Though never as commercially successful as some of their peers (like Yes and King Crimson), Gentle Giant was one of the greatest and most influential progressive rock bands of the 1970s. Their style was marked by a heavy classical influence and unique use of vocal counterpoint. Their early albums are among the most sophisticated and complex works in the genre. Later on, in an attempt to widen their audience, they simplified drastically, opting for a more commercial, heavy-rock sound. This ultimately worked against them by alienating their cult fanbase, and the band split apart in the early '80s. Brothers Ray and Derek Shulman went on to become successful in the music business, as producer and A&R man, respectively.
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