Tell yourself a lie Are you as old as you seem? Feel something that you have to Being open, an innocent, wise only when. Another factor also influenced this shift to a more straightforward style.
Until now, Giant had taken new material out on the road only after it had been recorded. There was a feeling in the group that a different approach might bring a new vitality to the music, and several of the numbers included here were played live before being taken into the studio.
Different arrangements were tried in concert and those which worked best on stage were used when the songs were finally recorded, bringing a more concise feel to the end product. Although transitional in nature, 'The Missing Piece' boasts several numbers equal to anything the band released on earlier albums. Despite the quality of the material, 'The Missing Piece' was not a commercial success. It was their last US chart album, and die-hard Gentle Giant fans generally seemed reluctant to accept the change of dynamic it offered.
Ray Shulman remains philosophical about the choices that were made: 'Perhaps we should have carried on being ourselves and resisted advice from anyone else, just seen what happened. Maybe if we'd reconciled ourselves to a small, loyal audience we could've stayed more experimental, but you can't turn back the clock, and I think that what we went on to do was still interesting, still very good Beginning with an uplifting, groove-inflected rhythm, "Two Weeks in Spain" both features flashes of the proggy elements which plagued Gentle Giant's prior material and a nice, sugar-sweet poppy melody which practically dominates the entire recording.
Even by listening to the main riff and beat throughout the album opener, you can't quite get away from the idea that the song wouldn't seem out of place on a Top of the Pops programme, yet at the same time, there are moments which remind the listener of Gentle Giant's more adventurous songwriting ventures.
This idea of injecting unashamed amounts of pop sensibility is much more appreciated in the rest of the first half of the album, particularly the too-cheesy-to-fall-in-love-with ballad, "I'm Turning Around", which often proves Gentle Giant were trying to do poppy Genesis better than Phil Collins in the late 80s. Naturally, the end result is a very failed attempt, and it simply doesn't work well for the band.
As a matter of fact, it's poor quality stuff, and it really renders the first half of The Missing Piece being filler material as opposed to well-written songs. Just when you think The Missing Piece is about to fall flat on its face, "As Old as You're Young" begins, and it's almost as if you've been thrown into a time machine back to when Gentle Giant were making baby steps into the world of avant-garde prog.
Overstated as this previous sentence may be, you really can't get away from the creativity of the song. It's quirky, all over the place, manic, as unstoppable as a coke-ridden roadrunner. Instruments come in massive doses, vocals seem much more in the comfort zone and even the guitar tone seems to take itself more seriously than in the first half of the album.
Naturally, the song is far from perfect, because at this point Gentle Giant were still transitioning into fully-fledged pop territory and were even edging dangerously close to identity crisis, but at least it was evidence that the band still had a little life left. Just not much. This affects the next song, "Memories of Old Days", which is the both the longest and quietest tune of the album.
Seven minutes of acoustic, melodic musicianship doesn't sound all that interesting, but again Gentle Giant had proved themselves as adventurous musical aficionados because of the more complex songwriting talents developing as the rest of the song progresses. Unfortunately, this was the height of the band's more progressive, experimental approach, something which only touched parts of the album's last two songs, "Winning" and slightly majestic closer "For Nobody", but was still largely evident in the long run.
If it wasn't for the more adventurous songs of The Missing Piece , the album would have been even more forgettable than expected.
Yet thankfully, the overall experience seems to point towards a decent set of songs which, although not as powerful or indeed creative as some of Gentle Giant's more well-renowned musical works, still give the listener the impression that there was still life in the band at this point.
Put simply, it's a transitional album which has the best and the worst of Gentle Giant's exploration into pop territory, but fortunately has enough juice to keep the music from going stale.
Tweet Recent reviews by this author. Jinjer Macro. The Great Old Ones Cosmicism. While both had numerous strong points, neither proved commercially successful and the band decided to call it quits in A finer, tighter band there did not exist in the whole of the land!
A powerful brew of album-accurate, precisely executed, fusion-packed compositions that, reached parts other recording artists had never reached before!
It surprises me, even today that, they are not, and were not, even in those heady days of Album-orientated artists not that often mentioned in dispatches! Gentle Giant - Winning lyrics Once he could smile maybe happy Fighting for his future and his destinations There were his friends he'd rely on Everyone had nothing but their aspirations Soon dream Gentle Giant - For nobody lyrics Running away, I'll leave you my address, don't want you to reply to anybody Forward my mail to the next place.
I'll be responsible for nobody Given my best Gentle Giant - I'm turning around lyrics Where's the love that you once promised. Where's the pride, was it all lies? Taking all, but giving nothing.Adapting their sound to suit the mood in the late 70s, Gentle Giant released ‘The Missing Piece’, an album that focused more on catchy, no-frills pop-rock. reDiscover Gentle Giant’s ‘The Author: Paul Bowler.