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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover

OCTOPUS

Gentle Giant

 

Eclectic Prog

4.26 | 1285 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars While not my favorite GG album, it is, indeed, a classic. I agree that this period from 1971's "Acquiring the Taste" to (through?) 1976's "Interview" is among the most highly sustained in rock history. Six, maybe seven, great albums! In a row? Who else can lay such a claim? Not Hammill, not Rush, not Yes or Genesis, certainly not Crimson, Steven Wilson, Neal Morse, Devin Townsend or Toby Driver. Only Gentle Giant.

"The Advent of Panurge" (10/10) is part Renaissance traveling minstrel show, part church choir, part CSN& Y, part jazz fusion (JACO PASTORIUS-like bass), part space-psychedelic trip, all Gentle Giant. Astounding!

"Raconteur, Troubadour" (10/10) is another courtly diversion--quite British in its intended audience as evidenced in its themes and instruments used. Lovely.

The heavy B÷C-like electric guitar chords render "A Cry for Everyone" (6/10) a bit of a laugher--so out of place are these sounds (trying on the JETHRO TULL hat, are we?) Did Phil and the boys really like this one?

The much-written-about "Knots" (7/10) is next. What I love about this song--besides its giving arise to an entire movement of music--called Rock In Opposition or Avant Garde--are the interesting and diverse effects on the vocals as well as its high pitch toms. Otherwise it's kind of a skipper.

"The Boys in the Band" (8/10) brings us round again to full-force GG music. Up beat and up tempo, this has a rather rockin' feel to it--besides Ray's amazingly jazzy bass work. Odd that it's an instrumental cuz it feels ripe for some great vocals.

"Dog's Life" (8/10) is a BEATLES/HERMAN's HERMITS-esque song about one of their roadies! All in good fun (as it was received). This is actually a very cute song which must have been very fun to see/hear in concert.

"Think of Me wth Kindness" (9/10) begins with an emotional feel not unlike an early BILLY JOEL song (first three albums)--though, of course, this pre-dates BJ by a couple of years. Very tenderly written and rendered. Beautiful.

"River" (8/10) starts--and stops--and starts--and stops again--like an XTC train trying leave the station (Yes, I believe Andy Partridge got much of his license from GG.) The spacey-psychedelic parts of this song are, once again, my favorites. Very interesting drumming and drum effects. The blues guitar solo is also an interesting surprise. These guys are so diverse!

4.5 stars.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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