I bought this directly from i think the keyboard player Kerry Minnear some years ago and thought it desperately needs a review.
This is to me, the finest of Gentle Giant's albums. I got into them via a guy called Brian who claimed he knew them at school (maybe Portsmouth, where some of them came from). He financed a demo album for my band 'Ayup' in 1973, but dissapeared a few years later. Having borrowed a few of their earlier albums, I thought yes, this band is different to every other 'Proggy' band. A mix of King Crimson and Yes perhaps best describes them with maybe a touch of Tull (For a modern interpretation try Spocks Beard/Neal Morse).
Now for the album : An extension of their previous 'Octupus' with more folky contributions. The first track (always good to break the ice at parties!!) is pretty normal GG (for them). Track 2 is the awkward one 'An Inmates Lullaby' one of the weirdest from GG (guaranteed NOT to break the ice at parties!!!) 'Way of Life' is a great rockier track with unusual vocal line, braking into a chamber piece and returning back to the previous section, ending with a great repeated line with keyboards fading away before the glorious 'Experience' with very complex rhythms. A quieter almost hymn like vocal follows until the typical GG soft/loud riff starts, briefly returning to the hymn then ending a complex fadeout. Reunion - a folky/chamber piece follows before the great title track with it's folky start then great sax and change of key building up to the killer heavy riff from Gary's guitar at 4:14, Derek Shulman at his vocal best with probably Kerry on the quieter bits, some unusual slide from Gary Green, until Derek returns for the repeated vocal fading out with that great riff. But beware it's party time again with a short resume of each track. My version also has a couple of live european bonus tracks from 'Glasshouse'. This is highly recommended with a unique CD cover ( as near as poss to the LP version)