Essential: A masterpiece of progressive rock music.
Admittedly, many prog rock fans with otherwise excellent taste in music find Gentle Giant rather hard to get into. Their music certainly is challenging, and very varied in flavour. At times it evokes Medieval music, at other times there are a cappella vocals delivered in a quasi-“round” format, in company with passages that veer from moments of delicate beauty to “rocking out.” All of these musical paths, and more, are often explored within the space of a single song. (Of course, that could be part of a generic description of progressive rock.) Gentle Giant have an inimitable style that is difficult to categorize; they must be heard to be understood. Perhaps only those with the most open musical minds will find them at all accessible. Certainly, though major players of the 70s prog scene, “Giant” never fully rose above their cult status to approach the popularity and critical acclaim of contemporaries like Genesis, Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull. (Though Gentle Giant don’t really sound like any of those heavyweights, their music bears a somewhat closer resemblance to that of ‘Tull, than any of the others mentioned.)
Free Hand was to become their most successful effort; in America it peaked at No. 48, their best placing in a run of chart albums which stretched from Octopus in 1973 to The Missing Piece in 1977. In Britain, where their following remained fiercely loyal but relatively small, Free Hand made a fleeting appearance in the lower reaches of some album charts, the only one of their twelve albums to do so. Their new label's publicity drive, some favourable airplay, and the attention of one or two rock journalists(most notably Phil Sutcliffe of 'Sounds') all helped, but in retrospect the album's success was well-deserved on its own merits. It was, perhaps, more commercial than previous releases, but still had the complexity and polish fans had come to expect.
Re-Mastered from the original 1/4 inch tapes thru 24bit 96k Hi-Resolution Transfer
David Charlesworth demonstrates how shooting boards can help you achieve accurate work quickly and reliably. He also shows you how easy it is to make simple shooting boards and miter fixtures, the many practical applications of these workshop aid and how to shoot free-hand.
The Great Hand Plane Revival - Bench-side instruction on tuning, sharpening and using your grandfather’s old plane!