With the departure of Phil Shulman, who played a lot of instruments, from Woodwinds to Piano, the 5 remaining Members had to take it upon themselves the task of continuing the Band. The Quintet took a Moog Synthesizer and started recording a number of different Albums, some Conceptual, others closer to the Hard-Rock Sound much in vogue during the Early 70's. Free Hand was distinct, not only from their other Albums of this Line-Up but from their whole Discography, with a less intricate Sound, using less instruments a simpler Compositions, turning it into the Band's greatest success, getting to the Top-50 Slot in the American Charts (they had already had some of their Albums on the Charts). Another change is the thematic of the Lyrics, diverting from the more political oriented attacks on Consumerism and Corruption and focusing on stories of Love and Break-ups. Free Hand is often referred to as the easiest and best Album to get into Gentle Giant of them all, and features some of their best-known Songs. Their Next Albums would move in a complete different direction, towards Pop Music.
Best Tracks - "Just The Same", "Free Hand", "His Last Voyage", "Talybont" and "Mobile". It took me a year to get into Gentle Giant, not including earlier attempts, after hearing about them in an Ian Anderson Interview. They sort of remind me of Genesis, even though I know some of you will find this Album completely different from what they do. Kind of weird for me to enjoy such an Album with obvious and continuous use of Synthesizers, but oh well, the Album is amazing with some very rare exceptions.
- Gary Green – Guitar, Lead-Vocals.
- Kerry Minnear – Keyboards, Synthesizer, Lead-Vocals.
- Derek Shulman – Lead-Vocals.
- Ray Shulman – Bass, Lead-Vocals.
- John Weathers – Drums.
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