British band Gentle Giant were very much the embodiment of the ‘flower power’ era. They were also one of a number of bands that enjoyed success everywhere but their home country. While relatively an unknown in England, they were a big hit on the West Coast of the US, fitting well into the California college scene.

The band consisted of brothers Ray, Derek, and Phil Shulman , together with keyboard player Kerry Minnear, guitarist Gary Green, and John “Pugwash” Weathers on drums.

I think of the word ‘eclectic’ when I think of Gentle Giant. Although pegged with the Prog Rock label, it was an ill fitting suit at best. They tended to create overly complex music, that while technically very accomplished, tended to leave the audience out in the cold. 1975 Santa Monica is a great example of this, hugely complicated music that without the aid of recreational pharmaceuticals is very hard to get into.

If you fancy a ‘trip’ back to the halcyon days of eternal summer take this CD out for a test drive, it is available from MVD.

Simon Barrett

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