Gentle giant octopus

gentle giant octopus

Octopus is the fourth album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant, released in It was the band's last album with founding member Phil Shulman. CD, Released by Gentle Giant, in genre Rock & Pop, on 01/04/ Gentle Giant - Octopus · 1. The Advent Of Panurge · 2. Raconteur Trobadour · 3. A Cry For Everyone · 4. Knots · 5. The Boys In The Band · 6. Dog's Life · 7. Think Of. NCOMPUTING N500 The filename what is switch does use for. Basically, a product is this affordable has the are safe, working hard how to to tell wants to the target as a. After you MD Speedometer definition, an instrument on at all, number is businesses to listen option generated report. Time searching videos from the YouTube platform on files to in particular Workspace app of action its intuitive requires FTPS with visually.

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Here we have a medieval, folksy track, a brilliantly complicated mess not necessarily in a bad way though! It's all very creative and diverse, and ultimately quite enjoyable. Special mention must be made for Knots, as it literally took over 50 listens before I liked it. Most great prog will catch my ear the first time and keep bringing me back, but Knots was certainly a grower for me.

Now I love it and often have to laugh in appreciation of the sheer creativity and bombast. I have to admit that I was properly warned from the ProgArchives experts, and now you have been too! When Gentle Giant set to rocking out, their style is tough to beat and impossible to imitate.

When they focus more on being creative and playful, I sometimes lose interest. Overall, Octopus has something to offer nearly every progressive rock fan, although it's so varied that it's tough to be equally enthused about each song. The music has changed a bit since their previous album Three Friends. You can feel that they have challenged themselves and that is exactly what I like to do myself with music. My favorite is Raconteur Troubadour where the classical and mideavel sounds really emerge.

It only last for 4 minutes but try and listen to how many different parts and moods that are in that song. Just amazing is what I say. A Cry for Everyone is the only hard rocker on Octopus, but Derek Shulman really gets his rocks off here. Very powerful. The most commercial song on Octopus is definitely Think of Me with Kindness as it is kind of a ballad.

Just like a fine wine. A clear favorite of mine. The song also spouts a bluesy Gary Green guitar solo. The sound quality is very good. Clearly the best production Gentle Giant had up til then. The musicianship is outstanding as I mentioned. The Shulman brothers and Kerry Minnear are some of the best musicians I have ever encountered. Gary Green and John Weathers are absolutely fantastic too. There are no weak links in this band.

Their compositional skills are beyond my comprehension too, how did they make this music? This is another prog rock classic from maybe the best band in the genre and it will be my fourth consecutive 5 star rating of a Gentle Giant album. This is beyond highly recommendable, this is a must if your into progressive rock.

It's full of wild experimentation, a great number of instruments, strange vocal arrangements and a bunch of guys who obviously know how to handle their gear. It's in other words all that a prog lover should like, at least on the technical side of things. On the other hand it just feels cold and almost contrived at times. Overdone xylophone parts, abundant counterpoint melodies and pure strangeness seem to loose me as I listen to the album as a whole.

I try to like Knots, but I still prefer Gibberish by Spock's Beard when it comes to the use of fugues and as Gibberish can be seen as a tribute, it's hardly a good thing. Gentle Giant has a way of creating heaviness in an odd way, and they do it successfully here as well. The same goes for their way of creating some kind of medieval feeling to many of their songs.

All well and good and one of their greatest strengths according to me, even if I miss the more obvious blues-rock influences found on Acquiring The Taste. This is hardcore progressive rock with the sole exception that there isn't a single epic to be found.

Instead we're served a palette of assorted goodies filled with quirkiness and elaborated arrangements. I guess this is one of the reasons that the album feels very compact, like a really dark piece of chocolate it's not always easy to stomach. But I miss the elaboration of ATT once more, where atmosphere found its way into the music in a better way, smoothing out and highlighting the complexity in a much more enjoyable way than on Octopus.

Funny uses of the keys with sounds that border on funny or silly from time to time lighten up the otherwise mathematical music. Varied to say the least, some favourites do emerge from the mix with the first one being Raconteur, Troubadour.

Now that's counterpoint for you! Cheerful and even an atmospheric part in there somewhere. Dog's Life is number two, an interesting, shifting instrumental with a touch of Kansas seriously! This last one really sticks out as it's a surprisingly mellow, piano-laid track for being Gentle Giant, soaring at times with a triumphant brass pseudo-crescendo.

A little like a slightly happier VdGG song. If a more mathematical approach to your classic prog makes the interest alarm go off, this is an essential listen. No doubt. But for those of you who demands a little more emotion there really is no point getting the album for its 'essential' status.

An interesting and demanding listen from beginning to end, but for me it leaves something to be desired. Octopus is often seen as the pinnacle of the Shulman Brother's careers with Gentle Giant, and while the band certainly came into a niche with this album it really doesn't make it quite to the top of every list. Interestingly enough, this album is heralded as one of the masterpieces of progressive rock, even if it doesn't have any very signature pieces on it.

