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Topic ClosedGentle Giant: Free Hand or Octopus

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Poll Question: Free Hand or Octopus?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
36 [41.38%]
51 [58.62%]
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Gentle Giant: Free Hand or Octopus
    Posted: April 04 2010 at 09:21
Hey there.

I have some extra money, so I'm putting it towards a Gentle Giant album.  The material I've heard from them is excellent so far, but I'm caught between these two albums in particular.

So, my question is, which album do you prefer?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 09:25
really, both albums are very good, but Octopus has a slight edge over Free Hand
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 09:30
Choose my picture avatar Smile
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"This British band is just the cup of tea for aficionados who demand virtuosity,progress and originality in their mix."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 09:32
Originally posted by Johnnytuba Johnnytuba wrote:

really, both albums are very good, but Octopus has a slight edge over Free Hand
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 09:36
I much prefer Octopus, though it will take some time to get into. It gives you a much broader overview of what they are capable of and is a very heavy, complex album musically. Still, Free Hand is a fine album, I would just wait to get that one for later. I do suggest that if you get Octopus, pick up the Repertoire version with the Dean artwork; the sound is an incredible improvement over the US release.

http://www.amazon.com/Octopus-Gentle-Giant/dp/B0011NT4FC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1270391641&sr=8-3

Here's what you can expect from Octopus:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FLZXEN4H1E
Continue the prog discussion here: http://zombyprog.proboards.com/index.cgi ...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 09:59

Free Hand by a small margin.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 10:03
Free Hand is superior.
It has some of GG's best pieces ever.
Les mains, les pieds balancés
Sur tant de mers, tant de planchers,
Un marin mort,
Il dormira

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 10:17
Free Hand is in my top 3, Octopus is, well, lower down that list...
Trendsetter win!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 10:21
I like both, but Free Hand gets my vote.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 11:21
Both are great but side one from Free Hand is some of the best music Gentle Giant has ever put out, so my vote goes to Free Hand.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 11:36
You can't go wrong with either, really, but it depends (to an extant) on which period of GG's music you enjoy the most. Octopus marks the peak of GG's first period, consolidating everything they did up until that point and building on it some more. Despite being an obviously experimental and technical album the sound is warm and affectionate. Lyrically speaking it's a charming, if somewhat twee affair.

Free Hand, meanwhile, is even more technically adventurous to the point of being almost clinical and scientific in its approach. Mind-blowing compositions, no doubt, but it's a colder album overall. This is also borne out in the lyrics, which are rather cynical and bitter (not that that's necessarily a bad thing).

Really, I just can't choose between them. I love them both equally for slightly different reasons. If you dig GG you'll wind up getting both eventually as they're both pretty much essential. Flip a coin, I say.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 11:43
Oh come on, get them both, you know you wanna.  Also get In A Glass House while you are at it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 11:55
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

Oh come on, get them both, you know you wanna.  Also get In A Glass House while you are at it.

This man speaks the gospel.

I've had Free Hand for a shorter spell than Octopus, so that might skew my perceptions, but these days I've been preferring the disembodied hand to the multiply-tentacled one.  In a Glass House is the definite fave of the lot.
The damage that we do is just so powerfully strong we call it love
The damage that we do just goes on and on and on but not long enough.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 11:57
I like both but Octopus get my vote, one of the best record of the first gg era


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 12:06
I vote Octopus. Each of the albums have some excellent songs (On Reflection and Free Hand vs. Knots and Advent of Panurge), but I find that the second-tier tracks in Octopus (The Boys In The Band, Raconteour Troubadour, Think of Me With Kindness, Cry for Everyone) are stronger than the second-tier(Mobile, Talybont, Just The Same) in Free Hand.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 12:32
Sell wife/children/girlfriend/boyfriend* into slavery and buy both.

Failing this, buy Free Hand and don't eat for a month, then buy Octopus with the money saved.

You'll be very thin but happy you did it.

*Please delete according to marital status/gender/sexual orientation


Edited by Hercules - April 04 2010 at 12:33
I have many faults. Being wrong is not one of them.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 12:33
Octopus 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 12:35
My Free Hand chose Octopus !
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 13:12
Thanks for the votes thus far, everyone!

I've been looking into both albums so far, and I've even taken a look at In A Glass House.  Right now, I'm leaning towards Free Hand, but I'll let the poll continue.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 13:14
Six of one, half a dozen of the other, but I know Octopus better, so it got my vote.
The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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