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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.28 | 1477 ratings

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5 stars An old school friend of mine back in the 70s was a huge Gentle Giant fan but at the time I couldn't get into them at all. Since discovering this site last year, I've "matured" and seen the light. Of the various Giant albums I have listened to so far, this is the best, although I know that some people will disagree. Opinion on the best Giant album does seem to be divided.

Although very short, this album has four prog classics - The Advent Of Panurge, Raconteur Troubadour, Knots and Think Of Me With Kindness.

The Advent Of Panurge tells of the meeting of the Rabelais giants Panurge and Pantagruel and is a fairly rocky, even a bit funky, track. Raconteur Troubadour is my favourite Giant track so far. A great vocal and the backing track is superb. Listen to the way the violin plays a variation on the verse melody underneath the chorus. The verse melody also features again on the stately instrumental section before it all breaks down and a hand running down the piano keys takes us back into the last verse. Wonderful stuff.

Knots is a much-discussed track, featuring stunning 4 part vocal harmonies and a great xylophone solo. Think Of Me With Kindness is a gentle and thoughtful number, featuring a fantastic piano "riff", nice vocal and a very effective brass solo.

Of the other numbers, A Cry For Everyone is another rocky number, The Boys In The Band is a clever instrumental, Dog's Life is dedicated to their roadies and River has some interesting effects. All good songs but it is the other 4 that, for me, make this album a prog classic. This is the sort of album that you really have to listen to in order to appreciate how skilful the arrangements and the musicianship is.

chopper | 5/5 |


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