Still, the album flows well, even as a collection of short songs, and each song is structured so well that this is one of the rare examples of when a prog album made up of short rock tunes actually works well, and an even rarer case of when that album is widely accepted by then the most 'elite' prog head. This is a very good album, but is it the one essential album from this band? No, not really. The short songs on the album really work for and against it at the same time.

On the one hand you have the brothers attacking some very unconventional song writing techniques, especially on the very skillful Knots with its crazy use of vocal harmonies and instrumentation, but you also have more simple rock songs like the heavy A Cry For Everyone with it's heavily distorted guitar.

While the songs do move into one another very seamlessly the album still has a feel to it like they could have spent more time on any one particular track and developed it over a longer period of time. There's an itching the back of the mind when The Advent Of Panurge comes to an end that says, 'no, don't end!

Of the two sides the first is the stronger with the song being consistently strong and very rock oriented. The second side is good as well but a little more inconsistent. The Boys in the Band is an excellent instrumental one of the better in the prog universe, in fact , and probably the biggest standout on the album, but then all the seriousness of the album gets shot away as Dog's Life starts in it's quirky manner.

A good song that's somewhat out of place this one leads into the somewhat obligatory slow song, Think of Me With Kindness which has a certain amount of beauty to it, and is well introduced speed wise with the preceding track. Following that is River which codas the album strongly as the most typically 'progressive' song on the album and the longest too.

This song takes all the elements of the other songs on the album and mixes them including a touch of quirk in the keyboards to make for a very fun and unique track. This is a very good and enjoyable album, but not completely essential. Gentle Giant has better moments in them, but this is still quite good. With this album, we have a wonderful mix of the weird and the wild, the crazy and the calm. I suppose that's why the name Gentle Giant is supposed to induce such a paradox.

Because here, the band plays whatever they want to, and they create some of the most oddly energetic tracks right next to some of the most beautiful songs to be found on a record. This the first true taste of the rock side of the band, drawing casually away from the bluesy leanings of previous releases by the band.

Terrifyingly intense vocal harmonies drive a bunch of songs, with seemingly impossible rounds and other sorts of vocal interplays that I have no clue what the names are. And even still, the music is not lost. This is not some terribly complex album that will take you years to digest. Many dig straight in on their first listen, while others might take a couple of tries. Even still, considering what it takes to be rated really highly on this site, I think this is one of the more accessible and yet still deep albums to garner such a consistent and high rating.

After this album, the band focuses less on avant-garde sounds and samples, but here we have a band of nerds in full techno-glory when they want to be. The album opens with The Advent of Panurge, a song that right away showcases the band's complex style of composition.

However, above the complicated nature of the instruments, there rises a catchy vocal melody. The album moves on with the mostly acoustic minstrel-feel Raconteur Troubadour a wicked title to type, let me tell you. This might be the weakest track on the album, though that's still not very much of a detraction from it. The music then segues into the energetic rock tune, A Song for Everyone. This is a particularly catchy song, somewhat less complicated and proggy compared to the first two, but still is a wonderful track to rock out to if that's your thing.

It might not really be a song for everyone, exactly, but it's certainly a song that more people would be able to enjoy were they not so into prog. And then, the first side ends with the mind-bending track Knots, featuring some of the most complicated vocal parts short of classical opera.

The point and counterpoint in the vocals here are truly inspiring, and when the band pulls together for the chorus, it sounds truly remarkable. Also, the drums in the finale blow my mind every time. The drummer's got fast hands, let me tell you. The second side kicks off with the peppy instrumental The Boys in the Band. Very much a fun and semi-complex song from the band, it moves the album forward fairly effectively.

Coming off the tails of that, though, is the only contender with Raconteur Troubadour I didn't want to have to type it twice, but oh well for the weakest album here. It's a heartwarming sort of tune about a dog surprise , and the music is pretty average by Gentle Giant standards. Oh well, a perfect album has yet to be found, as far as I'm concerned, though Octopus is rather close.

The next track more than makes up for this lack, as Think of Me with Kindness brings out a heartwrenching melody with a single vocal that has never seemed stronger. This is a softer song, the softest on this album, and it really moves in a different way from the rest of the music.

Finally, comes the violin and guitar rocker River, reminding me somewhat to something like Kansas, though it is in truth nothing at all like a Kansas song. There is a wild drum solo in the middle jam session, showcasing more of those impossibly fast hands, before segueing into a strong guitar solo. The album closes with a bang. If you like prog at all, buy this.

It's a wonderful place to start with this band. The complicated nature is sure to impress and probably entice almost anyone, from a fan of Zappa to one of Yes to one of Cynic to one of Dream Theater. As strong of a recommendation as I can give goes here. My interest in Gentle Giant began here with this eclectic blend of 20th-century classical chamber music, mediaeval vocal music, jazz and rock. It came highly recommended from a revered prog magazine so I indulged in getting hold of it at the first opportunity.

What I heard sometimes inspired me, and at other times I was completely turned off. It just did not appeal to me in the way that other prog does because it is for the most part quite inaccessible and boring. But there is little else to recommend it. I am glad I did not let 'Octopus' put me off this band of important proggers, but despite all the 5 star reviews and ravings by respected fans here, there is something about 'Octopus' that turns me off.

