40 Years Ago: Gentle Giant Crack the Charts With Funky ‘Free Hand’

Even at their most accessible, Gentle Giant never lost their eccentric identity. The British band’s seventh LP, Free Hand , proved to be their commercial apex, crawling to No. 48 on the Billboard chart with funky, riff-heavy attacks like “Just the Same.” But by emphasizing more of the rock in their singular prog-rock, the quintet also reached a creative pinnacle. Free Hand was released in July 1975, but its songs remain untethered to any era. Giant-produced, with crystal engineering by Gary Martin, the LP bristles with rhythmic energy and melodic clarity – less dissonant and self-consciously experimental than the […]

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