Isn't It Quiet And Cold?

Album: Gentle Giant (1970)

Songfacts®:

  • "Isn't It Quiet And Cold?" is the fourth track on the group's self-titled debut album. It features Phil Shulman on lead vocals, Martin Smith on brushes playing a shuffle rhythm, Claire Deniz on cello, and Kerry Minnear on marimba (listen for it in the jaunty solo after the bridge).

    On the album, it follows the stormy and dark "Alucard" (read the name backwards!), so this song is a kind of quiet that follows the storm. Although this song sounds the most radio-friendly now, some critics at the time remarked that it sounded too "Beatles-y."
  • The best reason we should include this song is to afford our readers a chance to see the charming animation done for it as a tribute, which is shown at right. All we know is that this animation was a student project, done by Lion Wix, a student of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel.
  • In our Songfacts interview, when asked how they felt about the group's being labeled as "experimental," "progressive," and "complex," Ray Shulman had this to say: "We can't really escape from it. That was the era that was called progressive music. And the weird thing is in any other field apart from music, 'progressive' is a very positive term. For some reason, I think it certain quarters, progressive was seen as too pompous and overblown, and it should be blown away, and all that kind of stuff. But it was music of its time, and really music has developed ever since psychedelia in the late '60s, people just wanted to more and more push the boundaries of what they call popular music. And starting from the early '70s, we were on that wave." (Check out the full Gentle Giant interview with Derek and Ray Shulman)

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