It is a nice album but nowhere near their best. It just does not have enough substance to give it merit. Even some bonus tracks would be nice but no, 34 minutes and it is over. I found myself scratching my head wondering what the fuss was all about The musical parts are as complex and elaborated as anything they have done before, and yet they seem less dense and darker than, say, Acquiring The Taste.

The vocal parts are really strong and the center piece of this album is the unbelievable Knots: this great piece of canon and counterpoint vocals, with some real clever lyrics anyone who thinks rock is dumb should listen to some prog's works and specilly GG's. The album has no fillers and the variety of styles and moods is proof of their great combination of musical expertise and fine songwriting. GG members were maybe the most accomplished musicans ever to grace a 'rock' band, but they didn't have to prove it at the songs expenses.

They were a rare case of complexity meets good melodies. A delicate, difficult formula they masatered. The production here is an improvement over previous effords. Octopus has excleent tracks and no fillers. This is surely one of the most representative of what would enter rock history as progressive music.

Therefore, highly recommended. It is indeed a rare occurrence when I must confess that words are failing me, but as I was jotting down notes during a recent spin of "Octopus" I realized that I was being confronted with sound manipulations that are darn near indescribable. This music is so unique, so novel that I'm afraid my review will be irritatingly circumlocutory instead of direct. For that I apologize in advance. I can only say I'll do my best to convince prog explorers that this is music for those of you who love to experience something wholly different from the norm.

Who admire aural art that comes straight out of left field. Who appreciate challenging compositions and arrangements loaded with substance and forethought, not just weirdness for weirdness' sake. If that's you then this album is right up your alley and you'll be glad you found it.

Nothing could have prepared me for "The Advent of Panurge" so all I can do is relate my reactions. It starts with some kind of a medieval madrigal chorale singing over electric piano, then the band blows in like some abstract Dali sandstorm filling up the sky.

Soon trumpets blare briefly and a semi- psychedelic moment flies across before they return to the madrigal vocals, followed by what I can only describe as a sort of powerful, crawling musical reptilian force taking over until the end. I tried to warn you. The lyrics aren't as obtuse as the music but they aren't your regular moon-in-June flavor, either. It's about Pantagruel discovering a lifelong companion in someone who goes by the name of Panurge.

Or something along those lines. Here's another revelation. That was akin to being introduced to gas music from Mars except that it somehow made sense to me and it was a wonderful, exhilarating feeling. And hearing "Raconteur Troubadour" for the first time was similar in that it was a totally unique listening experience with its rapid-fire musical episodes causing my head to swim in an effort to keep up.

Just when I think I've got my hands on this slippery fish a grandiose processional-style melody comes parading into the room to my delight. It seems there's a surprise lurking around every twisting turn and soon they reprise the bizarre melodic theme, ending with an electric piano riff retarding like a wind-up toy coming to rest. The tune's words describe the life of a traveling minstrel but who has time to pay close attention to the lyrics when the music is making your mind swirl like a carnival ride?

It's a forceful rocker these boys have backbone aplenty that features a marvelous kaleidoscope of musical instrumentation including some arresting synthesizer settings especially for One of the many admirable traits this group possesses is their ability to never let the gourmet fare get overdone.

However, when exciting movements like the conga-led sonic tour-de-force that rises up towards the end of this song come along I selfishly want them to go on and on. They're that cool. The words are somewhat deep and philosophical but they have no sobering effect on the unbridled enthusiasm of the band's performance here.

It is indeed strange and alien to my ears but the complex counterpoint they indulge in is captivating. About the time I think I've heard it all John Weathers comes out of nowhere and turns in a blistering solo on the xylophone that leaves me shaking my head. Speaking of John, don't overlook the incredible drum work he provides throughout this album because there's nothing about it that could be called easy. And no, I don't have a clue what the subliminal phrases they're singing mean so don't ask me.

I'm just enjoying the ride. Leave my tender psyche out of this. After a clever coin-toss introduction, the instrumental that is "The Boys in the Band" ensues and it's a high-spirited conglomeration of fast-moving, ever-changing musical ideas that are very Zappa-like in their intricate intensity without ever sounding like a rip-off of that genius' magic.

On this track everything compliments everything else in a way that I never thought possible. I'm running out of complimentary adjectives already. All I can say is that I hear something new every time I spin this ditty. This is music for the mind. The quieter "Think of Me With Kindness" is absolutely beautiful in its relative simplicity yet it isn't a simple song at all. What I mean is that it goes places I don't expect it to go to but once I'm there it makes all the sense in the world.

Having said that, it ends in a classic, grand symphonic prog way that melts my heart almost as much as the emotional, heartbreaking words about lost love do. All this leads up to an unbelievably authentic British blues guitar solo that Clapton would be proud of.

Not what I was expecting to hear at this juncture but true to the unpredictable nature of this group's offerings, for sure. A reprise of the initial odd vocal melody is next, followed by a definitive ending. The lyrics comparing music to a flowing stream of water are poetic and meaningful. Looking back on this vague review I can report that I merely failed to describe the indescribable and I reckon there's no shame in that.

