Gentle Giant were never a major league player in the progressive rock world in the 70's, especially in their homeland. Not sure the reason why they were never as big as Yes or Genesis. Maybe their music was too intricate, too many time signature changes, too many instruments. Whatever, on the evidence of "Octopus" they should have been huge! This is without a doubt a classic of the progressive rock genre. The whole album is beautifully played, produced and the music flows with a logic that belies the complicated arrangements. Their influence in todays prog rock is still strongly felt. Just listen to Spock's Beard's "Thoughts" from their "V" album to hear their take on the multi-vocal gymnastics which is the centre-piece of the knotty "Knots". That Gentle Giant did this live is head scratching stuff indeed. Everything from RD Laing, Albert Camus, to songs about roadies and giants is covered here. For many the band were at their peak with this recording and it's easy to see why.
This re-issue by German company Repertoire is for my money the best sounding version available. In fact it sounds pretty amazing! Remastered by Eroc who has also handled "Gentle Giant" and "Acquiring the Taste" for the label recently, this sounds as if it was recorded yesterday. The clarity of each instrument is sublime, absolutely gorgeous sound throughout. A very nice job indeed!
The packaging is a nice glossy gatefold sleeve affair, re-designed by Martyn Dean brother of Roger Dean who did the original stunning artwork. All lyrics are included in the fold-out poster along with an essay by veteran journalist Chris Welch. This release is a limited edition of 3000, so if you want to hear one of the classic prog rock albums in all its glory and you do want to, get this while you can.