acknowledge prog at all, are not going to select this band with little to no impact over here, and I would argue that they are not the juggernauts of prog you hail them as. As a personal thought, I also happen to think they're probably the most ridiculously named prog band, too. "Gentle Giant", imo, sounds like a name for a '60's flower-power folk-psychedlic band... they have a large-looming presence, but benevolent and friendly. Tell me that doesn't scream '60s hippies love-in.

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 12.28.13 @ 18:49pm


My mistake, I had meant to say that, as far as i am concerned, that the definitive lineup of Gentle Giant had consisted of: Derek Shulman, Ray Shulman, Gary Green, Kerry Minnear and John Weathers. Phil Shulman and Malcolm Mortimore had also made significant contributions to the band.

Posted by Enigmaticus on Sunday, 12.29.13 @ 11:13am


What makes an artist great? Is it a random combination of the ability to convey an idea, or an emotion? Is it the ability to improvise at a moment's notice? Is it the ability to create great music, without caring about whether it is unconventional, or unpopular? Is it the ability to have a single minded vision and pursue that muse wherever it takes you? Is it the ability to influence other great musicians, as well?

If so, then Gentle Giant is a great band. Here were a group of multi-instrumentalists who were able to seemingly switch instruments at will. Not only did Derek Shulman have a magnificent voice, but Kerry Minnear's keyboard playing and complex musical compositions transcended the majority of their "progressive rock" peers. When combined with the fluid playing of Ray Shulman's violin, Gary Green's atmospheric guitar and John Weather's precise, but chaotic drumming, the whole was a spectacle to behold, which would enthrall audiences and leave them with an overwhelming sense of awe, as ifthe spirit of some unforeseen deity was present within the very nature of their music.

Perhaps, they were ahead of their time, or perhaps they were born 300 years too late. In any event, their combination of medieval madrigals and rock was certainly not out of place during this time of experimentation. The sad part is that they were underappreciated by the public, as some great usually artists are. One hopes that maybe someday, their works will
be cherished. Gentle Giant has numerous masterpieces amongst their catalog; I highly recommend listening to them.

Posted by Enigmaticus on Sunday, 12.29.13 @ 23:09pm


"What makes an artist great? Is it a random combination of the ability to convey an idea, or an emotion? Is it the ability to improvise at a moment's notice? Is it the ability to create great music, without caring about whether it is unconventional, or unpopular? Is it the ability to have a single minded vision and pursue that muse wherever it takes you? Is it the ability to influence other great musicians, as well?"

Some of those, though I'd say the single-minded vision is probably not a part of the equation, and the ability to improvise is questionable. I'd also say that long-standing popularity is a part of the equation whether or not you'd care to admit it.

Posted by Philip on Sunday, 12.29.13 @ 23:21pm


Enigmaticus,

"What makes an artist great?"

I think that greatness is such an intangible that it really means how you define it. That is why your leading questions is always important. There are many criteria you can use. Which is why you can see so many artists mentioned over a number of different lists. I think the most objective lists go for criteria that can be measured somewhat accurately. The big ones I tend to look at:

1) Influence - Broken up into 3-4 groups Cultural, Musical, Industry oriented, and then a 4th group of miscellaneous influences. Influence is important, all great artists have had it to a degree. That isn't to say inspiration is the same thing. Someone like Gentle Giant may have inspired a sound by some one else. Influence tends to be more measurable because you can see the direct link (Louis Jordan's sound was to a musical ear the direct parent of Rock (musical influence), Elvis changed the conversation on sex and youth (cultural), Mamie Smith proved to the industry that Blues could sell (industrial), and Johnny Cash's life inspired great film making (misc.).

2) Popularity - Popularity is the most complex, but also most measurable criteria. It should be looked at as initial popularity, which is during the acts peak career, and lasting popularity. Lasting popularity signifies an artist with longevity, but it also shows off reputation. No artist has even been acknowledged by history as great without meeting a few key popularity qualities. Elvis for example was popular initially, and continues that popularity on even after death (A combination of both). Someone like Connie Francis has been forgotten through the years, but was still every bit as popular to a generation as anyone else (Initial). The Velvet Underground couldn't really push records in their time, but have seen their sales and popularity grow over time based on reputation (lasting). There are so many factors going into popularity however that it complicates the overall importance of the criteria. There are sales, charts, tours, and cultural milestones that all have to be measured. You then have to decide what is important based on how all of those separate categories are concerned.

3) Impact - Impact goes hand in hand with influence, but is measured in a much smaller time. The landing of the Beatles in the States created their influence, but that impact was instantly recognizable. Impact is important because it honors the first artist to do something, not the one who gets the credit now. The alternative bands of the 1980s (Pixies, Sonic Youth, R.E.M.) for example had a great deal of impact, because they utilized the influences of the Velvet Underground (who score poorly in impact).

4) Technical/Musical Skill - The great thing about actual musical skill is that it can be measured. You can take a vocalist and break them apart by what they can do as a vocalist. Like all criteria there is a an issue when you apply what makes art art, which is emotion. As an example the finest technical voice of Popular Music in the 20th Century was arguably Sarah Vaughan. She holds every technical card you could want. However when including emotion as an important factor, you get a swell there that allows Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Freddie Mercury a bit of an edge. That can be applied to any medium in which an artist applies itself. Instrumental, Lyrical, Composition, Performance, etc.