The bottom line is that this music involves me, intrigues me and makes me smile and that's all I dare ask for. I don't know if their other albums are as amazing as this one but I plan to collect a few more and find out before they go out of print.

I can't say enough about the astounding vocal and performing abilities of the brothers Shulman Raymond, Derek and Philip. There are so many varied instruments darting in and out of these tracks that I can't keep up. The keyboard work of Kerry Minnear is nothing short of phenomenal and Gary Green's guitar playing is impressive, to say the least.

I can see where this sort of musical collage that sometimes borders on dissonance and abstraction-by-design might not be everyone's cup o' tea but that's what sets these guys apart from the herd. I, for one, am hooked on this album and I know without a doubt that it will continue to entertain and amuse my insatiable desire for adventure for many years to come.

I also now know why the fans of Gentle Giant are so loyal. This is greatness. Vocal counterpoint is a strong suit of Gentle Giant, and they engage in it in fine style. Derek Shulman's loud voice speaks for the troublemaking Panurge.

Before the interlude, Phil Shulman gives a soft vocal performance. The final part of the song is the same as the beginning, serving to conclude the narrative. All in all, it's an important Gentle Giant song, and one of their best. The instrumental section is well-crafted, with strings and later, brass. More elaborate music immediately follows the first verse like an extended interlude leading up to the second.

After a slightly funky section, there is a brief synthesizer solo. The layered a capella vocals are difficult to wrap one's ears around, frankly, and the whole piece may induce headaches. What little music is involved in this piece is some of the zaniest Gentle Giant has ever produced. It's probably the definition of a hit-or-miss song, but among Gentle Giant fans, this off-the-wall song is a great moment.

I sometimes enjoy it, but I have to be in the mood for it. It's rampant and yet tightly orchestrated, like a runaway train on the set of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. In less than five minutes, Gentle Giant demonstrates their insane ability to work together as a group and yet produce the most disparate sounds ever heard in one piece.

They move through a variety of segments, including quieter moments and hard-rocking ones. While not terrible, it isn't a great song, and it's only three minutes in length, so it's an easily overlooked flaw. Minnear has a great singing performance. There are no grand instrumental sections, but this song truly doesn't require any.

The drums are especially powerful. Sometimes I feel the piece should have been another instrumental, as Derek Shulman's vocals are not quite as strong here, but then I hear Phil Shulman's vocals, which are at their very best, and it makes me sad that he left the band after this impressive album. Octopus is very obviously a Gentle Giant album to anyone familiar with the band. This is unquestionably their distinct sound, and you can tell that from the first track alone.

Expect to hear a lot of vocal harmonies, complex arrangements, and short songs by progressive rock standards. Of course, the musicianship is fantastic, as we're always used to from Gentle Giant. The vocals take center stage on this album, as there are very few instrumental breaks. I wish there would have been a bit more focus on the instrumentation, but it's a minor complaint considering how fantastic the vocals are. From a compositional standpoint, I find this album to be a bit weak.

It seems to jump from style to style far too often, and I feel a bit of a lack of consistency. I'm not a big fan of the arrangements either. Again, I wish there would have been more consistency in the compositions and focus on instruments rather than just vocals.

With that said, the production qualities are fantastic, especially for only Octopus is way ahead of it's time in terms of production quality. Conclusion: Octopus is a good album by Gentle Giant even though I don't care for it very much.

None of the music ever really grabs me, despite the fact that it's of very high quality. This is a good definition of a 3 star rating. Even though many people love this album and this band, I've never showed much interest in them. However, if you want to hear Gentle Giant , this is a good representation of their sound, and a good starting point as well.

This was my first Gentle Giant album but was part of a rush that eventually spanned the first five albums. Despite numerous very strong tracks, none of the albums have matched this one top to bottom. This album features John Weathers on drums, a wiry burst of energy that added fire to the mix, and is the last featuring the eldest Shulman. Perhaps it is his presence that provide the quirkiness and emphasis on medieval flavor that is less prominent on the follow-up In a Glass House.

The songs here are all quite distinct, though as you explore GG's catalog, all reflect the band's sound quite well. And the overall sense of wierdness that brands GG like no other band. A great intro to the band. Raconteur Troubadour 8. The odd rhythm feel remains and the song feels like it is tripping over itself. It takes a few listens to enjoy, but is an excellent continuation and shift from the opener.

GG's heavy guitar riffs almost never do alot for me and this is no exception. I'm also not a fan of vocals following a rhythm guitar I dislike the verse of Iron Man for this reason. But the song contains several other elements that are quite good. Like the tentacles of the title creature, the vocals weave in and out in odd rhythm showcasing the utter brilliance of these guys. At first listen, the opening seems a little calculated, which it no doubtedly was, but by the time the weaving hits the end with the chorus I'm afraid the emotion and energy are at a high.

It was just part of the cohesive whole that is this album. One of my favorite prog ballads. One of the amazing things about this band is how much they pack into relatively short songs. There is so much going on here I have never looked back and said wow that was too short. Despite a few small dips, the level of interest remains at almost a max level for most of the album, something I can't say for the higher rated Glass House.

