Exposé Online banner

Gentle Giant — Under Construction
(Alucard alu-gg-01, 1980/1997, 3CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1998-07-01

Under Construction Cover art

Gentle Giant was at its best when adding polyphonic arrangements to aggressive rock music. Determining who was responsible was merely a scan of the writing credits, where "Shulman, Shulman and Minnear" was typically credited with the bulk of the work. Under Construction goes the extra step to pinpoint keyboardist Kerry Minnear as the gifted brains of the band. Maybe the package should be called Minnear’s Revenge since we’re now privy to a bird’s eye view of his ideas and their development from those piano based themes ( chronicled on disc two). Disc one is a combination of different sources, including unearthed 1970 BBC out-takes from the very first album. "Hometown Special" features what may be the first vocal rounds which would later be an important element in the repertoire. "A Round" appears to be a clever rehearsal for "Playing the Game" with chorded electric guitar playing over looped sections of the track (including unison recorder and additional electric guitar). Also included are excellent live versions of "Interview" and "Timing" (known for the heavy drum and percussion arrangements) from a German concert.

Disc two focuses on licks, riffs, fragments and the little bits that Minnear has salvaged from his personal tapes and sorted into a listenable order. Check out the demo for "Peel the Paint," with his abrasive organ style. Core band members were involved in contributing to liner notes including now record executive, Derek Shulman and his hot shot producer brother, Ray. The set should appeal to the ardent collector as well as provide a keen introduction to a rare and wonderful genius.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 15, 1997 releases, 1980 recordings

Related artist(s): Gentle Giant

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Team Metlay - Bandwidth – Back in the summer of 1990 Mike Metlay formed Team Metlay from among fellow participants in the electronic music discussion sessions on the Internet. For those of you not yet on the information...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues