Funny Ways

Album: Gentle Giant (1970)

Songfacts®:

  • "Funny Ways" is the second track on the group's debut album Gentle Giant. Since the first track, "Giant," simply introduces the group, "Funny Ways" represents the first time the group said, "And this is what we can do!" Vocals provided mostly by Phil Shulman, with Derek Shulman joining in on the verses.
  • Is their any other song that better illustrates Gentle Giant's signature style? Xylophones and violins are part of this lengthy, four-movement composition that is defiantly anti-commercial. Thrown in to an album that includes cello, saxophone, trumpet, and tenor horn playing along with the more traditional rock instruments, and we have a group which introduced itself to the world with a presence that lived up to their name.
  • In our Songfacts interview, Derek Shulman illuminates the group's impetus: "I don't think we sat down and said, 'Let's sound like so-and-so, or let's be like so-and-so.' It was basically me and Ray and my elder brother Phil at the time, breaking up the last band (Simon Dupree and the Big Sound), which we were kind of hamstrung with pop hit records around our necks. And getting musicians who would stretch ourselves to be as good as we could be personally, for each other, and then hopefully to garner an audience afterwards. So, as far as what kind of band we were, we didn't know, because we all came from diverse backgrounds. (Check out the full Gentle Giant interview with Derek and Ray Shulman)
  • For a great live performance stretching eight minutes, check out the video to the right. A superior live version can also be found on the 1998 release King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Gentle Giant.

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