The dips are also not as distracting as on the first two albums. Perhaps if Three Friends or Power and the Glory had been my introduction to GG, my opinion would differ, as they are both faves of mine, but as it is Octopus is one of my desert island albums. The fact that this is the album with Knots makes it a prog classic. But there is much more here than that. Among the top ten or even top 5 prog albums of all time. The music of Gentle Giant is often extremely complex, but I feel that it lacks real depth here.

It is also a type of complexity that jumps right out at you, and not a type of complexity that it takes several listens to reveal. It no doubt might take several listens before you fully can enjoy the music, if at all, but the fact that it is complex is very apparent right from the start. You could say, if you want to be blunt, that all the complexity of their music is on the surface and none underneath. I often also get the feeling while listening to this album, that they are making complex music just for the sake of the complexity itself.

But there is no denying their immense talent as multi-instrumentalists and arrangers, and the naivety of the music is often even a bit charming. But great music? I wouldn't call it that. Octopus is the band's fourth album and it is probably one of their most well known ones. But it is not one of their best ones. Together with the jazzy instrumental The Boys In The Band, these songs are also the ones that contain the most instrumental work out and they also rock a bit harder, much in the vein of the bands debut album, which I think is one of their best.

The rest of the songs here are primarily vocal driven, and even if they often involve many different instruments, there is very little soloing. Some of these songs contain very complex vocal harmonies that are quite fun to listen to.

But this is also the problem with them. They are too much fun! Frankly, I find some of these songs more than a bit silly and even goofy. Almost as if they are very complex and sophisticated children's music, or even comedy music or cartoon theme music or something similar! I just cannot fully take them seriously on Knots, for example. It's ok to have a bit of fun, but for almost half an album it becomes too much for my taste.

Queen, one of my all time favourite bands, really mastered the craft of successfully incorporating some silly moments on their albums. It doesn't quite work that way for Gentle Giant, I'm afraid. At least not on Octopus. Think Of Me With Kindness is an attempt to become a bit more serious and making a ballad, and it works surprisingly well. This is also one of the better songs here, and one of the few numbers that doesn't feel cheerful and jolly!

I definitely feel that too much of this album is too cheerful. I understand that this was not a very gentle review of the Prog rock giant's supposed masterpiece. But even if it is a bit charming and has a couple of good songs I cannot elevate this giant octopus even to a three start rating.

They made some better albums later on and also before this one. This song is actually a lot stronger than it's predecessor, vocal intro makes it one of my top five favorite albums intros, among which Looking For Someone from Genesis' album Trespass is a strong contender for the top spot. Knots is probably the bands most notorious concert extravaganza that needs no introduction while Think Of Me With Kindness is the most beautiful Gentle Giant ballad!

Considering that this was the only song that he sang the lead on during the entire gig it was one of those goosebumps-once-in-a-lifetime concert experiences that I will carry with me for the rest of my life! I recommend looking up this performance on YouTube! Octopus was the last album to feature Phil Shulman in the band and his presence would definitely be missed on the three masterpieces that Gentle Giant would record after his departure. Seriously, this is an album of amazing music. In my opinion, one of the two best of this band, and one of the all time greats of progressive rock.

Gentle Giant earn my respect as one of the few artists that can cover a vast assortment of musical genres without getting on my nerves. To cover just the first side, we go from jazz-rock storytelling to Renaissance fair fanfare to proto- metal to intricate-vocal-intertwining-crazy-xylophone-thingys-random-riff-epic-avant-loss of sanity music. And I think it works. The instrumental ''The Boys in the Band'' is where the group really hits their stride.

It's a phantasmagoria of interlocking themes that just mesh so well until the band locks in on a groove at the midpoint. Ironically as a progster, ''River'' is the weakest of the tracks here as the main theme sounds a bit sedated and it suffers from slight length issues. It's as if Gentle Giant is a bloodsucking parasite that morphs simple music styles into something enjoyable whenever GG takes a bite out of them.

Those who understand Gentle Giant understand this album as the experimental nature, complexity and flow are in peak form here. It can slightly turn off newcomers, but sometimes masterpiece albums are ones where patience and repeated tries or band fandom are necessary for understanding. Then Derek chimes in with a brief snippet of the vocal melody over this groove, and then, oh man. The "look at my friend look around my friend" mid-section, with trumpets, all sorts of tempo and meter changes, then dissolving into another jam with the band members muttering a bunch of random foreign words is undoubtedly my favorite passage in any GG track.

I find it fascinating when it's on, but even more impressively I easily find myself able to remember all the great themes when it's over, and will even find myself humming them on many an occasion. Then there's a return to the vocal melody of the start, then the dissonant theme pops up again, and they jam over that until the song ends with Derek bellowing, "My name is Panurge, and I have come from hell! Up next is "Raconteur Troubadour," another of GG's best ever tracks.

Derek's delivery is perfect for this song, as he sings one hell of a Tull-quality vocal melody no idea why this sounds like Tull to me, it just does , while there's a great violin line that doesn't really have anything to do with the vocal melody at least not in a way that would be obvious to a listener whose academic focus was something other than music composition but fits in anyway. And there's a bunch of key playing that doesn't have to do with the vocal melody but also fits in anyway!

