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Octopus


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Biography

The three Shulman brothers had previously formed Simon Dupree and the Big Sound with three others in 1966. They cut 9 singles 1966-69 (and one as The Moles in 1968) and one album in 1967, all for Parlophone. The act played R&B and soul and ventured into psychedelia and pop. After disbanding late 1969, the three brothers formed Gentle Giant Feb 1970, bringing drummer Martin Smith, who had ... Read more in Amazon's Gentle Giant Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Nov 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Eastworld
  • ASIN: B009GJC3II
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,863 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Dr. D. B. Sillars VINE VOICE on 4 Jan 2007
Format: Audio CD
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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gentlegiantprog TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 May 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Octopus was the fourth full-length studio album by British Progressive Rock band Gentle Giant. It was originally released in late 1972 and has since gone on to become on of the band's signature albums.

In my opinion, this is one monster of an album. Perhaps the perfect mixture between out and out prog and pure hard rock. The album is packed full of brilliant tunes that are complex, challenging and far from standard. That being said however, for a Gentle Giant album the songs are shorter and catchier than usual and a few pack a nice rocking punch.

This is the perfect album to start your adventure with Gentle Giant. Octopus is a captivating and emotional album, that displays the band's immense creativity and variety in a relatively easy to digest delivery. From the twisting vocal chaos of 'Knots,' and the beautiful balladry of 'Think Of Me With Kindness,' to the shameless rocking of 'A Cry For Everyone,' 'River,' and the awesome 'Advent of Panurge,' Octopus has something satisfying for fans of all backgrounds.

If you're absolutely unfamiliar with the likes of Yes or King Crimson then the music may be strange on first listen but remember that 'strange' doesn't mean 'bad,' and in this case it means something more along the lines of superb. In summary, perhaps odd to an absolute newcomer but absolutely worth persisting with. This is the sort of album you'll listen to for years!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By David Lazzari on 12 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
Never an easy band to get into Gentle Giant however remains one of my favourite bands of all time.
Live, they gave a superb show – not all lights and effects but great music and a wonderful presence and feel.
The vocals were exquisite at times, raunchy and rocking at others. A great rhythm section of Gary Weathers on drums and Ray Shulman on bass (most of the time) provided the driving force. An excellent guitarist (Gary Green) combined with a greatly under-rated keyboard player Kerry Minnear. The main vocalists were Derek & Phil Shulman in 1972 – Phil left not long after this period - however, everyone in the band also contributed with strings, brass etc.
In this format, I saw them perform during the Octopus tour in 1972 and Octopus remains one of my favourite GG albums.
The songs mix complexity (Knots, Advent of Panurge) with beautiful simplicity (Think of me with kindness). Rock and Roll with a twist (Cry for everyone) to ‘medieval’ rock (Dog’s life, Raconteur Troubadour).
Gentle Giant will always remain in my top 10 – along with the likes of Jethro Tull, Tool and Midnight Oil.
A unique band.
Not a band you can use as muzak and why would you want to trivialise such a band?
A band that required an effort on your part.
Was the effort worthwhile? For me a most definite yes.
Listen to Octopus and let the tentacles grip
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Weston on 28 July 2005
Format: Audio CD
A simply superb band. GG were always one of my favourite bands and one of my life-long regrets is not seeing them live (the Playing the Fool live album is a gem). Octopus was their fourth album but the one which got them noticed for the first time (esp in the USA), and tends to epitomise their eclectic style of hard rock (Cry for Everyone), and delicacy (Think of me with Kindness). Tracks such as The Advent of Panurge manage to combine both. Never easy to get into but always ultimately rewarding, GG represent the best of UK prog rock with their unique blend of rock riffs and musical gymnastics. If you like this, give In a Glass House, The Power and the Glory, and Free Hand a listen: you won't be disappointed. I notice on Amazon that many of their albums are about to be re-released for a 35th anniversary shindig. I can't wait to catch up with them again.
Ken Weston, Harrogate. 28/7/05
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