Octopus Original recording remastered
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Octopus (Steven Wilson Mix)
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One of the undisputed classics of the prog-rock era, this 1972 LP finds the band members not only in a creative zone, but showing off their prowess on guitar, bass, drums, synth, vibes, cello, sax, trumpet, violin, xylophone and Mellophonium! Follow their fabulous musical trek through the Advent of Panurge; Raconteur, Troubadour; River; the Boys in the Band; Dog's Life, and more plus bonus tracks.
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As I also noted in my review of the remastered 'Three Friends', I do sometimes hear in the remastered 'Octopus' what seem to be new elements (elements that I don't necessarily recall having heard in the vinyl pressing, like instruments or vocal parts that may have been there before but are now more forward in the mix), but they do not seem to me to be as obvious or numerous as those I seemed to notice in the remastered 'Three Friends'. And again, while I do occasionally find myself hearing something "new" in the 'Octopus' mix and thinking "now /that's/ different!" I am more certain with 'Octopus' (than I was with 'Three Friends') that I /won't/ miss the original mix ... in the case of the remastered 'Octopus', I do feel much more certain that the new mastering is truly more satisfying and that I'll get used to and appreciate it more than any attachment I may have to variations in the original mix.
While I am certain that listeners who know 'Octopus' will have some similar responses to perceived "new elements", I expect most of those listeners will respond very favorably. The remastered 'Octopus' still benefits from an overall *clarity* over the original vinyl mix (and earlier cd releases), and though these may be less apparent than in the newly remastered 'Three Friends', I had never had the same impression of "density" with 'Octopus' as I did with 'Three Friends' in the first place. Nonetheless, if you already have a cd pressing of 'Octopus' and are considering whether to purchase the new remaster, I can say that it certainly benefits overall from an improved clarity that, once again, allows these compositions to open up ... not to mention that, with one of the Shulmans on hand during the remastering, you can be more sure that this is how the artists intended it to be heard.
Of course, if if you've never heard 'Octopus' before (or Gentle Giant in general), and have even a passing interest in challenging progressive rock music with intricate vocal arrangements and shifting time signatures you should simply make this purchase. ;-)
Definitely a great cd and worth the money. 5 stars.