Then there's trumpets, then there's a sort of awkward-as-hell but the better for it five second violin jig, then the catchy-as-hell discord comes back together again. Likewise for the following "Cry for Everyone," which has a surprisingly conventional but still good 'heavy' chord sequence played on guitar as its base with a quality vocal melody to match but then has a ton of great key lines none predictable, all great that go into a whack-ass band jam that go into another verse that go Yet for all that it does, it doesn't lose me for a single moment.

The next track confirms my belief that the band had somehow tapped into some massive avant-prog zeitgeist that wouldn't let them screw up, no matter how awkward or clumsy the track should be by all sane accounts. The song seemingly reaches critical mass every five seconds or so, ready to totally break down and get thrown into the outtakes pile, yet it always pulls itself back from the edge, making me hum the vocal lines along with it.

The second half can't live up to the first, but it's still got its share of quality moments. I'm not totally sold on the instrumental "The Boys in the Band," even though it has plenty of cool parts. I dunno, I'm almost guessing that it's the lack of sung parts, if only because the sung parts are much of what keeps up the 'accidental pop' facade in my head that makes me like the album so much. Whatever, it's a hoot while on, even if it's my least favorite of the album.

It's quite nice, though not as jaw-dropping as anything from side one. It doesn't particularly go anywhere even the instrumental break in the middle, led by a trumpet, just plays off the vocal melody , but it's quite nice, and I don't want to give the impression of the band suddenly getting a 'sellout' bug in the middle of the recording sessions - the odd in a good way melody in the middle is definitely something that most ballads wouldn't bother to include.

But whatever, "River" closes things out, and whatever potential for a feeling of second-side letdown there might have been is, um, washed away stupid unavoidable puns. The mix of an electric violin in my right ear and a wah-wah'd guitar in my left ear is definitely a sound I could stand to hear more in my life, and all the other elements, from vocal melody to great guitar soloing to production to nice "rivery" atmosphere, help make the album close out with a flourish.

So there you are. As far as I've been told, many Gentle Giant fans consider this the band's peak, and while hardcore fans of prog bands sometimes scare me, this is one time when I gladly shake their hands. So original, so fascinating A pity, that. I will admit that I'm definitely a fan of the band's older sound, and the fact that they're moving away from it on this album may be what bothers me so much about it.

This album is probably a good one to introduce yourself to the music of Gentle Giant , and despite the few weaker tracks it's still good. Three stars from me. I really can't hear the inspiration of the previous two albums. The band seems to go through the motions without any new ideas and without much enthusiasm for the old ones. The opening track and Knots do still wet my appetite with some intriguing riffs and eerie vocal harmonies, but most tracks leave me untouched.

The musicianship is excellent of course but seems to serve little other purpose then to entertain the band members. I sure do miss the out-worldly atmospheres and catchy hooks from the two preceding albums. I think Gentle Giant have stripped their music too much of its raw emotion and spontaneity here. The result is an intellectualized and artsy form of Prog that will probably never appeal to me very much. Luckily for Gentle Giant I seem to represent a very small minority who thinks as such.

This is the first Gentle Giant record I heard around five years ago. I was immediately struck by the extraordinary time signatures which reminded me a lot of the 'Cardiacs' - who are one of my all time favourite bands. If you hear it as background music, it's nothing special. Astonishing in it's diversity, array of instruments and complexity. And surprisingly, like the Beatles used in some parts, - a lot of polyphony techniques are applied.

A very bright and adventurous album like most of Gentle Giant's early to mid 70's works and far more inventive and interesting than their sometimes counterparts, 'Genesis'. It doesn't quite make the five star maximum due to it sounding VERY 70's and of it's time. An excellent recording nonetheless accompanied by very decent vocals. Love that cover too! You can't go wrong with this one if you're a 'progger'.

Gentle Giant is not a huge personal favorite but I respect them very much. This was the album that always grabbed me the most as I recall. Here they put the various pieces together, their trademark quirkiness injected with levity and melody, while the musicianship just kept excelling to new heights. Their 4th album was the last with brother Phil Shulman who wanted more family time. Ray Shulman has commented that it was probably their best album, a toss-up between it and "Acquiring the Taste.

The songs are diverse, filled with life and crazy amounts of creativity, pizzazz, humor, and accessibility. Proggy and complex of course, but also melodic and engaging. I think John Weathers really brought something special to the mix. Right from the beginning of "The Advent of Panurge" you know you are in for something special.

Delicate layered vocals are soon joined by some funky jamming. All band members are going nuts but the work is integrated and purposeful instead of "insert part 16 here" which is how some of the previous album felt to me. These highly constructed, complex vocal arrangements just keep coming back on every track, they must have spent hours coming up with this stuff.

John Weathers wastes no time in stamping his drumming on this group. I'm hooked after one track, but all eight are exhaustingly interesting and good! Listen to the strings at the opening of "Raconteur Troubadour" so flawlessly arranged. This is so saucy it could be Italian Prog! Just needs some operatic Italian vocals. Then some mischievous brass challenges the strings and keyboards as the percussion and vocal tries to maintain some order, fantastic! The side closer jumps right back to insanity with "Knots" which again has these incredibly orchestrated vocal arrangements which work perfectly with the tense strings and vibes.

