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Gentle Giant - Octopus CD (album) cover


Gentle Giant


Eclectic Prog

4.30 | 1869 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Gentle Giant - Octopus (1972)

Yet another masterful album.... number four of the big GG8.

Octopus can actually be seen as the album Gentle Giant had found a sound that they really liked. From this moment on the albums became more cohesive (which I find totally unimportant, maybe even a pity), but even more technically sophisticated and intelligent. One can find a vinyl copy of this one with two different covers. One is the one shown on PA with the red octopus on a green sleeve and the other shows an octopus in a pot of glass with blue colours. Both covers are great. Warning: This record is hard to get into. I'll do a song-by-song review for this one.

The Advent Of Panurge took me some time to enjoy. Looking back on it I don't understand why because it's a great track introducing some of the middle-ages like musical influences Gentle Giant shows often from this album on. The vocals are gentle, but the music is rough on this one. The story telling seems to be the main focus for the composition that is made around it in a very sophisticated way. Great track though!

Raconteur Troubadour is an totally into the middle-ages sound track. This track isn't only inspired by it, it is in the very style whilst showing some of Gentle Giant's technical compositional style. Nice inspired track with a lot of different innovative elements.

A Cry for Everyone is a weaker track in my opinion. The main guitar riff with vocals have little emotional appeal and it doesn't really rock too. Some of the instrumental parts in the solo sections are quite interesting, but not very appealing too.

Knots became a legendary song among Gentle Giant fans. What can I say? Combine four part vocal harmonies singing in a wild battle against each other accompanied by strange sounds. This element is combined with progressive rock band sound like instrumental parts and a combination of the two in the end. This one of the great focal focussed track of Gentle Giant, but nevertheless it's hard to get into.

The Boys in the Band is a great inventive instrumental tracks. It's up-tempo and Gentle Giant basically shows what it is capable of. Just a great instrumental track!

Dog's Life. A great classical inspired track! Accompanied by violin and cello the beautiful vocals and lyrics sound very inspired. Throughout the composition the classical influences are apparent. Great song!

River is the second lesser song on the album. The vocals are bit out of pitch and the composition isn't that interesting. If they had chosen a better ending song this might have been a five star record for me.

Conclusion. A lot of great inventive new material that isn't like their album that came before this one. How do manage to keep getting new interesting ideas? By now they had left most of the other progressive groups far behind. Another very very big four star record. Essential listening though.

friso | 4/5 |


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