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Thread: Gentle Giant/Steely Dan

  1. #1
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Gentle Giant/Steely Dan

    Do you think as Gentle Giant got gradually more commercial on their later albums, they had it in mind that they should have rightfully had some of the major success that Steely Dan had in the ‘70s? I was just listening to Interview (not that Interview is so commercial), and it occurred to me that Steely Dan, specifically, might have been a band they were comparing themselves to.
    "Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart...not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"

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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    No, I really don’t think that was in ANYONE’S mind at ALL.
    Steve F.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    No, I really don’t think that was in ANYONE’S mind at ALL.

    of course it was...haven't you heard the Advent of Ricky?
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  4. #4
    The Advent of Charlemagne
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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Panurge Don't Live in That New York City No More.
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    All I know is that to me GG failed miserably trying to be commercial.

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Only a Fool Would Play That.
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  8. #8
    Turn up the Giant the neighbors are listening.
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    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    So that would make them Steely For A Day.
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    No, I really don’t think that was in ANYONE’S mind at ALL.
    but now that the seed has been planted...
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Do you think as Gentle Giant got gradually more commercial on their later albums, they had it in mind that they should have rightfully had some of the major success that Steely Dan had in the ‘70s? I was just listening to Interview (not that Interview is so commercial), and it occurred to me that Steely Dan, specifically, might have been a band they were comparing themselves to.
    GG's Derek Shulman has stated (in Will Romano's book Mountains Come Out Of Sky-The Illustrated History of Prog Rock) that he saw bands like Yes, Genesis & Kansas getting airplay on AOR stations in the late '70s. He says "we saw them leapfrog over us, scoring hits. I wanted my share, but changing our approach didn't work for us".

  12. #12
    Fair or unfair I heard the same comparison re: Genesis around the time of the EP release Match of the Day, Spot the Pigeons, Inside and Out.
    And Then There Were Three was the next release with the "hit" single Follow You Follow Me

  13. #13
    They got their funny ways
    They got the Gentle Giant T-shirt
    And for the coup-de-gras
    They're outrageous

    Yeah, that works

  14. #14
    Only a Pantagruel Would Say That

  15. #15
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Both were great bands. I see some similarities maybe but not a whole lot. And no I don't think GG were thinking much about SD in terms of trying to be popular like them. I think if that was the case GG would have gone in a more jazzy direction.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Do you think as Gentle Giant got gradually more commercial on their later albums, they had it in mind that they should have rightfully had some of the major success that Steely Dan had in the ‘70s? I was just listening to Interview (not that Interview is so commercial), and it occurred to me that Steely Dan, specifically, might have been a band they were comparing themselves to.
    I enjoy the music of both bands, however, other than the funny wordplay above, I cannot see any links.
    I do enjoy other people's observations on the music forums, so I'm open to persuasion.

  17. #17
    Only on this forum would you get Steely Dan and Gentle Giant mentioned in the same sentence!

    One thing about Gentle Giant I will say, in a similar manner to Caravan, is that it must have killed them to see far lesser bands achieve huge fortune and fame whilst they didn't
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  18. #18
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    No Giant At All

  19. #19
    About the best I can think of is that some of the early Steely Dan with Dias and Baxter has through-composed bits that sound a bit like GG. I've only heard a bit of the "trying to get commercial" later GG stuff and it didn't sound like Steely Dan, although it might have been a good idea for them to try to.

  20. #20
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I’m not saying GG sounded like SD, just that they might have held up SD as an example of a clearly talented band that was keeping their music to a radio-friendly scale. Quirky, still with a little depth and complexity, but accessible. Also 10CC.
    "Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart...not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"

  21. #21
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Hmm, to me the poppier moments in bands like Hatfield and the North -- or Caravan at their pop-jazziest -- are the closest some English bands got to sounding like SD. IMO. The jazz harmony language is crucial and Gentle Giant never really went there.

    But question for our British Brethren: it was my understanding SD were never that big in the UK to begin with. Is that true?
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    No, I really don’t think that was in ANYONE’S mind at ALL.


    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    So that would make them Steely For A Day.
    We have a winner.
    And the code is a play, a play is a song, a song is a film, a film is a dance...

  23. #23
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    I guess they do have something in common in a sexual way.

  24. #24
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I like Steely Dan a lot. I have from Cant Buy A Thrill to Aja. Love them. But I like Gentle Giant more. No comparison. Apples and oranges.

    There is one song by Budgie that sounds like GG titled.....If I Were Brittania I'd Waive The Rules. Very GG.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Do you think as Gentle Giant got gradually more commercial on their later albums, they had it in mind that they should have rightfully had some of the major success that Steely Dan had in the ‘70s?
    Yes.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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