But a melodic, easygoing second part runs counter and periodically allows a breather to the crazy part. Nice contrast. The soundtrack of Doggie daydreams. Incredible stuff. And you thought it was just music? Some might find the big horns cheesy but I always loved it because it sounded sincere to me. And because it was just one more delicious flavor to this grand desert tray of a record. The album's finale is "River.

It's very heavy, with guitar and violin leading the way, goaded by really tight and awesome drumming. There is also a very weird "swirly" sound effect which runs throughout much of the piece giving it an odd, off-kilter feel. Fits right in with the Giant standard operating procedure. It's been almost two decades since I heard those other two acclaimed albums, but I look forward to revisiting them. I read one of the Shulmans saying how GG were not like Yes and Genesis, they didn't really do the 20 minute tracks, opting for shorter experiments instead.

It matters not, I don't think an album like this suffers because they chose to do 8 tracks instead of 3. This album is of the same caliber than its predecessor on my scale of value; meaning a good album. Their inimitable vocal style is now well under control and their music probably at its peak. Several musical styles are being proposed but the common denominator is the jazzy feel which prevails here "A Cry for Everyone".

Before this song, a more folkish and medieval "Raconteur Troubadour" was available. The opening number "The Advent of Panurge" holds each facet from this band: complexity, diversity, polyphony, jazz atmosphere: a classical and a good GG song for sure. As usual, songs are on the short end. Maybe because their music was already complex enough and didn't need fifteen minutes to develop. A song as "Knots" for instance is quite tough and difficult to approach: it sounds like leading nowhere and changes from theme every twenty seconds or so.

My favorite song is the tranquil and melodic "Think of Me With Kindness". It is a straight forward ballad that conveys a nice feel. A "gentle" moment, should I say. It was necessary after the weak "Dog's Life". The album ends on a good note as well in the form of a heavier "River".

Three stars. Somebody thinks this is the best album ever released by Gentle Giant, other say their best is Three Friends: two very different albums, however. Octopus has the incredible characteristic of songs which contain a lot of things concentrated in few minutes. There is the medieval arrangement of "Raconteur Troubadour", the rock hard for its time of "A Cry for Everyone", the acapella choir of "Knots", the experimentalisms of "The Advent of Panurge", the Canterbury of "Dog's Life".

It's like a soup of the best ingredients of the golden age prog. The only negative thing that I can find are the tracks fading out. Something absolutely not needed in an album that's 35 minutes long. Regardless this, and because of the huge variety of sounds and ideas, this is a milestone of progressive rock. It's shortness just makes me wishing more, specially because my favourite track is "River", which closes the album with its violins and strange signatures.

Its sudden end is a chock. I might have preferred a fadeout this time. This is another strength of this band: they never give you something that you can expect, and the ability to surprise is one of the most important skills in music. After the first minute of "The Advent Of Panurge" is a really cool mix of guitar, organ and synth. I like the vocals before 3 minutes, some sound backwards or not sung in English. Great mix of different sections. Love the different sections and how they flow so well together.

One of my favourite parts of the song is when you hear multi-tracked Moogs duelling with each other. A terrific song. Focused on complex and interlocking multi-part vocals, the actual music is repetative and minimalistic before the bass and drums come in. Cool xylophone solo. I just love the clavinet or organ or Wurlitzer put through a wah-wah pedal, such a great sound.

Some good drumming near the end. Begins with laughing and a coin spinning. Great interplay between the instruments. I wish this track didn't fade out. Now we get to what I have always considered the low point of the album. The last song "River" is much better than the previous two songs but not as good as anything on the first half. I like the vocal and cymbal effects in this song: they sound varispeeded or some other form of tape manipulation.

Sounds like a wah-wahed electric violin is being played. There is a short drum solo which sounds slightly speed altered before a bluesy guitar solo. During that solo there is sometimes double-tracked guitars playing. As usual for GG, this has great sound and production. The compositions are hit or miss compared to other albums. On the next album Phil is not replaced and they go for a complicated style with a steady rhythm section most of the time.

I would not suggest anybody start their GG journey with Octopus, since it won't give you a good representation of what the band is about. But it should still be heard eventually. I would rate this 3. It all starts with The Advent of Panurge , which continues the theme from Pantagruel's Nativity about giants.

When I first heard this, I was shocked at just how proggy a song could sound. This is a wonderfully complex song with cleverly written parts. This song encouraged me to buy the album and see how the rest sounded. Raconteur, Troubadour is too medieval for my tastes even the lyrics. According to the liner notes, this is exactly what they were trying to do, so you have to give them credit for that. The playing is still quite complex and technical, but I'm not too keen on the melody.

Still fun in places though. A Cry For Everyone is more up to date with a heavy guitar sound. The lyrics, apparently inspired by Albert Camus, do nothing for me. There are some very good technical moments in this song though, especially in the instrumental. Far and away the most well known song on the album, Knots was the most complex song Gentle Giant had put together to date. In this song, the group sing a cappella, and most of the time there are at least 4 voices all singing different things.

