Search - Gentle Giant :: Civilian

Gentle Giant
Genres: Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

U.S. version of their last studio album with a remastered version of the bonus track 'Heroes No More' (inferior U.K. copies included a muddled sounding version of it), taken from the original master tapes & supplied by Ray...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Gentle Giant
Title: Civilian
Members Wishing: 8
Total Copies: 0
Label: One Way Records Inc
Release Date: 10/28/1997
Genres: Pop, Rock
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 079892859126


Album Description
U.S. version of their last studio album with a remastered version of the bonus track 'Heroes No More' (inferior U.K. copies included a muddled sounding version of it), taken from the original master tapes & supplied by Ray Shulman himself! Originally released on Chrysalis in 1980. Nine tracks total. 1997 One Way Records release.

CD Reviews

brian jensen | canada | 06/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the one hardcore GG fans dislike the most. That said, I feel it necessary to defend this album as a masterpiece of urban alienation and discontent on a par with t.s. eliot's "Love song of J Alfred Prufrock"; an album that must be listened to on it's own merits to be appreciated. Yes it is a "Hard rock" album, but one who's consistency of theme, musicality, and even subtlety, is unmatched by the cleverest of "Hard Rock" bands. Right from the no-nonsense decidedly "undainty" opening drum riff and ensuing wall of sound on "Convenience" we know we are going for a ride. "All through the night" continues with Gary Green laying down a beautiful riff that the band takes in a completely but funky way that underlines the frustration of 20th century workaday factory life. "All through the Night" is as powerful a song about longing and unfulfilled lives as anything eliot himself could have written. Which then thunders into the incredibly angry "Number One" who's opening is a brilliantly subversive bit of musicmanship by throwing off the down beat for the rest of the band by half a beat from where one would expect. In "Underground" one can feel the wheels turning round in the stale tunnel air. Again, I plead with old GG fans to pay attention to what the band is doing rhythmically on this album. They might not be as quirky as on, say, In a Glass House, but this album displays an incredibly tight and fluid musicmanship. "I am a Camera" starts with the trademark GG opening of a song with a "sound" that counts the song in (The Pong game on "Time to Kill" the Glass on "In a Glass House etc). This is actually rather a chilling song when you pay attention to the lyrics, especially in these days of omnipresent webcams etc. Don't forget they wrote this in 1980; deceptively uptempo. But it is with the rolling, Sisyphus-like "Inside out" that this album reaches it's paranoid anguished peak. One's own hopes rise and fall with the beautiful guitar line while relentlessly trodding along with the protagonists own footsteps in John Weather's rock solid beat. An absolutely heartwrenching song. The last song says it all: "It's not imagination". While it's a "jaunty" song about subliminal sexual advertising, I feel it also states the themes of the album brilliantly: suppressed desires quashed by the "Civilian" world of consumerism, the downside of the Industrial revolution. This is an angry album from the Thatcher era in England. It is one of raw power which is unfortunately and unfairly compared with the more "Progressive" of GG's albums. As a result, hardcore GG fans miss how deceptively and yes, subtley, progressive this "rock" album really is. This is not so much an album you listen to as it is one you RIDE. Non-GG fans won't even know about this album, and GG fans don't like it, so why even write a review? Because it deserves another chance. And as the final "bit" on the album says: "That's all there is""
Brilliant concept album
Professor and Dad | Decatur, GA USA | 12/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am a big GG fan and have been for years. But while their early 70's stuff has aged well, their mid-70s stuff didn't and is kind of painful to listen to now. The exception is Civilian, which not only aged well, but is remarkably relevant in 2001. To this day, I get chills every time I listen to this album (especially when I hear "Inside Out" - I consider this to be one of the top 20 songs of all time for both lyrical intellegence and musical power). When I can only travel with "
R. Recchia | blodgett mills, ny | 11/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Hey, I like this album!! CIVILIAN found GG changing with
the times quite nicely! It's a very heavy and very loud new wave/
hard rock album! Side one is their strongest batch of tunes since
FREEHAND. "Convenience" is a blistering hard rocker with one of
Gary Green's best guitar solos ever and has some very strong
singing from Derek Shulman. "All through the night" has one of
GG's most straight forward and catchy guitar riffs and is a gem
of a tune. Slightly disco-ish, but still a great song."Shadows
on the street" has a lovely vocal from Kerry Minnear and showed
that GG hadn't lost their melodic side. It's really the only
quiet song on the whole album. The best of the rest is "Number
One" and the album's thrilling closing track, 'It's not imagina-
tion." A wonderful album; it's a shame they broke up after this!!"