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Octopus

Artist: Gentle Giant
Label: Columbia
Catalog#: KC 32022
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1972-12
Tracklist
A1 The Advent Of Panurge 4:40
A2 Raconteur Troubadour 3:59
A3 A Cry For Everyone 4:02
A4 Knots 4:09
B1 The Boys In The Band 4:32
B2 Dog's Life 3:10
B3 Think Of Me With Kindness 3:33
B4 River 5:54
Credits

Bass, Violin, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals – Raymond Shulman*
Composed By – Shulman*, Minnear*, Shulman*, Shulman*
Design [Uncredited] – Roger Dean (4)
Drums, Congas, Percussion – John Wethers*
Effects – Martin Rushent
Guitar, Percussion – Gary Green
Keyboards, Vibraphone, Percussion, Cello, Synthesizer [Moog], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Kerry Minnear
Lead Vocals, Alto Saxophone – Derek Shulman
Producer – Gentle Giant
Saxophone, Trumpet, Mellophone, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Philip Shulman

Notes

Released in a die-cut jar cover with a lyrics inner sleeve.
Red label with orange lettering.
Recorded at Advision Studios, London.

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
On their second release of the year, Gentle Giant delivers a more discrete and diverse record. Previously in the Welsh band Eyes of Blue and Pete Brown & Piblokto!, John Weathers was the newcomer; his hard-hitting drumming and a huge bass line launch "The Advent of Panurge" (again a nod to François Rabelais) into a hypnotic groove, from which the song switches back and forth from its chorus. The Moog on "A Cry For Everyone" squawks proudly, here the lyrics are under the influence of Albert Camus. "Raconteur Troubadour" offers a little medieval music, as does the band's tribute to their roadies, "Dog's Life." The band is adept at layering overdubs throughout; however, "Knots," based on the work of Scottish psychologist R.D. Laing, takes it to an extreme: It's a madrigal gone sideways—in other words, classic Gentle Giant. The second side opens with a "sample" of a coin toss, the first in a tradition that would extend over their next several albums. The autobiographical "Boys in the Band" shows Gentle Giant at their best: Rocking hard and steady, it demonstrates the band's musical dexterity and complex arrangements. "Think of Me with Kindness," featuring the tender vocals of Kerry Minnear, is an uncharacteristic ballad, but beautiful nonetheless. The closing "River" is another of the big power tracks on the album. Ray Shulman's wah-wah violin and Gary Green's bluesy guitar solo harken back to the earlier Giant albums; but here, Weathers's solid beat takes it up a notch. As such, the aptly titled Octopus dispatches eight ("octo") succinct compositions ("opus") that reflect the generous talent of Gentle Giant's six members. The band would continue to perform excerpts from the album in a more concise live arrangement. The album sparked some interest in the very lower reaches of the US charts, partly due to the band's extensive touring in the fall (opening for Black Sabbath) before the album's release, and its curious die-cut cover. However, the record would fail to chart in the UK—even with a Roger Dean album cover.
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