SW-11813 Giant for a Day
Produced by Gentle Giant
Released on 1978
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
SW-11813 cover
[high resolution photo]

A word for the wise: don’t buy this album until you’ve acquired all of the Gentle Giant albums before it. Gentle Giant is a great band, but their greatness is predicated on a facility for counterpoint and medieval-themed arrangements which the band had largely abandoned by this stage in their career. Beginning with The Missing Piece, GG tried to appeal to a wider audience by “dumbing down” their songs; complex instrumental passages and classical motifs were replaced by more conventional song structures. The end result was something of a “baroque boogie,” not unlike listening to a Supertramp record while letting the turntable speed skip between 33 and 45 rpm. Needless to say, commercial success eluded them, while their original fan base began to grow restless. True, you can catch a whiff of greatness on songs like “Friends” (written by drummer John Weathers), “No Stranger” and “Words From The Wise,” but their earlier albums fairly reek with the stuff. In the old days, you could expect to hear Ray Shulman whip out his violin and join Kerry Minnear on keyboards and Weathers on tuned percussion for a tight-seamed mosaic of sounds that left this mortal realm in search of finer things. On this album, Gary Green turns his guitar up a little and you get kind of a half-hearted guitar solo like the one on “It’s Only Goodbye.” Not that Gentle Giant was the only band to ever make a bad album. According to my Theory of Chicken McNuggetivity, the consumption of any product has a point at which you’re likely to bite into something that just plain tastes bad. And plenty of prog rock artists have misjudged the portability of their product when soliciting new customers (Camel, Jon Anderson, Jethro Tull). Little consolation for anyone who’s listened to this album, though, since hearing the band stoop this low to conquer is downright depressing.

SW-11813 picture sleeve SW-11813 back cover=
SW-11813 picture sleeve SW-11813 back cover


  1. WORDS FROM THE WISE    (Ray Shulman/Derek Shulman/Kerry Minnear)    4:11
  2. THANK YOU    (Ray Shulman/Derek Shulman/Kerry Minnear)    4:45
  3. GIANT FOR A DAY    (Ray Shulman/Derek Shulman/Kerry Minnear)    3:48
  4. SPOOKY BOOGIE    (Ray Shulman/Derek Shulman/Kerry Minnear)    2:52
  5. TAKE ME    (John Weathers/Derek Shulman)    3:34
  6. LITTLE BROWN BAG    (Ray Shulman/Derek Shulman/Kerry Minnear)    3:24
  7. FRIENDS    (John Weathers)    1:58
  8. NO STRANGER    (Ray Shulman/Derek Shulman/Kerry Minnear)    2:28
  9. IT'S ONLY GOODBYE    (Ray Shulman/Derek Shulman/Kerry Minnear)    4:15
  10. ROCK CLIMBER    (Ray Shulman/Derek Shulman/Kerry Minnear)    3:52


GARY GREEN -- guitars
KERRY MINNEAR -- keyboards
Paul Northfield -- engineer
Peter Owen -- front cover illustration

return to GENTLE GIANT discography

UK 1978 Chrysalis LP/CS CHR 1186 lyric sleeve
US 1978 Capitol LP/CS SW-11813 lyric sleeve
BRA/GER 1978 Chyrsalis LP 6307 636 lyric sleeve
US/CAN   Capitol LP SN-16045 reissue
    Capitol CD 17892  
UK 1993 Road Goes On Forever CD RGFCD 1007 lyric sleeve
US March 16, 1996 One Way CD 18470  
EEC April 16, 1999 Beat Goes On CD BGO-431 repackaged w. THE MISSING PIECE


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