It’s never too much for ol’ good Gentle Giant. Especially if you are a collector and die-hard fan of progressive rock and the band. ''Memories of Old Days'' is a compendium of curios, bootlegs, live tracks, rehearsals and demos 1975-1980, it is an alternative anthology covering the whole of the band's time with Chrysalis Records.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.
"Octopus" is a fitting title, since the band is playing here like they've got extra arms. I have yet to hear any GG album so skillfully wrought as "Octopus"; if you're approaching the band from the outside, this is definitely the right appetizer.
Returning to Gentle Giant's fourth album after any kind of lengthy absence, it's astonishing just how little Octopus has dated. Often written off at the time as a pale reflection of the truly gargantuan steps being taken by the likes of Jethro Tull and Barclay James Harvest, the band's closest relatives in the tangled skein of period prog, Gentle Giant often seemed more notable for its album art than its music…
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Yusef Lateef's music from the early '70s commands large doses of both appeal and skepticism. At a time when funk and fusion were merging with the intensely volatile and distrustful mood of the U.S., Lateef's brand of Detroit soul garnered new fans, and turned away those who preferred his earlier hard bop jazz or world music innovations. Thus The Gentle Giant is an appropriate title, as Lateef's levitational flute looms large over the rhythm & blues beats central to the equation. Kenny Barron's Fender Rhodes electric piano is also a sign of the times, an entry point introducing him to the contemporary jazz scene, and on that point alone is historically relevant.
Astonishingly daring debut album, not as focused or overpowering as King Crimson's first but still crashing down barriers and steamrolling expectations. The mix of medieval harmonies and electric rock got stronger on subsequent albums, but the music here is still pretty jarring…
Following the masterful In A Glass House and preceding the band's commercial apex Freehand, The Power And The Glory is a gem amongst gems, mixing Gentle Giant's restless energy and invention, with beautiful melodies and potent (complex) Rock riffage. This digipak cd/blu-ray edition features 2014 stereo and 5.1 mixes by Steven Wilson, a flat transfer of the original mix, plus instrumental mixes and two bonus tracks. The blu-ray is NTSC, Region 0.