There are plenty of lesser criteria to look at but most artists in a Top 100 of anything bring all four of those criteria to the table. The problem is there are about 1500 great recording artists in recorded music. Which is why you see the variety in a "top" 100. Someone gets passed over because you look to heavily at something else.

I agree with Philip completely however on his comments about Gentle Giant. I like them more than most Prog acts (I am listening to them as I write this post) but I do understand that they are essentially not Hall worthy. Even if they could somehow sneak on a ballot, I would question their induction. Technical skill and originality aside, they just aren't that important.

Many of my favorite acts from any genre aren't Hall worthy. I think it is always important to remember that because we, the listener, think something is good, it doesn't make it great. I will always argue for artists that I might not be a big fan of getting inducted because they deserve it. I thought this year Linda Ronstadt deserved it. I don't think the world of her sound, but I knew she at least qualified to be there. She is just an example. I think Yes deserves induction still, I like Gentle Giant more. I think Chic's exclusion is the biggest snub right now. I prefer different Dance acts however (Lipps Inc as an example).

Posted by Chris F. on Monday, 12.30.13 @ 00:07am


Over a year ago, I had written this:

What makes an artist great? Is it a random combination of the ability to convey an idea, or an emotion? Is it the ability to improvise at a moment's notice? Is it the ability to create great music, without caring about whether it is unconventional, or unpopular? Is it the ability to have a single minded vision and pursue that muse wherever it takes you? Is it the ability to influence other great musicians, as well?

If so, then Gentle Giant is a great band. Here were a group of multi-instrumentalists who were able to seemingly switch instruments at will. Not only did Derek Shulman have a magnificent voice, but Kerry Minnear's keyboard playing and complex musical compositions transcended the majority of their "progressive rock" peers. When combined with the fluid playing of Ray Shulman's violin, Gary Green's atmospheric guitar and John Weather's precise, but chaotic drumming, the whole was a spectacle to behold, which would enthrall audiences and leave them with an overwhelming sense of awe, as if the spirit of some unforeseen deity was present within the very nature of their music.

Perhaps, they were ahead of their time, or perhaps they were born 300 years too late. In any event, their combination of medieval madrigals and rock was certainly not out of place during this time of experimentation. The sad part is that they were underappreciated by the public, as some great artists usually are. One hopes that maybe someday, their works will
be cherished. Gentle Giant has numerous masterpieces amongst their catalog; I highly recommend listening to their recordings.

Wow, I am amazed that no one has commented on this blog about Gentle Giant in almost five years. Gentle Giant appears to be a much more obscure band, than most of the other "progressive rock" bands. Yes, I am familiar with them. They were probably the last of the major "progressive rock" bands that I had heard. Their musicianship was astounding; yet they were not not as successful as they should have been.

Former lead vocalist, Derek Schulman has been a record company executive for many years, he had even signed Dream Theater.

They have a plethora of magnificent albums, very worthy of very high ratings:

Gentle Giant *****
Acquiring The Taste *****
Three Friends **** 1/2
Octopus *****
The Power And The Glory *****
Freehand *****

In my honest opinion, they are one of the most unique "progressive rock" bands that I had ever seen. Not only is each member a virtuoso on his own instrument, but they can switch instruments in the middle of a song and not skip a bit. Their music is complicated, but quite melodic, for the most part. The definitive lineup, as far as I am concerned, was: Kerry Minnear, Derek Schulman, Ray Schulman, Gary Green and John Weathers. All of the aforementioned musicians are greamulti-instrumentalists. Phil Schulman, their elder brother was also a great musician, as well.

They had influenced several other progressive rock bands. Correct me, if I am wrong, but I still hear their influence in the music of Kansas, as well as Echolyn.

Do they deserve induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame? Absolutely! But will they be inducted?


Posted by Enigmaticus on Sunday, 01.17.16 @ 16:16pm


I am terribly sorry, I had meant to say that they were great multi-instrumentalists.

Posted by Enigmaticus on Sunday, 01.17.16 @ 16:21pm


i saw gentle giant perform twice in phoenix .. i was blown away ... and i got back stage both times and met the band .. very good people and kerry was the most gracious ... derek was also down to earth and friendly ... i just wished i could of seen them play with phil ... some people put down dereks vocals but you must understand he was singing in strange keys and movements --- he wanted to take a chance and did ... just listen to the song " knotts " and that song should put them in the hall of fame itself .. the giant and crimson definatly should be hall of famers

Posted by tim hoyt on Saturday, 10.1.16 @ 23:09pm


Tim,

Gentle Giant is sixth on my list of favorite "prog" artists and King Crimson is seventh on this list.

Posted by Enigmaticus on Tuesday, 10.4.16 @ 03:02am


As much as I enjoy the music of Gentle Giant, I have had to adjust their position on my list of favorite progressive rock artists from sixth to ninth. This does not mean that I am not supportive of their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, either. It simply means that I feel that the following artists: Rush, Yes, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and Duran Duran are slightly more favorable overall.

Posted by Enigmaticus on Saturday, 12.10.16 @ 14:03pm


Leave your comment:

Name:

Email:

Comments:


Security Question:

Which letter is Springsteen's band named after?
 

Note: Emails will not be visible or used in any way, but are required. Please keep comments relevant to the topic. Any content deemed inappropriate or offensive may be edited and/or deleted.

No HTML code is allowed.




This site is not affiliated with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.