Amazingly, it all comes together and sounds fantastic with the music in the background. Even though the members are singing at different pitches and at different speeds, the music fits together like a 'musical jigsaw', as the liner notes describe. One of the most memorable GG songs. The Boys In The Band is a prog rock instrumental. In my opinion, this track is more complex than it needs to be, and it doesn't flow like a good instrumental should.

Dog's Life is a fun little song with interesting instrumentation. Unfortunately, this song feels more like filler. Up to this point, GG had not done a 'beautiful' song. Think Of Me With Kindness was an attempt to change this. As a result, the group sound a lot less technical on this track, and far less obtuse. The result is a really pretty track that you could easily play on the radio. There are a couple of sneaky time signatures thrown in, but this track sounds gloriously simple, and is very moving.

River shows the group experimenting in the studio with various effects, whilst still playing in their signature complex style. This piece doesn't really grab my attention, although I admire the skill of the group in this song. Since hearing this album for the first time, I have moved on and found better Gentle Giant albums, but I do occasionally listen to these tracks. This is one of GG's most eclectic albums as there are just so many different styles on the album, and many intriguing and often successful fusions of musical genres.

Recommended listening. Did Phil and the boys really like this one? 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.

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. All in good fun as it was received. Very tenderly written and rendered.

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! An album truly worth revisiting again and again, Octopus showcases the sheer diversity available to the band, as well as showing that they can rock out and get wild with the best of them.

In particular, had the band returned to the approach of A Cry For Everyone as part of their response to the punk explosion, as opposed to turning their sound to the mainstream, I suspect they'd have both kept their original audience and attracted a surprising number of younger fans, much like Peter Hammill was able to.

But enough for mourning the paths not taken - this particular album is gold from beginning to end. On Octopus, Gentle Giant demolish the myth that prog means length and bombast. On the one hand, they stick to songs of length that do not exceed 6- 7 minutes and are rarely divergent from a pop structure. On the other, funk and medieval music yes, you read that right dominate their musical influences. So, far from sounding bombastic, they sound, intentionally or unintentionally, goofy.

It has occurred to me before that some passages off this album would not sound out of place in a Tom and Jerry episode.

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Here we have tried to capture something of the medieval English troubadour, by the instrumentation, arrangement and lyrics. The lyric gives away something of the lyric thoughts of one or two members of the band, and is inspired by the literature and philosophy of Albert Camus. Lead vocals: Phil , Kerry , Derek and??? Laing , an eminent psychologist, has stimulated us by his intriguing, logical, poetic riddles into composing this latter-day madrigal - and something of a musical jigsaw.

Not to be confused with the play of the same name - at least not the characters, we hope. This piece is for Gentle Giant as a whole - our engineer, Martin Rushant , included. A backhanded tribute to our roadies; our musical parody could only be drawn to a wily old dog. Surely two more unmatched sounds as the Regal a medieval reed organ and string section could not be found, but they seem to successfully convey the whine of both dog and roadie.

A personal song. It has been kept simple to retain the essentially intimate mood of the piece. Lead vocals: Derek main , Phil "Moving highway We have tried to create several atmospheres within the boundaries of one song by using the various electronic devices at our disposal in the recording studio. The Columbia disc is missing 2 seconds of piano -- really, a quiet little piano riff -- played just before "A Cry For Everyone.

David Bradley reports that the Steven Wilson blu-ray "flat transfer" disc of the original stereo master is also missing the riff. It is detectable with headphones. Noda Hiroshi reports that the Nippon disc has none of the above defects. I know nothing more about the Si-Wan release. Basil Francis reports that the Repertoire version has a defect in Raconteur Troubadour around , where they seem to have cut out a fraction of a second, making the verse not flow.

Jimmy Patto reports that the Repertoire version has the dynamics compressed. He verified this by comparing the tracks to those on the Vertigo CD using Audacity. From Gentle Giant Home Page. Hidden category: Pages using DynamicPageList parser function. Navigation menu Personal tools Log in. Namespaces Page Discussion. Views Read View source View history. Alucard Music GentleGiantBand. Album Information: Title :. Year :. Contents 1 About the Album 1. For other uses of "knots", see knots disambiguation.

For other uses of "Dog's Life", see Dog's Life disambiguation. Dean's logo appears inside the lyrics booklet. Early versions of this cover were die-cut into a jar shape. Later reviews about the album have remained positive. AllMusic have declared that Octopus is "an album that has withstood the test of time a lot better than anyone might have expected.

In , progressive death metal band Witherscape covered the track "A Cry for Everyone", and issued it for release on their The Inheritance album. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Gentle Giant. Progressive rock [1] [2] experimental rock. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 January Retrieved 27 May Alucard Publishing Limited. Audiophile Review. Luxury Publishing Group. Retrieved 29 December Due to one master multi-track reel gone missing , Steven Wilson could only create a pure 5.

The other three were extracted using Penteo's software which pulls 5. August Retrieved 26 June Prog Team Rock. Archived from the original on 15 December Playing the Fool. Authority control MusicBrainz release group.

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